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Traditions of Wicca


Alexandrian Wicca

Alex Sanders and his Wife Maxine founded this branch of Wicca in England in the 1950s. It shares many common elements of the Gardnerian tradition such as Ceremonial Magic along with very similar rituals and practises. This traditions beliefs are widely accessible and not secretive like some traditions. This tradition has three different levels/degrees of Initiation: these include the first degree- where one is known as a Witch and are free to call themselves such. The second degree is where the Witch or initiate becomes a Priest or Priestess and the third degree is where they become an Elder. The third degree normally consists of a symbolic version of the great rite being performed. Some traditions do actually perform the Great Rite, but this is normally done in strict privacy by two members and not with or in front of the Coven.

Algard Wicca
This tradition was created by Mary Nesnick who is an American and was initiated into both Alexandrian and Gardnerian Covens. In 1972, Mary decided to combine them both and came up with this tradition. This tradition much resembles both Gardnerian and Alexandrian traditions, which are already so similar in their practises and rituals.

Arcadian Wica
This is the opposite of the Dianic tradition; this tradition is mainly Male orientated rather than Female orientated. Arcadians only worship the male face of Witchcraft "The God", although they do believe in the Goddess they do not worship her in any way. Unlike Dianic Wicca this tradition is very open for both males and females and it is very commen to find Women in this tradition. As with the Dianic tradition, the faith's belief comes from an array of different traditions. This tradition is loosely structured with very little hierarchy. Arcadians have a major emphasis on equal rights and opportunities for both Males and Females.

Blue Star Wicca
This tradition grew from a small Coven which began in Philadelphia 1975, the Blue StarTradition came about 2 years later in 1977 and was originally founded by Tzipora Katz. This tradition is based on beliefs from many different traditions; they have different degrees of initiation but do not object to self-initiation. This tradition has set beliefs such as initiatory tattooing and ritual music, which is a major part of this tradition, so much so that they released a cassette tape, called "Moon Hooves" in 1983. They do have a hierarchy system; which includes Initiate, Scribe, Handmaiden, Summoner, Priests, Priestesses and Elders. Blue Star either works Robed (normally a dark green robe with a Gold cord tied around the waist) or skyclad. Initiates are required to wear a Blue robe. Magic is seen as a sacred part of everyday life and many Deities are worshipped for different rituals. They do not see each different God or Goddess as a part of a main universal God or Goddess but they see all Gods and Goddesses as separate and individual.

British Wicca
A mix of Celtic and Gardenarian beliefs. Most famous organization at this time is the International Red Garters. British Traditionals move mostly from within the Farrar studies (the famous Witch husband and wife from England.) They too are fairly structured in their beliefs, and train through the degree process. Their covens are also co-ed.

Caledonii
Formally known as the Hecatine Tradition, this denomination of the Craft is Scottish in origin, and still preserves the unique festivals of the Scots.

Celtic Wicca
This form of Wicca is a cross between Celtic and Druid beliefs; they use the Earth elements as a part of their spells and worship Nature as well as the Ancient Gods and Goddesses. Many believe in Faeries, Gnomes and so on and they often use magical herbs and stones in their healing practises. Unlike Wicca they do not believe in the Summerlands but in a place called Avalon. This is a place just like the Summerlands with rivers and hills, and beautiful green meadows. It is said that the mortal spirits and the God and Goddess all share the fruit of immortality when in Avalon.

Central Valley Wicca

This tradition was established in the 1960s and was called Central Valley Wicca because the founders lived in the Central Valley of North California. They settled there because that is where it is believed that some ancestors of the Craft once lived. It is believed that Central Valley Wicca is an offspring of the Gardnerian tradition but much of this is just speculation and nothing has been proved as of yet. Many rituals are similar to that of the Gardnerian path but there certainly are differences between the two. One of the Central Valley Laws is not to charge fees for initiation or teaching, donations is their main was of paying for mead and other supplies.

Ceremonial Witchcraft
Followers of this Tradition uses a great deal of ceremonial magick in their practices. Detailed rituals with a flavor of Egyptian magick are sometimes a favorite, or they may use the Qabbalistic magick.

Circle (Shamanic) Wicca

This tradition was founded by Selena Fox and Jim Alan in 1974, they were one of the few to start a non-profit, legal Wiccan Church, accepted by both the American state and government. This is a very organised tradition, which incorporates many of the practises and beliefs of Shamanism and Amerindian. They have a main headquarters, called Circle Sanctuary and is on a 200 acre organic farm in the hills of southern Wisconsin as well as printing a magazine called "Circle Network News" as well as sponsoring Pagan ministers, Pagan workshops and many other Pagan activities throughout America.

Dianic
This tradition was originally founded by Zsuzanna Budapest and Morgan Mefarland in the 1960's. The Dianic tradition has an array of beliefs from many other forms of Wicca, Witchcraft and Paganism. Their rituals are very simple and experimental. Many Feminists and Lesbians are drawn to this tradition and Males are often excluded. Dianic Wicca has had a major influence on the Women's Liberation movement on the 70's and is often referred to as Women's Spirituality as it is very female orientated; they only pray to the Goddesses Diana and her Maiden aspect of Selena and her Crone aspect as Hecate.

Eclectic Wicca
This isn't really a system or belief; most of the followers of this read and research many magical religious faiths and in some cases Occult traditions as well as mainstream traditions and apply certain aspects of different systems to what they do and find out what works best for them. Therefore no sites can be provided as each person who follows this would use and follow different aspects of the Craft and have different beliefs to one another. A major problem with this is that many people are so blasť about this and ignore certain aspects of Wicca, The Craft and Paganism such as the Rede or any beliefs of Karma. Therefore, depending on how you do this, you could just mix, match and create what you want to believe; therefore creating a twisted and contorted religion and reality for yourself.

Faery Wicca
This tradition was introduced as an alternative to the Modern traditions of Witchcraft and Wicca by Victor Anderson and Gwydion Pendderwen (deceased). This tradition is very old and has been passed down through the centuries; it's very different to modern day Wicca and believing discipline to be the key to freedom. They have major emphasis on individuality, self-confidence and love and they mainly worship the Celtic Gods and Goddesses; they also practice aspects of Green Witchcraft. Ancient Faeries are often called upon to guide the practitioners in their Magic workings and to help guide them through their lives. Their training includes psychic development as well; travelling to other dimensions which can be dangerous when practised alone. Beginners in such Covens are often assigned a teacher. They do not use the elements, but instead the powers of the Mind, Gods and Goddesses as well as the Faeries.

Gardnerian Wicca
This tradition was formed by Gerald Gardner in England in the 1950's. Gerald was determined to not let the Old Religions die out and he took many risks to bring it to the media and publicise the faith. This is a very strict religion and also hierarchical; most followers do not agree with self-initiation and say that you cannot be a Witch unless a Witch initiates you. The Goddess worshipped is Aradia and her consort is Cernunnos. Also most practitioners are required to practise Skyclad as this is one of the laws created by Gardner. The Covens are strictly only 13 members or less and this tradition has very elaborate rituals and initiations that were mainly created by Gardner. He also made his tradition very dogmatic with more than 162 laws to follow; these laws exist in the Gardnerian Book of Shadows, and these laws are known as the Ordains

Georgian Wicca
This tradition was founded in California on the 26th December 1971 by George E. Patterson (deceased) along with Lady Persephone and Lady Tanith. Today, many Georgian Covens do exist all around America; it is much less common in Australia and Europe. This traditions beliefs draw on many aspects of Gardnerian, Alexandrian and Welsh Witchcraft. It is an open-minded tradition that is fine with new ideas entering their Covens, and they put a great emphasis on freedom of speech and belief.

Hereditary Witch
One who can trace the Craft through their family tree and who has been taught the Old Religion by a relative who was living at the same time. Channeling doesn't count. How far one has to go back on the family tree to meet the conditions of the first part of this definition is debatable. Family Trades (another name for Hereditary Witches) occasionally adopt individuals into their dynasty. This decision is never a light one, and usually stems from the lack of offspring to carry on the line, or the high regard they hold for the person in question. The ceremony is intricate and important. After all, it is not every day you can pick your relatives! It is much like the marriage of an individual into a family.

Islan Wicca

A tradition established by Margo who was originally a British Traditional High Priestess and also by Robert who was Quabbalistic as well as a Fold Magician, they founded this tradition in Texas in 1974. This tradition has a major emphasis on the Egyptian beliefs and their Gods and Goddesses; most of the training and initiations are based on those of Quabbalah and self-initiation is not accepted. Many of the beliefs are also based on those of the Egyptians and it has been said that this tradition is closely connected to the fellowship of Isis. They often turn away from the do-it-yourself paths and only agree with those which follow ancient traditions, beliefs, initiations and Customs of the old Paganism or those new traditions based on those Old Religions and beliefs.

Kitchen Witch
You will hear this term every once in a while. Basically, this type is one who practices by hearth and home, dealing with the practical side of religion, magick, the earth and the elements. There are some who groan loudly at this type of terminology, viewing it as degrading or simply inappropriate. Just remember that the Old Religion started somewhere, and most likely the kitchen (or cookfire) was the hub of many charms, spells, healings, and celebrations. After all, where does everyone congregate during the holidays? Grandma's kitchen has always produced magickal memories for humanity; visions of Mother making that something special for a sick child still holds true today for many of us.

Lycian Wicca
This tradition includes three degrees of initiation and as with many traditions today, they do not teach that you have to be initiated into a Coven. They praise no particular God or Goddess and leaves the choice to the practitioner except for the fact that they do not agree on mixing and matching Gods and Goddesses eg. If you were to pray to a Greek Goddess, then they would prefer you to pray to Greek God. This tradition has no dress code but only Priests and Priestesses are allowed to wear headpieces during ceremonies. There are only four essential tools and these are the Sword/Athame, Cup, Pentacle and Wand like they are in the minor Arcana of the Tarot.

Majestic Wicca
This tradition of Wicca only worships one God and one Goddess. The great Mother and the God of Nature; they are often referred to as the Universal God and Goddess as they see all other Gods and Goddesses as aspects of them. Normally when one is initiated, they are trained full-time for three years or they can do part-time training for siz years and they undertake an oath whereby they are unable to reveal any of the traditions practises and beliefs. If a student does not complete the full training any of the material given to them must be returned. The "Majectic Book of Shadows" contains the major beliefs, practises and sacred text of this tradition. Due to this, I am unable to tell you their beliefs as I do not have a copy of their BOS. Even if I did, I would not reveal them as these are their beliefs and they do not wish them to be revealed.

Northwind Wicca

This tradition is based on beliefs and practises of the Celtic and British traditions of Witchcraft and Wicca as well as those of the Native Americans; it's a very structured religion with degrees of initiation. They often have Elders or other people who govern the running of. Major emphasis on the universal God and Goddess as well as the Stone People. The Stone People are those of the Ancient world who, like most people of Wicca, see divinity in the earth and are committed to it and the natural laws of the Universe. The God, Goddess and the Stone People are often invoked during rituals and ceremonies.

Pictish Witchcraft
Scottish Witchcraft that attunes itself to all aspects of nature; animal, vegetable, and mineral. It is a solitary from of the Craft and mainly magickal in nature with little religion.

Pow-Wow

Indigenous to South Central Pennsylvania. This is a system, not a religion, based on 400 year old Elite German magick. Pow-Wow has deteriorated to a great degree into simple faith healing. Although Pow-Wow finds its roots in German Witchcraft, few practicing Pow-Wows today in Pennsylvania follow the Craft or even know the nature of its true birth.

Protean Wicca

The Protean Tradition believes that initiates should be initiated by a Priest or Priestess and take on painstaking training and dedicate themselves to the Gods and Goddesses and the Earth. They see the Goddess as part of the Earth and therefore they see the Earth as a living collective spirit, her essence is in everything and therefore they dedicate their rituals, spells and prayers to the Earth and its healing. This tradition often adapts many Shamanic and Tribal Religions and use them in its tradition. Most followers are largely involved in the Pagan Renaissance whereby they try to protect the Earth and warn all those to also protect her. As she is part of like itself, and we all depend on Her, they also seek to be balanced and interconnected to the Earth and the Great Spirit (the Goddess).

Seax-Wicca
This tradition was founded by Raymon Buckland in 1973; Raymond managed to combine a very accepted form of Wicca that retains many elements of the Craft. This tradition has grown increasingly popular even in countries where Wicca had never been heard of. This is mainly because this tradition was one of the first at the time, which taught it was more than acceptable to be a solitary practitioner and that it was not necessary to be initiated into a Coven by a Priest or Priestess and taught that self-initiation was perfectly fine.

Solitary Witch

One who practices alone, regardless of Tradition, demonination, or sect. Solitaries come in various forms. Some were at one time initiated into a coven and eventually chose to extricate themselves from that environment and continue practicing a particular Tradition or sect by themselves. A solitary can also be an individual who has no desire to practice with or learn from a coven structure, but still may adhere to a specific Tradition or sect through the teachings of another. And finally, a solitary Witch can be a person who has decided to tough it out on their own, learning from books, networking, and fellow Witches of different Traditions. These people have the ability to pick themselves up and brush themselves off, and live to try again. More and more individuals are selecting the solitary path rather than that of group interaction.

Strega Witch

Follows a tradition seated in Italy that began around 1353 with a woman called Aradia. Of all the traditional Witches, this group appears to be the smallest in number in the U.S.; however, their teachings are beautiful and should not be missed.

Sylvan Wicca

This tradition was founded by Grealan Wintertide. One of their major practises is herbalism or herbal lore. In their Magic, they often use the energies contained in herbs. They believe in slowing down and focusing on our own lives and experience life and tries to see what they need to work on to improve their lives. This tradition follows the concept of the seasonal cycles and how they are based around the Goddess' growth cycle throughout the year (Maiden, Mother, Crone). They believe these three cycles mirror our own growth within the Craft.

Tanic Wicca

Established by Alison Harlow who was originally initiated into the Faery traditition and then the Gardnerian tradition of Wicca. Alison then left these traditions and founded a Coven of four Women. All these Women came from different traditions of Wicca and they all combined their knowledge and practises to create what is now known as the Tanic tradition.

Teutonic Witch

This tradition began in the 1070's; their main God and Goddess are Idhunn and Freyr and their main beliefs come from the ancient Norse and Germanic traditions. Originally the Teutons were a group of people who spoke the Germanic group of languages. Culturally, this included the English, Dutch, Icelandic, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish peoples. This is also known as the Nordic Tradition.

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