The Meaning of Witchcraft
Gerald B. Gardner
THE MAGICAL LEGEND OF THE WITCHES.
Now, G. (the Witch Goddess) had never loved, but she would solve
all the Mysteries, even the Mystery of Death; and so she journeyed to
the Nether Lands.
The Guardians of the Portals challenged her, "Strip off thy
garments, lay aside thy jewels; for naught may ye bring with ye into
this our land."
So she laid down her garments and her jewels, and was bound, as are all who
enter the Realms of Death the Mighty One. (Note: There was a Celtic custom of
binding corpses. The cord which had bound a corpse was useful in learning the
Such was her beauty that Death himself knelt and Kissed her feet,
saying, "Blessed be thy feet that have brought thee in these ways.
Abide with me, let me place my cold hands on thy heart."
She replied, "I love thee not. Why dost thou cause all things that I love and
take delight in to fade and die?"
"Lady", replied Death, "tis Age and Fate, against which I am
helpless. Age causes all things to wither; but when men die at the end of time I
give them rest and peace, and strength so that they may
return. But thou, thou art lovely. Return not; abide with me."
But she answered, "I love thee not."
Then said Death, "An thou received not my had on thy heart, thou
must receive Death's scourge."
"It is Fate; better so", she said, and she knelt; and Death
Scourged her, and she cried, "I feel the pangs of love."
And Death said, "Blessed be", and gave her the fivefold kiss,
saying, Thus only may ye attain to joy and knowledge.
And he taught her all the Mysteries. And they loved and were one, and he
taught her all the Magics.
For there are three great events in the life of man; Love, Death,
and Resurrection in a new body; and Magic controls them all. For to
fulfil love you must return again at the same time and place as the
loved one, and you must remember and love them again. But to be reborn you must
die, and be ready for new body; and to die you must be born; and without love you
may not be born. And these be all the Magics.
Next: Descent of The Goddess (Starhawk)