Merry we meet - Merry we meet - Merry we meet
The Mather Family of early Massachusetts
Written and compiled by George Knowles
Give me a Call
Where no foot hath
There will I spend
My wearied years
A poem by Increase Mather taken from the title page of his diary
The Rev. Increase Mather was a major player in the early history of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in New England. An unswerving Puritan Minister of the North Church in Boston, he played a principal part in securing a new Charter for the Colony, was President of Harvard College for over 16 years, and perhaps most notoriously, used his influence to end the infamous Salem Witch Trials of 1692.
Increase Mather was born in Dorchester, Massachusetts on the 21st of June 1639; the sixth son of the Rev. Richard Mather and his wife Katharine. His father chose his unusual name because of the: “never-to-be-forgotten ‘increase’ and prosperity of the colony, where-in God had favored the new country at about the time of his birth”. Increase was initially home tutored by his father Richard, and from an early age showed his aptitude for intellectual and religious studies. In 1651 at the age of 12, he was enrolled at Harvard College from where he gained a Bachelor of Arts degree and graduated with his older brother Eleazer in 1656. Encouraged by his brothers Samuel in Ireland and Nathaniel in England, Increase continued his education at Trinity College University in Dublin gaining a Master of Arts degree in 1658.
Moving to England, Increase first began preaching in Great Torrington, Devonshire, under the auspices of the Rev. John Howe, one of Oliver Cromwell's chaplains. In 1659 he was appointed chaplain to a garrison stationed on the Island of Guernsey where he remained until 1661. After the ascension of Charles II to the throne in 1660, followed by the reformation of the Church of England, Increase a non-conformist, had the foresight to see what was coming and in 1661 returned to Massachusetts.
Just a year later in 1662, Parliament restored Catholic bishops into the Churches of England and many Protestant non-conformist ministers were ejected and forced to leave the country to avoid persecution. Those who refused to leave had to conform to the ceremonies and doctrines of the reformed Catholic Churches and the restrictions placed upon them by the ‘Act of Uniformity’. This required that all clergy in England receive Episcopal re-ordination regardless of what Protestant sect they belonged too.
After his return to Massachusetts, Increase began preaching alternately between his father’s church in Dorchester, and as pastor of the new North Church, a branch of the older South Church in Boston. On the 6th March 1662 Increase married Maria Cotton, daughter of the famed Rev. John Cotton, by whom he had seven daughters and three sons: Cotton Mather (12 Feb 1663), Mariah Mather (17 Mar 1664), Elizabeth Mather (6 Jan 1667), Nathaniel Mather (6 Jul 1669), Sarah Mather (9 Nov 1671), Samuel Mather (28 Aug 1674), Abigail Mather (13 Apr 1677), Hannah Mather (30 May 1680), Catharine Mather (14 Sep 1682) and Jerusha Mather (16 Apr 1684).
Out of all his children, only his eldest son Cotton Mather would follow his footsteps and make a career for himself in the church. Cotton worked as pastor and colleague to his father at the North Church for 39years, before replacing him as Minister on his death in 1723.
By the start of the 1660’s, the older churches in New England began to change as the second generation of the settlers came to the fore seeking more religious tolerance. There was much heated discussion amongst the second generation about the rights of those who were not members in full communion to bring their children into church for baptism, and so began a state of transition for the colony. The older churches had been established for nearly a generation and many of the younger people did not regard themselves as regenerated persons, as such and according to the rules of the church, their children could not be baptized, leading to a decrease in new admissions to their churches.
In the summer of 1662 Increase attended a synod that produced the “Half-Way Covenant” as a compromise. The Half-Way Covenant allowed baptism for the infant grandchildren of members of the church, even if the children’s immediate parents had not experienced new birth or been admitted to a church. In the following debates Increase was opposed to the Half-Way Covenant, even though his father had taken a leading role in promoting it. Later he modified his decision and urged a greater union of all anti-Episcopal believers both in England and in America.
On 27th of May 1664 Increase was ordained a Minister and teacher of the North Church in Boston, a position he occupied for nearly sixty years. He proved to be a passionate orator, and his sermons and prayers were full of sincere originality, he was also known to fast regularly and recorded his daily life in a journal. In 1669 he suffered from prostrate fever and was laid up for a year before returning to the pulpit in 1670.
In February of 1674, he intuitively delivered one of his most famous sermons entitled: “The Day of Trouble is Near”. This was the first of many great speeches that would make him an influential Puritan leader in Boston and across Massachusetts. He was referring to the unrest he foresaw amongst native Indians, and which just a year later erupted into the first of America’s Indian war conflicts, this one known as “King Philip’s War”.
Philip was a native American Chief (sachem) of the Wampanoag tribe, and the second son of Chief Massasoit, who nearly 40 years earlier had signed the first “Treaty of Plymouth” with John Carver the colony’s first Governor. Massasoit became the first native Indian ally of the Pilgrim settlers of Plymouth and Massachusetts. Massasoit died in 1661 and was succeeded by his first son Wamsutta, and just a year later in 1662 by his second son Metacomet, who was then adopted and renamed Philip by the English settlers. Philip initially renewed and honoured the treaties of his father, but the colonists in their efforts to expand, continually encroached on native lands despite the treaties.
In retaliation Philip formed a confederation of tribes in 1675 and declared war. They attacked the colonists, burned towns and killed many of their family members. In return the colonists retaliated, capturing women and children, and destroying their crops and means of livelihood. In December 1675 the colonists won a major victory, but while their numbers steadily diminished, the Indians continued to hold out. A year later in 1676 the Indians attacked Boston setting fire to the North Church and library, partly destroying it. Then finally in August that year King Philip was killed, bringing an end to the war and any further resistance to colonial expansion.
For his part, Increase announced to his congregation that King Philip’s war had come upon them because of their iniquities brought on by their continual encroachments onto native lands. He later wrote: “In a brief History of the War with the Indians in New England” (1676), a first-hand account of the conflict. After the war ended in 1676, it was followed by a smallpox epidemic bringing renewed sufferings to both colonists and natives alike. This led to the calling of a synod at the suggestion of Increase and several other religious leaders: “to make inquiry as to what follies had provoked the Lord to bring his judgment upon New England”.
During the synod it was declared that the work of reformation must begin with a call for greater strictness in the admission of members to the church. Increase advocated that a strict moral code be enacted into a new Church law entitled “Provoking Evils”, which condemned tavern going, the unlicensed sale of alcohol, frivolous travel on Sundays and “the evil pride in Apparell”. The New England confession of faith was adopted and printed as: “The Book of Doctrine for the Churches of the Massachusetts colony”. Another innovation that was proposed was the abandonment by certain Churches to choose their own Pastors. Increase however had always insisted upon the right of each church to decide what minister it should have.
One of Increase’s most important influences on early Boston was his encouragement of the press. Already a prolific author and writer himself, in 1675 he aided and supported John Foster (1648-1681) to establish the first printing press in Boston, and then provided him with a steady flow of books to print. Before that most all printing in New England had been done at nearby Cambridge. Foster, a philologist, printed an annual almanac in competition with the Cambridge press, and introduced Increase to astronomy, he also printed maps and illustrated books with woodblocks of his own creation. Increase for his part, distributed copies of his own books and writings to friends and colleagues all across New England and even back in old England, by doing so, Boston became the literary centre of America, a position it held well into the nineteenth century.
Aside from his religious duties, Increase became one of the chief and most influential educator’s in the country. In 1681 the Rev. Uriah Oakes, President of Harvard Collage died and Increase was appointed by the government to succeed him. The church however insisted he reside in Boston and continue his duties as minister, and so he was forced to resign. The college presidency was next conferred onto John Rogers who died in 1685, after which the offer was again renewed on Increase. This time the church accepted his position, but with the understanding that he still reside in Boston and spend only part of his time in Cambridge.
As president, Increase revised the college curriculum by restoring Greek and Hebrew studies and emphasizing the Bible and Christian writing as the sources of ethics. He also rewrote the college laws after years of slack leadership, requiring all students to be residence on campus, to be presence at mealtimes and attend all lectures and recitations with regularity. Classes at Harvard had usually consisted of from two to ten students, but during Increase’s presidency the numbers rose to twenty or more per class. As the sixth President of Harvard College, Increase retained the position for the next 16 years.
Increase was not only active in the affairs of religion and education, but also served the Colony in politics as well. In 1682 Charles II demanded the surrender of the Charter that had been granted to the Colony of Massachusetts Bay. In case of refusal he threatened that the Colony would be prosecuted with a “quo warranto”. Increase led the people in their opposition to the surrender, and in doing so made an enemy of Edward Randolph the King’s emissary and later secretary to Sir Edmund Andros the Colony’s hated Governor.
After the Charter had been taken away and while Andros was still Governor, Increase was sent to England in 1688 to represent the Colony’s interests and negotiate a new Charter. However, the hostility of Andros and Randolph was such that they issued a writ and sent out officers to arrest him. To avoid them Increase was obliged to sneak onboard ship dressed in disguise and eventually arrived in Weymouth on the 6th May 1688.
Charles II, who rescinded the original Charter, had died in 1685 and was succeeded by his tyrant brother James II. By the time Increase arrived in 1688, England was in the grip of revolutionary fever (the Glorious Revolution) as James II came under the threat of being dethroned by William III (of Orange) and his wife Mary II. In such troubled times Increase aided by Sir Henry Ashurst the resident colonial agent, had just three audiences with James II, which proved to be fruitless. Increase had to wait until after James II had been forced into exile, and William and Mary ascended to the throne before negotiations could recommence.
(A painting by John van der Spriett circa 1688)
His first audience with William III came on the 9th of January 1689 followed by a number of interviews with his ministers. Between times Increase had actively been influencing the Commons to vote that the New England Charters be restored. While he had hoped that the former Charter would be restored with enlargements, this was turned down, and he was forced to accept a new but lesser Charter (signed on the 07th October 1691). Under this new Charter the Massachusetts Bay and Plymouth Colonies would continue to be governed from England until the time of the American Revolution in 1775, a cause of contention to his political enemies back in Boston.
Such was his reputation in London, Increase was even asked to nominate the first Governor to serve under the new Charter, and nominated Sir William Phips. Phips had grown up in Boston and in 1687 was knighted for recovering sunken Spanish treasure in the Caribbean. Three years later in 1690 he also led a fleet of armed merchantmen on a successful attack on Port Royal at the outbreak of war with France. Increase’s decision to nominate him was partly because he knew William III wanted a Governor who could lead troops and continue the war against the French.
Sir William Phips
On the 14th May 1692 Increase arrived back in New England aboard the frigate HMS Nonesuch, he brought with him not just a new Charter, but also the new Governor, Sir William Phips. After their arrival back in Boston, a general assembly was called in the House of Representatives and the Speaker of the House thanked Increase for his faithful endeavours in serving the Colony. That same year Harvard College awarded him a Doctor of Divinity degree, the first such degree to be conferred in the United States of America.
The Salem Witch Trials
By the time Increase arrived back from England, the Massachusetts Bay Colony was in the midst of another crisis, “Witchcraft”, or at least the fear of witchcraft had arrived in Salem Village. A group of young girls aged 11-20, after listening to tales of magic and voodoo from their African slave nanny Tituba, had became hysterical. Dr. Griggs the village physician was unable to prescribe any known cause for the hysteria, and so diagnosed them possessed by witchcraft. Witch hysteria quickly took hold and soon exceeded the confines of the village. In the meantime with no authoritative Charter, the acting Governor and magistrate Dudley Bradstreet had to keep the courts from sitting in trial, and so the jails began to fill with accused witches.
When the new Governor Sir William Phips arrived on the scene armed with a new Charter, he immediately set to work on clearing the judicial backlog and appointed a special Court of Oyer and Terminer to “hear and determine” cases of witchcraft. On the 27th May 1692 the Court convened to try the case against Bridget Bishop. The case against her was based mainly on hearsay and spectral evidence, despite which, she was condemned and two weeks later on the 10th June, she became the first of 19 alleged “witches” to be hanged on Gallows Hill in Salem.
The hanging of Bridget Bishop 10th June 1692
Phips was a little concerned as to the veracity of evidence the court used to condemn Bishop, and turned to Increase Mather (an acknowledged authority on Witchcraft) and other Boston ministers for guidance. In 1684, Increase had published “An Essay for the Recording of Illustrious Providence” a lengthy treatise on the existence of witches, apparitions and diabolical possession. In it he outlined puritan views on witchcraft and asserted his own belief that the sins of the population had brought on the Indian wars, the smallpox epidemic, extreme weather conditions and other judgments of God upon New England.
Having had little involvement with the events in Salem, Increase relied on the judgment of his son Cotton Mather to reply to Phips’ concerns. Cotton was equally acknowledged as an authority on Witchcraft, in 1689 he had written “Memorable Providences Relating to Witchcraft and Possessions”, detailing his own belief in diabolical possession and his fear and hatred of it. Cotton replied to Phips with “The Return of Several Ministers” in which he stated: “We judge that in the prosecution of these and all such witchcrafts there is need of a very critical and extreme caution, lest by too much credulity for things received only upon the Devil’s authority (spectral evidence), there be a door opened for a long train of miserable consequences”.
“The Return” also urged the court not to convict on the word of accusers alone, and that while spectral evidence should be considered, it should not be the sole evidence used to send someone to the gallows. They then gave their blessing for the court to proceed stating: “We cannot but humbly recommend unto the government the speedy vigorous prosecution of such as have rendered themselves obnoxious, according to the direction given in the laws of God, and the wholesome statutes of the English nation for the detection of witchcraft”.
Despite these cautions, imprisonments and examinations continued, and resulted in another 10 people being condemned. On the 19th July, Sarah Good, Rebecca Nurse, Susannah Martin, Elizabeth Howe, Sarah Wildes, George Jacobs, Martha Carrier, George Burroughs, John Proctor and John Willard were taken to Gallows Hill and hanged. By this time both Increase and Cotton Mather had doubts as to whether the witchcraft trials in Salem were achieving justice, and again warned against the use of spectral evidence.
Increase for his part was also one of the few ministers to reject the use of “common tests” to determine the guilt of an accused witch, such as reciting the Lord’s Prayer, swimming or weeping (superstition had it that witches lacked tears and couldn’t cry). However of all the trials that had taken place in Salem, Increase attended only one, that of George Burroughs, and while he may have been apposed to the court’s general methods, in this case he seems to have been in full agreement: “I would not have acquitted Burroughs, he said, because others attested to his diabolical activities”.
By late September 1692, the witchcraft trials reached a peak, but by then a further 8 witches had been condemned, and on the 22nd of September Martha Corey, Mary Easty, Alice Parker, Mary Parker, Ann Prudeater, Wilmot Reed, Margaret Scott and Samuel Wardwell were hanged on Gallows Hill. Also during the September trails and just three days before this final mass hanging, one other had died in a sickening display of torture, Giles Cory had been pressed to death for refusing to enter a plea of guilty, bringing the total number of deaths in Salem to 20.
Having seen the effect the witch trials had on the people of Salem, on the 3rd October Increase delivered a sermon that was later circulated around the colony as a pamphlet, and did much to change people’s attitudes to the trials. In “Cases of Conscience Concerning Evil Spirits Personating Men”, he wrote an analysis of individual accusers and their accusations, and re-examined the validity of spectral evidence. He also questioned the credibility of evidence obtained from possessed persons and confessed witches, stating: “Better that ten suspected witches should escape than one innocent person be condemned”.
His strong words of disapproval for the methods used by the Court of Oyer and Terminer had the desired effect and eventually led to the ending the trials. When Governor Phips returned from an expedition fighting Indian forces in Maine, he ordered that spectral evidence no longer be admitted in witchcraft trials, and on the 29th October issued a directive dissolving the Court of Oyer and Terminer. However there were still scores of people in jail awaiting trial for witchcraft.
On the 25th November the General Court of the colony created a Superior Court to hear the remaining cases witchcraft, and by early January 1693 another 52 accused witches were tried. Now with spectral evidence no longer being admitted, 49 of those accused were acquitted and released for lack of evidence. However several of those released later died as a result of the neglect and abuse they had suffered while waiting in jail. The three convicted were later pardoned when in May of 1693, Governor Phips released all the remaining accused and convicted witches from prison, including Tituba, who was released and sold on to a new master.
By 1710, the General Court begun to reverse some of the convictions made by the Court of Oyer and Terminer and declared them null and void. In following year’s compensation, although in many cases inadequate, was paid to some of the relatives of those who had died or suffered financial difficulties as a direct result of the trials. In a similar act of contrition, the First Church in Salem erased and blotted out the excommunication of Rebecca Nurse and Giles Cory from their records.
In many ways Increase was criticized for his involvement or non-involvement in the Salem Witch Trails, yet from his endorsement of “The Return of Several Ministers ” and his later “Cases of Conscience Concerning Evil Spirits”, it can be seen that he was actively seeking to lend caution to the hysteria. However despite his doubts about the methods used in the trials, he would never denounced the judges, and even went so far as to encourage them by urging “the speedy and vigorous prosecution of such as have rendered themselves obnoxious”.
Increase’s credibility was not helped when at the same time as his “Cases of Conscience” was published; his son Cotton also published a book supporting the trials “Wonders of the Invisible World”, in which Increase wrote an introduction. When one of his critics Robert Calef wrote about the trials in: “More Wonders of the Spiritual World” (1700), personally attacking both him and his son Cotton, Increase was so incensed by its treatment, he had the book publicly burned in the yard of Harvard College. All things considered, Increase’s ambivalence to the Witch Trials effectively diminished his political and public influence, and greatly damaged his later reputation.
On his return from England, Increase resumed his position as minister of the North Church in Boston and President of Harvard College in Cambridge. The church however still required him to preach every Sunday, and so he had to divide his time between Cambridge and Boston. Over the next few years Increase faced growing political pressure mainly over the new Charter, his chief political opponent being Elisha Cooke who resented the new Charter and blamed Increase for selling out the old one. There was also growing discontent with the way Sir William Phips failed to gain control over French and Native American forces that continued to threaten New England. Increase for his part felt obliged to defend him, which again put him at odds with his political enemies.
Politics also influenced his position as President of Harvard College. During his years of absence in England, Increase had left the college in the care of two tutors: John Leverett and William Brattle, who in keeping with changing times introduced a more latitudinal approach to study and religious tolerance, much to Increase’s dismay. Before the loss of the old Charter, Harvard College had been under the supervision of the old government legislature, and was still controlled by the government under the new Charter. On his return however, using his newly formed political contacts in England, Increase tried to get a separate and independent Royal Charter for the College.
As President of the college, this would no doubt have gained him much prestige and enabled him to further develop the College while protecting it from local government interference, as well as outside changing influences such as those introduced by Leverett and Brattle. However his political enemies, again led by Elisha Cooke, opposed taking authority for the College out of government control, and tried repeatedly to force him out of the presidency by demanding he reside full-time at the College in Cambridge, which would mean him giving up his Church in Boston.
Undaunted Increase eventually forced Leverett and Brattle out of the College in 1698 and re-instated his old puritan values. They in turn founded the Brattle Street Church in Boston and installed a Presbyterian minister Benjamin Colman, a clear challenge to Increase’s dominant autonomy of the traditional puritan churches in Boston. Increase responded by publishing “The Order of the Gospel” (1699) criticizing the methods they had used to establish the Brattle Street Church and particularly the suitability of their minister Benjamin Colman who had been ordained outside the colony by a Presbyterian Church in London, England.
By 1701 with mounting political pressure and increasing demands from the North Church in Boston, Increase wrote to the General Court asking them to seek someone more suitable to replace him as President for the College. The obvious choice of a successor was his own son Cotton Mather, but Increase failed to recognize the strength of opposition and his own decreasing political influence in government circles. His resignation was accepted and Samuel Willard, a pastor from the Old South Church was made Vice-President and given control of the College.
With any hope that his son Cotton might succeed him as President of the College crushed, Increase then withdrew from the College and retired from active politics. In 1714, Increase’s first wife Maria Cotton died and a year later he married Anna Lake, the daughter of Captain Thomas Lake and a widow of the Rev. John Cotton from New Hampshire, a grandson of his first wife's father the famed Rev. John Cotton of Boston.
Increase spent his remaining years almost entirely in the service of his North Church ministry, during which time he continued to write and publish his theological and religious treatises and sermons. Often working a 16-hour day, in September of 1722 illness caught up with him and he became bedridden. In August of 1723 he suffered bladder failure and died three weeks later on the 23rd August 1723. His funeral procession included virtually every important public figure in Boston as it made its way to Copp’s Hill cemetery, where he was buried in the Mather family Tomb.
The Mather family Tomb in Copp’s Hill cemetery, Boston.
The Mather’s Tomb: Beneath
this simple table stone are buried three ministers of the powerful Mather
family: Increase, Cotton, and
Samuel - father, son, and grandson, respectively.
The original inscription on the stone reads:
THE REVEREND DOCTORS INCREASE, COTTON, & SAMUEL MATHER were intered in this Vault. 'Tis the Tomb of our Father's MATHER -- CROCKER'S I DIED Augt 27th 1723 AE 84 C DIED FEB 13th 1727 AE 65 S DIED June 27th 1785 AE 79
Throughout his life Increase remained true to his puritan beliefs and the ideals laid down by his father and earlier pioneers of the Massachusetts Colony. After the deaths of the Founding Fathers of New England, his was the guiding voice at a time when the first generation of Americans born in America reached maturity. Throughout all the hardships of the developing colony he proved a powerful force of continuity and consistent in his defense of the Puritan doctrine and Church policy spelled out by his father’s generation.
When conflict over the Colony’s Charter began, Increase went to England at his own expense and devoted himself to preserving what he could of the old one, and returned with a working new one. His spiritual and intellectual outpouring of books on many and diverse topics, stimulated and fed Boston’s early publishing industry, making Boston the literary centre of America well into the nineteenth century. Among his contemporary peers, men such as: Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) to whom he was much more of a man of affairs, and Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), whose mission in England resembled that of his own, Increase Mather can be ranked among the greatest Americans of that period before the War of Independence.
In his “Last Will and Testament”, Increase left a codicil that reads: “I do hereby signify to my Executor, That it is my Mind & Will that my Negro Servant called Spaniard shall not be sold after my Decease; but I do then give Him his Liberty: Let him then be esteemed a Free Negro. Jun 4, 1719”.
First published on the 10th August 2007 © George Knowles
Best wishes and Blessed Be
Site Contents - Links to all Pages
A Universal Message:
Let there be peace in the world - Where have all the flowers gone?
Wicca & Witchcraft
The Wiccan Rede / Charge of the Goddess / Charge of the God / The Three-Fold Law (includes The Law of Power and The Four Powers of the Magus) / The Witches Chant / The Witches Creed / Descent of the Goddess / Drawing Down the Moon / The Great Rite Invocation / Invocation of the Horned God / The 13 Principles of Wiccan Belief / The Witches Rede of Chivalry / A Pledge to Pagan Spirituality
Traditions Part 1 - Alexandrian Wicca / Aquarian Tabernacle Church (ATC) / Ár Ndraíocht Féin (ADF) / Blue Star Wicca / British Traditional (Druidic Witchcraft) / Celtic Wicca / Ceremonial Magic / Chaos Magic / Church and School of Wicca / Circle Sanctuary / Covenant of the Goddess (COG) / Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans (CUUPS) / Cyber Wicca / Dianic Wicca / Eclectic Wicca / Feri Wicca /
Traditions Part 2 - Gardnerian Wicca / Georgian Tradition / Henge of Keltria / Hereditary Witchcraft / Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (H.O.G.D.) / Kitchen Witch (Hedge Witch) / Minoan Brotherhood and Minoan Sisterhood Tradition / Nordic Paganism / Pagan Federation / Pectic-Wita / Seax-Wica / Shamanism / Solitary / Strega / Sylvan Tradition / Vodoun or Voodoo / Witches League of Public Awareness (WLPA) /
Other things of interest:
Gods and Goddesses (Greek Mythology) / Esbats & Full Moons / Links to Personal Friends & Resources / Wicca/Witchcraft Resources / What's a spell? / Circle Casting and Sacred Space / Pentagram - Pentacle / Marks of a Witch / The Witches Power / The Witches Hat / An esoteric guide to visiting London / Satanism / Pow-wow / The Unitarian Universalist Association / Numerology: Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / A history of the Malleus Maleficarum: includes: Pope Innocent VIII / The papal Bull / The Malleus Maleficarum / An extract from the Malleus Maleficarum / The letter of approbation / Johann Nider’s Formicarius / Jacob Sprenger / Heinrich Kramer / Stefano Infessura / Montague Summers / The Waldenses / The Albigenses / The Hussites / The Native American Sun Dance / Shielding (Occult and Psychic Protection) /
Sabbats and Festivals:
The Sabbats in History and Mythology / Samhain (October 31st) / Yule (December 21st) / Imbolc (February 2nd) / Ostara (March 21st) / Beltane (April 30th) / Litha (June 21st) / Lammas/Lughnasadh (August 1st) / Mabon (September 21st)
Rituals contributed by Crone:
Animals in Witchcraft (The Witches Familiar) / Antelope / Bats / Crow / Fox / Frog and Toads / Goat / Honeybee / Kangaroo / Lion / Owl / Phoenix / Rabbits and Hares / Raven / Robin Redbreast / Sheep / Spider / Squirrel / Swans / Wild Boar / Wolf / Serpent / Pig / Stag / Horse / Mouse / Cat
In Worship of Trees - Myths, Lore and the Celtic Tree Calendar. For descriptions and correspondences of the thirteen sacred trees of Wicca/Witchcraft see the following: Birch / Rowan / Ash / Alder / Willow / Hawthorn / Oak / Holly / Hazel / Vine / Ivy / Reed / Elder
Rocks and Stones:
Stones - History, Myths and Lore
Articles contributed by Patricia Jean Martin:
Apophyllite / Amber / Amethyst / Aquamarine / Aragonite / Aventurine / Black Tourmaline / Bloodstone / Calcite / Carnelian / Celestite / Citrine / Chrysanthemum Stone / Diamond / Emerald / Fluorite / Garnet / Hematite / Herkimer Diamond / Labradorite / Lapis Lazuli / Malachite / Moonstone / Obsidian / Opal / Pyrite / Quartz (Rock Crystal) / Rose Quartz / Ruby / Selenite / Seraphinite / Silver and Gold / Smoky Quartz / Sodalite / Sunstone / Thunderegg / Tree Agate / Zebra Marble
Wisdom and Inspiration:
Articles and Stories about Witchcraft:
Murdered by Witchcraft / The Fairy Witch of Clonmel / A Battleship, U-boat, and a Witch / The Troll-Tear (A story for Children) / Goody Hawkins - The Wise Goodwife / The Story of Jack-O-Lantern / The Murder of the Hammersmith Ghost / Josephine Gray (The Infamous Black Widow) / The Two Brothers - Light and Dark
Old Masters of Academia:
(Ancient, Past and Present)
(Departed Pagan Pioneers, Founders, Elders and Others)
Abramelin the Mage / Agrippa / Aidan A Kelly / Albertus Magnus - “Albert the Great” / Aleister Crowley - “The Great Beast” / Alex Sanders - “King of the Witches” / Alison Harlow / Amber K / Anna Franklin / Anodea Judith / Anton Szandor LaVey / Arnold Crowther / Arthur Edward Waite / Austin Osman Spare / Biddy Early / Bridget Cleary - The Fairy Witch of Clonmel / Carl " Llewellyn" Weschcke / Cecil Hugh Williamson / Charles Godfrey Leland / Charles Walton / Christina Oakley Harrington / Damh the Bard - "Dave Smith" / Dion Fortune / Dolores Aschroft-Nowicki / Doreen Valiente / Dorothy Morrison / Dr. John Dee & Edward Kelly / Dr. Leo Louis Martello / Edward Fitch / Eleanor Ray Bone - “Matriarch of British Witchcraft” / Eliphas Levi / Ernest Thompson Seton / Ernest Westlake / Fiona Horne / Friedrich von Spee / Francis Barrett / Gavin and Yvonne Frost and the School and Church of Wicca / Gerald B. Gardner - The father of contemporary Witchcraft / Gwydion Pendderwen / Hans Holzer / Helen Duncan / Herman Slater - Horrible Herman / Isaac Bonewits / Israel Regardie / James "Cunning" Murrell - The Master of Witches / Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone / Jessie Wicker Bell - “Lady Sheba” / Johannes Junius - "The Burgomaster of Bamberg" / John Belham-Payne / John George Hohman - "Pow-wow" / John Gerard / John Gordon Hargrave and the Kibbo Kith Kindred / John Michael Greer / John Score / Joseph John Campbell / Karl von Eckartshausen / Laurie Cabot - "the Official Witch of Salem" / Lewis Spence / Margaret Alice Murray / Margot Adler / Marie Laveau - " the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans" / Marion Weinstein / Matthew Hopkins - “The Witch-Finder General” / Max Ehrmann and the "Desiderata" / Monique Wilson / Montague Summers / Nicholas Culpeper / Nicholas Remy / M. R. Sellars / Mrs. Maud Grieve - "A Modern Herbal" / Oberon Zell-Ravenheart and Morning Glory / Old Dorothy Clutterbuck / Old George Pickingill / Paddy Slade / Pamela Colman-Smith / Paracelsus / Patricia Crowther / Patricia Monaghan / Patricia “Trish” Telesco / Philip Heselton / Raymond Buckland / Reginald Scot / Robert Cochrane / Robert ‘von Ranke’ Graves and the "The White Goddess" / Rosaleen Norton - “The Witch of Kings Cross” / Ross Nichols and the " Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids" (OBOD) / Rudolf Steiner / Sabrina Underwood - "The Ink Witch" / Scott Cunningham / Selena Fox - founder of "Circle Sanctuary" / Silver Ravenwolf / Sir Francis Dashwood / Sir James George Frazer and the " The Golden Bough" / S.L. MacGregor Mathers and the “Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn” / Starhawk / Stewart Farrar / Sybil Leek / Ted Andrews / The Mather Family - (includes: Richard Mather, Increase Mather and Cotton Mather ) / Thomas Ady / T. Thorn Coyle / Vera Chapman / Victor & Cora Anderson and the " Feri Tradition" / Vivianne Crowley / Walter Brown Gibson / William Butler Yeats / Zsuzsanna Budapest /
Many of the above biographies are briefs and far from complete. If you know about any of these individuals and can help with additional information, please contact me privately at my email address below. Many thanks for reading :-)
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Dove of Peace
Help send a message of peace around the world! The Dove of Peace flies from site to site, through as many countries as possible. It does not belong to ANY belief system. Please help make a line around the globe by taking it with you to your site, by giving it to someone for their site, by passing it on to another continent or to the conflict areas of the world. May trouble and strife be vanquished in it's path.