This is the text of the Gardnerian Book of Shadows. In one sense, this is the central sacred text of the Wicca religion. However, it is important to point out that there is no 'official' Book of Shadows. Typically each coven has a hand-written copy of a Book of Shadows, sometimes in cypher or code, which reflects its own practices and knowledge. The Book of Shadows was attributed by Gardner to an ancient, clandestine witch cult, which he claimed to have been initiated into. In the various traditions that make up British Traditional Wicca, copies of the original Book composed by Gerald Gardner with the aid of his High Priestess Doreen Valiente, along with alterations and additions that have been made since then, is followed by adherents. They have tried to keep the contents of this Book a secret, although it has been published on a number of occasions.