The Matriarch of British Witchcraft
Eleanor Bone was initiated into Witchcraft whilst working in Cumbria during the Second World War. Her conversation with a married couple about reincarnation convinced them Eleanor had been a Witch in another life. The couple subsequently initiated her into Witchcraft. After the war Eleanor joined Gerald Gardner’s coven but eventually broke away to practice low or country magic she had learnt in Cumbria. A contemporary of Jack Bracelin, Doreen Valiente and Idris Shah of whom she was particularly fond, Eleanor was one of the 20th century’s great occultists.
Her ‘live link up’ was unusual at the time as ISDN was in its infancy. The audience listened to Eleanor then 91 talk of having to work in complete secrecy as Wicca was illegal at the time and when she said she welcomed the repeal of the Witchcraft laws and longed for a time that Wicca would take its place beside other world religions her address received a standing ovation. One member of the audience shed tears as emotions ran high.
Eleanor passed on shortly after at the autumn Equinox 2001, just as she had predicted, and was buried in unconsecrated ground at Garagil cemetery, Cumbria beside her late husband.