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Meet Gerald Gardner....The Gardner of my Secret Garden

Updated on October 25, 2012

Can you keep a secret?...yes!...Ok, my secret is I don't actually have a garden but I do have a secret Gardner whose name is Gerald Brosseau Gardner.

Some do say that Gerald was the founder of modern day witchcraft because he was the first British witch who came out of the secret broom-closet in 1954 and openly declared that he was indeed a practicing British witch.

Three years after the English Parliament repealed it's laws against witchcraft in 1951, Gerald Gardner published his book on witchcraft which he called " Witchcraft Today ".

In this lens I'm going to tell you a little bit about Gerald Gardner and how that book led to the special exclusive Gardnerian tradition of witchcraft to being the very first accepted " non- secretive " Witchcraft " of Britain.

I hope that even those among you who are a little sceptical regarding the effectiveness of" Witchcraft " and who may think that witches are solely a " gimmick " for Halloween and an old long since diminished tradition which is not taken seriously by most " normal people ", I hope you read the lens through to the end and get something from it which may get you thinking...hey, maybe even get a few of you to look into the whole witchcraft tradition through new eyes...OPEN EYES!

I'm in no way attemting to change anybody's minds about what may be their strong, learned opinionated views on witchcraft nor am I in any way, shape or form attempting to ridicule, mock nor condemn anybody's faith, doctrine or religion. I would like to hope that you treat and regard this lens with the same respect and courtesy as I do with ALL FAITH, ALL CREEDS & ALL COLOURS. Thank you muchly kindly x

No I am not a witch for those of you that may now be wondering. But nor am I a Catholic, a Jew, a Muslim, an Atheist or a Scientologist...I am one who likes to learn, enjoysthe self discovery of that side of life which is " out there ", which is known by many, favored and practiced by many more...not restricted to faiths and doctrines practiced amongst my own community and family...but the belief systems of the WORLD...of which I AM A MEMBER and the lives and religions of THE WORLD I LIVE IN ARE IMPORTANT TO ME...I Love...Love!

Gardnerian Wicca.

There are many varieties of traditions and practices that witches of today follow and the Gardnerian tradition is one of these Wicca way's. The Gardnerian tradition started in 1954 after Gerald Gardner who was already a secret practicing witch published his much acclaimed book "Witchcraft Today", in the book he questioned some of the information which was contained in the Book of Shadows which his coven followed, so he decided to put right the wrong information and to complete parts of the Book of Shadows which were at that time incomplete.

Gerald spent a long time researching all aspects and varieties of traditions of witchcraft so that he could then accurately re-write some of the Book of Shadows rituals and chants which would bring it up-to-date for use by the modern-day witch. And so he wrote his own Book of Shadows for use by his own coven of witches, after which he became the figure-head for what we now call The Gardnerian tradition of witchcraft.

Book of Shadows

A witches book of shadows {BOS] is the place that they use to record their magickal life such as the rituals they have undertaken, the results they expect to receive and the results which they get...in fact everything that they undertake on a magickal level is recorded in their book of shadows.

Covens have their own book of shadows where the High Priest or High Priestess records every ritual that the coven has performed as well as the tools which were used in the ritual, the chants used, who was present, the purpose of the ritual and the results received. A covens book of shadows belongs to the coven and not to the High Priest/ess and gets handed down through the years of the covens existence, some have lasted very well through time and others have not, hence the reason why Gerald Gardner rewrote some of the book of shadows attatched to the coven to which he belonged. Many covens give each of the members a copy of their book of shadows which obviously become out-of-date as time passes which is the other reason Gerald Gardner rewrote his...to bring it up-to-date in that sense.

The book of shadows is probably the one thing that every single practicing witch has, they show it to nobody and keep it in the safest of places so that it cannot be snooped at when the witch isn't at home...much like people do with their private diary or journal. It often contains the dreams or premonitions of the owner or their feelings felt after performing a ritual or a spell-casting...as well as their spells, rituals and chants, the cycles of the moon and everything else in their magickal life.

Some witches keep two books, one being a book of shadows and the other a grimoíre. A grimoíre is a little different to their book of shadows and is a bit like their "magick recipe book" if you like...it contains all of their spells and information needed to do their magickal working and isn't as personal as their book of shadows so it doesn't need to be hidden away from prying eyes.

Gardnerian Covens

Gardnerian covens have a degree system by which every member begins at the bottom and as they learn about the craft they rise to the next level untill they are ready for their witches initiation by the coven. Their initiation absolutely has to be done by the coven through the degree system and is impossible to achieve by self-study as many other witches can and do.

Even those joining a Gardnerian coven who have had years of experience and some having been initiated as a witch elsewhere absolutely must do it all again from the bottom according to the Gardnerian way...albeit that they may complete their learning and reach their initiation sooner than they might otherwise...it's the Gardnerian way or no-way!

Another thing which all Gardnerian covens do is to do all of their magickal working "skyclad" which literally means naked and clothed only by the sky. Working skyclad isn't just a Gardnerian thing however as many witches choose this as their preferred way of doing their workings...but for all Gardnerian witches this is the absolute rule and not necessarily the preferred choice of every single witch member...again it's the skyclad way or no-way.

Gardnerian covens mostly have equal amounts of ladies and men or thereabouts...no Gardnerian coven has either just women or just men in them...yep and they all work together skyclad!

The Gardnerian Book of Shadows along with many different versions of BOS's are available on Amazon, as well as totally blank Book's of Shadows waiting to be filled with....shadows! can all be bought on Amazon and other leading book stores.

You needn't be a witch to own and use a book of shadows as they make great diaries and journals...after all what is a journal if not a written shadow of your life!!

Maybe you know someone who would love to receive their very own Book of Shadows?...they make for a fabulous and unique gift!

I am so pleased that you decided to drop-by this lens of mine today and would be much more pleased if you would let me know that you were here...and even more pleased than that if you left me a small comment, did you enjoy this lens?, did you think it was a complete waste of your time maybe?, whatever your thoughts are regarding this lens I would love to hear them.

Love, Live, Laugh..............................................x

AN IT HARM NONE DO AS YE WILL....................SO MOTE IT BE!

Thankyou For Visiting My Lens Today xxx - xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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    • NanLT profile image

      Nan 7 years ago from London, UK

      Excellent! I am lensrolling this to my "Who's Who in Paganism and Witchcraft" lens, the "Museum of Witchcraft" one, and a few others.