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The Many Traditions of Magick & Witches

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The Many Traditions of Magick & Witches

Postby SifGreyWillow on Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:22 pm

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The Many Traditions of Magick & Witches

Alexandrian
Originated in England in the 1960's, founded by Alex Sanders. The rituals are said to be of Gardnarian basis. Alex Sanders referred to himself as the "King" of his Wiccans. Although similar to Gardnerian Wicca, Alexandrian Wicca tends to be more eclectic and liberal. Alexandrian Wicca has made some of Gardnerian's strict rules, such as the requirement of ritual nudity, optional.

British Traditional Witch
This is a mix of Celtic and Gardenarian beliefs. These traditionalists move mostly within the Farrar studies and are fairly structured by their beliefs. They train through a degree-structured process. The International Red Garters is the most famous organization at this time. Often includes druids.

Celtic
The Celtic tradition is based on the practices of the pre-Christian Celtic world. This includes Ireland, Wales, Scotland, and Gaul. There is also a significant amount of Druid practice used in this tradition. It shares a lot with the Teutonic tradition, including the use of runes. This traditional is extremely earth based and strong in the religious aspects of the Craft. Many aspects of Christianity were drawn from the Celtic pagans, such as Cerridwyn's cauldron translating into the Holy Grail, and the goddess Brigit becoming Saint Bride.

Ceremonial
Less religion, more emphasis on the art and science of magick. Rituals are generally complex and practices lean towards the secretive, hidden side of magick. Not geared towards the solitary practitioner, but can easily be adapted for those who choose to work alone. Not necessarily a wiccan-only tradition, though there are many ceremonial witches.

Dianic
Tradition from Western Europe, tracked back to Margaret Murray in 1921. This tradition has been pegged as the "feminist" movement of the Craft. It is a mix of many traditions, but its focus is on the goddess, especially Diana. (Diana is a reference often crossed during study of Greek/Roman mythology.)

Eclectic
An eclectic Wiccan doesn't follow any strict traditional guidelines, but instead, practices the beliefs that suit them best. They mix traditions to find their most fitting stance on their religion, using the magick that is most practical for their lifestyle and studying the parts of the religion they consider being essential. This is mostly of modern origin, previously most Wiccan traditions had more restricting boundaries; the eclectic tradition marks witchcraft's expansion into a patchwork quilt of various beliefs and theories.

Faerie Wicca
Also referred to as fae, fey, faery, fairy, fairie... tradition based on faery lore and beliefs. Consists of a mixture of "green" Wicca, Celtic and Druidic practices, and modern witchcraft.

Gardnerian
Gardnerian is the tradition founded by Gerald Gardner. He was one of the firsts to go public with information about the Craft, modern Wicca has mostly been derived from his books. Gardner's inspiration was drawn from many sources, including 'Aradia, Gospel of the Witches', where strands of the Gardnerian tradition such as required ritual nudity can be found. This is an extremely traditional path with a hierarchical grade structure. These individuals are very secretive and take oaths upon initiation. Although there are a number of Gardnerian Covens active in the US, they are difficult to locate and once located are not easy to join. This tradition does not lend itself well to solitary practice, but some aspects of it do. It therefore deserves study by solitary practitioners, especially eclectics.

Hereditary
This is a person that can trace the Craft back on their family tree and was also taught the craft by a living relative. ("My mother's grandmother's sister's cousin was a Wiccan" doesn't count.) Because of the youth of modern Wicca, this really only applies to practitioners of witchcraft and not necessarily Wicca.

Kitchen Witch
This type is one that practices by home and hearth concentrating on the practical side of religion, magick and the earth and elements. A more convenient form of practice for those who have limited space and resource, mainly suburban and city witches. This focuses on practicality, the use of magick in the home and in the workplace, and convenient ritual writing that includes readily available "ingredients" on short time and a tight budget.

Pictish
Pictish is Scottish witchcraft with a strong connection to nature in all of its forms. The practice is actually mostly Magickal with little emphasis on the religious aspect. This is practiced as a solitary tradition.

Pow-wow
This is a system, not a religion, based on 400 year old German Magick. In this day and time it has lost much of its concentrations and is basically now into simple faith healing.

Seax-Wica
(Or Saxon-Wicca) Founded in 1973, by Raymond Buckland. Raymond Buckland authored this tradition without breaking his original Gardnerian oath. His contributions to the Craft is of great significance and many popular books today are of his authorship.

Shamanism
Beliefs are connected to contact with the spirit world. Through communication with the spirits, the Shaman can work acts of healing, divination and magic - revealing by way of vision, poetry and myth the deeper reaches of the human spirit.

Solitary
Individuals preferring to work in private rather than within the confines of a group setting. Wicca works well with this sort of practice. Solitaries can pick any number of traditions that fit well into this sort of practice. Can be as fulfilling as working in a group setting.

Strega
This tradition began around 1353 in Italy, with a woman called Aradia. Leland's book "Aradia, Gospel of the Witches" is the most veritable literary remainder of the original tradition. The teachings are insightful and should not be missed, for those who practice solitary or in covens, especially if you are interested in studying all traditions.

Teutonic/Nordic
This is from ancient time, the Teutons have been recognized as a group who speak the Germanic group of languages. The languages include the English, Dutch, Icelandic, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish. Norse practitioners are often Astruar that is, followers of Asatru. Many worship similar to their Norse predecessors, following Scandinavian and Germanic deities such as Odin and using divination methods like the runes.
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