I had a wonderful dream, it inspired me to pull out my old poetry, search through my layers of old folders, and then it happened I found a photo of Mark Roberts and thought I’d see if the old codger is still around. I did a few internet searches found his website, emailed him then sure as it rains in April in Texas. It lead me to the white trash wiccan’s that always shows up trying to bilk credibility out of a few fun years in the 70-80’s that they were not around to enjoy.
Mark is a quirky enjoyable guy that I have known since I was 17 or so I’m almost 60 now. He had been married to a member of Gerald Gardner’s New Forest Coven. By default made him a Gardnerean high priest. Mark had also been Abducted by aliens. Not the most stable kind a guy, like most debonair men better at spending other people’s money than keeping track of his own. But always a fun guy to have at parties.
We hung out at Edgar Casey foundation meetings and local psychic fairs, Sheppard’s Bush a community center, and the local spiritualist church. His attachment to England and the psychic phenomenon kept us in contact. Mark founded a group in 1976 called Hyperborea to be a hybred Wicca/Druid group. We took it as seriously as a bunch of Unitarian’s can; to some extent still do. We wrote poetry lots of bad poetry and had some friends who wrote books and made a few bob on the deal.
Mark has an allure that a good high school education should be able to see through. Yet, women fought over him like cats over an empty tuna can. He’s charming, well mannered, hansom as any Midwestern well born son could be. He attracted women who held his flaw, a strong desire to be credible and well known. They all wanted to be high Priestesses and somehow Mark could deliver them a title.
I look back at those women and think, what pathetic cows you all are to believe that an obliviously fringe individual who enjoyed the free love era, and took full advantage of all it had to offer, communicated with aliens could be held to any mainstream standard. Or that the title’s and offices bestowed at the time should be taken any more seriously than a Renascence fair persona, that by the way many of them also aspired too.
Don’t get me wrong, there are many good women who developed from those times and ties who now hold advanced degrees and have furthered the cause of Women and modern religion. I can say with much authority that if they did enjoy sex, drugs and bad poetry of the 70’s allure, they did not let those times define their futures or their identities.
I am astounded at the furor that Mark elicited from people, students and people who never even met him. I could see him, and us for what we were just some folks with big imaginations a love of the planet and lots of time on our hands. If you asked us if we were serious about or religion, we’d say yes but, with perspective. If you ask me now if our poetic Farie faith celebrations were meaningful. yes, they were, are and will remain so. That’s about it.
In retrospect, I miss hanging out with friends under the stars and telling stories about the ancient albeit modern Joseph Campbellesque gods we dreamed up. Being friends with a secret religion club. They were times of creativity and feelings of acceptance that few geeks could find prior to the internet.
I have included a photo of Mark and the only woman that he probably ever really loved. I say that because of all of his many liaisons, she was the only one he was willing to divorce his exotic Gardnarian High Priestess wife for. I doubt if she ever even knew he was still married or that he had made such a sacrifice for her.