The 'Gardnerian' Book of Shadows

   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.

   Gardner claimed to have been initiated into an ancient, clandestine witch cult. However, modern researchers have concluded that 'The Book of Shadows' was composed by Gardner and there is no evidence that he was ever initiated into any coven but his own. The text shows influences from English and Celtic Folklore, John Dee, Thelema, the Golden Dawn, Stregaria, Tantric Yoga, and even the Bible. This version was compiled by Aidan A. Kelly and was originally posted on the Internet in the mid-90s as part of the Internet Book of Shadows material. Because the Book of Shadows was never formally copyrighted or even attributed to an author, its copyright status is dubious. It is provided here for background information and as a basis for a beginning discussion of Wicce.

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