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Gerald Brousseau Gardner


Gerald Brousseau Gardner was born on June 13, 1884 near Lancashire, England. His family was of Scottish descent. He was the 2nd of 3 sons. When Gardner was young he had very bad asthma. His nurse, Josephine McCombie, convinced his parents to let her take him to Europe. She said the climate there would help his asthma. Ms. McCombie later married and took Gerald with her. He later worked in Borneo and Malaysia.

While he was in the far east Gardner became interested in their culture and religion. He was most interested in their ritual daggers, which he later wrote a book about "Kris and other Malay Weapons" which was published in Singapore in 1939.

Between the years of 1923 and 1936 Gardner was employed by the British government in the far east as a rubber plantation inspector and later as a customs officer. His money made from rubber left him time to persue things that intrigued him. He soon took up archaeology. He also claimed to have found the ancient city of Singapura.

In 1939 Gardner was initiated in the New Forrest Coven by Dorothy Clutterbuck. This is the coven that, during World War II, Performed a ritual they called "the cone of power" to keep Hitler from invading England.

Gardner is considered the father of modern wicca because in 1949, under the pen name of Scire, he wrote "High Magic's Aid". At that time witchcraft was still illegal in Britian. In 1951 the witchcraft laws were repealed. In 1954 Gardner wrote "Witchcraft Today", which brought wicca into the public eye.

After "Witchcraft Today" was published Gardner became the spokesman for the Pagan community. He left the New Forrest Coven and started his own. So called Gardnerian Wicca is the most common denomination of Wicca there is. In 1959 he wrote another book called "The Meaning of Witchcraft".

Gardner died on the SS Scottish Prince on February 12, 1964 on his way home from Lebanon. He was buried in Tunis on February 13, 1964. He was 79 years old. His contributions to the Pagan community were never forgotten.


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