Q&A: If Gardnerian craft is such a “secret”, then why do they publish so many books about themselves?

Question by Green Pagan 4.0: If Gardnerian craft is such a “secret”, then why do they publish so many books about themselves?
If you look up Wicca on wikipedia, you’ll be completely bombarded with all of the “secret ways of the wise” that were (as far as I can tell) fabricated by Gerald Gardner and Doreen Valiente for marketing purposes.

There are 3 or 4 people from that coven that are hailed by mainstream society as the High Priests and Priestesses of “modern day wicca” and it seems that all they do is sell their books and collect praise (without any significant amount of fact-checking involved).

If it’s all such a secret and they can decline to reveal any relevant information, then why would anyone bother buying their stories?

Furthermore, why is Gerald Gardner seemingly the only witch cited on Wikipedia?

Best answer:

Answer by kagmi
Haha, well more people are interested if you say it’s a secret, and then you can sell more books. 😉 Apparently it takes a while for people to notice that the whole publishing books thing contradicts it supposedly being a secret…

And of course if you say it’s a secret that’s a great excuse for not having to explain things, like why the techniques in your books don’t work for everyone, or how you did something that’s physically impossible.

The “High Priests and Priestesses” themselves might not even realize they’re doing this, but that’s how the logic works…

Add your own answer in the comments!

3 thoughts on “Q&A: If Gardnerian craft is such a “secret”, then why do they publish so many books about themselves?

  1. Probably because he made sure it happened. Also (and I HATE saying it because of all the hate mail I get when I do) theirs is not the only Wicca out there though they (and their followers) state that as being true. I won’t say more because I have already had a go around with his followers. They all sound like many of the more modern Christian groups that claim they are the true Christians and all others are false! This is why I would rather not follow them and all his teaching!

  2. Well for the most part “modern-day Wiccans”, even the Gardnerians, realise that Gerald Gardner claimed a lot of stuff that wasn’t really true (although at the time he probably thought it was).

    As for Gardnerian secrets, a lot of them are still kept in tact, and our meant to be kept fairly secretive for the sake of allowing each practicioner the chance to feel the religious experiences for themselves without a predisposed knowledge of what they would expect to see or feel. The secrets that have been let out through books are for the sake of non-Wiccans who want to learn more about it; they can let out as much as they want as long as they don’t let out things that would ruin the experience of members (the “Mysteries”), because without properly experiencing them it’s hard to understand them, one of the foundations of Gardnerian Wicca.

    Also there are others on Wikipedia: Raymond Buckland, Dorren Valiente, Alex Sanders, Janet and Stewart Farrar, probably more

    edit: on a side note, Wikipedia is community-built and Wicca isn’t yet an extremely publicised religion (though one could argue that it’s becoming one and that exploitation does exist even within the Wiccan community). But it would be unlikely that Wikipedia would have ALL the information on Wiccans and their practices, and if you really think there aren’t enough listed you could always add them yourself lol

  3. Gardner only published two books on his craft, and neither of them were instructional manuals. He taught what the religion believed in general, but left out many specifics, including the names of his deities and the rituals he performed.

    Valiente published many years after Gardner. She flat out states in at least one of her books that she does so because various pieces of formerly secret information had escaped into public domain and were then being used or understood incorrectly. While she preferred the information to remain secret, since it no longer was she at least wanted people to get it right.

    The information published today is generally “public domain” info: general info that the original revealers did not considered secret, or formerly secret information released decades ago by oathbreakers.

    Some people who are churning out books today have never been oathbound in any coven and are working entirely on public domain material. Some people (such as Buckland) are teaching things that are significantly different from Gardner’s religion and have no problem saying so. Yes, there is information I do not have. That just means I’m an Eclectic rather than a Traditional, and that does not mean that people like Buckland and Cunningham can’t produce books that still have useful and informative information that I can use that doesn’t violate their own oaths. The only problem comes in when Eclectics start telling themselves or others that they are following a religion identical to Gardner’s, which no responsible Eclectic will claim.

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