"Wicca" or "The Craft"
Wicca - The Old Religion or The Craft - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Edgar Cayce ARE Org. - Home Page
The Internet Sacred Text Archive
The People and Founders of Modern Day Wicca
The Religious Tolernace Org.
The Rainbow Tribe
The Rainbow Native Family
Rainbow Family of Living Light
Rosicrucian Doctrines and Tenets
The Pagan Federation
The Wiccan ~ Pagan Times
The Witches Voice

Wicca, or Witchcraft, (also known as "The Old Religion" and "The Craft") is an umbrella category. That probably represents the highest percentage of the Pagan community, although firm statistics are of course unavailable. Even most people who consider themselves "generically Pagan" derive their practices, knowingly or not, from the general pool of practices which originally found widespread use as
The Wiccan spread through various subcultures in Europe, America and Australia.

This does not mean that Wicca, or any specific group or organization, claims to have spawned all of modern Paganism, nor does it mean that Wicca, as a broad spectrum of religious practices, does not itself draw upon spiritual practices from other times, places, peoples and traditions. Pagans, in general, follow one of a number of Earth-based, nature-positive spiritual paths. They tend to be poly- or pantheistic, perceiving Deity as both female and male, Goddess and God.

Having said that, and recognizing that for every 12 Wiccans asked, there will be at least a dozen answers to the question "What is a Witch?", it is often helpful to be familiar with these broad categories of Witchcraft.

(Please remember that these are not "official" labels, and the terms used here may be used differently elsewhere.)

The Golden Dawn
The Golden Dawn - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, Inc. - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Web Site of The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, Inc.

The Golden Dawn magical tradition comes out of a secretive underworld of magical lodges in England, dating back at least to the beginning of the eighteenth century and possibly further still. From the time of John Dee (1527-1608), court astrologer to Queen Elizabeth I, English magicians had been working with the teachings of Renaissance high magic in new ways, developing a rich heritage of magical theory and practice that reached full flower with the coming of the Golden Dawn. The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn itself was founded in 1888 by a small group of magicians headed by William Wynn Westcott and Samuel Mathers. It was among the first organizations in British society to admit women and men on an equal basis, and some of the most influential female magicians of the time - Moina Mathers, Florence Farr and Dion Fortune, among others - were active members of the GD or its later offshoots. Problems in its leadership system led to a series of schisms starting in 1900, and the tradition fell on hard times in the early decades of the twentieth century. This changed when a trio of Golden Dawn initiates - Aleister Crowley, Dion Fortune, and Israel Regardie - each published elements of the GD system in their writings. Regardie’s massive collection The Golden Dawn, published in four volumes between 1937 and 1940, included most of the Order’s rituals and teachings, and made the Golden Dawn system available to several generations of magicians around the world.

At present most Golden Dawn magicians are solitary practitioners, self-trained and self-initiated, making use of a growing collection of books on the system. There are also dozens of active Golden Dawn-based temples and lodges around the world, some with connections to the original Order and others created from the ground up. The Golden Dawn tradition has become one of the most widely practiced systems of magic in the world, and has been a major source of inspiration and ideas to many other systems and traditions as well. The Golden Dawn tradition is not a religion or religious system in the usual sense of the word. Rather, it is a system of intensive spiritual and magical development, not unlike the great mystical traditions of Asia. Golden Dawn magicians use ritual, meditation, exercises for the development of clairvoyance and other psychic abilities, and similar methods to achieve direct personal experience of the hidden, magical side of reality. Like the ancient Gnostics, whose teachings form one of the roots of the Golden Dawn system, Golden Dawn magicians aren’t willing to settle for belief; they want to know. This basic outlook leads to an attitude toward gods and theologies that many outside the tradition find puzzling. It’s not uncommon to find a Golden Dawn magician in ritual work mixing, say, Christian and ancient Egyptian magical names and symbols with perfect comfort. From the Golden Dawn standpoint, these are simply different ways of symbolizing transcendent powers that reach far beyond our human definitions. Christ, Osiris, Baldur, and many other sacrificed gods, in this way of thinking, are all ways of expressing a single divine energy - and it’s the energy that’s important, not the symbolic form.

Since belief isn’t highly valued in the Golden Dawn tradition, it’s hard to point to much of anything that Golden Dawn magicians usually believe, and there is nothing that one must believe in order to follow the Golden Dawn tradition.
What makes a Golden Dawn magician is a commitment to practice and study in the Golden Dawn current of magical, mystical and spiritual work.

Thelema - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Argenteum Astrum - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Ordo Templi Orientis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Modern Wicca as it now exist, would not have come into existance without the aid of the teachings of The Masons and Two splinter groups of the Golden Dawn: the organization Argentium Astrum -- (the Silver Star)(formed by the occultist Aleister Crowley) and the Ordo Templi Orientis -- (Order of the Eastern Temple)(co-founded by Theodore Reuss and Karl Kellner in 1895). These two organizations worked together to promote Thelema. Aleister Crowley (1875-1947) by his own addmission was a genius (he had memorized The Bible before he was seven). Furthermore he was a poet, an adventurer, a world renowned mountain climber, a blindfold chess master, a lover, a sorcerer, and The Chosen Prophet of the Ancient Gods of Egypt!

Unfortunately his compatriots, like queen Victoria, were not amused by his antics or claims. The newspapers depicted him as a satanic, devil worshipping maniac. A charge which was somewhat unfounded and rather ironic since this was the man that satanic devil worshipping maniacs were too scared to mess with. He was a passionate artist with a flair for danger, an extreme of the spiritual and the sensual, a cross between between St. John of the Cross and the Marquis de Sade. Only Rasputin could match him as a true historical figure that seems too improbable to have existed.
Neither man would be 'believable', even in a lurid work of fictional melodrama or emotional erotisism. Yet, they have actually lived!!

And Aleister Crowley topped Rasputin in possessing (or being possessed by) a savagely sarcastic sense of humor which took no prisoners. Say what you will of him but one must grant him a remarkable talent for making enemies everywhere. W.B. Yeats wanted him expelled from The Golden Dawn (The most influential Rosicrucian/Freemasonic lodge of the 19th century) on the grounds that 'a mystical society should not have to serve as a reform school for juvenile delinquents.' For his part, The Magus informs us that Yeats was full of black, bilious rage, because he, Crowley was by far the greater poet.

He once remarked that it was interesting that such a small county as Stratford had given England her two greatest poets, for one must not forget Shakespeare!!

Aleister Crowley founded his own temple of 'life, love, and liberty' after his wife had a vision while visiting a museum in Cairo. The year was 1904 and the gods were ready to annoint an English Gentleman to bear forth their message to humanity and usher in a new era which would replace Christianity, as Christianity had replaced the crumbling faiths of the Roman Empire.

Thus the philosophy of Thelema and 'The Book of the Law' came to be written (or dictated?)
Its main tenet was "Do What Thou Wilt.'

Gardnerian Wicca
Gardnerian Wicca - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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 Judy Kneitel (Lady Theos), so far as anyone knows, the only one of Rosemary's Thirds who passed the initiation on.' [the foregoing quotes provided by Deborah Lipp, 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.

Gardnerian Witches without doubt do have many materials which have not appeared in print, however, their emphasis on secrecy has made them a punch-line in the Wiccan social world. How many Gardnerians does it take to change a light bulb? That's a secret! Their High Priestess will usually be called 'Lady' Soundso and High Priest, 'Lord Whatisname'. [This is far more true in the U. S. than it is in England.]

Alexandrian Wicca
Alexandrian Wicca - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Janet and Stewart Fararr - Teampall Na Callaighe
The New Wiccan Church International

As most everyone by now is aware, the Alexandrian Tradition is very close to Gardnerian with a few minor changes. (One of the most obvious ones being that the Alexandrians use the athame as a symbol for the element of fire and the wand as a symbol for air). Most of the rituals are very formal and heavily indebted to ceremonial magick. It is also a polarized tradition and the sexuality of that female/male polarity is emphasized. The ritual cycle deals mostly with the division of the year between the Holly King and the Oak King and several ritual dramas deal with the dying/resurrected God theme. As with Gardnerians, the High Priestess is supposedly the highest authority. However, it is odd that the primary spokespersons for both traditions have been men.

Alexandrian Wicca is the creation of Alex Sanders (with his then wife Maxine) who claimed to have been initiated by his grandmother in 1933. It's principal proponents are Janet and Stewart Fararr whose books (The Witches Bible) set forth most, if not all, of the Alexandrian tradition. Contrary to popular belief, the name Alexandrian refers not to Alex Sanders, but to Ancient Alexandria. Although similiar to Gardnerian Wicca, Alexandrian Wicca tends to be more eclectic, and liberal. Some of Gardnerisms strict rules, such as the requirement of ritual nudity, have been made optional by Alexandrian Wicca.

Algard Tradition

Mary Nesnick, an American initiate in Gardnerian and Alexandrian traditions founded a 'new' tradition called Algard. This tradition brings together both Gardnerian and Alexandrian teachings under a single banner. This was possible due to the great similiarities between the two traditions.

Celtic Wicca (Church of Wicca)
Gavin Frost - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Church and School 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 diety structure, and has been very patrofocal as Wiccan traditions go.
The Church of Wicca terms itself "Baptist Wicca"

The Frosts call their tradition of Wicca Celtic. To me it seems more of a mixture of high magic and eclectic Wicca, with a smattering of Celtic thrown in. For instance, they use three circles, one within the others, made of salt, sulphur and herbs with runes and symbols between them instead of just one circle. They also insist on a white- handled athame and will not have a black handled one, whereas all the other traditions I have heard or read about use a black handled one. It seems to me the Wicca they practice and teach should not be called Celtic at all; but since a lot of it is made up or put together by them from other traditions they should also give it a made-up name; say Frostism. If you DON'T have to pay for the course, and have some extra time, it would probably be worth reading just for comparison.

The Frosts have always been rather more public than most traditions (advertising their course in the Enquirer and similar publications) which has earned them heavy criticism in less public Craft groups.

Dianic Wicca

*The Dianic Craft includes two distinct branches:

Mixed-Gender Dianic Wicca - Witchvox Article
Dianic Nemorensis Tradition - Witchvox Article

*1. One branch, founded in Texas by Morgan McFarland and Mark Roberts, gives primacy to the Goddess in its thealogy, but honors the Horned God as Her Beloved Consort. Covens are mixed, including both women and men. This branch is sometimes called 'Old Dianic', and there are still covens of this tradition, especially in Texas. Other covens, similar in theology but not directly descended from the McFarland/ Roberts line, are sprinkled around the country.

The Dianic Tradition - Witchvox Article

*2. The other branch, sometimes called Feminist Dianic Witchcraft, focus exclusively on the Goddess and consists of women-only covens and groups. These tend to be loosely structured and non-hierarchical, using consensus- decision- making and simple, creative, experimental ritual. They are politically feminist groups, usually very supportive, personal and emotionally intimate. There is a strong lesbian presence in the movement, though most covens are open to women of all orientations. The major network is Re-Formed Congregation of the Goddess, which publishes "Of a Like Mind" newspaper and sponsors conferences on Dianic Craft.

The Faerie Faith
The Faerie Faith

The Faerie Faith is both a belief system and a tradition. In its most basic form, it is a belief in, and almost a symbiotic relationship with, the Faerie Folk or Little People. This belief does not conflict with the following of other religions or traditions, any more than a child's belief in Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy prevents that child from going to church each week and learning bible stories. Being thus a belief system, the Faerie Faith does not demand or need followers, or leaders, or rituals. It also does not have a pantheon of deities, such as Norse or Egyptian traditions do. The Celtic gods you may be familiar with, including Bridget, the Dagda, and Lugh, are actually Faerie Folk themselves, who have been elevated to the status of gods over the centuries by the Celtic peoples. These gods can be looked on as archetypes more than actual deities, but they are no more and no less real than the other Little People, the spirits of the earth, the nature spirits.

Over time, however, the Faerie Faith evolved from simply a belief system to a pagan tradition, complete with its own rituals, training, and initiatory system. It is still a very simple system, and can be practiced hand-in-hand with other traditions, if one so desires, or can be followed entirely by itself.

Eclectic Wicca

Eclectic Wicca is the most widespread category active in America (traditional Craft is still prevalent in Europe). It is less formal, more open to personal interpretation, and much less uniform in its practices. Basically, eclectic practitioners decide for themselves which elements of various religious practices appeal to them (often described as "what rings true"), and incorporate those practices into their own personal belief system. Groups tend to agree in general, but are less rigid about it than traditional covens. Eclectic practitioners draw, not only from various Pagan systems, but from religions all over the world. The usual watchword is "if it works, use it." Some eclectic systems have been around for so long that they qualify as bona fide traditions of these, the most well known is probably...

Universal Eclectic Wicca
Church of Universal Eclectic Wicca - Home Page
Coven of The Far Flung Net - Home Page

"Universal Eclectic Wicca" is a Tradition of Wicca that embraces a personal exploration into one's own religious paradigm, yet provides structure through the "Five Points of Wiccan Belief." "Eclectic" because they make room for growth, flexibility, and change by allowing members to utilize any source they find useful. Wicca must be eclectic, taking from all of its members, in order to prevent stagnation. They welcome new ideas while maintaining the old ones, because eclecticism and evolution are unavoidable. "Universal" because their beliefs encompass everything, and everything is encompassed by their beliefs. Wicca is universal because it can be used by all, and anything can be used in Wicca. The only limits to this religious universality are the Five Points of Wiccan Belief. All of these things make them Universal Eclectic Wiccans. The Tradition that is now Universal Eclectic Wicca (UEW) came into being in the late 1960's as "Silver Chalice", the core coven at an intentional community in the Westchester area of Upstate New York. By 1986 the land was sold and all the covens that originated with Silver Chalice were referred to as UEW. It is a broad-based tradition, originally created mainly by Jayne Tomas and expanded by Kaatryn MacMorgan, and its beginning purpose was to bring together the followers of several different groups whose leaders had learned from the same training circle. UEW is the result of these people, from varied covens, coming together to write a Tradition that encompassed all of their beliefs. UEW is based not on one or two sources, but an infinite number of sources.

Georgian Wicca
Georgian Wicca - Home Page

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 does not, don't'. The newsletter was always full of contributions from people of many traditions. I've always felt Pat's intent was to provide jumping off points for students and members. So even though I can claim initiation into more than one tradition, I'll always consider myself 'Georgian' first: George is greatly missed, may the Goddess watch over him.

N.E.C.T.W. - Home Page
The Clan of Tubal Cain - Home Page
The Ancient Keltic Church - Roebuck Home Page

Also known as "Fam-Trad", short for "Family Tradition", these are the people who have actually passed down the practices through their family line. Until recently, it was rare (although not unheard of) to find a hereditary family practicing a full-blown religion in the sense we usually mean today. More common would be a family with a collection of "folk" practices, passed down from elders to children, which are recognizable as "folk magic" to anthropologists and others who study such matters. The family itself would not even necessarily recognize its practices as Pagan, and often consider themselves devout members of more mainstream faiths if asked about their practices, they would claim they're just "doing it the way the old folks did," or words to that effect. (For instance, many who now consider themselves Pagan had parents or grandparents who taught them to read tea leaves, palms, or tarot cards, or who did certain things around the house at certain times of year, "for luck."). Many of these families, in current generations, have recognized their Pagan roots with the modern widespread availability of information, and have chosen to incorporate modern Pagan practice with the traditions handed down to them from their elders. More unusual still are those families, very few and far between, who have actually kept a Pagan religious sensibility alive through the generations. They are usually rural, often agricultural, and their practices tend not to resemble modern Witchcraft at all, since they weren't affected by the ceremonial influences evident in the Craft of the British revival.

Principia Discordia - Home Page
Discordianism - Home Page

*The Discordian or Erisian movement is described as a 'Non- Prophet Irreligious Disorganization' and has claimed 'The Erisian revelation is not a complicated put-on disguised as a new religion, but a new religion disguised as a complicated put-on. It all started with the *'Principia Discordia, or How I Found the Goddess and What I Did to Her When I Found Her'*, a collection of articles and ideas compiled by Greg Hill (Malaclypse the Young-er). The central theme is 'Chaos is every bit as important as Order' as illustrated in the story of The curse of Greyface:

*Humor is central to Discordianism, but Discordianism should not be dismissed as a joke. Profound experiences frequently accompany the practice or Erisinaism. It is a perceptual game, one which demonstrates that the absurd is just as valid as the mundane and chaos is just as valid as order. It frees the practitioner from the order games (that most have forgotten are games) to play games with order or games with chaos, or both. The effects of Discordianism upon an individual can be far- reaching and amazingly liberating. [Although a great many immature individuals have played at Discordianism and thereby sidestepped any chance of spiritual growth whatsoever

Native American
Native American Religeons
Sacred Formulas Of The Cherokees

The Native American Traditions, in general, follow an Earth-based, nature-positive spiritual path. They are a monotheistic belief system, perceiving their Deity as both female and male, an omnipotent Goddess and God. This Deity has created all things and has the ability to endow each and every existence with a portion of His, Her essence. There are more than 500 Native American Religions, because each and every Nation has its own belief system.

Reclaiming - Home Page
Starhawk - Home Page

The Reclaiming Tradition, now active world-wide, is based in San Francisco, and is the long-lived eclectic result of the American neo-Pagan resurgence of the early 1980's. Founded by Starhawk, a popular Pagan and feminist author, it was originally envisioned as a creative fusion between the feminist spirituality and neo-Pagan communities, based solidly on traditional Craft but re-created in alignment with a more egalitarian sensibility. Reclaiming has had an enormous influence on modern Craft, since Starhawk's The Spiral Dance is one of the most widely-read training manuals in the Pagan community today. Reclaiming emphasizes sexual equality, personal development, and political action (both mundane and magical) rooted in religious conviction and personal responsibility.

Worldwide Shamanism

Shamanism comprises a range of traditional beliefs and practices concerned with communication with the spirit world. It is a prominent term in anthropological research. A practitioner of shamanism is known as a shaman. The shaman is seen as communicating with the spirits on behalf of the community, including the spirits of the dead. In some cultures, this mediator function of the shaman may be illustrated well by some of the shaman's objects and symbols. There are many variations of shamanism throughout the world, but several common beliefs are shared by all forms of shamanism. Shamans are intermediaries between the human and spirit worlds. They can treat illness and are capable of entering supernatural realms to obtain answers to the problems of their community.

Shamanistic - Wicca
Circle Sanctuary - Home Page
Dance of the Deer Foundation - Home Page
Foundation for Shamanic Studies - Home Page

Often confused with Solitary or the Traditional, Shamic Multicultural Witchcraft derives from the interweaving of the Native American, Celtic and the Siberian Shamic Belief Structures as set forth by Mircea Eliade and Michael Harner. There exist 4 main Mother chapters: Circle Sanctuary of Wisconsin in the United States, Fellowship of the Dragon of Bedford in Great Britain, The Dance of the Deer Foundation in South America and Hervor of Melbourne, Victoria in Australia. Members of these Four organizations may also be a member of the international Foundation for Shamanic Studies. These priests and priestesses are solitary practitioners who are actively involved with the healing of Mother Earth. These are the Shaman - Medicine Men - Wise Women of the twenty first century. The biggest differences between this and the other Crafts are a belief in the Animal, Earth, Plant and Spirit Nations, the belief in The Old Ones, the belief in The World Tree, the use of the Solar Cross instead of the Magic Circle (Though some may use The Medicine Wheel). And the practice of the Vision quest to obtain knowledge.


Many, if not most, of today's Witches are solitary practitioners, Witches who work alone either because they have no group nearby to practice with or they prefer not to work in a group. They tend to be eclectic in style, although solitaries can exist within any category, depending on their own training and personal education. Some solitaries emphasize the practice of magic over the religious aspects of Witchcraft, but just as many put the emphasis on the side of worship. Like Eclectics, (of which this is really a sub-group,) the exact practices of solitaries will vary from Witch to Witch - no two people are the same, so no two Witches' interpretations of the Truth will be the same.

Stregheria - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Aradia de Toscano - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Home of Italian Witchcraft
Raymond Buckland Home Page

Stregheria is the Craft of the Italian Witches. It's an ancient system, steeped with history that dates back to the 14th century. They are the descendants of an ancient people who used moonlore, nature, symbolisms, and Spirits (Faery) to work their magick. Stregheria resembles Wicca in that both systems are Goddess based. Both Stregheria and many Wiccan traditions accept the duality of both a female and male God. In Stregheria the Goddess is known as Tana and the God as Tanus. Diane and Dianus represent the Moon goddess and god respectively. Many of the Goddesses and Gods are known by different names in different traditions. Stregheria and Wicca celebrate many of the same rites or Festivals even though the names are not the same and sometimes they occur on a slightly diffferent date.

(The reference to the 14th Century is a reference to the teachings of Aradia and to the Stregheria tradition. It is not meant to say that Stregheria is a product of the 14th Century or that all Streghe in Italy follow the same tradition founded by Aradia in the 14th Century.

Stregheria in Italy goes back way before pre-christian times and there are many Streghe in Italy and the US who follow traditions that have nothing to do with Aradia de Toscano. Stregheria has many differences from Wicca. Their festa's for example follow a slightly different mythos from that of Wicca.)

The Watchers called Grigori, are called to guard the ritual circle and to witness the ritual. Strega also recognizes a third person, Aradia. She came to be known as the Holy Strega, a spiritual teacher and wise woman. The message of Aradia, called the Covenant, offered her followers the path to freedom and personal empowerment. Aradia also taught that the traditional powers of a witch would belong to any who adhered to the way of the Old Religion. Aradia called these Gifts and Beliefs. The Charge of Aradia is the message she left her followers. (Aradia was their teacher and the founder of the Triad Clans of Italy. There are many Streghe in Italy who are not of the Triad Clans and do not follow the teachings of Aradia.)


Often confused with Hereditary, traditional Witchcraft derives from the British Witchcraft revival of the fifties and sixties, although it has branched in a myriad of directions since then, many of which are very dissimilar to the original practices. Traditionalists tend to be organized in small groups (usually known as "circles", but sometimes also as "covens" and "groves"), often with a hierarchical structure of training and rank ~ i.e., those who are more experienced usually lead and teach, and wield more authority than in most eclectic groups, although in practice most modern groups make most decisions collectively. Traditions usually keep track of lineage, preferring to keep an unbroken line of initiation (which is similar to ecclesiastical ordination in purpose), although some groups feel more strongly about this than others. Emphasis tends to be on ritual, worship, skills-development, personal growth and education. Ceremonies tend to be more formal, and training often leads to eventual teaching. The two most common in the US are the Mohsian Tradition of Wicca (founded in the early 1960's by Bill and Helen Mohs) and the American Traditional Wicca of Hawaii (founded in the early 1960's by Scott Cunningham)

Druidry - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Ár nDraíocht Féin The Druid Fellowship
Order of Bards and Ovates

Druidry is an indigenous, earth-ancestor spirituality rooted in the islands of Britain and Ireland. Just as Native American, Maori, Aboriginal and African cultures are understood to have ancient spiritual traditions based on the peoples' connection with the land and their blood and cultural heritage, so people of Northwest European ancestry have Druidry. Its roots stretch back through the veils of history and beyond to the first settlers on Britain's shores after the receding flows of the Ice Age 12,000 years ago, yet only if we look closely at what Druidry is: a spiritual philosophy based on natural law. Historians generally associate Druids with the Iron Age Celtic culture that spread out from central Europe from about 800 to 200 BCE, yet the Celtic people of Gaul maintained that Druidry originated in Britain and that Druids from continental Europe came here to study.

Our first written evidence of the word 'Druid' comes from Roman texts of the turn of the millennium into the Common Era when Roman armies were moving through north west Europe and into Britain. The Druids were described as an intellectual and religious elite working amongst the tribal peoples, holding power as custodians of their cultural and spiritual heritage, practising their rites in urban shrines and woodland groves, revering the natural world as sacred, and in particular honoring certain trees, plants and animals, rivers, lakes and springs.

Nor did Druidry die out with the cultural changes introduced by the Romans, Saxons or Vikings. Druidry was an oral tradition and survived as Druids continued to practise as bards, advisors and priests, working with the power of the land and the wisdom of their ancestors, within a spiritual philosophy which naturally adapts, evolving through time. Clear remnants of the old teachings survived in the Bardic colleges of Wales, Ireland and Scotland which remained active until the 17th century, as well as in medieval manuscripts and folk lore.

Theistic Satanism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Theistic Satanism and The Left Hand Path
Satanism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sethianism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Church of Satan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Satanism is a word which has been used over the years to describe a number of different belief systems in a number of contexts. People claiming to be Satanists—or outsiders claiming to describe Satanism—ascribe a wide variety of beliefs to this movement. These range from the literal worship of a malevolent spiritual being (Theistic Satanism); to a kind of subversive ritual performance stressing the mockery of Christian symbols (most notably the Black Mass); to the claimed rediscovery of an ancient but misunderstood religion (e.g. Setianism, which conflates Satan with the Egyptian god Set);
to the exaltation of hedonistic recreation, and the celebration of selfishness and pleasure.

Theistic Satanism is a form of Satanism in which adherents believe Satan is an actual deity. Satanists claim that they experience a "dark" divinity or powerful entity behind the forces of darkness, knowledge, animal energy and freedom in their lives. He (or She) is sometimes perceived as the Muse and the Bestower of knowledge (Gnosis). Satanists may place a great emphasis on the Serpent in the Biblical tale of Genesis, whom they perceive to be one of the many emanations or incarnations of Lucifer/Satan. According to such teachings, Satan blessed mankind with the "forbidden" fruit of knowledge of good and evil. From this perspective, knowing good is a good thing, but knowing evil is even better, for someone who knows and recognizes evil is better-armed and equipped to fight evil. It is for this reason that Satanists perceive Satan not as a Force of evil but rather a Force of good. Other devil worshippers though reject this idea, and see themselves as enemies of "Good" and servants of "Evil" in the name of Satan, who they see as the God of all that is Evil.

The Sethians were a group of ancient Gnostics, that date their existence before Christianity. Their influence spread throughout the Mediterranean into the later systems of the Thomasines, the Basilideans and the Valentinians. Their thinking, though it is predominantly Judaic in foundation, is arguably strongly influenced by Platonism. Sethians are so called for their veneration of the biblical Seth, third son of Adam and Eve, who is depicted in their myths of creation as a divine incarnation; consequently, the offspring or 'posterity' of Seth are held to comprise a superior elect within human society.

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