Witchcraft During World War II
There is a popular belief that in the early days of World War II, a coven of witches gathered in the New Forest to conduct a ritual designed to repel the threat of a Nazi invasion. In this presentation I will review how primary and secondary sources over the past 70 years helped to build an account about a clandestine group of witches fighting a secret battle to defend their island home so that it would not ‘sink into the abyss of a new dark age.’  The presentation includes images of original documents and newspaper reports.

Speaker Bio

Julia Phillips is Hon Senior Research Associate at the University of Bristol. She received her PhD for her research examining how witches and witchcraft were featured in newspapers in Victorian Britain. Her primary research interests are the study of witchcraft in the nineteenth century and the development of modern pagan witchcraft in the twentieth century.

Recent publications:

Phillips, Julia. 2021. ‘Madeline Montalban: Magus of the Morning Star.’ In Essays on Women in Western Esotericism: Beyond Seeresses and Sea Priestesses, edited by Amy Hale, 229-254. Cham: Springer International Publishing.

Phillips, Julia. ‘The Museum of Witchcraft and Magic: Toward a New History of British Wicca.’ Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft, vol. 16 no. 2, 2021, p. 173-200. Project MUSE, doi:10.1353/mrw.2021.0028.

Houlbrook, Ceri and Phillips, Julia. ‘For All of Your Protection Needs: Tracing the “witch-bottle” from the Early Modern Period to TikTok.’ Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft (2023, volume 18.1).

Curated and Hosted by

Dr. Amy Hale is an Atlanta based writer, curator and critic, ethnographer and folklorist speaking and writing about esoteric history, art, culture, women and Cornwall. She is the author of Ithell Colquhoun: Genius of the Fern Loved Gully (Strange Attractor 2020) and is currently working on several Colquhoun related manuscripts. She is also the editor of Essays on Women in Western Esotericism: Beyond Seeresses and Sea Priestesses (Palgrave 2022). She has contributed gallery texts and essays for a number of institutions including Tate, Camden Arts Centre, Art UK, Arusha Galleries, Heavenly Records and she is a curator and host for the Last Tuesday Society lecture series.

don’t worry if you miss it – we will send you a recording valid for two weeks the next day

May 15th 2024 8:00 pm - 09:30 pm

£6 - £10 & By Donation

Thank you for your support