The 'Gardnerian' Book of Shadows

To Gain the Sight


[1] This cometh to different people in diverse ways. 'Tis seldom it cometh naturally, but it can be induced in many ways. Deep and prolonged meditation may do it, but only if you be a natural, and usually prolonged fasting was also necessary. Of old monks and nuns obtained visions by long vigils, combined with fasting, flagellation till the blood came, and other mortifications of the flesh, and so undoubtedly had visions. In the East it is tried with various tortures, at the same time sitting in cramped postures, which retard the flow of blood, and these torments, long and continued, give good results. But in the Art we are taught an easier way to intensify the imagination, at the same time controlling the blood supply, and this may best be done by using the ritual.

[2] Incense is also good to propitiate the Spirits, but also to induce relaxation and to help to build up the atmosphere which is necessary to suggestibility. (For our human eyes are so blind to what really is, that it is often necessary to suggest that it is there, before we may see it, as we may point out to another something at a distance before they may see it themselves. Gum mastic, aromatic rush roots, cinnamon bark, musk, juniper, sandalwood, and ambergris in combination are all good, but patchouli is best of all. And if you may have hemp, 'tis better still, but be very careful of this.

[3] The circle being formed, all properly prepared, and the Rites done, and all purified, the aspirant should warlock and take his tutor round the circle, saluting the Mighty Ones, and invoke them to aid the operation. Then both dance round till giddy, invoking or using chants. Scourge. Then the Tutor should warlock very tightly, but not so to cause discomfort, but enough to retard the blood slightly. Again they should dance round, chanting, then scourge with light, steady, monotonous, slow strokes. It is very good that the pupil may see them coming (this may be arranged from position, or if a big mirror is available, this can be used with excellent effect) as this has the effect of passes, and helps greatly to stimulate the imagination, and it is important that they be not hard, the object being not to do more than draw the blood to that part and so away from the brain. This with the tight warlocking, which should be warricked, slows down the circulation of the blood, and the passes soon induce a drowsiness and a stupor. The tutor should watch for this. As soon as the aspirant sleeps, the scourging should cease. The tutor should also watch that the pupil become not cold, and if they struggle or become distressed, they should be at once awakened. (Note: if it cannot be arranged for the pupil to see, the wand may be used, for a time, then return to scourging.)

[4] Do not be discouraged if no results come after two or three attempts. It will come, when both are in the right state. When you get some result, then results will come more quickly. Soon some of the ritual may be shortened, but never neglect to invoke the Goddess, and the Mighty Ones, or to form the Circle and do everything rightly. And for good and clear results, it is ever better to do too much ritual than too little.

[5] It hath been found that this practice doth often cause a fondness between aspirant and tutor, and 'tis a cause of better results if this be so. If for any reason it is undesirable that there be any great fondness between aspirant and tutor, this may be easily avoided, by both parties from the onset firmly resolving in their minds that if any doth ensue, it shall be that of brother and sister or parent and child. And it is for this reason that a man may only be taught by a woman and a woman by a man, and that man and man, and woman and woman, should never attempt these practices together. And may all the Curses of the Mighty Ones be on any who make the attempt.1

[6] Remember, the Circle, properly constructed, is ever necessary to prevent the power released from being dissipated. It is also a barrier against any disturbances of mischievous forces, for to obtain good results you must be free from all disturbances. Remember that darkness, points of light gleaming amid the surrounding dark, incense, and the steady passes by a white arm are not stage effects. They are the mechanical implements which start the suggestions, which later unlocks the knowledge that it is possible to obtain the divine ecstasy, and so attain knowledge and communion with the Divine Goddess. When once you have attained this, Ritual is not needed, as you may attain the state of ecstasy at will, but till then, or if you having attained this yourself, and wish to bring a companion to this state of joy, ritual is best.


1. Gardner appended this paragraph to the Craft Laws in the early 1960s.