You know, it’s really quite ironic. After Artharaja and I talk about the Sacred Texts website and the supposed “Gardnerian BOS” they have on there, I find someone posting about that very thing on a message board. I think I managed to express amusement about the whole thing rather than annoyance. Though to tell you the truth, I’m both amused and annoyed.
Of course, whenever someone says “Look, I got the Gardnerian BOS,” I first have the urge (and gave into it this time) to ask, “Really? Which one?” I mean, really, the idea of the Gardnerian BOS makes about as much sense as the idea of the paper towel. There’s a bunch of them. It’s my understanding that Gardner rewrote his BOS a few times himself — or at least had each High Priestess he trained copy a slightly different version of it. And it’s also my understanding that each High Priestess added to it as they passed it on to their own initiates. And that’s the way it’s been going ever since, though it’s my understanding that some lines are more likely to add than others. So at best, any Gardnerian BOS would be one version of the Gardnerian BOS as received and possibly appended by a particular initiate. In this case, the culprit would be Aidan Kelly. And to be perfectly blunt, considering the smear job he attempts to do on his tradition’s founder (and what I understand to be his shoddy research), I’d be dubious of any claims he makes.
Of course, the other thing that always gets me is that I don’t see why people get all excited over finding a copy of “the Gardnerian BOS” anyway? Hello? This is (supposedly) the BOS of the tradition that most eclectics think is just a bunch of “arrogant elitist bastards,” anyway? Remember that? Do they remember how they spend all this time justifying themselves by saying “well, Wicca has evolved beyond that, now.” Well, if it’s evolved beyond that, then why give a fuck about the BOS you’ve evolved beyond? Or is this just a case where deep in their hearts, they still believe that those “elitist bastards” might actually have something they want?
Honestly, people turn their nose up at Gardnerians and covet whatever they think they might have at the same time. It’s sad, amusing, and annoying all in one.