Forty-some years ago, in 1964, I was born in Winchester, England, in the middle of a snowstorm - well, in a hospital in the middle of a snowstorm, actually. My parents were Dorothy, a Welsh lass from Plas Acton in Monmouthshire, and Victor, a former soldier of Norman ancestry by way of Scotland. Apparently my birth is still (anonymously) in some medical books, because my mother carried me for eleven months due to complications.
The family home at the time I was born was in a village called Bullford, and if it weren't for the copse of trees in the way, you could have seen Stonehenge from the house. When I was six months old, the family moved to the nearby village of Tidworth, about three miles away. I grew up very aware of Stonehenge; in those days it was not fenced in, and I remember maths lessons when I was seven or eight, measuring the stones that had fallen. I also remember sitting on the altar stone, daydreaming.
By the age of 12 (at which age we moved to the strange city of Milton Keynes), I was experimenting in the Occult myself. Having followed my father into the Mormon priesthood, I also discovered the books of Lobsang Rampa and Alice Bailey, and started to explore the world beyond the mundane. A year later, my sister introduced me to Dot Horspool, known as Madam Morgana, the White Witch of Buckinghamshire. For most of the year, I was away at boarding school, having won a very generous scholarship to the Duke of York's Royal Military School. This gave me the freedon to study Occult things without freaking my mother out. I stayed at the school until 1982.
Once out of school, I continued my search for esoteric wisdom, primarily exploring the Egyptian Mysteries. I looked long and hard for a group practising the Egyptian Mysteries, but never did find one. Instead, in 1983 I was introduced by a friend to Nigel Bourne and Seldiy Bates, who were HP and HPS of an Alexandrian coven, having trained alongside Janet and Stewart Farrar in the coven of Alex and Maxine Sanders. They accepted me as a student, and I began my first formal training in Alexandrian Wicca. When my friend left after a heated argument with Nigel and Seldiy, I followed out of misplaced loyalty - an act I will always regret.
In 1985, I married my first wife Jackie, and we began working with Madam Morgana, now married to Reg Griffith, who became Merlin, her HP. From them I received my second degree, and then in 1988 Jackie and I took our third degree, and started the coven Tuath Draco. It started with six members, but grew over the years, having at its peak over thirty members from all over the UK. Eight years later, Jackie and I ceased to be a couple, and the following year I moved to Los Angeles.
I met Linda, my present wife, while visiting friends in LA to escape the woes of my life in the UK, and when I finished my media degree, I returned to LA, and married Linda on October 4th, 1997. Linda was an initiate of the Roebuck, a 1734-derived coven/Tradition whose Magister and Mistress (Ann and Dave Finnin) had travelled to the UK on several occasions, and had received adoption into the Clan of Tubal Cain, the Tradition that had been headed by Robert Cochrane, who wrote the letters that form the basis of the 1734 Tradition in the US. They returned to Los Angeles as Magister and Mistress of the Clan in America. Linda was a member of the Clan of Tubal Cain, and in 1998, I was initiated into the Roebuck, though I never sought entrance to the Clan.
In 2000, during a Roebuck hiatus, Linda and I sought permission to work with another coven and tradition, which we were given. We trained and initiated in the tradition, finding ourselves very much at home with it, and eventually, after parting company with that original coven, we formed a group of our own, Briar Rose, which is not connected in any way with any of the traditions we have followed, though we still are immersed in the current we have been part of since 2000.
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