“I Fell in Love with a Witch”: The Vision of Gerald Gardner

Some people argue that Gardnerians cannot claim to have the right to do something merely because Gardner did it. Yes, the historical pattern is that religious founders always have rights and privileges that their followers cannot have. I see this clearly in the three cases I know best, those of Gardner, Joseph Smith, and the Rabbi Joshua (whose Greek name was Jesus).A religious founder cannot be bound by ordinary rules of behavior, else he could not do something so extraordinary as creating … [Read more...]

A Note on the Creating of Religion

I know Philip Heselton hoped to find (but did not assume that he would) evidence that Gerald Gardner's friends were practicing a rudimentary form of Gardnerian Craft in the 1930s. As he shows in Witchfather, he did not find any.He discovered quite a few people in Gardner's circle of occultist friends who may have had a coven of sorts in the late 1930s, and some of whom may have worked with or cooperated with Gerald and Edith in founding the first coven after the war, but what they most … [Read more...]

What If Witches Are the Genuine Christians? — Goddess Murder II

I had completed much more writing linked to my Goddess Murder project, and it was not obvious what to do with it. I experimented with doing a sequel or a prequel or . . . but the protagonist/narrator needed to rewrite his earlier effort in order to deal with new information he became privy to after the end of the events he described. So this revision is significantly longer and includes some very new materials, especially The Acts of Mary, which continues her history from Jesus’ death down to h … [Read more...]

Goddess Murder, 34: Aradia’s Second Revelation Discourse

XXXVIII. The Second Revelation Discourse [An excerpt from The Gospel of Diana as translated by A. Verrazano and A. Peregrino. The committee thinks that this speech has been added to by the final auther, whom Professor Verrazano has labelled the "Ultimate Diana."]  "The goal of humans is perpetual experience of divine joy. Humans are divine, but also deluded. Your divine nature is hidden from you by your ignorance. Your first task is to real­ize your divinity. The black priests tell you that y … [Read more...]

Goddess Murder, 32: Aradia’s First Revelation; Avalon 2

XXXIV. The First Revelation Discourse When Aradia, my mother, began to be a woman, her mother Diana called her and said, "I must tell you the story of Ara­dia, whom you are named after. She had come to teach us Witch­craft, but the Christians arrested her and murdered her."I had thought she was dead, but on the following day, as I was walking in the woods where we were hiding, I heard a voice be­hind me, and turning, I saw a woman, shin­ing more brightly than the noonday sun, and I fell at h … [Read more...]

Goddess Murder, 31: First Night in Avalon

XXXIII. Avalon I As all men are alike (tho’ infinitely various), so all Religions, and as all similars, have one source. The true Man is the source, he being the Poetic Genius. As all men are alike in outward form, so (and with the same infinite variety) all are alike in the Poetic Genius. . . . the Poetic Genius is the true Man, and . . . the body or outward form of Man is derived from the Poetic Genius.As none by traveling over known lands can find out the unknown, so from already a … [Read more...]

Goddess Murder, 29: North to Sonoma, 3

XXXI. North to Sonoma, 3 “Dotty sounds like a fascinating character," I said, "but that is one of the most improbable biographies I’ve ever heard.”Andy frowned. “Take any thread in history and it will seem improbable. So many other things could have happened. And perhaps they did. Even physicists believe there could be alternative histories. There may be a universe in which the Nazis won World War Two. There may be one in which the Padres didn’t push north to found Mission Santa Theresa. The … [Read more...]

Goddess Murder, 28: The Captivity of Aradia

XXX. Captivity We had our camps in the forest, under the trees, and in the even­ings Aradia would teach us, sometimes by words, sometimes by dan­cing, sometimes by singing, and sometimes by making love to us. She would almost always cast a circle about us, and tell us that the rules of the ordinary world did not matter in the circle, that the circle was between the worlds of men and of the Gods. In the circle she would anoint us with fragrant oils, and show us how to work magic upon one a … [Read more...]

Goddess Murder, 27: North to Sonoma, Part II

XXIX. North to Sonoma II “That’s enough about me,” I said. “What kind of hereditary Witch are you?”She laughed. “It’s our family tradition. We believe we’ve always followed our own religion, not Christianity, though sometimes we had to pretend in order to survive. It was our enemies who labeled us Witches—that’s not what we called ourselves—but many communities have adopted the name used by their critics: Quakers, Mormons, Cathars, perhaps even the term Christian itself. Our tradition is car … [Read more...]

Goddess Murder, 26: The Sermon to the Prostitutes

XXVIII. The Sermon to the Prostitutes  As Aradia was speaking, a young woman in the crowd, a prostitute named Diana, pushed her way forward, wearing only a linen cloth about her body. The other women tried to hold her back; but she left the linen cloth in their hands and came to Aradia naked. Aradia drew Diana to her side, and kissed and caressed her. They looked at each other, each saw that the other was fair, and they loved one another.Aradia said to Diana, “Today you shall be with me in p … [Read more...]


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