PRACTICING WICCA AND WITCHCRAFT TODAY

PRACTICING WICCA AND WITCHCRAFT TODAY

 

Starting something new can be frightening; this applies also to a new religion.  You will be taught the basic tenants, but in the long run, it will be up  to you to make of it what you want.

There are many different witches, each with their own set of rituals.  Some witches prefer to work alone, other like working within a coven.  Once again  this is a person choice.  Let no one force you into joining anything with which you are not comfortable.

Let me give you an idea of the various forms of the craft that are available to you.

Gardnerian Wicca:  Started in 1950’s by Gerald Gardner.  Groups tend to work skyclad.  Covens use a degree system.  Individuals are initiated by the  coven.

Alaxandrian Wicca:  Started in the 1960’s in England.  In many aspects they are like the Gardnerian Wicca.

Georgian Wicca:  Founded by George Patterson in the 1970’s.  They are known as the Georgian Church and draw their rituals from the Alaxandrian and  Gardnerian crafts.  Members also write their own ritual.

Algard Wicca:  Founded in 1972.  Mary Nesnick combined Alexandrian and Gardnerian Wicca to form the Algard tradition.  They are very close to the  Gardnerian tradition.

Seax-Wica: Founded in 1962 by Raymond Buckland a protégé of Gardner.  He moved to the U. S. A. and in 1973 started his own tradition based on Saxon  traditions.  Hence Seax-Wica.

Feri Tradition: Victor Anderson is credited to bringing this tradition to America in the late 1960’s.  Feri teacher tend to add something of  themselves to the religion as they teach.  They can be solitary or work in small groups.

Dianic Tradition: This religion focus strongly on the Goddess with little or no interact on the God.  This is a feminist movement of the craft.  The  covens are women only.

British Traditional: There are a number of different British Traditions that are based on the Pre Christian traditions of Old England.

Celtic Wicca:  The tradition looks to the Celtic and druidic deities, with an emphasis on magickal and healing properties.

Northern Way or Asatru.  This tradition is based on the Old Norse gods.

Pictish Witches:  This is a solitary Scottish Tradition that is based on nature.

Strega Witches:  This tradition is from Italy.

You will notice that this list is long, but not complete.  Many witches are drawn to the “way” because of their background.  This need not be  so.  Follow the one that calls to you.

What type of a witch are you?

Solitary:  Practices the craft alone and does not work with a group or coven.  By the Gardnerian and Alexandrian way solitary witches    are not witches.  In order to be considered a witch you must work with a coven.

Eclectic:  These witches pick chose and mix various traditions.  They have no set path.

Hereditary:  These are the practitioners who have been taught the craft from their relative.  The craft was passed, unbroken, from    generation to generation.

So, now, do you want to be a solitary witch or work with a coven?  Let me give you a few Pros and Cons to consider.

PRO

If you join a coven you will receive lots of support.  There are people available with the same beliefs to talk to.  You will also get some structure.    You can work your way up from dedicant to High Priest(s).

CON

Just by the fact that there is structure in a coven may discourage some people.  The coven decides on the where, when at time of the Sabbats and    meetings.  If you break the laws of the coven (dishonor) you will be asked to leave.   The cons of a coven are not unlike those that relate to any group    activity.

PRO

OK, so you will go solo and be a solitary.  This means that you can learn at your own pace.  You can follow your own schedule for Sabbats, within    reason.  You attire is strictly up to you.  Some solitaries will join with a know coven to celebrate Sabbats.  You can design your own rituals.

CON

The major downside is that you are on are on your own.  Help and guidance from knowledgeable witches are not going to be readily available.  The    solitary had no linage to look back on for guidance.  Solitary witches are looked down on by name of the coven witches.  What do you know – a class    structure L

So what type of training do you want?  You can find metaphysical shops and seek help from them.  You can use the local library or book shop.  If you    have internet access there is a wealth of information available for you.

You may want to join a coven.  This decision must be made carefully.  Some covens are basically nothing more than social groups.  Others are based on    the D & D games.  Be selective, just as they will want to interview you, you should reciprocate in kind.

NOTE:  Witches do not try to convert people.

Once you have decided upon a coven go to a few open Sabbats and meetings, if permitted.  If you can not attend an open Sabbat write the coven off.  With    the exception of two Sabbats, all others can be open.

Sit down with the Priestess / Priest and see what the coven will want of you.  The will also ask what you can bring to the coven.  Remember, a coven    becomes your family away from home.  The coven should NEVER supercede your home life.  You family will always come first.

Once you are in total agreement – both ways you can apply to become a dedicant.  During this time you will be kept under the eye of the Priestess and    Priest.  Your initial training will last for a year and a day.  After that time, if upon the agreement of all, you can become an initiate.  From that point    on you will go through the three degrees of initiation.  Each degree will take a minimum of a year and a day to complete.

Being a member of a coven is a commitment.  You will be expected to attend coven functions.  Covens usually meet to celebrate the 8 Sabbats – holidays    of the God and 13 Esbats – holidays of the Goddess.  Members of the coven are given a part to perform during the rituals.  Not showing up for ritual is a    major NO-NO.  If you do not make it you can ruin the ritual.

You may also be asked to help the coven.  Many covens take on community work to help the community.

Many covens plan outing and fun events for their members…

One thing to remember no matter what path you choose; When the Student is ready, the Teacher Will Appear.

Things to Remember

There are possibly hundreds, possibly thousand different types of witches.

You need not join a coven to be a witch.

If any witch asks you to do something that is immoral, illegal or makes you uncomfortable, DO NOT DO IT.

You will find your teacher when the time is right.

Lighten Up – Pagan Lightbulb Jokes

Pagan Lightbulb Jokes

How many Gardnerians does it take to change a lightbulb? 13 consistng entirely of man-woman working couples

How many Rad fems does it take? 7: one to do it, 2 to organize the creche and 4 to debate the meaning of the word unscrew

How man Crowleyites does it take? They can’t. Uncle Aleister didn’t leave any instructions.

How many Chaos magicians does it take? They don’t need to–they are used to working in the dark.

How many Zen Buddhists does it take to change a light bulb? Two. One to change it, one not to change it.

How many Zen Masters does it take to change a light bulb? None. The universe changes the light bulb and the Zen Master gets the hell out of the way!

How many Gardnerians does it take to change a light bulb? 1. I can’t say. It’s oathbound. 2. I can’t tell you–you’re not a third-circle initiate!

How many Alexandrians does it take to change a light bulb? 1. Same number as Gardnerians. 2. What do the Gardnerians do?

How many Dianic women does it take to screw in a light bulb? That’s W-I-M-M-I-N, and that’s not funny!

How many Solitaries does it take to change a light bulb? Who cares!

How many Dianics does it take to change a light bulb? Only one, but that bulb has really got to want to change.

How many witches does it take to change a light bulb? 1. None… they call the electrician who’s also pagan and keeps the money in their community. 2. None — if a candle was good enough for Gramma it’s good enough for me!

How may light bulbs does it take to change a Gardnerian? None, they can do it all by themselves, thank you very much!!

How many Asatruar does it take to change a light bulb? None. The light from the burning monastery is sufficient, thank you.

How many Druids does it take to screw in a light bulb? They don’t screw in light bulbs, they screw in stone circles.

How many Druids does it take to change a light bulb? Thirteen; one to hold the bulb, and twelve to drink enough to make the room spin.

How many ceremonial magicians does it take to change a light bulb? One; he stands still with the bulb, and the universe revolves around him.

How many Witches does it take to change a light bulb? Depends on what you want to change it into.

How many Thelemites does it take to change a light bulb? None. Crowley never wrote a book about it.

Lighten Up – Pagan Lightbulb Jokes

How many Gardnerians does it take to change a lightbulb? 13 consistng entirely of man-woman working couples

How many Rad fems does it take? 7: one to do it, 2 to organize the creche and 4 to debate the meaning of the word unscrew

How man Crowleyites does it take? They can’t. Uncle Aleister didn’t leave any instructions.

How many Chaos magicians does it take? They don’t need to–they are used to working in the dark.

How many Zen Buddhists does it take to change a light bulb? Two. One to change it, one not to change it.

How many Zen Masters does it take to change a light bulb? None. The universe changes the light bulb and the Zen Master gets the hell out of the way!

How many Gardnerians does it take to change a light bulb? 1. I can’t say. It’s oathbound. 2. I can’t tell you–you’re not a third-circle initiate!

How many Alexandrians does it take to change a light bulb? 1. Same number as Gardnerians. 2. What do the Gardnerians do?

How many Dianic women does it take to screw in a light bulb? That’s W-I-M-M-I-N, and that’s not funny!

How many Solitaries does it take to change a light bulb? Who cares!

How many Dianics does it take to change a light bulb? Only one, but that bulb has really got to want to change.

How many witches does it take to change a light bulb? 1. None… they call the electrician who’s also pagan and keeps the money in their community. 2. None — if a candle was good enough for Gramma it’s good enough for me!

How may light bulbs does it take to change a Gardnerian? None, they can do it all by themselves, thank you very much!!

How many Asatruar does it take to change a light bulb? None. The light from the burning monastery is sufficient, thank you.

How many Druids does it take to screw in a light bulb? They don’t screw in light bulbs, they screw in stone circles.

How many Druids does it take to change a light bulb? Thirteen; one to hold the bulb, and twelve to drink enough to make the room spin.

How many ceremonial magicians does it take to change a light bulb? One; he stands still with the bulb, and the universe revolves around him.

How many Witches does it take to change a light bulb? Depends on what you want to change it into.

How many Thelemites does it take to change a light bulb? None. Crowley never wrote a book about it.

Later Developments In Wicca

Wicca has developed in several directions and institutional structures from the time it was brought to wider attention by Gerald Gardner. Gardnerian Wicca was an initiatory mystery religion, admission to which was at least in theory limited to those who were initiated into a pre-existing coven. The Book of Shadows, the grimoire that contained the Gardnerian rituals, was a secret that could only be obtained from a coven of proper lineage. Some Wiccans such as Raymond Buckland, then a Gardnerian, continued to maintain this stance well into the 1970s. Further degrees of initiation were required before members could found their own covens. Interest outstripped the ability of the mostly British-based covens to train and propagate members; the beliefs of the religion spread faster by the printed word or word of mouth than the initiatory system was prepared to handle.

Other traditions appeared. Some claimed roots as ancient as Gardner’s version, and were organised along similar lines. Others were syncretistic, importing aspects of Kabbalah or ceremonial magic. In 1971 “Lady Sheba” published a version of the Gardnerian Book of Shadows, dispelling what little secrecy remained as to the contents of Gardner’s rituals. Increasing awareness of Gardner’s literary sources and the actual early history of the movement made creativity seem as valuable as Gardnerian tradition.

Another significant development was creation by feminists of Dianic Wicca or feminist Dianic Witchcraft, a specifically feminist faith that discarded Gardnerian-style hierarchy as irrelevant; many Dianic Wiccans taught that witchcraft was every woman’s right and heritage to claim. This heritage might be characterized by the quote of Monique Wittig “But remember. Make an effort to remember. Or, failing that, invent.” This tradition was particularly open to solitary witches, and created rituals for self-initiation to allow people to identify with and join the religion without first contacting an existing coven. This contrasts with the Gardnerian belief that only a witch of opposite gender could initiate another witch.

The publications of Raymond Buckland illustrate these changes. During the early 1970s, in books such as Witchcraft – Ancient and Modern and Witchcraft From the Inside, Buckland maintained the Gardnerian position that only initiates into a Gardnerian or other traditional coven were truly Wiccans.

However, in 1974, Buckland broke with the Gardnerians and founded Seax-Wica, revealing its teachings and rituals in the book The Tree: The Complete Book of Saxon Witchcraft. This “tradition” made no claims to direct descent from ancient Saxons; all its ritual was contained in the book, which allowed for self-initiation. In 1986 Buckland published Buckland’s Complete Book of Witchcraft, a workbook that sought to train readers in magical and ritual techniques as well as instructing them in Wiccan teachings and rituals.

Practicing Wicca and Witchcraft Today

Practicing Wicca and Witchcraft Today

 

Starting something new can be frightening; this applies also to a new religion. You will be taught the basic tenants, but in the long run, it will be up to you to make of it what you want.

There are many different witches, each with their own set of rituals. Some witches prefer to work alone, other like working within a coven. Once again this is a person choice. Let no one force you into joining anything with which you are not comfortable.

Let me give you an idea of the various forms of the craft that are available to you.

Gardnerian Wicca: Started in 1950’s by Gerald Gardner. Groups tend to work skyclad. Covens use a degree system. Individuals are initiated by the coven.

Alaxandrian Wicca: Started in the 1960’s in England. In many aspects they are like the Gardnerian Wicca.

Georgian Wicca: Founded by George Patterson in the 1970’s. They are known as the Georgian Church and draw their rituals from the Alaxandrian and Gardnerian crafts. Members also write their own ritual.

Algard Wicca: Founded in 1972. Mary Nesnick combined Alexandrian and Gardnerian Wicca to form the Algard tradition. They are very close to the Gardnerian tradition.

Seax-Wica: Founded in 1962 by Raymond Buckland a protégé of Gardner. He moved to the U. S. A. and in 1973 started his own tradition based on Saxon traditions. Hence Seax-Wica.

Feri Tradition: Victor Anderson is credited to bringing this tradition to America in the late 1960’s. Feri teacher tend to add something of themselves to the religion as they teach. They can be solitary or work in small groups.

Dianic Tradition: This religion focus strongly on the Goddess with little or no interact on the God. This is a feminist movement of the craft. The covens are women only.

British Traditional: There are a number of different British Traditions that are based on the Pre Christian traditions of Old England.

Celtic Wicca: The tradition looks to the Celtic and druidic deities, with an emphasis on magickal and healing properties.

Northern Way or Asatru. This tradition is based on the Old Norse gods.

Pictish Witches: This is a solitary Scottish Tradition that is based on nature.

Strega Witches: This tradition is from Italy.

You will notice that this list is long, but not complete. Many witches are drawn to the “way” because of their background. This need not be so. Follow the one that calls to you.