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Traditions(religion, spiritualism, and occult)
Just as there are a large number of different denominations of Christianity, so are there a number of traditions of Wicca. The oldest formal tradition is Gardnerian, founded by Gerald Gardner and based on what he learned from the coven into which he was initiated in the 1930s.
With the success of Gardnerian, other traditions arose, most basing themselves on the Gardnerian rituals. Alexandrian, founded in the 1960s by Alex Sanders, includes a large percentage of Gardnerian Wicca with the addition of many aspects of Ceremonial Magic. Others quickly emerged, many claiming great antiquity, but further examination proved them to be based on the Gardnerian rites. Saxon Witchcraft, or Seax-Wica, founded in 1973 by Raymond Buckland, made no claims to antiquity nor did it use any of the Gardnerian rites. It broke with tradition by being open and far more democratically organized than most other traditions.
Covens have arisen that claim to be Italian, Celtic, Druidic, Welsh, Irish, Dianic, or Scottish traditions, as well as a host of others. Those that have no special background classify themselves as simply "eclectic."
All traditions follow the basic Witchcraft beliefs and celebrate the sabbats at the same times of year. The makeup of the covens differs, with some being equal numbers of male and female, others unequal numbers, and some even all male or all female. Some emphasize the God, others the Goddess, but the majority believe in a balance between God and Goddess. Some traditions have a degree system while others do not. The coven tools used may vary, as may the emphasis on what forms of magic are practiced. All traditions have a great reverence for nature and for all forms of life. All follow the Wiccan Rede and none practice harmful magic.