Occult history is rife with schism and shifting affiliations. Gerald Gardner was regarded by many as the “father” of modern Wicca and he certainly was one of the great popularizers of Witchcraft as a living tradition and at one point he was a low level OTO initiate and was issued a charter to start a local body but went on to promulgate the Witchcraft system eventually dubbed “Gardnerian.” Parts of his Book of Shadows quote directly from Thelemic texts including the Gnostic Mass (then again there are OTO texts that quote directly from the Tanakh and New Testament – so that’s fair enough). The Wiccan Revival itself experienced schism early on with Alex Sanders going on to formulate and guide his own tradition. A Coin For the Ferryman (published in 2010) tells his story. A product description at Treadwells reads:
“Alex Sanders, founder of the Alexandrian tradition of Witchcraft and known to many as “King of the Witches,” lived a life of mythic proportions.
“Rising out of virtual obscurity to become one of the most charismatic and controversial figures of modern Wicca, Alex was many things to many people. A teacher, friend, father, husband. In short, a man like any other man. And yet his was a life lived without compromise. His personal vision of Witchcraft and his tireless love for the Goddess would influence thousands of seekers who would come after and inspire a new generation toward the Inner Mysteries. But Alex’s saintly side was as grand as his demonic side. He could inspire hate as easily as love. Never one to shy away from the spotlight, Alex was ever the showman. He cared little for the opinion of others and kept true to his own ideal despite the consequences. His was a life well lived, but like any other life, was built of extremes – light, dark, joy, and despair.
“For the first time ever, Jimahl di Fiosa tells the true story of Alex Sanders – neither demon nor saint – but somewhere in between the two.”
here’s a 1972 BBC documentary film featuring Sanders:
But how come the traditions are “Gardnerian” and “Alexandrian” – shouldn’t it be “Geraldian” if “Alexandrian”?