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Gerald Gardner and the Cauldron of Inspiration, by Philip Heselton

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Gerald Gardner and the Cauldron of Inspiration, by Philip Heselton
From the author of the highly acclaimed "Wiccan Roots", this book tells the story of how retired civil servant, Gerald Gardner (1884-1964) discovered a witch coven in the New Forest in the late 1930s. It contains much genuinely new material in its attempt to chronicle the origins of the modern witchcraft revival. It tells of newly-discovered members of the coven who practised herbal magic, including the author of girls' school stories crammed full of pagan imagery, and the true matriarch of the coven - a ritual magician whose sword is still used in witch rituals. The crucial and intimate role played by Gardner's first High Priestess, Edith Woodford-Grimes (Dafo) is revealed. The tale is unearthed of how Gardner's enthusiasm for naturism (nudism) brought him into contact with such influential figures in the occult world as Harry 'Dion' Byngham, Ross Nichols, Cottie Burland and Dion Fortune. Gardner's discovery and re-erection of the half-timbered witch's cottage is recounted, and how he became an ordained minister of the Ancient British Church in the process. For the first time, the true story is revealed of Gardner's friendship with one of the most controversial magical figures of the last century, Aleister Crowley. There is a full account of the setting up of the world's first Museum of Magic and Witchcraft, including Gardner's co-operation and subsequent split with Cecil Williamson, film producer and wartime intelligence officer. The sources from which the secret Book of Shadows was compiled are identified, including an older core of material. The author's frank conclusion suggests how the original coven in the New Forest may actually have started less than 80 years ago. As well as being a major step forward in chronicling the history of modern witchcraft, this book provides a fascinating insight for all who would like to learn more about the origins of what Professor Ronald Hutton has described as "the only religion that England has ever given the world". ISBN 186163 1642
Telephone Orders: 01823401528
£16.95 ex VAT

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