The Gardnerian Book of Shadows

The Gardnerian Book of Shadows


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This is the text of the Gardnerian Book of Shadows. In one sense, this is the central sacred text of the Wicca religion. However, it is important to point out that there is no 'official' Book of Shadows. Typically each coven has a hand-written copy of a Book of Shadows, sometimes in cypher or code, which reflects its own practices and knowledge. This particular text is derived from a file posted on the Internet in the early 90s, and quotes previously published material which was known to be in use by Gardner and his group.

The Book of Shadows was attributed by Gardner to an ancient, clandestine witch cult, which he claimed to have been initiated into. However, modern researchers have concluded that it was composed by Gardner. The text shows influences from English and Celtic Folk-lore, the Enochian system of John Dee, Thelema, the Golden Dawn, Stregaria, Tantric Yoga, the KJV Bible and even Kipling. This version organizes the material in chronological order and has estimated dates for each section, ranging from 1949 to 1961.

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