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Gerald Gardner, Witch

Gerald Gardner, Witch



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Published by Emma
A biography of Gerald Gardner, by Idries Shah, published under the name Jack Bracelin.
A biography of Gerald Gardner, by Idries Shah, published under the name Jack Bracelin.

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Published by: Emma on Mar 27, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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CONTENTS1.Portrait of a Witch.7.2.The Early Days.11.3. Ceylon.24.4.The Headhunters.37.5.Rubber, Opium, Smugglers.56.6.The Magic of Malaya.75.7.Secrets of the Past.102.8.Glimpses of England.117.9.Mediums and Messages.125.10.Intuition and Ecstasy.144.11.City of the Goddess.148.12.The Cyprus Mystery.153.13.Into the Witch Cult.159.14.Magicians, Charlatans, Ghosts.168.15.The Witch-Mania.183.16.The Search for Spells.203.17.Mysticism.212.Appendix.218.Bibliography.220.Index.223.
FOREWORDBy JAMES LAVER C.B.E., Hon.R.E., F.R.S.A., F.R.S.L.During the long period when I was Keeper of Prints and Drawings at the Victoriaand Albert Museum I received, as may easily be imagined, some strange visitors. Therewere those who had something to sell which had "been m the family for hundreds of years"; there were those who had a drawing "signed" by Leonardo da Vinci; those wholooked through magnifying glasses and "found" inscriptions which no other eye couldsee; those who had produced a number of drawings "in trance", and thought the Museum"might be interested" - and a host of others. I was (I hope) always polite; I listened totheir stories and, when they had gone, entered a short memorandum of the interview in aspecial file which was labelled, succinctly, "Lunatics".I confess that when Gerald Gardner, having asked to see me, first entered myoffice, I thought he was shortly going to be included in the same category. With his haloof snow-white hair, his pointed beard, the voluminous pockets from which he producedan astonishing variety of objects, and the long handled geologist's hammer which he usedas a walking stick, he seemed, at the very least, a man out of the ordinary. After twominutes' conversation I decided that he would never go into the "Lunatic" file. Indeed,he' was one of the sanest men I ever met.It is true that he talked of strange things but he did so in a natural and humorousway that soon convinced me that I was in the presence of a man of a scientific andscholarly mind: a learned man, moreover, who had written the standard work on theMalayan kris, and was an anthropologist and archaeologist of distinction.But there was something else. It was impossible to meet Gerald Gardner withoutrealising that he was a great human being. He radiated friendliness and understanding, Inspite of the screaming headlines of the sensational press he was quite plainly andobviously a good man.That first meeting is now many years ago, and I have seen no reason to changemy opinion of his character, or my respect for his learning. Although I do not share all hisopinions, he has taught me much. He has helped me in my own researches, and I am proud to think that I may of some little assistance to him in establishing his Museum of Magic. That, and his books, are his lasting memorial, but it is his friendship which thosewho have been privileged to know him, prize the most.
PORTRAIT OF A WITCHThe east wind whirls over the Pennines, across Lancashire, along the line of theMersey and out over the Irish Sea. In its path, half the way to Ireland, the beaches anddun hillsides of the Isle of Man receive and check it. It cries through the branches of trees, over the bracken-covered hills. In the towns of Man - Douglas and Peel andCastletown - it whisks along narrow streets, beats against squat, four-square houses.Castletown houses have an air of being miniatures, and look almost as if they had been stunted by the wind; they cluster round the brown cubes of their Norman castle asthough for shelter. As a result, most of the town's pleasant streets converge on the squarewhich lies outside the castle walls. One of these is Malew Street. It runs, curving slightly,toward the edge of the little town. Its houses are brightened by restrained colour-washes -grey, or faint pink, or light green. An exception, one of the few, is a low, rough-stonehouse, built, L-shaped, at the corner of Malew Street and Crofts, a short road that leadsinto it.Inside, the difference between this house and its neighbours is even more marked,for the walls of the low rooms, of the narrow staircase, of the huge study upstairs, arecovered, encrusted with swords, spears, daggers, pikes; clumsy mediaeval blades and bright Toledo rapiers stand side-by-side with curved Saracen scimitars and snakelike krisfrom Malaya. This is the harvest of a lifetime's interest. Between dull or gleaming steel, books lean and lie in untidy groups - books on folk-lore, on archaeology, on weapons, onthe Far East, on psychical research, on Magic, witchcraft, extra-sensory perception, secretsocieties.Upstairs, writing in his study, sits the man who owns collection, who is the master of these varied interests. He is an old man, but there is an energy in his movements, in thethick white hair which stands about his head like an aureole, in the white beard, and inthe brightness of his eyes, which speaks both of an undiminished zest for living and an7

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