Sacred Texts  Neopaganism 

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.

The copyright status of this text can best be described as 'orphaned.' This version was compiled by Aidan A. Kelly. It was originally posted on the Internet in the mid-90s as part of the Internet Book of Shadows material. Text in square brackets is Kelly's commentary.

Casting the Circle
Drawing Down the Moon
The Charge
Initiation: First Degree
Initiation: Second Degree
Initiation: Third Degree
Cakes and Wine
The Sabbat Rituals: November Eve
The Sabbat Rituals: February Eve
The Sabbat Rituals: May Eve
The Sabbat Rituals: August Eve
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
Properly Prepared
The Meeting Dance
To Leave the Body
The Working Tools
A Revision of the Casting Procedure
The Prose Charge
Cakes and Wine
The Sabbat Rituals: Spring Equinox
The Sabbat Rituals: Summer Solstice
The Sabbat Rituals: Autumn Equinox
The Sabbat Rituals: Winter Solstice
The Eightfold Path or Ways
The First-Degree Initiation
The Second-Degree Initiation
The Third-Degree Initiation
The Witches' Chant or Rune
Consecrating Tools
The Old Laws
The Verse Charge
Casting and Charging
Forming the Circle