Steven Critchley

Assistant Director of Studies

Steven works closely with Dolores and Michael on a day to day basis and is being trained to lead the SOL as the future head of the school. He has over 25 years practical experience of working in the Western Mystery Tradition.

steve-bio-photoIn the 1990s Steve was a member of The Sheffield Coven and was initiated through all three Wiccan degrees by the High Priestess, Patricia C. Crowther. Patricia initially trained him in the Craft of the Wise and also introduced him to ritual magic techniques and procedure taught to her by the magician Bill Gray with whom Patricia and Arnold Crowther worked in the 1960s and 1970s.

Steven led a coven as a High Priest for several years working traditional Wiccan ritual and William G. Gray’s Seasonal Occult Rituals and also occasionally performing The Rollright Ritual, which he had originally been introduced to in The Sheffield Coven whilst working in Patricia Crowther’s temple. Having trained and initiated several Wiccan High Priestesses he still observes Craft practice as a solitary practitioner along Traditional Craft as well as Wiccan lines.

Steven joined the Servants of the Light School as a student in 2008 and completed W.E. Butler’s Practical Course in the Mystical Qabalah and Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki’s second degree course over a period of 6 years.

He has travelled internationally with Dolores working with SOL lodges and groups and has taught alongside her in workshops. Dolores has personally trained Steve in many aspects of esoteric work and principles of leadership of an occult fraternity. Michael Nowicki has also taught Steven personally over several years teaching him his Sanctum Sanctorum method of inner working as well as aspects of ritual magic as it was taught in The Society of the Inner Light where he and Dolores were originally trained through the mid 1960s and  initiated in 1968 under Arthur Chichester’s supervision, who was warden of the SIL at that time.

Steve is a third degree initiate of the SOL; he is a Lodge Magus, supervisor and he facilitates initiation ceremonies in the order. Whilst working in the SOL he became interested in the Liberal Catholic Church. He is an ordained Priest, in the Liberal Catholic Church International, having been trained and ordained through the Minor Orders of Cleric, Doorkeeper, Reader, Exorcist and Acolyte, the sub-Diaconate and the Major Order of  Deacon before becoming a priest.

Steve carries a unique synthesis of initiatory knowledge from both Pagan, Hermetic, Qabalistic and Mystical Christian lines and he teaches drawing upon all of these traditions within the Western Esoteric Tradition.

He wrote his MA thesis, Mystical Hymns and Initiations in London (1787-1824) at the University of York where he was also awarded a PhD in English in 2006 following the completion of his doctoral thesis, Pagan Taylor: the emergence of a public character 1785-1804 – an enquiry into the life and works of Thomas Taylor the Platonist (1758-1835). In 2012, Steve was a contributing author to the book Jesus Through Pagan Eyes along with several other esoteric teachers and writers.

Steve lives in the hills of the Peak District National Park in England with his husband, with whom he has lived for 25 years, together with two rough-haired Jack Russell Terriers.