The Gardnerian Book of Shadows contains Wicca rituals and pagan magical ceremonies; first published between 1948 and 1961, much of the contents herein constitutes a summation of Wiccan practice.
Paganism's popularity blossomed in the mid-20th century, as more people curious of the rituals and ceremonies of religions and witches became involved in covens - clandestine groups of pagan practitioners. A standard set of instructions for rituals, celebrations and initiations was publicized, in order to ensure that groups disparate in location would correctly and authentically perform their duties as per tradition.
This book contains the complete Gardnerian texts, as compiled by Gerald E. Gardner, a leading practitioner of Wicca in England. Gardner's writings are a suffusion of lore, drawing upon witchcraft rituals described in several books by authors such as Margaret Murray. An authoritative and thorough introduction to pagan ceremony; while no substitute for membership and participation in a coven, the reader may herein gain an impression of the witch-cult and its practices.