James Owen of Penrhos

and his descendants

Y Plant Bran

The Y Plant Bran website explains that: "The Plant Bran is an extended family (hereditary) system of Worship and Wisecraft handed down to us through Gwenfran Gwernan. The word 'Plant' means 'family' and Bran is the Celtic deity of death and resurrection." 'Gwenfran Gwernan' ('White Crow of the Alder' in Old Welsh) or simply 'Gwenfran' were the names by which Ruth was known. On this website there is an article by Ruth explaining the basis of 'hereditary groups'. In the past, the tradition was handed down from parents and grandparents to children by word of mouth but, in general, this is no longer the case; hence the 'extended family'.

Fundamentally, Y Plant Bran values nature and its many aspects including the changing seasons. It believes these should not be taken for granted and marks important times of the year with ritual festivals; for example, the festivals at the Solstices and Equinoxes which mark the rise and fall of the Sun's life. In one section of her Introduction to Witchcraft (Quest: Third Ed. 1996) Ruth advises people interested in witchcraft on how they can get started, concluding the section with: "You will know yourself in touch with a loving power, and power will flow through you. You will know yourself part of all things, the same spirit informing all matter. Man and stone, animal and plant, and that is the beginning."

She also wrote, "the greatest difficulty of High Priests and High Priestesses ... is not to be tempted by personal glory. Their place is one that calls for honest belief and true humility". Whilst not wishing to be placed on a pedestal, Ruth’s influence within the world of 'witchcraft' has been quite considerable not just within Y Plant Bran but also within groups holding similar beliefs. For example, Dr. Pengwerin of Y Plant Don, a more academically based and metaphysical tradition, dedicated his website "to the memory of the late Ruth Wynn Owen or Gwenfran (White Crow) as she was known to those who knew and appreciated both her and her bright spirit - the one time head of that family [Y Plant Bran]". Joseph B. Wilson who founded the group "1734" wrote: "The third source of inspiration and personal guidance was Ruth Wynn-Owen, the matriarch of the Plant Bran". In the 1970's a commercial TV station made a film about her group in Yorkshire. Unfortunately, perhaps to reinforce a typical image of witches or simply to titillate, the makers of the programme chose to show people dancing around naked as a background to the credits but I am reliably informed that such behaviour was foreign to Ruth’s group.