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Dayonis's Biography

Dayonis was involved with the Bricket Wood Coven in the 1950's and replaced Doreen Valiente as the High Priestess after Doreen left. In the late 1950s, she emigrated to Canada and a few years ago gave a talk about her experiences in the Craft.

The Bricket Wood coven, or Hertfordshire coven was a coven of Gardnerian witches founded in the 1940s by Gerald Gardner. It was notable for being the first coven in the Gardnerian line, though having its supposed origins in the pre-Gardnerian New Forest coven. The coven formed after Gardner bought the Fiveacres Country Club, a naturist club in the village of Bricket Wood, Hertfordshire, southern England, and met within the club's grounds. It played a significant part in the history of the neopagan religion of Wicca.

Many important and influential figures in Wicca were members of the coven, including Dafo, Doreen Valiente, Jack Bracelin, Frederic Lamond, Dayonis, Eleanor Bone and Lois Bourne. The coven is still active today, though it maintains secrecy and its history is only known up until the 1970s.

Dayonis, 1958-1959

With Valiente gone, Dayonis took over as the High Priestess of the coven, in January 1958. With Dayonis in charge, Gardner asked her to immediately initiate anyone who asked into the craft, in contrast with his former belief that prospective candidates should wait for a year and a day before initiation. One such of these new fast-tracked initiates was Fred Lamond, who was initiated only four months after meeting the coven for the first time. Gardner also insisted on the initiation of Eleanor Bone, despite the fact that the coven members felt that they "simply couldn't circle with her" because of differences in exuberance. Within a month, Gardner had brought about her 2nd and 3rd initiations, and set her up as the High Priestess of a new coven, independent of the Bricket Wood one.

In spring 1958, whilst Gardner was away from the coven, staying at his museum on the Isle of Man, the other members decided that did not want to continue using only binding and scourging to raise energies, and so they tried to do so by the circle dance method, which most found to be more effective than Gardner's preferred methods. At the same time, the group decided that they wanted to celebrate the solstices and the equinoxes as well as the cross-quarter days (the coven at the time called them Halloween, Candlemass, Beltane and Lammas). Gardner gave his written permission for this, and it was adopted by other practitioners of the craft, such as Doreen Valiente. This was the beginning of the belief in the Wiccan Wheel of the Year.

In October 1959, Dayonis moved to Canada, and Lois Bourne became the coven's High Priestess.

Source: wikipedia