Harry Potter


"Harry Potter beware, new witch courses on offer"

(Reuters, April 6, 2001)


LONDON - Envious fans of the world's favourite trainee wizard Harry Potter can take a leaf out of his book of spells and enrol in Britain's very own school for witches.

The Isle of Avalon Foundation, near the magical Glastonbury Tor in the west of England, is offering a part-time course in witchcraft for the 21st century -- though broomstick flying and Harry's favourite sport Quidditch are not on the curriculum.

"This is the first time we have run a course like this," Avalon coordinator Collette Barnard told Reuters on Friday.

"Our courses are weekends only and designed to last one year," Barnard said. "But many of our students have already been with us for three years and are staying on for more."

The foundation, which has existed since 1961 in various guises, currently has 185 students, both male and female.

Barnard said 350 people have been taught Goddess skills and Wicca -- a synthesis of old pagan traditions related to nature -- since Avalon became a charitable foundation in 1995.

"We get all sorts here," she said. "But the one thing they all have in common is the need to look deeply into life."