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Notes & Sources

The Museum of Witchcraft

The Museum of Witchcraft website features a rich on-line archive of letters and errata by and about Gerald Gardner and his fellow witches. This museum was originally founded by Cecil Williamson in 1951 on the Isle of Man. Gerald Gardner began working with Williamson and later purchased the Manx facility around 1953. Williamson continued on his own in Windsor, and the museum has since changed locations and now resides in Bocastle, Cornwall, on the Southwest coast of England. Williamson retired in 1996 and passed away in 1999, but the museum and its contents continue to operate under the current owners who are seeking to expand its collection. The museum's archives house many of Gardner's letters, papers, and drawings, and the owners are continually receiving new material pertinent to the history of Wicca and witchcraft.

Click here to go to the website.

Gerald Gardner's Library

This is an unofficial list of the books that Ripley's bought from the Wilson's in the seventies. Most of the titles listed here were books that Gardner owned, but there are some missing and some added. Take this with a grain of salt, but it is a good resource overall.

Click here to view the list.

Notes on Gardnerian Witchcraft in England

This is a brief chronology of events surrounding Gardner's life composed by Frederic Lamond who was initiated in 1957 and knew Gardner. This page is very informative, though there are a few errors, as Lamond composed this primarily from memory. The old Beaufort House, where Lamond's notes used to be housed on Geocities, is no longer available. The link now leads to a cached copy in the Internet Archive. Lamond has since written an autobiographical account, Fifty Years of Wicca, that recounts his experiences.

Click here to read the notes.

Roger Dearnaley's Electronic Errata

Dr. Dearnaley posted a rather lengthy message to the alt.religion.wicca.moderated usegroup early in 2000 in which he discusses Gardner's relationship to Aleister Crowley and the O.T.O. In addition to Dr. Dearnaley's post, the rebuttal by Kwaw lists a number of more obscure references worth looking into. The discussion thread as a whole is very informative.

Click here to read the discussion.

Dr. Dearnaley also has published some of his notes online. His comments and assessments are astute, and many of his sources are unavailable anywhere else--consisting of conversations, lectures, and personal experience with some of the leading scholars on Wicca's history.

Click here to read the notes.

Doreen Valiente

Doreen Valiente was one of Gardner's early High Priestesses, and she is credited with authoring several important pieces of Wiccan liturgy as well as with emphasizing the role of the Goddess in that material. This site is by Valiente's heir, John Belham-Payne. Some basic biographical information on Valiente and information on Belham-Payne's traveling exhibition.

Click here to go to the website.

Ross Nichols

Ross Nichols was one of the more important personalities in the creative mix of occult and nature-religion interested people that centered in and around London at the middle of the last century. He was an acquaintance of Gardner's, was a fellow member of the Ancient Druid Order, attended the Five Acres club for a time, and edited Witchcraft Today. Nichols founded The Order of Bards Ovates & Druids. This site, part of druidry.org, offers an abundance of information about Nichols's life and publications.

Click here to go to the website.

D. "Don" Hudson Frew's Critique of Crafting the Art of Magic

This is one online copy of a document that has been widely circulated in the online community since it was first written in 1991, following the publication of Aidan Kelly's Crafting the Art of Magic.

Click here to read the critique.

Those interested in Kelly's sources may find this article on the "Weschcke Documents" interesting.

Influential Texts

Below are links offsite for full text versions of some of the books that Gardner owned and was influenced by.

Miscellany

Here are a few miscellaneous links that may be of interest to those looking for information on Gerald Gardner and his contemporaries.