Pagan Who’s who 3: Gerald Gardner “the father of wicca”

The Pagan Who’s who series contains information about current and recent notaries which have contributed to, or influenced the modern pagan scene.  Some names you may know already, some you may not, but all these people are dedicated and hard-working in their own particular specialised fields.  For pagan, spiritual , occult or faith matters who from the last generation influences and inspires you

Gerald Gardner (1884-1964) is a chap synonymous with modern wiccan practices, having a distinct type of wicca named after him (Gardenarian Wicca).  After being employed as an archaeologist and doing ethnographic studies as an anthropologist, he returned to England to retire.  He became a member of the Folklore Society in 1939, becoming a member of the society’s council in 1946.


He attended the New Forest Coven, taking these ideas, adding other elements and forming his own group, the Bricket Wood Coven.  he met Doreen Valiente in 1952, and elevated her to the position of High Priestess within his coven.  He published two books on the subject, Witchcraft Today (1954) (courting publicity through the press, a move not approved by his coven at the time) and The Meaning of Witchcraft (1959), and ran the Museum of Magic and Witchcraft on the Isle of Man.  His official biography was published in 1960, Gerald Gardner, Witch and upon his death at 79 in 1964, he left a collection of teachings and writings, which are still practiced today by many wiccans.  He brought the Old Faith into the public gaze, wrote many of its core texts and defined its traditions.  His grave is in Tunis, with the inscription added on 2007 “Father of Modern Wicca, Beloved of the Great Goddess”.

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One thought on “Pagan Who’s who 3: Gerald Gardner “the father of wicca”

  1. Pingback: Call the Quarters: Hetfield, Ulrich, Hammett and Trujillo… | Chesterfield Pagans

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