High Magic's Aid

High Magic's Aid

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

An entertaining novel written by Gerald Gardner under his Craft name of Scire. The theme of the story, set in thirteenth-century England, concerns three would-be Ceremonial Magicians—Jan, Olaf, and Thur—who are in search of the Witch of Wanda, who they hope will consecrate their tools. The church's medieval attitude toward magic and Witchcraft is addressed.

In the 1930s, when Gardner was first initiated into an existing coven of Witches in the New Forest area of England, he wanted to tell the world what he had discovered. He wanted to broadcast the fact that Witchcraft was alive and well and that it was, in fact, a benign, positive religion dating from pre-Christian times. However, Dorothy Clutterbuck, Gardner's High Priestess, would not allow him to write about his discovery, since there were still laws against witchcraft at that time.

In time, Clutterbuck did allow Gardner to write his story, but it had to be in the guise of a fictional work. Thus, High Magic's Aid was born, and in it, Gardner presented Witchcraft for what it was, including many of the actual rituals used by the original coven, albeit modified by himself. The Ceremonial Magic he presented was also authentic, as it was taken from S. L. MacGregor-Mathers's translation of The Greater Key of Solomon (London, 1914).

Gardner's book is highly sought after by Wiccans, since it is one of the first books to present the Craft accurately and in a positive light. It is also the first book written about Witchcraft by a practicing Witch.

References in periodicals archive ?
Withcraft, which is a denomination of paganism, has experienced a revival since the 1940s and the publication of Gerard Gardner's book High Magic's Aid.