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Women, Witches and the Wild Hunt

Sarah Lloyd-Winder

Storytellers take you on amazing adventures, fight ferocious beasts, answer dangerous questions and bring you home with just a story. Take part in the origins for the Ride of the Valkyrie’s the real Wild Hunt, the Women Goddesses of the night sky. We ride with the night hunt, eat drink and leave with payment in gold! These are ancient and forgotten stories that we sort of remember.

Once Upon a time.

The wild hunt raced through the sky, taking its monstrous regiment of women, led by the goddess Diana, the Lady, to terrorise the world. The witches of the Sabbat rode into the night and the folk traditions bend and weave this story with those classical paintings of beautiful and tempting half-naked women riding and fighting.

And back in the real world is a woman, of varying degrees of beauty and youth, who gives you a love potion, a poultice for the boil on your bottom, cuts your ingrowing toenails and is also the local midwife. The chances that she flew on a broomstick with no knickers is fantastical, and the underwear part, probably medieval wishful thinking. But the folklore says that on epiphany, the Lady with her wild hunt, would visit the chosen hedge witch and woe betide that woman if she has not laid out a feast and entertainment for her surprised guests.

The hedge witch was part magician and part nurse and sometime storyteller. She lived on the edge of mediaeval society caught between convention and necessity, but she was all they had. Then when the bad times came, and the sickness, who did you turn to and also turn against. Rumour and stories and gossip and belief is not just a 21st century phenomena, there was always a cure, at a price, and one might just work.

This is a story of history and myth with a bit of magic and laughter, but it is also a story for our time.

Storytelling is so simple, a teller and a story, but it can take you far away into another world and then home again. The expression ‘Wild Hunt’ has acted as shorthand in Western culture for nocturnal cavalcades of spirits and all along I thought it was men! This is why this story is so exciting as we find the Wild Hunt is a group of women. This is Maud’s story, a woman who has every year prepared a feast for the day of the Wild Hunt and then one year …….

A short excerpt from: Women, Witches and the Wild Hunt.

Highway Robbery

Sarah in rehearsal

Highway Robbery – South Mimms Dandy Highwayman and More

Ghosts of highwaymen and local spirits of the marsh and bog haunt the land called The Wash. Now a road and footpath leading to a protected wildlife area behind a service station, but things are there for a reason. This is an ancient way, an old road travelled for centuries. And as Climate Change forces us to look again at the ways we travel and why, these ancient spirits appear to hold our hands and walk with us from the past to the future through, battles, robbery, terrorism and protest. Stories of history, legend and folklore link with more recent tales as we walk backwards into the future.

Examples of the work of Sarah Lloyd-Winder

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