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in memory of Stewart Farrar Obituary
Stewart Farrar
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Photo from http://gofree.indigo.ie/~wicca/

Official obituary below is from
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Stewart Farrar (1916-2000) - An Obituary

The son of a bank official and schoolteacher, Stewart Farrar was born on the 28 June 1916, at 239 Winchester Road, Highams Park, Walthamstow, in what is now the London borough of Waltham Forest.

Stewart Farrar's interest in the occult field came very much as a late vocation, having had little more than a passing interest in many other philosophies including communism and Marxism. By the time he met Alex and Maxine Sanders, the well known London witches, in late 1969 he was, in his own words, an "interested agnostic". In the process of writing his first non-fiction book, What Witches Do, having warmed to its themes and philosophy, he was initiated into the Craft on 21 February 1970. What Witches Do proved to be a milestone for the Craft for many reasons. It was perhaps the first book written from the inside as it were, with a sense of sobriety and intelligence, which many of its cloak and dagger, garbled predecessors lacked. In Stewart's own words, it filled a gap. It combined an overall survey of the basic beliefs and practices of a modern witch with a new witch's reactions to the process of learning those beliefs and practices. It is still recommended reading for serious minded students of the Craft today.

Stewart with his beloved wife Janet, moved to Ferns, County Wexford, Ireland, in the spring of 1976 and it was here that they began to produce the first of their own independent writings. Here, immersing themselves in rural Irish tradition and culture, they formed a coven nucleus and worked out ritual drama for their Eight Sabbats for Witches published in 1981. They spent a short time in the west of Ireland before moving to a rural backwater in Swords close to Dublin City where they began working on another milestone The Witches Way (1984). From here they moved to Beltichburne near Drogheda and then on to Kells, County Meath where they produced The Witches Goddess (1987); The Life and Times of a Modern Witch (1987); The Witches God (1989) and Spells and How They Work (1990). Stewart and Janet co-authored with Gavin Bone, a qualified nurse, The Pagan Path (1995) and The Healing Craft (1999).

Stewart also wrote seven witchcraft novels of which Omega was perhaps the most outstanding and idealistic. It depicts a world ravaged by man's corruption, his rape of the planet and the final coming to terms with a New World through the philosophy of Wicca.

I think it is fair to say that Stewart Farrar did more than any Craft writer on this side of the Atlantic to expound the spirit of Wicca in its 'purest' form since Gerald Gardner. Certainly, he has few, if any contemporaries that can rival him for sheer volume alone. His rational, intelligent and easy to read style of writing has proved immensely popular and has given witchcraft the 'respectable' image it needed for so long. Farrar was not without his critics who were quick to dwell on his occasional misdemeanours in the field as sometime spokesman for the Craft movement. These however, with the passage of time, along with the critics, will be seen as inconsequential storms in a tea cup.

Suffice to say that Farrar was, is and may remain the most prolific writer on the subject of contemporary witchcraft that perhaps the world has ever known. He more than anybody else, has put his shoulder to the wheel of the Western Mystery Tradition to make Wicca a viable and workable path for many to tread.

Peter J. Doyle
Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin. Ireland.
7th February 2000


The Official Memorial Condolences Book is open at




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Tributes to Stewart Farrar

Stewart Farrar passed in his home surrounded by the people he loved at 7am Monday February 7th. While many know Stewart had been ill for some time due to a stroke, few knew the dedication of Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone in caring for him at home.

Stewart Farrar was an accomplished author having been in print under a variety of names including the pen names of Margot Villiers and Laurie Stewart since 1958. Among his works are numbered Detective, Romance and Occult/Fantasy titles, radio and television plays, books on a variety of pagan subjects and of course the book most know as The Witches Bible being a compilation of The Witches Way and Eight Sabbats for Witches.

Stewart Farrar lived with his second wife Janet Farrar in their home in Ireland where the 'veil between Seen and Unseen is very thin' in Herne's cottage. One of the founding fathers of modern wicca, he lived his craft and travelled far and wide making himself as accessible as possible, answering questions and teaching all he spoke to something new.

Controversial at times and heavily criticized for his publishing with Janet Farrar of much of Gardners book of shadows, he will be remembered most as an artist, author, poet and smiling but strong Oak King, consort of the Goddess. May his time in the Summerlands be filled with joy and blessings, surrounded by friends.

Please respect the need for privacy during this time. A small family service has taken place and a book of memories is available at The Witches Voice.

(by Judith Lewis)

Stuart Farrar, well known journalist, writer of fiction, and author on modern-day Wicca, passed to the Summerland at his home, surrounded by those he loved, Monday Feb. 7, 2000, at approx. 7 am GMT.

Stuart lived with his second wife, Janet, and his care-giver Gavin Bone. Stuart's health had been in decline for some time now, and he was not well enough to attend Doreen Valiente's funeral last fall. Doreen and the Farrars/Bone had been good friends, and it was with her EXPRESS permission that so much her writings, now incorporated into the Gardnerian BoS, was published in the Farrar's book (retitled "The Witches Bible") in the 1980s.

I count myself very lucky to have met Stuart and Janet during some of their trips to North America during the years he was still well enough to travel extensively. Both in private and in public, Stuart was a gentle, soft-spoken soul with eyes that scanned around him for information. He sat and thought before he expressed opinions, so that comments from him were worth their weight in gold.

He was a strong man and not afraid of laughter. He found his heart's match in Janet, his bright and vivacious HPs and wife. He was gracious as his health failed, appreciating the support and help Gavin Bone offered both of them. Stuart Farrar was a magical man, a man whose soul never grew OLD, just wise. We in modern Wicca owe him a great deal for having the strength to publish "What Witches Do" in the 1970s.

He will be deeply and sorely missed by those of us who knew him as a gentle soul with a sharp, inquiring, creative mind.

May his crossing be gentle. We will know him and love him, and know him again. Blessed be!

(by Anahita-Gula, Canada)

Written as a tribute to Stewart Farrar, 15 February 2000 C.E.

"In the Sky A New Bright Star Shines"

In the sky a new bright star shines -
Bathing us in loving light.
Once again, he leads the dancers
Moving moon-gilt, through the night.

Weaving, dancing, steps entrancing,
Merry meet and merry part:
Wind lifts incense curling skyward,
Balm upon each dancer's hearts.

Light our lives as we move onward,
May your mem'ry guide us well.
Thank you Stewart, for your wisdom
And your tales for us to tell.

Now at last, your soul flies freely,
Loosed from age and mortal pain.
Summerland is where we'll find you
When we meet you once again.

Merry meet and merry part and merry meet again!

Love and condolences to Janet, Gavin, and the rest of Stewart's family.

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