- Before he was ever Initiated into a Coven, Gerald Gardner was a member of the Rosicrucian Order Crotona Fellowship. He met members of the New Forest Coven through ROCF, and in September 1939 was Initiated into the New Forest Coven by “Old” Dorothy Clutterbuck.
- Gerald Gardner wanted to publicize the existence of the Coven and of Witchcraft, a desire not shared by his Covenmates for fear of violent reprisal. “Witchcraft doesn’t pay for broken windows,” they told him. He persisted in his disagreement, but deferred to his High Priestess, Old Dorothy.
- Before Old Dorothy’s death, he wrote novels that spoke about a “modern witch cult” under the cover of fiction. After Old Dorothy’s death, he went public by publishing Witchcraft Today
- There is disagreement about exactly what it was that the New Forest Coven’s rituals consisted of, and it is well documented that Gerald Gardner and Doreen Valiente added significantly to that body
- For those who missed it, this all means that Gerald Gardner — in his own words — is not the originator of what is now called Gardnerian Wicca. Something existed before him, was passed along to him, was passed along by him in turn. Some things he added, some things his High Priestess(es) added. Acting as if he’s the Wiccan Pope is silly and attributes more authority to him than he ever claimed for himself — and Valiente documents that they didn’t even let him get away with claiming all the authority he tried to.
- As described here, Alex Sanders was Gardnerian High Priest, though there is some apparent confusion about the exact lineage between Gardner and him. He then used his Gardnerian Book of Shadows as the basis for his own tradition, which became known as Alexandrian Wicca.
- Raymond and Rosemary Buckland were Initiated into Gardnerian Wicca by Monique Wilson. Gerald Gardner was there, but did not preside. Living in America, they founder the first American coven, the Long Island Coven.
- In 1974, Buckland published The Tree: The Complete Book of Saxon Witchcraft. The book’s content builds on the portion of Gardnerian Wicca published inBuckland’s Complete Book of Witchcraft. He called this tradition Seax Wicca.
- For those who missed it, anyone who says that Alexandrian is Wicca and Seax is not is using some sort of double standard that they will have to explain in which one Gardnerian High Priest founding a new tradition is Wiccan and another Gardnerian High Priest founding a new tradition is not.
- Silver Ravenwolf claims the following lineage from Gardner Gerald: Gerald Gardner to Raymond Buckland, Buckland to Michae Ragan (Seax-Wicca), Ragan to Lord Serphant, Serphant to Silver RavenWolf. If any of these principals have ever disputed this lineage, I’ve never heard of it and I invite someone to send me receipts if they think someone has.
- For those who missed it, this means that Silver Ravenwolf is Wiccan, whether you like it or not. Yes, we understand that no matter how much you hate her she’s a published author with a large following and you’re a whiner on the Internet, and that makes you hate her all the more.
The takeaway, of course, is do not confuse the lineage (Gardnerian, Alexandrian, etc.) with the religion: Wicca.
Want references for all this? Do your homework, this is all published.
This is awesome. . Usually the Wiccan blurry history puts me to sleep but this good simple review of Wiccan history. Thanks for posting this. edit: I use to hate Ravenwolf but i think you made a great point I might reconsider.
I don’t hate Silver Ravenwolf. Most of the authors and the publishers for Llewellyn are British Initiated Wiccans.