Brief Descriptions on Wicca Traditions: Gardnerian Wicca


A tradition named after Gerald Gardner the founder who was a civil servant in England and a student of magick.  It is believed to be the parent of all Wiccan traditions and the founder stated he was initiated in 1939 by the New Forest Coven, who claimed their linage could be traced to pre-Christian times in England.

 Gardner formed his own coven called Bricket Wood Coven. Like other traditional wiccan covens,  practices are kept hidden from non initiates  and there are three levels of initiation. Belief in the Horned God and Mother Goddess is part of their central faith since it’s a religion. The term Wica comes from this tradition which later became known as Wicca as the founder states that is what the members of the New Forest Coven were known as.

Gardner with the help of Doreen Valiente took fragments of the rituals he had received by the New Forest Coven and reconstructed them using the influence of occultists such as Crowley, Leland, Mathers and Kipling.

When the Witchcraft Laws were repealed in the early 1950  Gardner went public and reveled in the attention he received about witchcraft much to the consternation of some of his coven members. This led to Valiente forming the “rules for the craft” which outlined the do’s and don’t’s in the craft and Gardner countered with “wiccan laws” which then led to Valiente leaving to form her own coven.

Part of Gardnerian practice includes following  the 8 Sabbaths of the year aka the wiccan wheel of the year and they were the first to incorporate them into their regular rituals instead of just the full moon gatherings which came from the New Forrest Coven.  Nudity is part of the practice which is also known as skyclad work and its thought to have manifested due to Gardner’s affiliation with the naturalist movement.

Books written by Gardner:
High Magic’s Aid
Witchcraft Today
The Meaning of Witchcraft
The Gardnerian Book of Shadows


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