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  • Writer's pictureBryan Stafford

Wicca in more detail

Updated: May 19, 2023

Submitted question covered in this blog:

"What is Wicca and what are the different types?"

This question is very much appriciated since there are common misunderstandings due to the large influence the religion of Wicca has had on the modern expression of spirituality and practices of witchcraft.

First introduced in 1954 to the general public in England by Gerald Gardner, what became known as the Gardnerian tradition of Wicca is considered the most recognized traditions from which most Wiccan paths developed. As a nature based religion that often involves the use of magick, it usually involves the worshipping and/or working with a Goddess and a God. These may be regarded as having many different divine aspects which can be identified and associated with many diverse pagan deities. Some which are from different historical pantheons.

Due to the fact that I work with aspects of my own human nature (instead of gods and goddesses) from a humanistic approach, I am considered a secular Wiccan. To be Wiccan and non-theistic is a rare combination and does not fit for everyone who considers themselves a Wiccan.

Many Wiccans refer to a goddess deity as the "Lady" and a god deity as the "Lord". These two deities are sometimes viewed as facets of a greater form of divinity which is regarded as an impersonal energy or force, rather than a personal entity. While duolism is very common in Wicca, it is not always necessary.

Celebrations encompass the moon cycles commonly associated with the Goddess (or, feminine aspects of nature) and the cycles of the Sun, commonly associated with the Horned God (or, masculine aspects of nature).

- Wheel of the Year celebrations

The Rede of the Wiccae is a popular expression of morality that some Wiccans view as a guide of practice. However, it is not universally accepted. More about that is available at:

Some Wiccan traditions listed below (not limited to) are similar to “denominations” whereas each has their own rituals, practices, and perspectives:

  • Gardnerian – Its roots are attributed to Gerald Gardner’s own experience with the New Forest Coven, as well as inspiration from sources such as Freemasonry, occultism, eastern religions, and naturism. Gardnerian Wicca and similar traditions are sometimes referred to as British Traditional Wicca, in which one usually has to be initiated by a coven.

  • Alexandrian – Founded by Alex Sanders (“King of the Witches”) in England in the 1960s. Very similar to Gardnerian Wicca, with a strong emphasis on ceremonial magick. Also, one usually has to be initiated by a coven.

  • Feri / Faery  – Created by Victor Anderson and Gwydion Pendderwen in California in the 1960s. Initially pre-Gardnerian however later influenced by Gardner and Alexandrian Wicca. Starhawk received training in this tradition.

  • Georgian Wicca – Founded by George Patterson in California in the 1970s. This tradition draws from Gardnerian and Alexandrian sources and also one usually has to be initiated by a coven.

  • Seax Wicca – Created by Raymond Buckland in the 1970s. Buckland was originally Gardnerian, but founded his own tradition in America using Saxon heritage. It is more open and democratic then Gardnerian or Alexandrian traditions. One may be self initiated.

  • Reclaiming – Starhawk co-founded the Reclaiming Collective in the 1980s, linking spirituality, magick, and political activism.

  • Dianic – Known as Feminist Wicca, this tradition honours the Goddess, specifically the phases of Maiden-Mother-Crone. Named after the Roman goddess Diana. Some groups are exclusive to women. One usually has to be initiated by a coven.

... And, there are many many others!!!

- A Celtic Witch's Knot

The above list is a sample of some of the ways in which Wicca branches out, stemming from one common tradition involving witchcraft.

There are also:

  • Hereditary / Family traditions that have passed down through generaltions of family teachings. Therefore, claim blood lineage with tradition not directly related to Gardnerian Wicca.

  • And Eclectic – Doesn’t follow a specific tradition. But, borrows from many practices and cultures where appropriate. Can be initiatory by a coven or self-initiatory, practiced in a group or solitary.

  • And then, there are also the Solitary Practitioners – Those whom practice without a coven, who learn and practice on their own. Usually self-initiatory and eclectic-based.

  • As well as, Secular Practitioners who do not incorporate deities into their practice and beliefs. But rather, focus on the different aspects of their own human nature and individual inner strengths within the structure of their traditions.

Not to mention, the many more witches whom do not identify as Wiccan at all and which may not even be aware of the wiccan influences that exist in most modern witchcraft practices.

- Five elements of the pentacle

Some witchcraft practices that originate from Wicca are:

  • Openning / closing of a circle

  • Drawing down of the Moon ritual

  • Initiation into a tradition

  • Consecration

  • Certain alter arrangements and setups

  • Covens, esbats, and sabbats

  • Ceremonies such as a hand fasting, cake and ale, etc.

  • Calling of the quarters or cardinal directions, etc.

  • Expressions such as: "as above, so below"; "so mote it be"; "blessed be"; "merry meet", and "merry part"; etc.

... And, there's lots more!

It should be mentioned that witchcraft is an expression of spirituallity. And so, as long as you are connection with your true intention in your workings, that's all that matters.

The religions of Wicca are not required to be a witch.

Thank you so much for reading my blog. I do hope that this was helpful. If you have questions, please don't hesitate to submit them at

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