Yule 2011

Thirteen of us gathered in the woods on the solstice night for Blackthorn’s Yule celebrations. We created a circle of lights surrounded by trees with a Yule fire in the centre and began our ritual to welcome the light and the sun back to the world.

Then, on this the darkest, longest night we held our all night vigil around the fire to wait for the dawn and the sunrise. It was a long night and we kept awake by eating a mixture of vegetable curry, Pringles, biscuits, rice, baked potatoes, bacon butties and chocolate croissants all burnt to a crisp over the fire.

We heard owls flying around us all night and the breeze through the trees got stronger as we built up the fire, and kept watch. The trees were bare, the earth asleep, our night was black and cold as death.

We waited a long time for the first stirrings of dawn with the woods coming alive around us and we made our way to the hillside to watch for the sun. As at the summer solstice all was surrounded by mist and cloud as we welcomed the rebirth of the sun and, strangely, at the same time, the sheep in the opposite field formed themselves into a perfect circle.

The light grows stronger

The day grows longer

As the candles grow brighter

Our circle becomes lighter

And the darkness recedes once again

So, as we take another step around the circle out of the dark cocoon of winter and into the beginning of the light we look forward to another season with our friends in the coven.


Samhain 2011

Blackthorn celebrated the festival of Samhain in fine style as usual. We started with our second annual fancy dress party and celebration with the coven, the shadows group, invited guests and significant others

Thirteen witches, ghosts, dark fairies and zombies gathered around the fire to welcome the ancestors and unseen friends to our weekend.  The rest of the party joined us as we toasted the beloved dead and gathered around the fire to drink and chat looking forward to another interesting year with the coven.

 We held our  private  ritual deep in the darkest woods on Samhain night. We connected to the Dark Goddess and the Dark God as keeper of the underworld and were led through the veil and into the shadows…

We sat long after the witching hour protected in our sacred space enjoying the firelight, the wind through the trees, the owls and the wine reflecting on our experiences at the beginning of our favourite time of year.

2011 Training Circle

Due to increased interest in our group and requests to join us, we are starting our next training and development group in November 2011. Anyone interested in becoming part of this group will need to make contact as soon as possible. We always meet interested people and give them time to meet the rest of the group before accepting them on the course and we will be doing this during the next couple of months. We would also expect you to complete an application form and tell us about yourself in the first instance. You must be at least 25 years of age.</

If you have a serious and genuine interest in joining us please let us know via e mail:



Go to our meet up group and join us for social events at


We look forward to meeting you.

Beltane 2011

Beltane 2011

We will be out in the woods celebrating…

The screaming east wind had his wicked way with us all at our Beltane ritual- wild, cold, elemental and magic. We tripped over our cloaks and the fire tried to attack us as we raised a circle. We stayed until the witching hour, left the woods as we had found them and thanked the unseen friends who had joined us – another mememorable night for Blackthorn!

Loved it and thanks to all my witchy friends for staying so long watching sparks fly around the woods xxx

High Priest and Male energies within a group

I’ve just spent the morning with two very powerful and experienced fellow witches, both High Priestesses of successful magical groups. They see their role as being one of guidance, teaching and inspiration; both are very aware of their responsibilities towards their groups and feel they are privileged to be in such a situation. We spent a fantastic few hours discussing a range of eclectic subjects from healing and transactional analysis to our favourite breeds of dog, drinking coffee and eating French Fancies.

One of the things we discussed was why there appears to be far fewer men actively involved in the craft than women. Given that many well known writers on the subject are male we said that we found this surprising. In fact neither of them have a High Priest in their groups and in both, the women outnumber the men by about four to one!

Then, I suppose as women do, we began to speculate on why this is. Perhaps men aren’t suited to working in groups? Perhaps they don’t like to share their beliefs, skills and feelings or perhaps women are more likely to seek out others they can share things with and are more determined to do the necessary research and digging to find a group they feel is right for them? Maybe it’s easier for women to admit that they would like to be in a group? Maybe the nature of witchcraft makes it more likely to appeal to the female mind? (More instinctive, more likely to go with their feelings) Or maybe men are just not interested?

Then as we got carried away with the subject, also as women do, we said maybe men don’t like to be surrounded by women, or by strong women, or by women at all, maybe they don’t want to be bothered with it or maybe they think they might be seen as predators (yes, we have met someone who called them that!) or maybe we just scare them off? Which led to a conversation about what makes a successful High Priest anyway and does it matter if there isn’t one in a coven. A High Priest certainly needs a degree of charisma and a sense of the dramatic but maybe this also goes with a huge ego that wouldn’t fit the workings of a group? You can imagine where this discussion went…

We concluded that it isn’t necessary to have an HP in a coven but that, as we see balance as important, it would certainly add to the power of the group if there was a strong male energy to equal out the female ones. It seems as though in successful working covens the High Priest and High Priestess are nearly always a couple, i.e. somehow involved with each other in a partnership and we wondered whether it was possible to have a coven where this wasn’t the case?  And how would we get to that point? My friend and I decided that spell crafting was the only way!! Which led to some interesting chats about spells and magic and more coffee as we stirred up the cauldron and planned our next meeting.

I’m posting this so that all you male witches out their can disagree with me and have your say on the subject…

Joining Blackthorn

Our second training and development circle started in November 2011 in the South Stockport area. This is being led by experienced teachers of the craft and is an introduction to witchcraft and to the ways of our coven. Classes are held monthly and there are plenty of opportunities to participate in outdoor rituals and celebrations and social events. This is a structured and experiential course and is open to both experienced practitioners, and those who are new to the craft. To apply for future courses please contact us via e mail or message here.

robynblackthorn@hotmail.co.uk or


Go to our meet up group and join us for social events at


Only a few days to go

The Blackthorn Coven has now been established since December 2009 and it is growing from strength to strength in the Manchester area – whilst we have spent a few months consolidating our core group of members and establishing our foundations we are now ready to open our doors to new members and open up our Training Coven.

On Tuesday 11th January 2011 we will be starting our first training  group. Anyone who is interested in joining us can go to the Training page for more information and to see how to apply.

For those that have not joined our meet up group yet you can do so on http://www.meetup.com/Witches-of-the-North-West/