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Gardnerian Wicca

Gardnerian Wicca is a path of Wicca named after Gerald Gardner (1884-1964), a British civil servant who studied magic among other things. He knew and worked with many famous occultists, not the least of which was Aleister Crowley (1875-1947). Certain traditional practices had survived in Gardner's family, and he found others who had preserved similar survivals, and shared his beliefs in the ancientry of this knowledge. Gardner set about re-inventing that ancient, ancestral religion. He had little to work with and had to write a good deal of it himself. He borrowed appropriate work from other artists, most notably Aleister Crowley and Rudyard Kipling, Queen Victoria's Poet Laureate. Gardner's High Priestess, Doreen Valiente (1922-2000) wrote much of the most well-known poetry, including the much-quoted Charge of the Goddess. The core group grew slowly and in utter secrecy as Witchcraft was illegal in Britain at the time. When the Witchcraft Laws were replaced, in 1951, by the Fraudulent Mediums Act, Gerald Gardner went public.

Some neopagans regard Gardnerian Wicca as a "fundamentalist" path, in that it demands fairly strict adherence to the procedures and principles laid down by Gardner, as well as stringent requirements for initiation. See Also Wicca, Neopaganism.