Your browser does not support script
TWV Presents...



Pagan Event Reviews

[Show all]


Views: 3,002,931


Year: 2016 ...

Daughters of The Moon: Running With The Crones


Year: 2015 ...

Between the Worlds and Sacred Space Conference 2015

St. Louis Pagan Picnic 2015


Year: 2014 ...

Sacred Space Conference


Year: 2013 ...

Sacred Space Conference

Free Spirit Gathering 2013: Many Paths

Houston Pagan Conference 2013


Year: 2012 ...

Between the Worlds: An Interfaith Esoteric Conference

Spring Mysteries Festival XXVII

Mabon with Blackberry Circle

Salem, Oregon Celebrates Its First Pagan Pride Day (2012)

NorthWest Fall Equinox Festival (NWFEF) 2012 (Review)


Year: 2011 ...

Sacred Space Celebrates Twenty-one Years!

Celebration of the Divine Feminine and Religious Freedom

St. Louis Pagan Picnic


Year: 2010 ...

Sacred Space Conference

Free Spirit Gathering

Summerfest 2010 (Festival Review)


Year: 2008 ...

The Sacred Space Conference and Winterfest Banquet

Magickel Hibernation


Year: 2007 ...

4th of July Pagan Religious Rights Rally and Ritual and Chesapeake Pagan Community Summer Gathering

Sirius Rising 2007: Making Connections

Starwood 2007

Louisville Pagan Pride Day


Year: 2006 ...

Southeast Women's Herbal Conference

Canadian National Pagan Conference

Sirius Rising 2006

Chesapeake Pagan Community Gathering: Dancing with Devas 2006

Brazilian Mabon Celebration in Săo Paulo

Hellfire Caves Ritual

Beltaine 2006: A Pagan Odyssey


Year: 2005 ...

Tara Summer Solstice 2005

Starwood XXV: Feelin' the Love

Sirius Rising 2005: Restoring the Balance

Inner Mysteries Intensive with Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone


Year: 2004 ...

Between the Worlds: A Grand Magickal Congress

Starfest 2004


Year: 2003 ...

Pagan Pride: San Francisco

Third Annual Witches Meeting

Texas Religious Freedom Circle


Year: 2002 ...

CMA Beltaine 2002 Festival

Beltaine in the Lone STAR State

Sirius Rising 2002 (3)


Year: 2001 ...

SouthEastern Spirit Gathering 2001

PhoenixPhyre Gathering 2001


Year: 2000 ...

Free Spirit Gathering 2000

PhoenixPhyre Gathering 2000 (1)

Heartland 2000

PhoenixPhyre Gathering 2000 (2)

PhoenixPhyre Gathering 2000 (3)

PhoenixPhyre Gathering 2000 (4)


Year: 1999 ...

Heartland 1999

Phoenixphyre '99

Ancient Ways Gathering 99

AutumnMeet 1999 (1)

Free Spirit Gathering 1999

Heartland 1999

AutumnMeet 1999 (2)

AutumnMeet 1999 (3)


Year: 1998 ...

Heartland 1998

Autumnmeet 1998


NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.










Article Specs

Article ID: 11312

VoxAcct: 177482

Section: festivals

Age Group: Adult

Days Up: 4,609

Times Read: 6,750

RSS Views: 60,737
Hellfire Caves Ritual

Author: Ankerwytch
Posted: June 10th. 2007
Times Viewed: 6,750
Sponsored by: The Circle of Ankerwycke
Location: West Wycombe, Bucks
Event Date(s): November 10th 2006
Attendance: 70

On Friday, November 10th, 2006 the Hellfire Caves in West Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, played host to over 70 Pagans who hired it for the evening. For the first time in 250 years, the amazing tunnels and caves echoed once again to the sound of chanting and the rhythmic beating of drums. Many of the revelers traveled from other parts of the country, some coming hundreds of miles for the event.

Owned by the Dashwood family since the 1750s, the notorious Hellfire Caves are reputed to be the venue for wild parties, sexual licentiousness and the practicing of black magic. Sir Francis Dashwood who owned the estate at the time was a prominent member of fashionable society and was elected to Parliament in 1741. He was Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1762-3, retiring after just one year following an unpopular budget.

From 1765 until his death, Sir Francis was joint Postmaster General and during that time he met American Benjamin Franklin with whom he became friends. Franklin appears to have visited the caves in 1770. In addition, Sir Francis was a founder member of the Dilettante society, which came to play a prominent role in the study of classical art. He was also a well-known Freemason and Masonic symbols together with those of Paganism are in evidence throughout the estate. Tales abound of Witches and Nuns together with the most prominent people in society, holding wild parties and orgies.

The Staines based Circle of Ankerwycke hired the venue for the evening to hold a ritual and celebration. With almost a mile of passageways and a number of large caverns, the main event was held in the Banqueting Hall, some 300 feet below the mausoleum of the Dashwoods. The tunnels were lit by thousands of tea lights, as indeed was the hall itself and the event got underway to the sound of drums and the smell of incense.

Following a simple but moving ritual, feasting began in the usual fashion while we enjoyed the singing and guitar playing of Paul Mitchell, well known pagan folk singer. In turn belly dancing, juggling, drumming and the inevitable spiral dancing followed this. The whole being very reminiscent of a medieval ball with many of the revelers in costume and masked. The tables groaned with food and the wine flowed

Having the run of the caves system, many people wandered off to find the underground river Styx now traversed by a small bridge. Complete with stalactites, this looked amazing by candlelight.

A re-enactment took place of a hoodwinking ceremony when one of the revelers was led down a tunnel complete with hood over his head. Sworn to secrecy on his return we can only speculate on what happened but he received a beautiful hand illuminated charter after the event and said he was privileged to have had the experience. Another echo from the past was enjoyed when a number of replica gold coins were given out. These coins were identical to the many found in the caves over the years and it is believed they could have been used to pay the ferryman for those wishing to cross the river Styx to get to the inner sanctum. Those given the coins began a spiral dance to create the energy to take them to another time and place in their minds while the drums built up to a mind blowing crescendo.

As one leading participant said on a Pagan forum the next day, “If ever there was a prize for the coolest people doing the coolest thing in the coolest venue – we won it!”

Will we do it again? Watch this space.





Footnotes:
www.hellfirecaves.co.uk



ABOUT...

Ankerwytch


Location: Cornwall, England




Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE




Email Ankerwytch... (Yes! I have opted to receive invites to Pagan events, groups, and commercial sales)

To send a private message to Ankerwytch ...



Pagan Essays
1996-2020





Pagan Web
8,000 Links





Pagan Groups
Local Covens etc.





Pagan/Witch
80,000 Profiles














Home - TWV Logos - Email US - Privacy
News and Information

Chapters: Pagan/Heathen Basics - Pagan BOOKS - Traditions, Paths & Religions - Popular Pagan Holidays - TV & Movies - Cats of the Craft - Festival Reviews - Festival Tips - White Pages (Resources) - Issues/Concerns - West Memphis 3 - Witch Hunts - Pagan Protection Tips - Healing Planet Earth

Your Voices: Adult Essays - Young Pagan Essays - Pagan Perspectives (On Hold) - WitchWars: Fire in the Craft - Gay Pagan - Pagan Parenting - Military - Pagan Passages

Pagan Music: Pagan Musicians - Bardic Circle at WitchVox - Free Music from TWV

Vox Central: About TWV - Wren: Words, Wrants and Wramblings - Guest Rants - Past Surveys - A Quest for Unity

Weekly Updates: Click HERE for an index of our weekly updates for the past 6 years

W.O.T.W. - World-Wide Networking

Your Town: A Link to YOUR Area Page (The largest listing of Witches, Pagans, Heathens and Wiccans on the Planet)

VoxLinks: The Pagan Web: 8,000 Listings

Your Witchvox Account: Log in Now - Create New Account - Request New Password - Log in Problems

Personal Listings: Pagan Clergy in Your Town - Adult Pagans - Young Pagans - Military Pagans

Events: Circles, Gatherings, Workshops & Festivals

Covens/Groups/Orgs: Local Groups Main Page

Other LOCAL Resources: Local Shops - Regional Sites - Local Notices - Global/National Notices - Local Skills & Services - Local Egroups - Political Freedom Fighters

Pagan Shopping: Online Shops Index - Original Crafters Sites - Auction Sites - Pagan Wholesalers - Pagan Local Shops



Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2020 The Witches' Voice Inc. All rights reserved
Note: Authors & Artists retain the copyright for their work(s) on this website.
Unauthorized reproduction without prior permission is a violation of copyright laws.

Witches, Pagans
of The World




Search Articles
1996-2020










 Current Topic
 Editorial Guide


NOTE: The essay on this page contains the writings and opinions of the listed author(s) and is not necessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.

The Witches' Voice does not verify or attest to the historical accuracy contained in the content of this essay.

All WitchVox essays contain a valid email address, feel free to send your comments, thoughts or concerns directly to the listed author(s).