The 'Gardnerian' Book of Shadows

The Eightfold Way

(1953)

Eightfold Path or Ways to the Centre.

[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"

[2] Trance, projection of the Astral.

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

[4] Incense, Drugs, Wine, etc., whatever is used to release the Spirit. (Note. One must be very careful about this. Incense is usually harmless, but you must be careful. If it has bad aftereffects, reduce the amount used, or the duration of the time it is inhaled. Drugs are very dangerous if taken to excess, but it must be remembered that there are drugs that are absolutely harmless, though people talk of them with bated breath, but Hemp is especially dangerous, because it unlocks the inner eye swiftly an d easily, so one is tempted to use it more and more. If it is used at all, it must be with the strictest precautions, to see that the person who uses it has no control over the supply. This should be doled out by some responsible person, and the supply strictly limited.)

[5] The Dance, and kindred practices.

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

[7] The Scourge.

[8] The Great Rite.

These are all the ways. You may combine many of them into the one experiment, the more the better.

The Five Essentials:

[1] The most important is "Intention": you must know that you can and will succeed; it is essential in every operation.

[2] Preparation. (You must be properly prepared according to the rules of the Art; otherwise you will never succeed.)

[3] The Circle must be properly formed and purified.

[4] You all must be properly purified, several times if necessary, and this purification should be repeated several times during the rite.

[5] You must have properly consecrated tools.

These five essentials and Eight Paths or Ways cannot all be combined in one rite. Meditation and dancing do not combine well, but forming the mental image and the dance may be well combined with Chants. Spells, etc., combined with scourging and No. 6, followed by No. 8, form a splendid combination. Meditation, following scourging, combined with Nos. 3 and 4 and 5, are also very Good. For short cuts concentration, Nos. 5, 6, 7, and 8 are excellent.