Gerald Gardner

The undisputable founder of the modern Magical Art, Gerald Gardner was born in England in 1884 and spent most of his lifetime in Far East. After his retirement and his stay in New Forest (Enland), he was initiated by Dorothy Chatterbuck into the paganism. In 1994 he published "High Magic's Aid", a historical novel in which he described medieval magical practises. In the 50s (when the last laws against the Magical art where withdrawn)he started talking openly about his beliefs, and the Wiccan branch which comes directly from him and his practises, is named after Gardner. His most famous book is "The Book of Shadows", where he describes rituals and ceremonies, is highly influenced by Alister Crowley, an ancient book "The Key of Solomon", and last but not least by "Aradia, the Gospel of the Witches", by K.G.Lelant.

Text taken from with permission:
"Witchcraft Today proved to be the first nonfiction book on Wicca ever published, and its author, Gerald Gardner, is debatably the first to ever practice Wicca in a recognizably modern form. Since that book, Wicca has flourished and spread to over 66 countries and a number of languages beyond English. Today, Wicca is on the edge of gaining widespread, public recognition as a religion, but Gerald Gardner is virtually unknown. The man solely responsible for popularizing a modern religious movement is rarely mentioned in text or conversation concerning Wicca. Because of this continuing obscurity, we are left with only what 'Old Gerald' has revealed to us about himself--and even that information must be worked for. His books are out of print more often than not, and what Gardner chooses to reveal about himself is sparse and sometimes misleading. Too many questions are left unanswered. The largest is definitely whether Gardner "invented" Wicca or was, as he claims, initiated into it." Thanks Morgan!

Gerald Gardner was not simply influenced by Aleister Crowley, but the two of them were friends. When Aleister passed on, Gardner attempted to purchase most of Crowley's occult related possessions. This is evidenced by a letter from Gardner which can be found at

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