Here is something that you won’t read about in The Spiral Dance or most of the other how-to-be-a-witch books. It’s rare, but it happens: covens that claim mediumistic communication with their Craft ancestors. I’ve heard it claimed for followers of Robert Cochrane and small press in Massachusetts and presented as spiritual communication with Alex Sanders (1926?-1988). Sanders was one the leading figures in Britain’s Craft scene in the 1960s and 1970s–a bigger publicity hound than Gerald Gardner, even, but still, according to people who knew him, an effective and daring magician.
As far as publishers were concerned, one of his best assets was his then-wife and high priestess Maxine (b. 1946). The camera loved Maxine. And Maxine, although she broke with Alex in the 1970s, apparently endorses this book: “The contact described within the book was so obviously true it gave me goose bumps.”
This book’s author, Jimahl di Fiosa of Boston, says that the communication began in 1998, ten years after Sanders’ death, and continues to the present day. A new, expanded edition of A Voice in the Forest Is to be published in April 2004.
I never knew Sanders, but I did know several of his students. I can’t say whether the communications are genuine or not, but I’m more interested in the idea of them as yet another example of the constant discourse about Wiccan lineage.