Believing the coven to be a survival of the pre-Christian witch-cult, [Gerald] Gardner decided to revive the faith, supplementing the coven’s rituals with ideas borrowed from freemasonry, ceremonial magic and the writings of notorious occultist Aleister Crowley to form the Gardnerian tradition of Wicca.
Years later Gardner visited Crowley on his deathbed, where the man dubbed by the press as “the wickedest man in the world”, initiated the younger man into Crowley’s Ordo Templi Orientis, the core belief of which was “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.”
Source: Man from Merseyside who became ‘father of modern witchcraft’ – Liverpool Echo
Without a doubt, Gerald Gardner is one of the most fascinating characters of the Witchcraft revival and neo-Paganism in general in England. In fact, he with some assistance from Aleister Crowley is the Grand Old man of Wicca having basically invented it and based on ancient Celtic lore and the knowledge of the “Wise” men and women ancient and Medieval England. I had the pleasure of once owning a first edition of his book, Witchcraft Today” Published in 1954. (No dust jacket unfortunately) Over the years, I have sold-off the better part of my occult library. It is great to… Read more »