History of Neopaganism, Wicca and Witchcraft , 1925 , 1949

Alexander SandersWhen it comes to Wicca, you cannot forget to mention the importance of Alexander Sanders, who founded a Wiccan belief system that earned him a rather grand nickname. In this article, we will briefly touch upon his significance in history, as well as several other important events that took place between 1925 and 1949.

1926: The founder of Alexandrian Wicca (Alexander Sanders , born Orrell Alexander Carter) is born. He would later become known to his followers as the “King of the Witches” and a Wiccan priest that was shrouded in controversy, known to cure and heal, as well as bring about bad luck. One interesting story attached to Sanders, deals with his first marriage (to a Doreen) at the age of 21 that produced two children.

While Alexander wanted more children, his wife did not. She also did not follow the same interest as he in the supernatural. The marriage did not last too long afterwards and his ex-wife decided to take the children and leave. He was 26 at the time. According to his second wife, Alexander was crushed at the outcome and losing his children, so he placed a fertility curse on Doreen. When she remarried, it is said that she bore three sets of twins.

1929: The 14th edition of Encyclopædia Britannica showcases an article written by Margaret Murray titled “Witchcraft.”

1939: The Nazis out an end to the Ordo Templi Orientis located in Germany. This same year, Gardner becomes a part of the Folklore Society. He is given the opportunity to present a paper written on witchcraft. He also claims that he underwent an initiation to join a witch cult by the name of New Forest Coven, which is led by Dorothy Clutterbuck. He will later use this experience to fuel High Magic’s Aid, a fictional novel supposedly based upon his Southern Coven. The reason the book was listed as fiction was because the witches belonging to his coven did not believe in making their rituals known to the public. For this reason, he also included rituals associated with other sources.

Dorothy Clutterbuck was a well-off woman residing around Christchurch, England. While she never identified herself as a witch while in public, she still attended the Church of England, which is probably a reason why. Since her death, her name has been thrust into the important talk of the history of Wicca in connection to being the leading member of the New Forest Coven.   

1947: The birth of Ancient Crafts Ltd takes place , a company headed by Gardner and Edith Woodford-Grimes.  

1947: For the first time, a meeting between two influential minds takes place. Gardener and Crowley gather at Crowley’s residence in Hastings on May 1st. Gardner will continue to pay visit many more times throughout the month of May. During this month, Gardner becomes a member of the Ordo Templi Orientis. He is given permission from Crowley to establish an O.T.O. encampment and bring in new members.

1947: Crowley passes away on December 1st. Later that month, Gardener pens a letter claiming that Crowley had named him as the successor to leading the Ordo Templi Orientis. However, Karl Germer takes on the position of leadership and continued to do so until his death in 1962.

1949: High Magic’s Aid is published, but Gardner does not use his real name. It is written under the pseudonym Scire.