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Posted on Friday, October 28 - 2005

" On February 12, witches' covens across the land will mark the 40th anniversary of the death of Gerald Gardner, left, the Merseyside man who became the father of modern witchcraft. People had different ideas about how we could repel the threatened invasion of Hitler's Nazi hordes. Winston..."

Adolf Hitler

On February 12, witches' covens across the land will mark the 40th anniversary of the death of Gerald Gardner, left, the Merseyside man who became the father of modern witchcraft. People had different ideas about how we could repel the threatened invasion of Hitler's Nazi hordes. Winston Churchill, heavy-jowled bulldog of the people, growled glorious words of defiance.On the heaths and cliffs, bilious majors drilled the rheumaticky Home Guards, stabbing the air with broom handles while threatening to throw the Hun back into the sea. Back on the airstrips, the Brylcremed pilots revved the engines on their Spitfires and raised their eyebrows in nonchalantanticipation.In a clearing in the New Forest, near the Rufus stone, Gerald Gardner and his chums were also anxious to do their bit for the old country in its hour of peril. But what? Most of them had reached a ripe age, no longer taut enough in muscle, limb or mind for parachuting behind enemy lines. They did, though, possess a secret weapon of such potency that it would chill the Fuehrer's marrow and have his Pantzers back-pedalling before you could whisper "Russian winter". Gardner and his fellow witches, drawn from various covens, had what he called the Cone of Power.

This, they claimed, had been responsible for half the Spanish Armada being wrecked before it could reach these shores and Napoleon's failure to mount an invasion of England. Now, in the summer of1940, the cone was needed again. But there was, as is so often the case on such occasions, a snag. Some hard-liners didn't think the cone would work at full blast unless there was a sacrifice. It was customary for one of the oldest and feeblest among the witches to volunteer for this honour. He or she would remain "skyclad" and unfed while the others smeared themselves in weather-protective grease, as they chanted and pranced in a circle. In this way, a volunteer would be likely to catch a chill and die, even on a summer night like Lammas (August 1). If this happened, their magic would gain in strength. Reports suggested that two of the older witches did die soon after a series of rituals against an invasion conducted in the New Forest in the summer of 1940. Although the details are a littlesketc......


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