Imbolc 2017

We celebrated the early signs of the return of spring to our land with the goddess Brigid.


Our broom swept away the old and we welcomed the light of spring into our circle and into our lives.


We also said our farewells to the crone Goddess as she journeyed down to the underworld and to rest.


The old ones were honoured, offerings were given to the newly awakened land, and so the cycle continues…












Happy New Year


2016 saw us out and about in the woods and wilds creating, celebrating, crafting, journeying, reflecting and generally deepening our connections with the elements and the other worlds.



We had a break after our Imbolc rite and reformed at Beltane, transformed, renewed and optimistic and with a different name; Elderthorn.



We watched the sunset and the sunrise at midsummer, honoured our beloved dead at Samhain and celebrated the turning of the seasons following our own ways and rituals.



We marked our seventh anniversary on a cold, clear December night under the stars with sparklers cakes and elderflower wine.


And we’re looking forward to another magical year in 2017.

Here’s wishing you all a very happy new year xx

Times Change


Everything on earth has a time, a season and, as the saying goes, a time to be born and a time to die. After six and a half years it began to feel as though Blackthorn’s time was coming to an end. It was getting more and more difficult to motivate everyone, negativity was slowly creeping in and killing the magic and the group energies. It was becoming hard work. So it was time to let go.

In the inner world the Blackthorn name had become tired, unhealthy and was slowly decaying. This was felt by all the group even though they resisted the tide and were unwilling to admit it to themselves and to each other. So, it was down to the elders to make the final, difficult, decision to disband Blackthorn as it once was.

It was the time of year to sweep away the old, to create new beginnings and the powerful seasonal energies along with the keen east wind that blew us along for a week or so allowed us to feel that this was the time, the right time, to change and to move on.

So it was with huge regret and sadness that we disbanded the coven and let everyone retreat into themselves, lick their psychic wounds and decide what to do next.

After a few weeks the elders recovered, refreshed and reconvened. Some of us have been practising together for over ten years so it felt very strange to celebrate the Spring Equinox as solitaries. We needed to meet up and discuss the future.

Others in the disbanded group met up to celebrate Ostara and they too are looking to the future and where they want to go. Hopefully a totally new group will re-emerge for them.

The elders have decided to reform and practise in a different way. Everyone will contribute and everyone is totally committed and positive.

We didn’t want to lose the Blackthorn name completely as it has lots of history and a tradition attached to it so it will be kept as a teaching group, open to new members in February 2017.

We have long fought against hierarchy in the group but now see that in order to run a successful magical group there has to be some degree of separation between those with little or no experience and those with years of practice behind them. Mixing the two, for us, just hasn’t worked. So the elders have created a new, small, close knit, working group.

The new name is Witches of Elderthorn. A closed, private group.

Blackthorn Coven remains as a teaching/training coven run by the elders.

We send love and thanks and hugs to everyone who had been involved in Blackthorn over the years and wish them well with whatever that decide to do.

Samhain 2015


On a warm and still night we made our way to our traditional Samhain circle, a long walk, we walked in silence contemplating our reconnection with this special place. 


The sacred flame was lit and the circle created.


We stayed out well after the ‘witching hour’ and celebrated the new year with our ancestors wandering round us…and plenty of homemade damson gin and feasting.


Joining Blackthorn in 2015

Happy 2015. We are now accepting applications for membership of Blackthorn. We will be starting our next introduction group on Wednesday May 13th this year.  We have found the perfect venue at Earth Spirit Healing Gardens in Stalybridge and plan on meeting up there once a month with other occasional outside circles, usually on Wednesday evening.  This will take place for six months ending at Samhain 2015.  After you have completed six months with the introductory group you may be invited to apply to join the coven.

A few things to consider if you would like to join us-

  • We are an outside group so whatever the weather you will find us out in the woods at night sometimes staying until  after midnight. If this doesn’t appeal to you then neither will Blackthorn.
  • The average age of the group is 46.
  • You will need to be capable of carrying ritual stuff and walking through woodland in the dark.
  • We meet up most weeks usually midweek and sometimes, to fit in with Sabbat celebrations, at the weekend. Commitment to this is very important to us.
  • If, after reading this, you still want to join us then we would be delighted to hear from you! Please email and we will send you more details.




Rain, rain and more rain


It’s not been a very good winter for an outdoor magical group!

The ground is muddy and soggy and every time we go out it’s raining.

Now we don’t mind getting a bit wet and we love the crisp cold winter nights but wading through mud and lighting fires in puddles is where we have to draw the line.

So our last two rituals have been inside, listening to the rain and wind crash against the windows.

It’s very different being inside. Not better, not worse just different.

Instead of being surrounded by the elements and open spaces there is a feeling of being surrounded by the ‘unseen’.

Meditations flow more easily as there are less distractions. But it’s not as edgy.

So as Imbolc draws near we are hoping for a cold dry night so we can venture out again and reconnect with the woods and the land.

First we have a night in the pub meeting some interesting people on Wednesday…