Wicca , a predominantly Western movement whose followers practice witchcraft and nature worship and who see it as a religion based on pre- Christian traditions of northern and western Europe. It spread through England in the s and subsequently attracted followers in Europe and the United States. Although there were precursors to the movement, the origins of modern Wicca can be traced to a retired British civil servant, Gerald Brousseau Gardner — Gardner spent most of his career in Asia, where he became familiar with a variety of occult beliefs and magical practices. He also read widely in Western esoteric literature, including the writings of the British occultist Aleister Crowley. Returning to England shortly before the outbreak of World War II , Gardner became involved in the British occult community and founded a new movement based on a reverence of nature, the practice of magic , and the worship of a female deity the Goddess and numerous associated deities such as the Horned God. He also borrowed liberally from Western witchcraft traditions. It spread quickly to the United States in the late s, when an emphasis on nature, unconventional lifestyles, and a search for spirituality divorced from traditional religions were especially in vogue. Covens, which ideally number 10 to 15 members and are entered through an initiation ritual , sometime align with one of many coven associations. As coven members master the practice of magic and become familiar with the rituals, they pass through two degrees of initiation.
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British Broadcasting Corporation Home. It emphasises spells and rituals and honours a Triple Goddess and a Horned God. Wicca is a Pagan Witchcraft tradition. Today, the name Wicca is frequently applied to the entire system of beliefs and practices that make up the spectrum of contemporary Pagan Witchcraft. However, although Wicca and Witchcraft are often used interchangeably, it is important to note that there are also Pagan Witchcraft traditions that are not Wiccan.
Wicca was used originally to distinguish the initiatory tradition of Witchcraft practised as a religion, but American popular television series have adopted the word to include what would once have been called natural magic or white witchcraft. When people in Britain describe themselves as Wiccan though, they generally mean that they are practising a form of religious Witchcraft.
Media images often show Wiccans as teenage women, but in fact it is practised by males and females of all ages. Religious Witchcraft is not merely a system of magic, but is a Pagan mystery religion worshipping Goddess and God and venerating the Divine in nature. Its origins lie in pre-Christian religious traditions, folklore, folk witchcraft and ritual magic, but most Witches draw their inspiration from the ‘Book of Shadows’, a book of rituals and spells compiled by of one of Wicca’s major figures Gerald Brosseau Gardner Gerald Gardner claimed to have been initiated in into a coven of Witches who met in the New Forest in Hampshire and his two most well known books Witchcraft Today and The Meaning of Witchcraft produced a huge surge of interest, inspiring a movement that has spread around the world.
Witchcraft & Wicca Books
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Today we will be summarizing the history of Wicca and what is known about the older groups dating back to the British occult revival of the late 19th century.
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Paganism & Wicca
This impression of an ancient lineage is one of the things that initially attracts some people to Wicca. But what do we really know about the origins of the Wiccan religion? It actually dates back to the midth century, though many of the influences that it draws from are considerably older. The birth of the religion that came to be known as Wicca is attributed to an English civil servant, author and occultist named Gerald Gardner.
Born in , Gardner traveled widely in his youth and became interested in anthropology, archaeology, folklore, and eventually spiritualism and other occult subjects. He belonged to several clubs and societies related to these interests, including a Rosicrucian Order which he joined in Here he met some friends who were part of an even more secretive inner circle, and who revealed to Gardner that they were a coven of Witches. He was initiated into the coven in September of that year.
Several years earlier, in the early s, a popular theory had been traveling in anthropological circles about an ancient pagan religion that had been nearly stamped out by Christianity, but was still being practiced in secret pockets throughout Western Europe.
I am a Witch, not a Wiccan.
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Spirituality is now firmly placed in mainstream culture. However, as the cosmetics giant Sephora recently found out, mysticism and its more formal manifestation, witch culture, are not topics to be taken lightly. The kit was clearly aimed at dabblers in witchcraft, rather than those who actually practice it, which was perhaps part of the miscalculation. Data on the existing population of self-identified practicing witches suggests that a robust—and growing—witch community exists.
Gardnerian Wicca, or Gardnerian witchcraft, is a tradition in the neopagan religion of Wicca, whose members can trace initiatory descent from Gerald Gardner. The tradition is itself named after Gardner (–), a British civil servant Check date values in: |date= (help); ^ Anon. (Used with permission from the author).
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Witchcraft & Wiccan
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we’ll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer – no Kindle device required. To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number. Would you like to tell us about a lower price? If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support? The past century has born witness to a growing interest in the belief systems of ancient Europe, with an array of contemporary Pagan groups claiming to revive these old ways for the needs of the modern world.
By far the largest and best known of these Paganisms has been Wicca, a new religious movement that can now count hundreds of thousands of adherents worldwide. Emerging from the occult milieu of mid twentieth-century Britain, Wicca was first presented as the survival of an ancient pre-Christian Witch-Cult, whose participants assembled in covens to venerate their Horned God and Mother Goddess, to celebrate seasonal festivities, and to cast spells by the light of the full moon.
Spreading to North America, where it diversified under the impact of environmentalism, feminism, and the s counter-culture, Wicca came to be presented as a Goddess-centred nature religion, in which form it was popularised by a number of best-selling authors and fictional television shows. Today, Wicca is a maturing religious movement replete with its own distinct world-view, unique culture, and internal divisions. This book represents the first published academic introduction to be exclusively devoted to this fascinating faith, exploring how this Witches Craft developed, what its participants believe and practice, and what the Wiccan community actually looks like.
In doing so it sweeps away widely-held misconceptions and offers a comprehensive overview of this religion in all of its varied forms. Drawing upon the work of historians, anthropologists, sociologists, and scholars of religious studies, as well as the writings of Wiccans themselves, it provides an original synthesis that will be invaluable for anyone seeking to learn about the blossoming religion of modern Pagan Witchcraft.
A form of modern paganism, especially a tradition founded in England in the mid 20th century and claiming its origins in pre-Christian religions. Filter. Filter.
Gardnerian Wicca , or Gardnerian witchcraft , is a tradition in the neopagan religion of Wicca , whose members can trace initiatory descent from Gerald Gardner. The term “Gardnerian” was probably coined by the founder of Cochranian Witchcraft , Robert Cochrane in the s or 60s, who himself left that tradition to found his own. Gardner claimed to have learned the beliefs and practices that would later become known as Gardnerian Wicca from the New Forest coven , who allegedly initiated him into their ranks in For this reason, Gardnerian Wicca is usually considered to be the earliest created tradition of Wicca, from which most subsequent Wiccan traditions are derived.
From the supposed New Forest coven, Gardner formed his own Bricket Wood coven , and in turn initiated many Witches, including a series of High Priestesses, founding further covens and continuing the initiation of more Wiccans into the tradition. In the UK, Europe and most Commonwealth countries someone self-defined as Wiccan is usually understood to be claiming initiatory descent from Gardner, either through Gardnerian Wicca, or through a derived branch such as Alexandrian Wicca or Algard Wicca.
Elsewhere, these original lineaged traditions are termed ” British Traditional Wicca “.