Gerald Gardner - Witchcraft Today (copyrighted book, review only)
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In this book Dr. Gardner states that he has found in various parts of England groups of people who still practise the same rites as the so-called 'witches' of the Middle Ages, and that the rites are a true survival and not a mere revival copied out of books. In his easy pleasant style he gives a sketch of similar practices in ancient Greece and Rome, and his wide personal experiences in the Far East enable him to show that there are many peoples, whether in the Far East or in Great Britain, who still perform acts of worship ... More >>>
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In this book Dr. Gardner states that he has found in various parts of England groups of people who still practise the same rites as the so-called 'witches' of the Middle Ages, and that the rites are a true survival and not a mere revival copied out of books. In his easy pleasant style he gives a sketch of similar practices in ancient Greece and Rome, and his wide personal experiences in the Far East enable him to show that there are many peoples, whether in the Far East or in Great Britain, who still perform acts of worship to the Almighty Giver of Life according to ancient ritual. Though the ritual of Europe is now consonant with modern civilisation, the feeling which underlies both the primitive and
the civilised is the same: gratitude to the Creator and hope for the Constance of His goodness.
Dr. Gardner has shown in his book how much of the so-called 'witchcraft' is descended from ancient rituals, and has nothing to do with spell-casting and other evil practices, but is the sincere expression of that feeling towards God which is expressed, perhaps more decorously though not more sincerely, by modern Christianity in church services. But the processional dances of the drunken Bacchantes, the wild prancings round the Holy Sepulchre as recorded by Maundrell at the end of the seventeenth century, the jumping dance of the mediaeval 'witches', the solemn zikr of the Egyptian peasant, the whirling of the dancing dervishes, all have their origin in the desire to be 'Nearer, my God, to Thee',
and to show by their actions that intense gratitude which the worshippers find them selves incapable of expressing in words.
Gerald Gardner was born June 13, 1884 - February 12, 1964.
He is founder of modern Wicca .
Gerald Gardner by some was considers him a man of great vision and creativity who had the courage to try outrageous things during difficult times. Others look on him as a con man, deceitful and manipulative. He authored the now famous books "Witchcraft Today" and "The Meaning of Witchcraft", both he wrote in the 1950's. Gerald Gardner has wrote some of the best wrote wiccan/pagan in my personal option.
Gerald Gardner is a name that 80% of wiccan/pagans know. He was the founder of the modern wicca as it is now today.
Gerald Gardner was born on the 13th June 1884 at the Glen, the Serpentine in a small northern town called "Blundellsands" near Liverpool, England. Gerald Gardner was born of Scottish descent into a well-to-do family, his father was a merchant and justice of the peace. His grandfather is reputed to have married a witch, and he claims others of his distant family had psychic gifts. Gardner believed himself to be a descendant of "Grissell Gairdner", who was burned as a witch at Newburgh in 1610.
Gerald Gardner was the middle of three sons, but was kept distanced from his two brothers as he suffered severely with bouts of asthma. As a result his parents employed a nanny Josephine 'Com' McCombie to raise him separately.
Josephine 'Com' McCombine was an Irish nursemaid.
Com persuaded his parents to allow her to take him traveling during the winter months to help alleviate his condition.Gerald Gardner was the age of four years when this started. Traveling across Europe, Gardner was often left alone to his own devices, but was content to read and study academic subject such as History and Archaeology. Later when he became a young man, his nanny married and went to live with her husband in Ceylon. Gerald Gardner went with her and started work on a tea plantation. He then moved on to Borneo and finally settled in Malaysia. There with his interest in history and archaeology, Gardner became fascinated with the local culture and its religious and magical beliefs.
After 20 years of study Gerald Gardner wrote his first book on the history and folklore of the Malay called "Keris and other Malay Weapons - Singapore, 1936", and became the world's foremost authority on Malaya's indigenous people and their weapons. From 1923 until he retired in 1936, Gardner worked as a civil servant for the British government, first as a rubber plantation inspector, then as a customs official and inspector of opium establishments. Gerald Gardner made a considerable amount of money in his dealings with rubber, which allowed him to indulge in his favorite pastime, Archaeology. On one expedition he claimed to have found the site of the ancient city of Singapura. In 1927 he met and married an English woman called "Donna".
After his retirement in Malaya in 1936, Gerald Gardner and his wife "Donna" returned to England and settled in the New Forrest area of Hampshire. Gerald Gardner continued to indulge his archaeological interests and spent much of his time traveling around Europe and Asia Minor. In Cyprus Gerald Gardner found places he claims to have dreamed about, and was convinced he had lived there in a previous lifetime. In 1939 he wrote and had published his second book, A Goddess Arrives. It was based in Cyprus and concerned the worship of a goddess called "Aphrodite" in the year 1450 B.C.
In 1954 Gerald Gardner wrote Witchcraft Today.
Gerald Gardner died on February 13th, 1964, while returning from abroad on the SS Scottish Prince.
I will at after my write up add a picture of Gerald Gardner family tree that I found will researching all about Gerald Gardner.
Throughout the 1950s the practice of witchcraft spread in England. Gerald Gardner opened a witchcraft museum on the Isle of Man and made himself available to the press and to prospective new witches.
In 1962, shortly before Gerald Gardner's death, the Americans Rosemary and Raymond Buckland traveled to his home and were initiated as priestess and priest and returned to found the Gardnerian movement in the United States. Gardner died at sea on February 12, 1964. After his death the contents of the museum were sold to Ripley's Believe It or Not and were subsequently disbursed to various Ripley's museums and sold to private collectors.
Gerald Gardner is one of the most important figures in wiccan history.