The Rollright Ritual

William G. Gray

In the early 1970s the redoubtable old occultist William G. Gray bicycled from his Gloucestershire home to the Rollright stone circle in Oxfordshire on a clear and full-mooned summer night. The visionary experiences he encountered on that night and in other similar visits resulted in the writing of this book, originally published by Helios Books in 1975 and now a classic among pagan and craft traditions. The text of the ritual is given in full, along with a discussion of its pattern and purpose.

 

The Rollright Ritual is a powerful initiatory rite for attuning oneself to a personal and communal path of spiritual growth, presented here with an explanatory text and a discussion of the spiritual lives and practices of the stone circle builders of Great Britain.

 

“Somehow, we ought to get away from ideas that a Standing Stone is only an outworn sign of our past, and see it as an upraised Finger of Fate beckoning us ahead toward our future. The Stone is not merely a memorial of bygone beliefs, but a pointer that should raise our highest hopes of finding faith in all the Life that lies ahead of us.”

William G. Gray was a legendary magician and  author of many influential books on occult practice. He worked with many other well known practitioners of magic and witchcraft including Gareth Knight, R.J. Stewart, Marian Green, Doreen Valiente, Pat Crowther and Robert Cochrane, in whose memory The Rollright Ritual was written. Born in Harrow in 1913, he lived for most of his life in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, where he ran a chiropody practice. Bill Gray devoted his entire life to his “esoteric interests”, and by questioning every detail of the established assumptions, found out what worked and what didn’t. His books on Qabalah and ritual magic set out a fresh pathway along which most others have followed, often without realising that he originated much of what is taken for granted in magic and paganism today. He died in 1992.