Traditions


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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.

References in classic literature ?
Whatever may be the truth, as respects the root and the genius of the Indian tongues, it is quite certain they are now so distinct in their words as to possess most of the disadvantages of strange languages; hence much of the embarrassment that has arisen in learning their histories, and most of the uncertainty which exists in their traditions.
Historia Britonum' (The History of the Britons), which adds to Gildas' outline traditions, natural and supernatural, which had meanwhile been growing up among the Britons (Welsh).
In this cavern, tradition says, Saul, the king, sat at midnight, and stared and trembled, while the earth shook, the thunders crashed among the hills, and out of the midst of fire and smoke the spirit of the dead prophet rose up and confronted him.
After the burning of Smolensk a war began which did not follow any previous traditions of war.
In all the rainy desert of autumnal London there were only two people whom the Newland Archers knew; and these two they had sedulously avoided, in conformity with the old New York tradition that it was not "dignified" to force one's self on the notice of one's acquaintances in foreign countries.
Our acquaintance with the whole subject is derived chiefly from tradition.
In Ionia and the islands the epic poets followed the Homeric tradition, singing of romantic subjects in the now stereotyped heroic style, and showing originality only in their choice of legends hitherto neglected or summarily and imperfectly treated.
In many of the caverns in the Peak I am convinced that some of the smaller passages were used in primeval times as the lairs of some of the great serpents of legend and tradition.
This had always been a principle in the Dodson family; it was one form if that sense of honor and rectitude which was a proud tradition in such families,--a tradition which has been the salt of our provincial society.
In old Norse times, the thrones of the sea-loving Danish kings were fabricated, saith tradition, of the tusks of the narwhale.
From a tradition that the weapon with which the Norwegian champion was slain, resembled a pear, or, as others say, that the trough or boat in which the soldier floated under the bridge to strike the blow, had such a shape, the country people usually begin a great market, which is held at Stamford, with an entertainment called the Pear-pie feast, which after all may be a corruption of the Spear-pie feast.
Again, "the good and just," throughout the book, is the expression used in referring to the self-righteous of modern times,-- those who are quite sure that they know all that is to be known concerning good and evil, and are satisfied that the values their little world of tradition has handed down to them, are destined to rule mankind as long as it lasts.