Gardnerian Book of Shadows Notes

This page is one big notes section on his entire Book of Shadows.

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Casting the Circle | Drawing Down the Moon | The Charge | Initiation: First through Third degree | Cakes and Wine | Sabbat Rituals (all sections) | On Chants | To Help the Sick | The Scourge and the Kiss | The Priestess and the Sword | The Warning | Of the Ordeal of the Art Magical | The Eightfold Way | To Gain the Sight | Power | Properly Prepared | The Meeting Dance | To Leave the Body | The Working Tools | Skyclad | A Revision of the Casting Procedure | The Prose Charge | The Witches' Chant or Rune | Consecrating Tools | The Old Laws | The Verse Charge | Casting and Charging | Forming the Circle | |

There is going to be a very heavily negative bias towards Gardner in my notes simply because I don't like him. I personally believe that everything he published is made up, partially due to the fact that him constantly making things up on the spot is what caused his coven to disband (thanks, Doreen!). So yeah, I don't really believe a word this man says.

Then why are you reading it?

Becuase you'd be an idiot to deny his influence in the occult spheres. This guy is ground 0 for the entire birth of Wicca. Of ourse I'm gonna read it! Understanding history means understanding all of it, even the parts you don't like. I'd say we've been experiencing a second wave of new Neo-Wiccans in the online spheres; maybe that's how you came across my page, dear reader! So it's no wonder that more and more people are going to be asking the same question I've been asking myself since the start: how did we get to this point?

TL;DR history 'n stuff.

Casting the Circle

I'm not a fan of Gardner's method of circle casting because I think it's too complicated. He starts out by giving very specific instructions on how to draw three circles, each with specific measurements:

The circle is usually nine feet in diameter, unless made for some very special purpose. There are two outer circles, each six inches apart, so the third circle has a diameter of eleven feet.

Really? Every time? Well, it's your coven.

It's interesting that he includes the use of a "sickle or scimitar" (I have to look that last one up too). This prompted me to find out why he included both of those and their significance to him and his coven. However, surface level research is only bringing up references from Hesiod and Revelation 14:16-17, and neither of those provide much help.
The sickle usually represents harvesting or "reaping what you sow" across multiple contexts. So, yeah, not entirely sure why those two are included along with the Athame, but whatever. I appreciate the creativity of using the tool(s) to create the outline of the circle at least.

[2] First draw circle with Magic Sword or Athame.

Probably the most normal step in this process so far.

[3] Consecrate Salt and Water: Touch water with Athame, saying, "I exorcise thee, O creature of Water, that thou cast out from Thee all the impurities and uncleannesses of the Spirits of the World of Phantasm, so they may harm me not, in the names of Aradia and Cernunnos."

Aradia? From the Italian Stregheria religion? And Celtic Cernunnos? I don't know, I don't care for Gardnerian Wicca because of the very weird mishmash of cultural concepts that still exist in modern Wicca to a degree.
At least the salt consecration is pretty normal.

Touching Salt with Athame, say, "The Blessings of Aradia and Cernunnos be upon this creature of Salt, and let all malignity and hindrance be cast forth hencefrom, and let all good enter herein, for without Thee man cannot live, wherefore I bless thee and invoke thee, that thou mayest aid me."

More big words in an attempt to sound old. Bleh.

[5] Then put the Salt into the water.
[6] Sprinkle with exorcised water.

I'm assuming this means sprinkle the circle with the water? That's pretty normal.

[7] Light candles; say, "I exorcise thee, O Creature of Fire, that every kind of Phantasm may retire from thee, and be unable to harm or deceive in any way, in the names of Aradia and Cernunnos."

Okay, so the elements of Water, Earth, and Fire are called upon for the ritual. Great! What about Air, though? Why only these elements for a ritual ceremony? Why not call on all of them?

[8] Caution initiate (if any); warn companions; enter circle and close doors with 3 pentagrams.

So when doing coven work, I'm assuming the High Priest/ess is supposed to do the circle casting alone and then invite the other members inside when it's all done. I know his coven practiced in a cabin, so it's not completely out of the ordinary that other members aren't in the circle yet. It's also a method of circle casting that Buckland includes in his book.

[10] Circumambulate 3 times or more before commencing work.

Oh, come on, you can include big words to sound old but you can't include the classic "widdershins" or "deosil"? Which way am I meant to go? Bleh.

[11] Summon: "I summon, stir, and Call thee up, thou Mighty Ones of the East, South, West, and North." Salute and draw pentacle with Magic Sword or Athame, the first stroke being from the top down to the left.

Oh, we're calling directions now? What about the elements we just called? Taking the idea of drawing the pentacle in the air from Crowley is a weird one since it makes more sense in Crowley's context.
You can tell I'm not the biggest fan of his circle method. Times have changed for the better.

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Drawing Down the Moon

Context: a Drawing Down the Moon ritual is essentially a method of invoking the power of the Moon and channeling it through the High Priestess of the coven. Most groups consider this a huge honor, so not just anyone is worthy of channeling the Moon for whatever reason. Nowadays, the High Priestess usually does it herself and the High Priest more or less just echoes what she says. However, some groups still only let the High Priest perform this ritual for the High Priestess which is, in my opinion, kinda messed up. Gardner wrote such ritual here. Expect some negativity for this section.
I haven't been cool with the way men have written any rituals involving the male leader touching the female leader ever since (checks watch) the dawn of time, so it's no surprise that I have a HUGE bone to pick with this method.

High Priestess stands in front of Altar, assumes Goddess position (arms crossed). Magus, kneeling in front of her, draws pentacle on her body with Phallus-headed Wand,

Who is realistically going to own a phallus-headed wand? Oh, is it not supposed to be a "wand"? Yikes.

The Moon having been drawn down, i.e., link established, Magus and other men give Fivefold Kiss

Crowley leaves his mark, once again. Ugh this is so gross and creepy.
The newer methods of Drawing Down the Moon are a lot more, ahem, socially acceptable.
Natually, I'm going to prefer those.

Women all bow.

I'm good.

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The Charge

This part is confusing, because just titling it "the Charge" doesn't really help with understanding what this is meant to be used for. You can write one for pretty much anything. The purpose of a Charge is to invoke a divine force in your ritual and depending on your beliefs, that force can be literally anything you can think of.
However, this what this Charge is meant to be used for:

This much of the rites must ever be performed to prepare for any initiation, whether of one degree or of all three.

So, it's an initiation Charge meant to be recited before an initiation ceremony. I'm going to assume that this is meant to more or less make the initiation official by bringing the divine into it. This is still fairly common today.

Magus: "Listen to the words of the Great mother, who of old was also called among men Artemis, Astarte, Dione, Melusine, Aphrodite, Cerridwen, Diana, Arianrhod, Bride, and by many other names."

Funny how the High Priestess isn't allowed to charge herself with the Moon, but she's given the floor to initiate neophytes. Bleh.
I'm not sure why so many female deities were named here when Wicca is a duotheistic religion.

High Priestess: "At mine Altars the youth of Lacedaemon in Sparta made due sacrifice.

Lacedaemon was the King of Sparta. The details aren't really important becuase it makes no sense for him to be mentioned here.

Whenever ye have need of anything, once in the month, and better it be when the moon is full, ye shall assemble in some secret place and adore the spirit of Me who am Queen of all Witcheries and magics. There ye shall assemble, ye who are fain to learn all sorcery, yet have not won its deepest secrets. To these will I teach things that are yet unknown.

Probably the most normal part of this entire speech. Just stating the intent behind gathering in the group. Makes sense to include this in an initiation ritual.

And ye shall be free from slavery, and as a sign that ye be really free, ye shall be naked in your rites, both men and women, and ye shall dance, sing, feast, make music, and love, all in my praise.

I'm not touching this section.

There is a Secret Door that I have made to establish the way to taste even on earth the elixir of immortality.
Say, 'Let ecstasy be mine, and joy on earth even to me, To Me,' For I am a gracious Goddess. I give unimaginable joys on earth, certainty, not faith, while in life! And upon death, peace unutterable, rest, and ecstasy, nor do I demand aught in sacrifice."

The Secret Door is the quote. I got there eventually.
I don't really see this ritual as necessary, but that's just me.

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Initiation: First through Third Degree

First Degree

Second Degree

Third Degree

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Cakes and Wine

Context: the Cakes and Wine ceremony in Wicca is usually the last part of the coven meeting. It's just as it sounds: eating food and drinking whatever people brought (it's not always wine, it's mead or juice most of the time). In some covens, whatever isn't eaten is discarded into nature for the creatures to feast on, but this isn't always a good idea in case you attract greedy wildlife.
The ritual is usually pretty short.

Magus kneels, fills Cup, offers to Witch [she is seated on the altar, holding her athame; Priest kneels before her, holding up the cup].
Witch, holding Athame between palms, places point in cup.
Magus: "As the Athame is the Male, so the Cup is the female; so, conjoined, they bring blessedness."
Witch lays aside Athame, takes Cup in both hands, drinks and gives drink. Magus Holds Paten to Witch, who blesses with Athame, then eats and gives to Eat. It is said that in olden days ale or mead was often used instead of wine. It is said that spirits or anything can be used so long as it has life.

I'm pretty sure that in Gardner's coven, anyone who wasn't a High Priest or a High Prestess was either a Magus (male coven member) or a Witch (female coven member). Also, here the "Paten" is usually the offering dish with food that the members brought; it entirely depends on the Coven, but the Paten is the "Cakes" part of the title.
Sometimes coven members are expected to have their own set of dishes and chalices, sometimes the coven shares one chalice and one paten and passes it around. In the case of what happens if there isn't an even number of people: it depends on the coven. Sensing a theme, here?

Sabbat Rituals (All Sections)

Context: Sabbats in Wicca are religious holidays that follow the Wheel of the Year. The modern interpretation of the Sabbats and what Gardner writes here are two very different topics. This is due to modern Wiccan Sabbats being taken from Celtic Reconstructionist Paganism. However, Gardner decided to get a little creative and choose to just kind of make up when the Sabbats should be. The inclusion of the Wheel of the Year lore doesn't show up until around the time Cunningham and Buckland start writing their books.
This is to say that Gardner's Sabbats are different from modern Wiccan Sabbats, which is to say his methods aren't very popular. So if this section seems a little off to people who are already familar with the Wheel of the Year, then that's expected.

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On Chants

This section is just Gardner describing how chanting should be performed in his coven.

'tis said that the whole Hebrew alphabet is said to be such, and for this reason is recited as a most powerful charm, but at least this is certain, these cries during the dances do have profound effect, as I myself have seen.

I know he cites Crowley as an influence for his Book of Shadows, but you didn't have to go and just rip the guy off here.
This is the only part of this section that is worth reading. Chanting, especially with Hebrew letters, isn't seen in modern Wicca anymore, so this section is kind of moot.
People in the 40s and 50s really wanted ceremonial chanting to be a thing, huh. Thankfully that never caught on.

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To Help the Sick

This section sucks. I don't like it.
Here, Gardner is encouraging people to play mind games with people who are not part of your coven and I think that's incredibly rude and disrespectful to other people. What gives you permission to enforce your beliefs on another person who doesn't share your beliefs? The end of this section directly quotes the Bible on top of all that.
Gross. Still gonna read it out of spite, though.

[1] Ever remember the promise of the goddess, "For ecstasy is mine and joy on earth" so let there ever be joy in your heart. Greet people with joy, be glad to see them. If times be hard, think, "It might have been worse. I at least have known the joys of the Sabbath, and I will know them again." Think of the grandeur, beauty, and Poetry of the rites, of the loved ones you meet through them. If you dwell on this inner joy, your health will be better. You must try to banish all fear, for it will really touch you. It may hurt your body, but your soul is beyond it all.

"Are you struggling? No you're not! Just come back to the coven and everything will be okay." Yeah, no. Having a positive mindset when you're struggling does help, but it's not an immediate cure. People need more than happy thoughts in order to survive.

[2] And ever remember, that if you help others it makes you forget your own woes. And if another be in pain, do what you may to distract his attention from it. Do not say "You have no pain," but if you may, administer the drugs which sooth as well as those that cure. But ever strive to make them believe they are getting better. Install into them happy thoughts. If you can only get this into his inner mind so that it be always believed.

Helping others to suppress your issues isn't great, despite how reasonable it sounds. Remember, he is actively telling you to lie to others and yourself about the problems in your life. Please let yourself feel your negative emotions and actively work through them. This section is so creepy.

[3] To this end it is not wrong to let people think that we of the cult have more power than we have. For the truth is that if they believe we have more power than we really possess, we do really possess these powers, insomuch we can do good to them.

Gross. Nasty. Get this away from me. I hate this section so much.

[4] You must try to find out about people. If you tell a slightly sick man, "You are looking better. You will soon be well," he will feel better, but if he is really ill, or in pain, his Knowledge that he is in pain will cause him to doubt your words in future. But if you give him one of the drugs and then say, "The pain is growing less. Soon it will be gone," because the pain goes, the next time you say, "The pain is going," he will believe you and the pain will really get less. But you must ever say so with conviction, and this conviction must come from your believing it yourself, because you yourself know that if you can fix his mind so that he believes you, it is true.

This is the exact same as point 2, just expanded. Gross. Stop forcing beliefs on people, doesn't matter what your intentions are.

[5] 'Tis often better to look exactly between their eyes, looking as if your eyes pierced their heads, opening your eyes as wide as you may and never blink. This continued gazing oft causes the patient to grow sleepy. If they show signs of this, say "You are growing sleepy. You will sleep, you are tired. Sleep. Your eyes grow tired. Sleep."[...]Continue this with soothing and healing drugs, and try to infuse into them the feeling of ecstasy that you feel at the Sabbath. They cannot feel it in full, but you can command them to feel what is in your own mind, and try to concentrate on this ecstasy.

This isn't the full exerpt. I can't stomach to read the entire thing. This is so rape-y and gross: Gardner engaged in sexual rituals in his coven so when he says "the feeling of ecstasy that you feel at the Sabbath", it's safe to assume he's referring to a specific kind of ecstasy. Ugh.

[6] Ever remember if tempted to admit or boast of belonging to the cult you be endangering your brothers, for though now the fires of persecution may have died down, who knows when they may be revived? Many priests have knowledge of our secrets, and they well know that, though much religious bigotry has calmed down, many people would wish to join our cult. And if the truth were known of its joys, the Churches would lose power, so if we take many recruits, we may lose the fires of persecution against us again. So ever keep the secrets.

"Don't tell anyone you're part of the coven, but keep coming back to it and dedicate your life to it." Disgusting behavior towards your members. You're not allowed to recruit anyone according to this, which means he picked out the members. No thanks.

[7] Think joy, think love, try to help others and bring joy into their lives. Children are naturally easier to influence than grown people.

I'm stopping this section early. Once you bring kids into your mind games, you've gone too far. Everything written after this doesn't matter because he is endorcing forcing your religious beliefs on children when that is a decision they should be making for themselves. Disgusting.

[8] But keep your own mind happy. Remember the Words of the Goddess: "I give unimaginable joys on Earth, certainty, not faith, while in life, and upon death, peace unutterable, rest, and ecstasy, and the promise that you will return again." In the old days many of us went to the flames laughing and singing, and so we may again. We may have joy in life and beauty, and peace and Death and the promise of return.

He writes like the people of "the old days" were ever Wiccan. He's referring to the witch trials that caused a massive amount of hysteria and panic in the 16th century, but none of the people who were tried were ever actually proven to be "witches". A "witch" back then is the same thing as a general boogeyman. This view obviously changed over time with helps from the likes of Gardner.
Yes, the trials happened. No, the details here are not factually correct.

The Bible speaks sooth, "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine but a broken spirit breaketh the bones." But you may not have a merry heart. Perchance you were born under an evil star. I think that the effects of the stars are overestimated, but you cannot make a merry heart to order, you say. But you can, in the Cult; there be secret processes by which your will and imagination may be influenced. This process also affects the body, and brings it to joy. Your body is happy, so your mind is happy . You are well because you are happy, and you are happy because you are well.

The quote here is from Proverbs 17:22. There's absolutely no excuse for Gardner to bring the Bible into this Book of Shadows, since it is, as he claims, full of information that predates Christianity. The rest of this paragraph sucks.

[10] Prayer may be used with good result if the patient believes it can and will work. Many believe it can, but do not believe their God or saint will help. Prayers to the Goddess help, especially the Amalthean Horn Prayer, as it causes stimulation to the body as well as to the mind.

Man, shut up already.

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The Scourge and the Kiss

I've been putting off reading this section because the beginning is just really, really graphic and hard to read. Overall, this section is really unnecessary and I'm not going to give it space on my website. Feel free to read it on your own, but you won't find me talking about it here.
From this point forward, I'm pretending this part doesn't exist.

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The Priestess and the Sword

Oh boy! Can't wait to read what this guy has to say about being a High Priestess!

It is said, "When a woman takes the main part in worship of the Male God, she must be girt with a sword."

I had to look this up too, but here the word "girt" is an alternate spelling of a UK rural slang term that means "great" as a way to describe something. Not surprising to see slang here given that Gardner is from the UK.

Note. This hath been explained as meaning that a man should be Magus representing the God, but if no one of sufficient rank and knowledge be present, a woman armed as a man may take his place. The sheath should be worn in a belt. She should carry the sword in hand, but if she has to use her hands, she should sheath the sword. Any other woman in the circle while this worship is performed shall be sword in hand. Those outside the circle only have the athame. A woman may impersonate either the God or the Goddess, but a man may only impersonate the God.

Huh, I wonder why he wouldn't want to be the woman in ceremonies. Up to this point, it sounds like a great position to be in (sarcasm).

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The Warning

Another entry in this book concerning the faux "secrecy" Gardner tries to push to his coven.

Keep this book in your own hand of write. Let brothers and Sisters copy what they will, but never let this book out of your hands, and never keep the writings of another, for if it be found in their hand of write, they may well be taken and tortured.

This is just the intro to the paragraph, but it's all you really need to see. The entire entry is fear mongering against an unknown threat of "torture". You would think that, if he knows so much about the consequences of being found out, that he could speak a little bit more on what exactly "torture" entails.
He also goes into detail about how you should go about lying about your craft or your involvement with the coven, as if that's ever going to be a realistic problem.

If the torture be too great to bear, say, "I will confess. I cannot bear this torment. What do you want me to say? Tell me and I will say it." If they try to make you talk of the broth , do not, but if they try to make you speak of impossibilities, such as flying through the air, consorting with the Devil, sacrificing children, or eating men's flesh, say, "I had an evil dream. I was not myself. I was crazed."

Are they taking Wiccan prisoners of war, now? In which circumstance could you actually use this advice, especially during the time this was written (this section in particular was written in 1953).

The same with the working Tools. Let them be as ordinary things that anyone may have in their homes. The Pentacles shall be of wax that they may be melted or broken at once. Have no sword unless your rank allows you one. Have no names or signs on anything. Write them on in ink before consecrating them and wash it off at once when finished.

I can say with experience and certainty that if someone sees your Craft items in your home, they're not going to care. With the exception of strict parents, if someone bothers you about your tools, you can say anything you want and they will be none the wiser.
I could just be old-fashioned, but I've found that saying "please don't touch that" is enough to get (reasonable) people to leave your stuff alone. Treating your craft as a secret mission is kind of silly, especially with all the information being available online for free.

If any speak of the craft, say, "Speak not to me of such, it frightens me, 'tis evil luck to speak of it."

How am I supposed to make friends if I can't talk to people about my craft who aren't in the coven? Just limiting yourself to anyone who is also a Gardnerian Wiccan is so boring.

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Of the Ordeal of the Art Magical

I don't like the title of this section either but just go with it.
This, to me, seems like an essay Gardner wanted to write about his personal feelings surrounding his idea of the craft and possibly general hermeticism. I don't really see the point in including this in his Book of Shadows but it's his book.

Learn of the spirit that goeth with burdens that have not honour, for 'tis the spirit that stoopeth the shoulders and not the weight. Armour is heavy, yet it is a proud burden and a man standeth upright in it. Limiting and constraining any of the senses serves to increase the concentration of another. Shutting the eyes aids the hearing.

Poetic? Yes. Useful? Not at all.

So the binding of the initiate's hands increases the mental perception, while the scourge increaseth the inner vision. So the initiate goeth through it proudly, like a princess, knowing it but serves to increase her glory.

This is referring to the initiation ritual where the new member has their hands bound for some reason, while also being naked. Including "like a princess" at the end makes this super creepy given that this was written in 1953 when he was just barely 70 years old.
According to Wikipedia, a "scourge" is "a whip or lash, especially a multi-thong type, used to inflict severe corporal punishment or self-mortification." Whether this is meant to be literal or metaphorical, I don't know and I'm not sure I want to find out.

But this can only be done by the aid of another intelligence and in a circle, to prevent the power thus generated being lost. Priests attempt to do the same with their scourgings and mortifications of the flesh. But lacking the aid of bonds and their attention being distracted by their scourging themselves and what little power they do produce being dissipated, as they do not usually work within a circle, it is little wonder that they oft fail.

"Christians whip themselves incorrectly because they're not trying to do it like we do" okay, pal. Don't priests also assert that they are right and the Pagans are wrong?

Monks and hermits do better, as they are apt to work in tiny cells and coves, which in some way act as circles. The Knights of the Temple, who used mutually to scourge each other in an octagon, did better still; but they apparently did not know the virtue of bonds and did evil, man to man.

Oh, I get it. It was a lesson all along: don't discipline other people, only discipline yourself. Right? Anyone?

But perhaps some did know? What of the Church's charge that they wore girdles or cords?

Someone check if this man is okay.

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The Eightfold Way

Context: not to be confused with the Eightfold Path in Buddhism, the Eightfold Way more or less the same concept: these are the life rules Gardner believes we must follow in order to live in enlightenment. What does this mean in Wicca, you may ask? Not a whole lot when it comes to the religion as a whole. Some Wiccans believe in their own version of enlightenment, most don't. In all my 10 years of being in Occult and Neopagan/Wiccan circles, I've seen very few people bring up the topic of enlightenment. Whether this is a sampling size issue or not, I don't know.
Point is: this isn't super common, in my experience.

1 Meditation or Concentration. This in practice means forming a mental image of what is desired, and forcing yourself to see that it is fulfilled, with the fierce belief and knowledge that it can and will be fulfilled, and that you will go on willing till you force it to be fulfilled. Called for short, "Intent"

I don't personally agree with his description of the terms "meditation" and "concentration" here, but I agree with using it to describe "intent". My opposition really boils down to a difference of personal definition of terms for this one, so I'll leave it alone. You have to get used to other people in Occult circles having a different definition of terms than you (as long as the central idea is there; people can still be straight-up wrong). It's about what the term means to the individual practitioner, not what the term means in a group setting.

2 Trance, projection of the Astral.

AKA meditation.

3 Rites, Chants, Spells, Runes, Charms, etc.

AKA putting in the work. I can't agree that all of these will lead to enlightenment, but I do agree that they're essential to any practitioner.

4 Incense, Drugs, Wine, etc., whatever is used to release the Spirit.

All of the listed items here have the potential to be deadly to both humans and animals. Yes incense can be deadly to birds and other pets. Please look up any health risks for yourself and pets attributed to a substance you want to use BEFORE you use it.
Due diligence aside, I don't personally agree that any of these are necessary simply because they are not accessible to everyone, especially underage practitioners. You can "release the spirit" through meditation too.

5 The Dance, and kindred practices.

AKA coven work. Definitely not essential in this day and age, but it was when this book was written.

6 Blood control (the Cords), Breath Control, and kindred practices.

AKA anything the coven makes you do that you don't want to do because it seems kind of dangerous but they insist on it becuase "tradition" or whatever. Unfortunately this still happens today and can be considered a form of religious abuse.
If you or someone you know is frequently subjected to dangerous acts to the point of causing distress within a spiritual or religious setting, then click this link to find resources to seek help. Note: this site leans heavily towards Christianity, but there are general resources as well. It is possible to escape unsafe groups safely.

7 The Scourge.

I'm really hoping this guy doesn't mean a literal scourge that you use to whip yourself. I'm deciding to interpret it as a metaphorical scourge, AKA self-discipline. And following my definition, yes I agree it's essential! But only my definition. Please do not hurt yourself in the name of spirituality.

8 The Great Rite.

Nowadays, the Great Rite is done symbolically, but you know for damn sure this creep didn't mean a symbolic Great Rite.
Remember back in "Cakes and Wine" when the High Priestess puts the tip of the athame in the chalice held by the High Priest? That is essentially what the Great Rite is. It's meant to invoke both the God and Goddess at the same time as they are meant to be invoked: in unity.
At this point in the ritual, the Drawing Down the Moon ritual would have already been performed, so the High Priestess is actively channeling the Goddess via the Moon. The idea behind the High Priestess holding the athame (a symbol of the God) is that she is meant to channel the God down into the High Priest for him so they can both be present at the ritual. That's the point of the Great Rite and that's how it's done in the modern era.
What version of the Great Rite is Gardner referring to here? Sex. The High Priest and High Priestess have sex in front of everyone in the coven. You can kind of see why this changed.

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To Gain the Sight

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