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Some Quick Context On the Wiccan Belief System

Aug 29, 2008
In 1954, a former UK government worker named Gerald Gardner proclaimed that he had received initiation into an archaic nature religion which was a survival of indigenous European faiths. The practitioners of this religion were calling themselves the New Forest Coven. Gardner launched an effort to repopularize and revive this witchcraft religion by writing and publishing a book named "Witchcraft Today," in which he tied together the fragments of remaining tradition from the New Forest Coven.

Gardner referred to the spiritual system as "witchcraft," and termed its practitioners "the Wica." He explained that this latter term was introduced to him by existing initiates of the Coven, and that its use was what introduced him to the likelihood that "the Old Religion still existed." Gardner asserted, like most current historians, that the name "Wica" came from the early English term "wicca," which is the etymological forerunner of the contemporary term "witch."

There is a good deal of debate about the reality of his idea that he was resurrecting an indigenous, original, goddess-based European pagan religion. A couple historians have made the case that Gardner had simply invented the traditions of the Wica, compiling features of a number of known archaic religions and from modern occult practices as needed. Regardless, most historians concur that Gardner made his assertions in good faith. It is believed that Gardner had actually been initiated into a 1900s revival of the ancient paganism that Gardner been seeking, instead of a pure survival of an ancient European spiritual tradition.

Even though he produced the craft's beliefs in order to conserve witchcraft for his generation's descendants, Gardner understood "witchcraft" as a mystery cult that required initiation to be completely assimilated and practiced. An English expatriate named Raymond Buckland gained an initiation into the new mystery tradition from Gardner's own coven, which he had called the Isle of Man, and then introduced the traditions of the Isle of Man back to the United States. The new religion accrued support at a very nice pace in the new world, where a devotional and spiritual revolution was on the horizon.

Since the early 1960s, a wide variety of new incarnations of Wicca-based spiritual practice have spread widely. Most of them have been the creations of Gardner's own disciples who went on to start their own covens and developed their own pools of initiates. Other widespread forms of Wiccan practice have derived from self-initiated practitioners and witches who set up their own conceptions of Wiccan religion that center around the the works of Gardner and those who followed after him. Today a number of these descendants of Gardner's Wicca are in widespread practice around the world.
About the Author
Dallas is an experimental mystic who investigates the religions of the world in hopes of piecing together the ultimate fate of mankind. In his expeditions, he often needs to find Wiccan supplies for things like special incenses, sigils, crystals, precious gemstones, as well as Wicca books. He wishes you great wonderment on your own spiritual journey!
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