Friday, September 16, 2011
Witchcraft circa 1956
Gerald Gardner, Citadel
Consider that the book was written back in 1956 when the subject of witchcraft was relegated to the shadow and laws against witchcraft had recently been repealed. Gardner had been initiated into the coven in the 1930's. He writes as though he were a disinterested anthropologist yet he was a practitioner. What may have been an appropriate introduction back then is just a cursory view today. Gardner was the founder of Wicca or modern Wicca, so from that stand point the book has some value.
If one wants a more thorough view of Wicca and the Witchcraft "Revival" one would do well to read books by Raymond Buckland, Doreen Valiente and others.
Gerald Gardner writes his book to inform us that witches, though belonging to a dying cult, are still around. They have been around through the centuries and the worship of theancient God and Goddess has never died. Witches used to be rather influential and powerful often times they being the ones running things behind the scens and always for the benefit of mankind. The God and Goddess wanted only the best and though they were not all powerful they could use our help so they could in turn help us.
Witches have been toruted relentlesy by the Catholic Church so that now their meeting are held quietly in someones home. They met in groups of thirteen and they keptr their knowledge of each other secret. The Church spread all soprts of rumor that they were Satanic and their rituals made mockery of the Catholic services. All is lies.
Witches bliweve that it is wrong to harm other anhd so animal sacrifice is out of the question. Blood is not used in rituals despite it's extra power boost. Ceremonial magicians use their own blood. Sometimes Soecerer used the services of witches. The power of withc craft and psycghic abilities are al drawn from power generated with in. The dancing in the circle raises energy and to get results you need to whip your self up into a frenzy.
Gardner seems to believe that the religion is inherited from the pygmies that used to inhabit the British isles before the invaders came. These pygmies were the fairies and they were armed with poisoned darts and magical powers. After a while they inter bred with the invader and became normal sized. Their powers faded as well.
It is believed that the religion has Eastern origin possibly from Egypt. From Egypt part of the religion went into Europe and the other into West Africa. The book was designed it seems as a defense of Witchcraft. There are no spell or ritualsd denoted as that is all oathbound. TH books only value is that it is written by the father of Modern Day Witch Craft.
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