Witchcraft Traditions

When Gerald Gardner coined the term “the Wica” (originally spelt with one c), he seems to have intended it to refer to any and all witches. Subsequently, the term has come to be used by some people to mean only witches initiated into Gardnerian and Alexandrian Wicca, and has been used by others to mean anybody who identifies as Wiccan, and a whole spectrum of meanings in between those two terms. This can make it confusing for people to understand what is meant by any individual using the term Wicca.

[Estimated reading time: 10 minutes. Contains 2020 words]

In an attempt to clear up the confusion, Gardnerians and Alexandrians in North America (by which they mean anyone who can trace their initiatory lineage back to Gardner or Sanders respectively) have started referring to themselves as “British Traditional Wicca”. This seems to have happened in part because there are so many other traditions which are called Wiccan, but who cannot necessarily trace their lineage back to Gardner or Sanders. The term “British Traditional Wicca” has not been widely adopted in Britain, where there are fewer variant traditions of Wicca. In Britain, people generally refer to Gardnerian and Alexandrian Wicca as “initiatory Wicca” but even this term is misleading, as there are other witches with a lineage and initiations who identify as Wiccan in the UK. So the terminology remains fluid and confusing.

There is a major distinction between folkloric witchcraft traditions and Wiccan traditions. Folkloric witchcraft does not identify as Wiccan, and tends to be happy to explore Luciferian and Christian mysteries alongside Pagan mysteries. Wiccans tend to focus on the Horned God and the Moon Goddess, and do not use the term “the Devil”. Wiccan covens are led by a high priestess and a high priest. Folkloric witchcraft covens generally have a Magister and a Maid. Therefore, I have indicated in this list whether a tradition is witchcraft or Wicca.

Roses, by Michael Gaida [Public Domain]

Roses, by Michael Gaida [Public Domain]

Please don’t be offended if I haven’t included your tradition in this list. There are so many traditions of witchcraft that it is difficult to list them all. I have listed the traditions in this appendix in alphabetical order, so as not to imply a hierarchy. Some of the traditions in this section are listed because they have similar names to each other, and this can cause confusion. There is a list of traditions on Witchvox.com which has more details about various witchcraft traditions.  Another list on the Beaufort House website (last updated in 2001) lists only traditions which can claim descent from Gardner and/or Sanders. There is a partial list on Wikipedia of some of the larger Wiccan traditions.

1734 witchcraft

The 1734 tradition was founded by Joe Wilson after a lengthy correspondence with Robert Cochrane, founder of the Clan of Tubal Cain. It is a folkloric craft tradition. It often uses riddles to convey its mysteries.

Alexandrian Wicca

Alexandrian Wicca was founded by Alex Sanders in the 1960s. Sanders was initiated into Gardnerian Wicca, though whether he got second degree or not is disputed. It tends to include more ideas from ceremonial magic than Gardnerian Craft. In the UK and Europe, Gardnerian and Alexandrian initiates may visit each other’s circles without the need for re-initiation.

Clan of Tubal Cain

A folkloric witchcraft tradition. The Clan are the lineage bearers of the Robert Cochrane tradition through Evan John Jones. The Clan is also known as the People of Goda. They are a closed Initiatory group aligned to the Shadow Mysteries within the Luciferian stream dedicated to experiential gnosis. The sacred tenets of the Clan of Tubal Cain are Truth, Love and Beauty.

Dianic Wicca

A feminist and women-centred form of Wicca, founded by Z Budapest in 1971. Men are not included in this form of witchcraft, and it generally excludes transgender women from its circles as well. Dianic Wiccans are generally Goddess monotheists, honouring the Goddess as the source of all life.

Feri Tradition

A form of American Traditional Witchcraft derived from the teachings of Victor and Cora Anderson and passed down through their various initiates. Feri seeks to transform the individual through practices of ritual magic, meditation, and energy work. The influences of the tradition include Huna, Conjure, Voodoo, Tantra, Celtic folklore, Christian mysticism, Yezidi mythology, and Greek gnosis. The Feri Tradition recently split into two strands: one believes that the mysteries can only be taught in small experiential and initiatory groups; the other believes that witchcraft can be taught through classes in larger groups. The main point of contention in the split was the issue of charging money for training.

Gardnerian Wicca

Gardnerian Wicca was founded by Gerald Gardner in the early 1950s, and traces its roots back to the New Forest coven which included Dafo, Mother Sabine, and the Mason family. Much of its early liturgy was written by Doreen Valiente. There are numerous lineages within Gardnerian Wicca, with considerable variation in ethos between them. The emphasis of Gardnerian Wicca tends to be less ceremonial than Alexandrian Wicca.

http://british-wicca.com/

Georgian Wicca

The Georgian Tradition was founded in 1970 by George (Pat) Patterson, Zanoni Silverknife and Tanith. It began as a small coven in Pat’s home in Bakersfield, CA. Pat received early teachings from members of a Celtic coven in Boston. In 1970, Pat began a magickal calling that resulted in Zanoni and Tanith finding him and helping to found the Georgian tradition.  There are known Georgian covens in British Columbia, California, Florida, Oregon, Colorado, Maryland, Michigan, Washington and Oklahoma.

http://georgianwicca.com/

The inclusive Wicca tendency

The inclusive Wicca tendency (small i) is not a separate tradition but a tendency within existing traditions. Any Wiccan may identify as inclusive and work to make their practice more inclusive of LGBTQIA+ people, disabled people, and of Black people, indigenous people, and people of colour. An inclusive approach to Wicca encompasses eco-spirituality, science, attitudes to truth, the sacred, sexuality, consent culture, group dynamics, coven leadership, ritual, ethics, and Wiccan theology and practice, tradition, and magic, and how these concepts can be explored as part of a liberal religious approach to Wicca.

http://inclusivewicca.org/

Inclusive Wicca Tradition (Australia)

Inclusive Wicca was founded by Amethyst Treleven after she had spent several years learning the Craft from a variety of different sources. Having been initiated into three different traditions, and having completed a doctorate degree on Wicca that allowed her to be involved with a great many different Pagan practitioners, she  saw both the good and the not so good of Wicca. She wanted more for herself and she wanted more for her fellow Wiccans.

http://www.oakandmistletoe.com/what-is-inclusive-wicca/

McFarland Dianic Wicca

An offshoot of Dianic Wicca that is usually open to transgender women and to men. McFarland Dianic is a Neopagan tradition of goddess worship founded by Morgan McFarland and Mark Roberts which, despite the shared name, has a different theology and in some cases accepts male participants. The McFarland tradition is largely based on the book The White Goddess by Robert Graves. While some McFarland covens will initiate men, the leadership is limited to female priestesses. Like other Dianic traditions, McFarland Dianic covens are feminist.

Minoan Brotherhood

The Minoan Brotherhood was founded as a response to the heterosexist culture of most forms of Traditional Witchcraft prevalent in the 1970s. Edmund M. Buczynski founded the Brotherhood in 1975 in New York City. Eddie was an Elder of the Gardnerian and New York Welsh Traditions, and a founding Elder of the Wica Tradition. The Minoan Brotherhood is a men’s initiatory tradition of the Craft celebrating life, men who love men, and magic. It mainly draws on Cretan, Aegean, and Ancient Near Eastern mythology.

http://minoan-brotherhood.org/

Minoan Fellowship

The Minoan Fellowship is an offshoot of the Minoan Sisterhood, and is open to women and men of any sexual orientation. (The Minoan Brotherhood does not recognise it as part of their tradition.) The Fellowship seeks to be inclusive of all genders and sexual orientations.

Minoan Sisterhood

The Minoan Sisterhood began in 1976. At that time, a small group of priestesses in the Wica Tradition began working with materials devised by Eddie Buczynski. Lady Rhea and Lady Miw-Sekhmet used this material as to build the Women’s mysteries which formed the basis of the Minoan Sisterhood. Their work resulted in the founding of the first Grove of the Minoan Sisterhood in New York City. The Sisterhood is open to any woman, and emphasizes Women’s Mysteries. The Minoan Brotherhood and Minoan Sisterhood are sibling paths in the Minoan Tradition, each with its own Mysteries and rites. A third path within the Minoan Tradition is the Cult of Rhea, also known as the Cult of the Double Axe, which represents a meeting ground between the two traditions.

http://www.minoaneleutheria.org/faq.php

Mohsian Wicca

The Mohsian Tradition of Wicca was founded in the early 1960s by Bill and Helen Mohs. Mohsian is comprised of many threads from British Traditional and other sources. Much of their ritual is derived from early Gardnerian and Alexandrian, including passages from a British Celtic (Pagan, not Wiccan) tradition called Y Plant Bran. Many of their spells and rituals were given to Bill and Helen by Joe Wilson, founder of the 1734 Tradition. Another source is the Boread Tradition as transmitted by Thomas Giles, and there’s even a snippet from NROOGD, used with the permission of one of its founders.

http://www.witchvox.com/va/dt_va.html?a=uswa&c=trads&id=13319

Progressive Wicca

Progressive Wicca was started in the early 1990s by Karin Rainbird, Tam Campbell, and David Rankine. It was a tendency within Gardnerian and Alexandrian Wicca, and emphasised valuing the contributions of all members of the coven, ensuring that all members received thorough training, and tended to have a stronger emphasis on environmentalism. Progressive Wiccans are happy to experiment and incorporate more eclectic material into their rituals.

http://www.sacred-texts.com/bos/msg0015.htm

Progressive Witchcraft

Progressive Witchcraft emerged from Progressive Wicca, and was made famous by Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone in their book of the same name. Its ethos is egalitarian, exploratory, and experimental. Janet and Gavin have started their own witchcraft tradition whose initiation rituals and tenets are distinct from Gardnerian and Alexandrian Wicca.

http://www.callaighe.com/

The Nameless Arte

Not so much a tradition as a collection of individuals exploring folkloric witchcraft in a similar manner. Many of them were inspired by the books of Nigel Pennick such as The Secrets of East Anglian Magic.  It has no singular book, but for the collective embodied wisdom of its adherents. It can never be fully pinned down, as it constantly evolves and adapts in accordance to the requirements of the time.  A flourishing group of small publishers is producing high quality books about local witchcraft traditions in Britain, including Troy Books.

http://www.theprismaticgarden.com/nameless-arte

Reclaiming

Reclaiming is a community of people working to unify spirit and politics. Their vision is rooted in the religion and magic of the Goddess, the Immanent Life Force. They see their work as teaching and making magic: the art of empowering themselves and each other. In their classes, workshops, and public rituals, they train their voices, bodies, energy, intuition, and minds. They use the skills that they learn to deepen their strength, both as individuals and as community, to voice their concerns about the world in which we live, and bring to birth a vision of a new culture. Founded around 1980 in the San Francisco Bay Area, the Reclaiming tradition now includes several dozen regional communities across North America and in Europe and Australia. The founder of Reclaiming, Starhawk, was trained in the Feri Tradition by Victor and Cora Anderson.

http://www.reclaiming.org/

Roses, Too!

A tradition of eclectic Feminist Witchcraft, founded in 1993 in the Delaware Valley (Philadelphia, PA area).

https://sites.google.com/site/stasasministry/roses-too-tradition

Swedish Faery Wicca

This is an eclectic and egalitarian initiatory tradition in Sweden, based on Gardnerian and Alexandrian Wicca. It is LGBT-inclusive. It should not be confused with the Feri Tradition, which is a completely separate and unrelated tradition.

The Unnamed Path

A shamanic path for men who love men, the Unnamed Path is a four-fold spiritual tradition revealed to us from the Ancestors of Men-who-love-men. It is rooted in age-old techniques practiced around the world that foster relationships with the Divine, the ancestors, the spirits in the land, and each other. Eduardo “Eddy” Gutiérrez (1976-2014), whose magical name was Hyperion, founded The Unnamed Path and hosted the popular podcast The Unnamed Path. He discovered and named the important magical concept of resonance, where two people who are similar to each other make energy together by bringing their energies into phase with each other.

http://unnamedpath.com/


If you enjoyed this post, you might like my new book, Dark Mirror: the Inner Work of Witchcraft.

Dark Mirror: the Inner Work of Witchcraft

6 thoughts on “Witchcraft Traditions

    • Of course they are related to folklore.

      I was trying to find a collective noun for other witchcraft traditions that are not Gardnerian or Alexandrian Wicca. In the USA, the generic term is folkloric witchcraft; in the UK, it is Traditional Craft. I prefer the term folkloric Craft, as I object to the notion that Gardnerian and Alexandrian Wicca are not also traditional, or that revived traditional witchcraft traditions are any older than Gardnerian Craft.

      I certainly did not mean to imply that Gardnerian and Alexandrian Wicca don’t also have a connection to folklore.

      I have found on previous similar posts that someone always objects to attempts to classify different witchcraft traditions.

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  1. About Progressive Witchcraft: I know that for Janet and Gavin this is a way to approach the Craft, applicable in any Tradition, instead than their new Tradition

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  2. Pingback: 300 followers | Dowsing for Divinity

  3. A list of Craft traditions from a now-defunct website (author unknown):

    Alexandrian
    Founded in England during the 1960’s by Alexander Sanders, self-proclaimed “King of the Witches”. An offshoot of Gardnerian, Alexandrian covens focus strongly upon training, emphasizing on areas more generally associated with ceremonial magic, such as Qabalah, Angelic Magic and Enochian. The typical Alexandrian coven has a hierarchical structure, and generally meets on weekly, or at least on Full Moons, New Moons and Sabbats. Rituals are usually done skyclad.
    Algard
    Mary Nesnick, an American initiate in Gardnerian and Alexandrian traditions founded a ‘new’ tradition calledAlgard. This tradition brings together both Gardnerian and Alexandrian teachings under a single banner. This was possible due to the great similarities between the two traditions.
    Amythystian
    Founded in 1968 by Lady Amethyst. Tradition is rooted in theOrder of the Garter,Order of the Royal Oak. Traditional with lots of Hermetic beliefs. Dedicated to preserving old traditions while growing into a new generation of enlightened ones. Teaches by example in daily life, at home and at work, as well as when among our own. Known through work and deeds. Believes in a strict code of ethics exemplified by one’s actions and lives by the Wiccan Rede.
    Aquarian Tabernacle Church
    An American Tradition of Wicca based on English Traditional Wicca, and focused on service to the larger Wiccan and Pagan community through open worship gatherings. ATC was founded in 1979 byPierre “Pete Pathfinder” Davis. The Church is based in Index, WA, where it owns a Retreat House and the central Church offices, as well as an outdoor sanctuary with a ring of standing menhirs set in an old growth cedar forest. The ATC is a fully tax exempt legal Wiccan church in the USA, Canada and Australia, with approximately 30 congregations in these countries as of 1997. ATC provides regular, open worship circles and also sponsors several annual festivals
    Blue Star
    Founded in 1976 Norristown, PA by Frank Dufner (“the Wizard”) and Tzipora Katz, who later moved to Manhattan, where they trained and initiated a number of people. Early rituals were based on Alexandrian and Greco-Roman Traditions. After Frank and Tzipora’s divorce, in the early 1980’s, Kenny Klein became high priest, steering the Tradition towards a more traditional British form, discarding Alexandrian and ceremonial rituals and replacing them with British Isles folkloric Craft practices.
    British Traditional
    The term “British Traditional” refers to a variety of traditions which originated in the British Isles and which have certain characteristics in common. There is a mix of Celtic and Gardnerian beliefs, mostly based on the Farrar stuies. Worship of the God and Goddes is balanced, covens and co-ed, and there is a degree system. The New Wiccan Church is a federation of British Traditions (Gardnerian, Slexandrian, Mohisian, and Central Valley Wicca-Kingstone, majestic Order and Silver Crescent). NWC is dedicated to preserving initiatorty Craft.
    Celtic
    The Celtic path is really many traditions under the general heading of “Celtic.” It encompasses Druidism, Celtic Shamanism, Celtic Wicca or Witta, the Grail Religion, and Celtic Christianity or Culdees. Each path is unique and stand alone meld together with another and still be part of the Celtic tradition. It is primarily derived from the ancient pre Christian Celtic religion of Gaul and the British Isles. As it is practiced today, most of the Celtic paths are part of the Neo-Pagan revival, focusing on Nature and healing with group and individual rituals that honor the Ancient Shining Ones and the Earth. Most are very eclectic, and hold to the Celtic myths, divinities, magic and rituals. Celtic paths are some of the more popular traditions.
    Celtic Wicca (Church of Wicca)
    The Church of Wicca was founded by Gavin and Yvonne Frost. They offer correspondence courses in their brand of Wicca, which is sometimes called Celtic Wicca. The Church of Wicca has just recently begun including a Goddess in their deity structure, and has been very patriarchal as Wiccan traditions go. The Church of Wicca terms itself “Baptist Wicca”
    Ceremonial
    Uses a great deal of Ceremonial Magick in practices. Mostly derived from the works of Aleister Crowley. Detailed rituals with a flavor of Egyptian magick are popular, as Qabalistic ritual forms.
    Country ot Low Magic
    A simple explanation is really the localised style of Witchcraft or cunning magic practised in a particular region.Spells such as wort charms, horse whispering, crop blessing and weather magic vary from place to place but in Low Magic the rites are simple, open and rural. Eleanor Bone was one of the Witches who preferred this type of path and practised Cumbrian traditional rites up until her death in 2001.The simple ceremonies decribed by Eleanor involved people in local groups jumping as high as they could to encourage the height of the forthcoming harvest.
    Dianic
    This is the most feminist Craft Tradition. Most Dianic covens worship the Goddess exclusively (Diana and Artemis are the most common manifestations) and most today are women only. Rituals are eclectic; some are derived from Gardnerian and Faery traditions, while others have been created anew. Emphasis is on rediscovering and reclaiming female power and divinity, consciousnes-raising, and combining politics with spirituality. The Dianic Craft included two distinct branches: The first Dianic coven in the U.S. was formed in the late ’60s by Margan McFarland and Mark Roberts, in Dallas, Texas. This branch gives primacy to the Goddess in its theology, but honors the Horned God as Her beloved Consort. Covens include both women and men. This branch is sometimes called ‘Old Dianic,’ and there are still covens of this tradition specially in Texas. Other coven, similar in theology but not directly descended from the McFarland/Roberts line are sprinkled around the country. The other branch, Feminist Dianic Witchcraft, focuses exclusively on the Goddess and consists of women-only covens, often with a strong lesbian presence. These tend to be loosely structured and non-hierarchial, using consensus decision making and simple, creative, experimental ritual. They are politically femisnist groups, usually very supportive, personal and emotionally intimate
    Eclectic
    Refers to groups and individuals not following any one particular Tradition or mythos, but incorporating elements of several, according to the training, preferences and experiences of the practitioners. Deities from several pantheons may be invoked, sometimes even in the same ritual, particularly when a working is being created for a specific cause. In such a case, Eclectics may call upon, for example, an assortment of Love Goddesses, etc. from many different cultures.
    Faery/Faerie/Fairy/Feri
    First paragraph graciously provided by Kelesyn Greenleaf Victor and Cora Anderson are the original teachers of the Feri Tradition. Victor is universally recognized as the Grand Master of his order of Feri. He was initiated in 1926 by a priestess from Africa. He is also one of the last genuine Kahuna. His book of poetry, _Thorns of the Bloodrose_, is considered a contemporary Pagan classic. In 1959, Victor initiated the late Gwydion Pendderwen (age 13 at the time), who later became a leading voice in the Feri Tradition. Gwydion concentrated on the Welsh Celtic aspects; whereas Victor and Cora still practice the tradition as it was originally, with Huna and African diasporic influences, primarily Dahomean-Haitian. The Feri Tradition honors the Goddess and Her son, brother and lover (The Divine Twins) as the primary creative forces in the universe. The Gods are seen as real spirit beings like ourselves, not merely aspects of our psyche. It is an ecstatic, rather than fertility tradition, emphasizing on polytheism, practical magic, self-development and theurgy. Strong emphasis is placed on sensual experience and awareness, including sexual mysticism, which is not limited to heterosexual expression
    Gardnerian
    This is a closed initiatory Tradition which was founded in England ca 1953 by Gerald Gardner and further developed by Doreen Valiente and others. Gardner was initiated into a coven of Witches in the New Forest region of England in 1939 by a High Priestess named ‘Old Dorothy’ Clutterbuck. In 1949 he wrote High Magic’s Aid, a novel about medieval Witchcraft in which quite a bit of the Craft as practiced by the coven was used. In 1951 the last of the English laws against Witchcraft were repealed (primarily due to to the pressure of Spiritualists) and Gardner published Witchcraft Today, which set forth a version of rituals and traditions of that coven. Gardner gave his Tradition a ritual framework strongly influenced by Freemasonry and Crowleyan ceremonial magic, as well as traditional folk magic and Tantric Hinduism. The Tradition was brought to the USA in 1965 by Raymond & Rosemary Buckland, who were initiated in 1964 by the Gardner’s High Priestess, Lady Olwen. Gardnerian covens are always headed by a High Priestess and have three degrees of initiation closely paralleling the Masonic degrees. Worship is centered on the Goddess and the Horned God. The tradition emphasizes polarity in all things, fertility, and the cycle of birth-death-rebirth. Eight seasonal Sabbats are observed, and the Wiccan Rede is the guiding principle. Power is raised through scourging and sex magick (“The Great Rite”), as well as meditation, chanting, astral projection, dancing, wine and cords. Designed for group/coven work, through solitary workings have been created. Covens work skyclad.
    Georgian Wicca
    If one word could best describe the Georgean Tradition, it would be ‘eclectic. Even though the material provided to students was nominally Alexandrian, there was never any imperative to follow that path blindly. George Patterson (the tradition’s founder) always said ‘If it works use it, if it doesn’t, don’t’. The newsletter was always full of contributions from people of many traditions.
    Minonian Brotherhood
    A Gay Men’s tradition of Witchcraft established in New York by the late Lord Gwydion (Eddie Buczynski) in the mid – 1970’s, at the same time as the Minoan Sisterhood was being established by Lady Miw, also in New York. The Brotherhood remains exclusively a venue for Gay men to explore a traditional ritual Witchcraft, one which can foster a similar, though Gay, sexual mysticism and sense of personal empowerment as in some British traditions of Wicca. As the founder was a Gardnerian initiate, the rituals are roughly Gardnerian, with changes to accommodate a different core mythology and ritual custom.. Imagery and deities are those of Ancient Crete and Mycenae. Working tools and their uses are virtually identical to those of British traditional Wicca
    Orine della Nova
    A Unique strand of Witchcraft discovered by Alex Sanders and his scribe Derek Taylor during the early eighties (some reports say earlier in late seventies), and was a combination of trance-mediumship, visualisations, Kabbalsitic pathworkings and extra terrestrial contact. Possibly the most bizarre of all systems and certainly virtually unknown outside of Sanders circle in Hastings, UK.
    Seax-Wicca
    Founded by Raymond Buckland in 1973, and based on Saxon traditions and mythology. Covens are led by a Priest and Priestess and may determine for themselves whether to work roved or skyclad. Rituals are open, and decisions are made democratically
    Shamanic Witchcraft
    This term refers to practices associated with those of tribal shamans in traditional Pagan cultures throughout the world. A shaman combines the roles of healer, priest (ess), diviner, magician, teacher and spirit guide, utilizing altered states of consciousness to produce and control psychic phenomena and travel to and from the spirit realm. Followers of this path believe that historical Witchcraft was the shamanic practice of European Pagans; and Medieval Witches actually functioned more as village shamans than as priests and priestesses of :the Old Religion.” Shamanic Witchcraft emphasizes serving the wider community through rituals, herbalism, spellcraft, healings, counseling, rites of passage, handfastings, Mystery initiations, etc. The distinguishing element of Shamanic Witchcraft is the knowledge and sacramental use of psychotropic plants to effect transitions between worlds. The theory and practice of Shamanic Witchcraft has permeated widely though out many other established Traditions.
    Stregheria
    Graciously submitted by Maggie..aka..Feast of the Magi Stregheria is the form of witchcraft native to Italy; there are several distinct traditions sharing common roots, in various parts of Italy. Also called, La Vecchia Religione, Stregheria is a nature-based religion, it’s followers worship the forces of Nature, personified as gods and goddesses. The witches of La Vecchia Religione are called Streghe (plural), with the title Strega (for a female), Stregone (for a male). Stregheria is rooted in the folk religion of the Latins (the Romans being one Latin people) and the Etruscans. In the particular tradition, taught by Raven Grimassi in Ways of the Strega, the pantheon is different from the urban gods of the Romans, though some of those deities were shared with the Latins, and the Etruscans, most notably Diana, whose worship was focused at a temple at Lake Nemi in the Alban Hills. There are however other traditions of Stregheria in Italy, who may worship the urban gods of the Romans.
    Wiccan Shamanism
    Founded by Selena Fox in the 1980’s. Ecumenical and multicultural focus. Combination of Wicca, humanistic psychology and a variety of shamanistic practices from around the world. Emphasis on healing. Uses traditional shamanistic techniques to change consciousness, such as drumming and ecstatic dancing.
    Gardnerian Wicca
    A retired British civil servant named Gerald B. Gardner is the ‘Grandfather’, at the very least, of almost all Neo-Wicca. He was initiated into a coven of Witches in the New Forest region of England in 1939 by a High Priestess named ‘Old Dorothy’ Clutterbuck. In 1949 he wrote a novel [*High Magic’s Aid*] about medieval Witchcraft in which quite a bit of the Craft as practiced by that coven was used. In 1951 the last of the English laws against Witchcraft were repealed (primarily due to the pressure of Spiritualists) and Gardner published *Witchcraft Today*, which set forth a version of the rituals and traditions of that coven. There is an enormous amount of disagreement about virtually every statement I have made in this paragraph. Gardnerism is both a tradition and a family, and lineage is a family tree. The High Priestess rules the coven, and the principles of love and trust preside. We follow our handed down book more carefully than many others, but we are free to add and improvise, as long as we preserve the original. We work skyclad, practice binding and scourging, are hierarchal and secretive, therefore we are controversial. We’re also controversial because we were first – the first craft tradition in the U. S. and descended from the man largely responsible for starting the craft revival. So, we’re called ‘the snobs of the Craft, but I think we’re as much fun as anyone else; our parties as good, our jokes as bad’ A Gardnerian can trace his/her lineage matrilineally back to a High Priestess who worked with Gerald. For virtually all American Gardnerians, that means his last HPS, Monique Wilson. Monique initiated the Bucklands and Rosemary Buckland initiated Theas, so far as anyone knows, the only one of Rosemary’s Thirds who passed the initiation on – which is why she has been called (but doesn’t call herself) ‘Witch Queen of America. ‘[the foregoing quotes provided by Deborah Lipp Bonewits, a Gardnerian Third Degree High Priestess as well as an ADF Druidess.] *Each Gardnerian coven is autonomous and is headed by a High Priestess who can turn to her queen (the High Priestess who trained her) for counsel and advice. This maintains the lineage and creates a pool of experienced and knowledgeable leaders and teachers. *Reincarnation and the Wiccan Rede [An it harm none do what you will] are basic tenants of the tradition. Covens are as much as possible composed of male/female pairs for balance. Most working is accomplished with the energy raised by the interaction of the Lord and Lady as represented by the couples in the coven by dancing, chanting, etc. *Like many Wiccan traditions, Gardnerians have three degrees. An American Gardnerian must be of the 3rd degree before she can become a HPS. The HPS/HP are responsible for conducting services (circles), training their conveners, and preserving and passing on Gardnerian Craft. *[This material quoted from Converging Paths Newsletter, Kyril, Brita, & Hugh authors. ] A lot of the controversy surrounding Gardnerianism questions the sources of the rituals and other materials, particularly those appearing in print. It is true that Gardner presented these materials as if they were directly from his New Forest tradition. It is clear, however, that whatever materials the coven may have had when he was initiated, Gerald made a lot of changes and added a great deal. Literary sources of the published Book of Shadows include Blake, Kipling, Yeats and Crowley. Much of the published material was written by Doreen Valiente, a member of the coven for a time and later founder of her own groups and author of many excellent books on the Craft.

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