In the beginning was Diana, the moon. Then came the sun, Lucifer. Diana and Lucifer created man. This marks the beginning of the witch’s legend of creation. Man, then created monuments and worshiped his creators. Some monuments were used as observatories of the heavens to predict what would happen. Once man could predict what the Gods would do, they set about trying to tame them. Priests and priestesses were in charge of creating and performing rituals to bring about whatever was needed. The priests and priestesses themselves were chosen by ritual. Others were then initiated into the coven through other rituals.
“Legend of the Witches” was released in 1970 and was written and directed by Malcolm Leigh. It is a British film and is sexploitation disguised as a documentary. The movie was rated X upon its release. It contains frontal nudity, both male and female. Malcolm Leigh made several X rated movies.
All that being said, the film does explore British pagan rituals and how some were incorporated by the Catholic Church to influence and convert pagans to Catholicism. It also looks at the opposite view where some of the Catholic rituals were adopted by pagans and incorporated into black masses. The film also explains in detail the various rituals and how they were performed.
There are also exhibits of some of the items used by witches to perform their ceremonies. It includes a tour of Cornwall’s Museum of Witchcraft. One of the items displayed in the museum is the skeleton of the last witch to be killed in England.
The movie is basically a series of loose vignettes that rather blandly follow the inception of the religion of witchcraft, how it is performed and the development of the religion throughout the years in Britain. Included are lectures on animal sacrifice, telling the future and casting death spells. It even touches on modern day superstition. The occasionally dry and boring information is punctuated by naked people dancing around campfires and performing unusual rituals.
Whether or not all or any of the information related in the film is factual or not I couldn’t say. Some of it sounds a little out there. As far as the rituals are concerned, an actual modern witch would have to weigh in. The film does feature Alex Sanders, the self-proclaimed King of the witches and his, at that time wife, Maxine Sanders, a member of Traditional Wicca. With them on board, chances are the actual information is more correct than not.
The film was narrated by Guy Standeven.