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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Gerald Gardner

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Who Are the New Pagan Heroes?

Some people have saints. Pagans have heroes.

But you don't have to slay a dragon to become one.

To the ancestors, heroes (the term is gender-neutral) were those who had done such outstanding things that they deserved to be remembered for them.

You found a city, you're a hero. You teach the People something important that makes their life better, you're a hero.

Who are our modern pagan heroes? Well, they differ from group to group. Some would number Gerald Gardner among them. Doreen Valiente, Robert Graves, Robert Cochrane: they weren't perfect people, they weren't gods.

But they each did something remarkable, something that we, their inheritors, have benefited from, and therefore they deserve to be remembered.

The Kalasha of NW Pakistan are the only surviving Indo-European people who have practiced their ancient religion uninterruptedly since antiquity. In their valleys, there's an altar to the hero who taught the People to make cheese.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    [Chortles.] So, how's about a libation, already?!
  • Keith Ward
    Keith Ward says #
    Always! ‘Ave Maestro!’
  • Keith Ward
    Keith Ward says #
    You’re my hero!
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I love this story. I happen to be one of those people who enjoy cheese. I think a festival in honor of the cheese hero is a grea

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Recent History: Doreen Valiente

I usually stick to much older history, but having had the chance to catch the Doreen Valiente exhibit at Preston Manor in Brighton, I figured I should share a few pictures as I know it's a bit tricky for many folks to get there. The exhibit itself is small but there's a great delight in seeing how intimately history is made by a most unassuming woman. I picked up Philip Heseltine's biography too and am much enjoying it. Here are some of the artifacts collected:

b2ap3_thumbnail_2016-06-22-11.58.44.jpg

...
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New Evidence Suggests Gardner Renounced Wicca Days Before Death

AP: London

New evidence released by the Gardner Family Archive suggests that Gerald Gardner (1884-1964), the Father of Modern Wicca, actually renounced the religion that he was instrumental in founding just days before his death.

In a posthumously-received letter to his eldest sister, Graizell, dated February 10, 1964—two days before his death—Gardner wrote:

This Wica [sic] is a cuckoo's egg, a rum deal really. Ive [sic] done with it. Its [sic] all rot, really. Well there's an end to it then, hands washed for good and all. Who knows, maybe Ill [sic] turn Turk [convert to Islam] next.

Handwriting experts have confirmed that the letter was in fact written by Gardner.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • tehomet
    tehomet says #
  • Anne Forrester
    Anne Forrester says #
    Aaaaaarrrrrrggggghhhh-- You totally got me!

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Making of Modern Yule

At Yule 1953, after lunch, Gerald Gardner turned to the then newly-initiated Doreen Valiente and said, “Write us up a nice ritual for this evening, would you my dear? There's a good girl.”

The result of this request, Valiente later told Janet and Stuart Farrar, “was the first chant or invocation I ever wrote for Gerald,” who was, she thought, “deliberately throwing me in at the deep end to see what I could do” (Farrar 148n3).

Gardner later described this ritual in his 1954 book Witchcraft Today:

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Gerald Gardner, Terrorist

In this season of the ancestors, a tale of the ancestors.

Gerald Gardner was living on the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea when he initiated Arnold and Pat Crowther. After their handfasting (“The Bride Wore Black When the Witches Wed”), which Gerald himself performed, they got their own place in Sheffield and set up a temple in the attic.

Pat wrote to Gerald and asked if he would fly over from Man to consecrate the temple. Delighted, Gerald agreed.

On the day of the flight, the Crowthers drive to the airport to collect Gerald. Waiting on the tarmac, they watch Gerald get off the plane, limping pronouncedly.

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  • Sable Aradia
    Sable Aradia says #
    Love it!

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Why Wicca Won

Wicca certainly has its share of critics in the pagan community these days. Much of that criticism seems to me justified; some of it, frankly, stems from Wicca Envy pure and simple.

In the English-speaking world, Wicca is far and away the largest and most successful of the new pagan religions. For those both within and without, it's well worth asking why.

Skyclad and the Great Rite. Face it, sex and nudity sell. We're human beings, and we find them inherently interesting.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    "Throwing out the baby with the broth water," I like to say. Bwa ha ha. In the Old Craft neck of the woods, Wicca-bashing is a no
  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven says #
    As an eclectic polytheist (small-P) post-Wiccan myself, I owe a huge debt to the "fluffy-bunny, Goddess-centric" Wicca you describ
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Let me add here that, for many of us whose ways have since gone in other directions, Wicca has been a point of entry into the paga

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Zap the World!

65 years ago the number of new pagans in the world was negligible. Now we number (possibly) in the (low) tens of millions, in (probably) every country of the world. (Did you know that there are New Pagan movements in virtually all of the Turkic-speaking countries of Central Asia? G****e Tengrism.) (Tengri = Blue Father Sky.) In the course of the history of religions, that's really pretty remarkable. How in the world did it happen?

According to Sparky T. Rabbit, it's a spell.

Yes, folks, Gerald Gardner cast a spell and zap! Here we are.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    A tale lyrically told, Linette, and all the better for being true. I join my voice to yours.
  • Linette
    Linette says #
    When I was a kid, even a very little kid, I had this "thing" I did with the Universe. This very wonderful innate relationship wher

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