Reflections on the Virtual Witches’ Walk 2022

Reflections on the Virtual Witches’ Walk 2022

On the 3rd of November 2022, we held our second Virtual Witches’ Walk to remember and honour the women and men accused and executed under the historic Witchcraft persecutions.  The online Ceremonies were inspired by the in-person Witches Memorial walk in Glastonbury which Bee Helygen has led with the Priestesses of Cerridwen for the last 6 years.

Last year was our first Virtual Witches’ Walk Ceremony, we shared our experiences in our video interview. This year we decided to continue the work of remembrance and healing through poetry, song and ritual, acknowledging the symbolic power of the herbalists, midwives, healers, cunning folk and seers whose way of life and continued existence became a rebel act all of its own.  A priestess/priest represented each archetype from the times of the historic witch trials and another represented her/his modern day equivalent.  

In the days before our ritual, we shared short videos starting on the 31st of October, Nos Galan Gaeaf. Priestess Gail Spiritstar said “A caim is an old Celtic method of protection, symbolised by a circle made of celtic knotwork.  It represents divine protection for all who lay within the circle.  In the week leading up to the Virtual Witches’ Walk we decided to create our own caim of protection, for all Witches world-wide.  Our Ceremony remembered the victims of the historic witch hunts but we also acknowledged that there are still countries and communities around the world where people are not safe from persecution today.  We want to heal the wounds of the past and to prevent more hurt in the present day”.  

We invite you to watch the caim of protection videos below and then our Ceremony.

Caim of Protection



Reflections from some of those taking part in the ritual

Elan Clark, Priestess of Cerridwen reflects on her experience of the Virtual Witches’ Walk 2022: “I knew this year’s Online Witches Walk Ceremony would be different from last year’s ceremony. This is as it should be – everything changes and evolves over time. I loved being part of this year’s ceremony and it is also quite an exciting and nerve-wracking feeling because, while you can plan and envision, it is only ‘in the moment’ that the real magic happens. Nothing prepares you for that! 

“Last year we named the names of those accused of witchcraft from our many different lands. This year the focus was on the red thread of connection between the past and the present, and how we as herbalists, midwives, seers and wise women are still here, despite historical persecution. When we got to that part of the ceremony and the Priestesses of Past and Present began to speak and interact with each other, I felt a huge wave of emotion and a beautiful sense of hope flow through me. 

“The year before, when we had named the names of the accused, my whole body reacted. I was physically shaking by the end. It was a very visceral reaction. This year, during and after the ceremony, I felt an even stronger sense of healing take place. As priestesses, called to witness and hold space for the trauma of the witch trials, perhaps this slow healing over many years is what we can hope for. The work goes on!” 


Priestess of Cerridwen, Gail Spiritstar, added her perspective: “The Virtual Witches’ Walk 2021 was such a profound experience.  When we undertake magical workings, the ripples can continue well beyond the original focal point.  The research, preparation, then the crafting and realisation of the Ceremony involved lots of Sisters from many different parts of the world and across different Spirals (years) of the training.  This collaboration was really inspiring and after the initial euphoria of delivering the Ceremony and then the inevitable exhaustion and recovery we felt there was a momentum and enthusiasm to carry on.

Gail stirring the elixir“We held a series of Co-Creation events to develop our shared intentions for the work and to plan towards the Ceremony for 2022.  Cerridwen presented many opportunities during the year, which we grasped, including issuing a statement on International Womens’ Day 2022. The Avalon Cauldron Gathering took place in Glastonbury, in person, in May 2022. 

“The Virtual Witches’ Walk Sisters and Priestesses ran a ritual centred on an elemental blessing involving plants associated with witches: gorse, rowan, heather and blackthorn, water from Cerridwen’s Lake of Llyn Tegid and water from the Red and White springs in Avalon.  Air was represented through song and chanting and fire was lit under a cauldron of transformation for the working. 

Witches' Walk Elixir“The bottles of elixir coming from the process were distributed and used in further blessings across the lands, from Wales to Australia.

“The Co-creation sessions gave space and time for us to work together and slowly the ideas for the 3rd of November Ceremony began to bubble up. Elan did a wonderful job of articulating the vision for the Ceremony and pulling the running order together.  Despite the year of preparations, it still felt quite nerve-wracking in the final days lead up.  

“We had so many “moving parts” including participants from different Spirals and different Time Zones, a mixture of live and pre-recorded content, technical demands as well as spiritual intentions.  We put our trust in Cerridwen and the Ceremony flowed smoothly, everyone working together in community, perfectly.  We hope those who attended enjoyed it every bit as much as the Brother, Sisters and Priestesses involved.”


Karen Grainger, trainee Priestess of Cerridwen, added “After dedicating as a Sister of Cerridwen following the first year’s Priestess Training, I decided to take a year out to process the learning. After the year out I started Spiral 2 and saw the call for folk to co-create the Virtual Witches Walk.

“After a year away, I joined the Zoom call wondering if I had anything to offer and got a firm message from Cerridwen ‘you are meant to be here – sit down and listen’.

“As Elan was talking about her vision, I was thinking about the incredible ‘I Am Witch’ Exhibition by the Silver Spoon Collective, which I’d attended in Lancaster and the ‘red thread’ everyone was given as they entered – I wondered if it would be possible to do the same thing on video? I was brought out of my reverie with a shock as Elan said she’d been thinking of incorporating a red thread!

“I chose to take the part of Independent woman of the present, with Leanne talking about Independent woman of the past. On a Zoom call (UK & Australia 🇦🇺- I love tech!) we shared ideas. I suddenly thought it might be impactful if at the end of her video about persecution, she gets someone to knock loudly on her door. On the night the video played, I knew it was coming, but that knock was so alarming! How many sisters (and brothers) through ages past and even nowadays, have heard that knock?

“I couldn’t seem to get inspiration for my part until a few nights before the event. I was sitting pondering about the video…when my Facebook pinged an alert. A charity was reaching out to rescue a group of women who had been accused of witchcraft and some villagers had threatened to burn them at the stake! I knew then my message was one of gratitude that we can be independent women..but that the battle isn’t over. Brave people fought for the rights we enjoy, but we need to take that gratitude and pay it forward. 

“Let us never forget, across the globe others are being persecuted today for being ‘different’.” 


Leanne Calthorpe, trainee Priestess of Cerridwen reflects: “Last year I was an observer and when the names were read I had a visceral reaction. I knew I had to be part of the healing process, so I participated this year as the independent woman of the past. I wanted the portrayal to be relatable so that observers would connect with her and understand her. The process was emotional and I felt like I was being surrounded by a circle of healing energy when we connected our red thread.” 


Alex La Malfa, Priestess of Cerridwen, shares her experience: “This ceremony has had a huge impact on me. The visions and inspiration that came from Elan and Gail has taken all of us on a journey so powerful it can’t be forgotten…

“Last year, the act of remembering our sisters and brothers together was so incredibly potent that I was left in tears, with the echo of the energies we moved rippling on and on, in the subsequent months.

Saying their names, each of us talking about people just like us who lived in the very places in which we live right now, was like opening a door on a barren landscape, full of mute artefacts from the past waiting patiently to be unlocked, to release a flood of memories, pain… and chances to heal.

“This year’s inspiration was equally powerful and touching… the natural next step after the previous ceremony was to look up our connections with the past, and to remember the lessons so painfully received, to create a better present and a better future.

I chose for the ceremony the part of the Herbalist of the past: I tried to convey the perception of how vast is the lost heritage of the Wise Women of the past; how it is still well worthy of investigation and study; how recovering and reclaiming that heritage could change ourselves and help us to build new, more truthful and sustainable ways to interact with the others and our planet.

Edwina’s brilliant video showed, right after, how herbalists today continue that important work to connect people with the healing power of Nature.

“So much work has still to be done about healing the “witch wound”, and I strongly feel that the magic we are weaving in these ceremonies will continue this work exactly where it’s needed.”

What happens now?  Well, the theme for International Womens’ Day 2023 has been announced.  It is about “embracing equity: when we embrace equity, we embrace diversity, and we embrace inclusion.  We embrace equity to forge harmony and unity, and to help drive success for all.”.  There is another Avalon Cauldron Gathering to look forward to in 2023 as well.  Time to start Co-creating again to take the next steps in our Witches’ Walk, together.


See also Gail Spiritstar’s story “A Cruel Gift, the Fate of a Seer at Skinfast Havenand her poem “Motherline” both of which she performed in the Virtual Witches’ Walk.


We’d love to hear in the comments how our Ceremony affected you.








3 thoughts on “Reflections on the Virtual Witches’ Walk 2022

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *