Born June 13, 1884 -at The Glen, The Serpentine, Blundellsands, near Liverpool in England to a well-off middle class family as one of four brothers. From an English hereditary Witch and Gerald is largely responsible for reviving Witchcraft in the modern Western world. Gardner claimed to trace his roots to a Witch named Grissell Gardner who had been burned at the stake in 1610 at Newburgh.
He was instrumental in bringing the religion of Wicca to public attention and wrote some of its definitive religious texts.
In Gardnerian Wicca, the two principal deities are the Horned God and the Mother Goddess.
Gardnerian Wiccans organise into covens, that traditionally, though not always, are limited to thirteen members. Covens are jointly led by a High Priest and High Priestess. Gardnerian Wicca and other forms of British Traditional Wicca operate as an initiatory, membership is gained only through initiation by a Wiccan High Priestess or High Priest. Any valid line of initiatory descent can be traced all the way back to Gerald Gardner, and through him back to the New Forest Coven. A Gardnerian Wicca family tree can be viewed here
Died February 12, 1964. Several years after Gardner's death, the Wiccan High Priestess Eleanor Bone visited North Africa and went looking for Gardner's grave. She discovered that the cemetery he was interned in was to be redeveloped, and so she raised enough money for his body to be moved to another cemetery in Tunis, where it currently remains. In 2007, a new plaque was attached to his grave, describing him as being "Father of Modern Wicca. Beloved of the Great Goddess
Books by Gardner:
- 1936: Keris and Other Malay Weapons
- 1939: A Goddess Arrives (fiction)
- 1949: High Magic's Aid (fiction)
- 1954: Witchcraft Today
- 1959: The Meaning of Witchcraft
- The Story of the famous Witches Museum at Castletown, Isle of Man, a guidebook
Books about Gardner:
- 1960: Gerald Gardner: Witch by J.L. Bracelin
- 2000: Wiccan Roots: Gerald Gardner and the Modern Witchcraft Revival by Philip Heselton
- 2003: Gerald Gardner and the Cauldron of Inspiration by Philip Heselton