Like many other religions, Wicca features a variety of traditions (which could be likened to denominations or sects).
Traditions can further be broken down into Emerging Traditions and Established Traditions, with either having a lineage or not. An Emerging Tradition is considered one where the group is younger than 5 years and may not yet be a parent coven. An Established Tradition is one which is older than 5 years, may have published works by it's founder, and has members who have passed through all levels of training in order to move on and establish their own coven.
This tradition was established by Alex and Maxine Sanders in approximately 1960 and is also an Initiatory Mystery Tradition and considered a British Traditional form as well.
Although it has yet to become a widely recognised term, authors such as Donna "Darkwolf" Vos, have published books making the arguement for the importance of incorporating local culture into Wiccan practise. She writes, in Circle of the African Moon, that Wiccan's living and practising in Africa should become more comfortable with traditional African rituals such as the slaughter of cattle as part of their rites.
This tradition, although established in America, is based on a fusion of both Alexandrian and Gardnerian Traditions. It is therefore still considered to be British Traditional and an Initiatory Mystery Tradition.
This is a general term to describe early forms of Wicca which started in about the 1970's but have no direct links to Gardnerian or Alexandrian Traditions.
Founded by Ed Buczynski, an initiate of a coven in New York, who fell out with his coven and went on to form his own. He met his partner, Herman Slater, and together they ran an occult bookshop and ran the first coven. It is loosely based on Gardnerian practises. It is considered American Traditional.
This tradition was founded in around 1979, although it was only considered to have offically been recognised in 1985. It was created on the popularity of Wicca in the 1970's but is not based on any previous traditions. It is entirely self-styled, but is still self-proclaimed to be Wiccan. It does away with many of the basic practices of Wicca, such as initiation, and is instead based on what could be described as a "romanticised" version of the founders view of what Wicca was.
Celtic Wicca is a broader term which applies to a number of unrelated groups, but who have similar practises. The earliest progenitor of this tradition is Jessie Bell in the 1970's but more recently Gavin and Yvonne Frost of the Church and School of Wicca have referred to their practises as "Celtic Wicca". This tradition is often frowned upon, and often completely disregarded, by other Wicca Traditions due to it's highly romanticised view of Celtic beliefs and practises and is often in direct conflict with historical fact.
Some sources purpose a tradition called Ceremonial Wicca where there is a huge influence of Ceremonial, or High, Magick infused with the more folk-based practices of Wicca.
Central Valley Wicca
Chalice Well Tradition
This tradition is the only American group that claims a family tradition that can be traced back to Scotish Ancestors, while at the same time arguing for Native American influences that were brought into the family tradition through inter-marriage when the family moved to America. These claims are hotly disputed by the Wiccan community at large as the tradition claims it was founded in the 1800's. In 2006, following internal pollitics, the tradition split into two groups - Correllian Nativist Church International (Nativist Tradition) and Correll Mother Temple (Correllian Tradition).
Church and School of Wicca
(see Celtic Wiccan Tradition)
Founded by Zsuzsanna Budapest in the United States in the 1970's. They focus on the worship of the Goddess, and on feminine aspects. Originally lesbians formed the majority of the movement, however modern Dianic groups may be all-lesbian, all-heterosexual or mixed. Generally, if they worship the God, it is as a consort of the Goddess, rather than an equal.
The three main branches of Dianic Neopaganism are:
- Dianic Wicca, a feminine tradition of Wicca.
- McFarland Dianic, a Neopagan Fairy lineage tradition.
- The Living Temple of Diana, an emerging shamanic witchcraft tradition.
Draconian Tradition is a branch of Wicca/Witchcraft/Paganism that utilizes the what are believed to be energies of dragons or dragon spirits.
This is a term used to describe practitioners of Wicca, either solitary or in groups, who take inspiration from various sources which they mold into their own form of "Wicca".
The Faery Tradition of Wicca (not to be confused with the Feri Tradition, which is not Wiccan) was founded by Kisma Stepanich in 1994. She is an American with distant links to Ireland on her mothers side. Her inspiration for Faery Wicca came from her claim that she was visited by the Fae as a child. There is no information regarding her introduction to Wicca, other than through the sudden explosion of material on the subject that became popular online in the 1990's.
Our tradition is named after Gerald B. Gardner (1884-1964), a British civil servant who studied magic and many other things over the course of a long life. He knew and worked with many famous occultists, not the least of which was Aleister Crowley (1875-1947). Gardner agreed with Margaret Murray's (1865-1965) premise that what was considered folk magick in Great Britain and Celtic Europe was actually the battered remnants of the original pre-Roman and possibly pre-Celtic religion of western Europe. He was probably encouraged, and possibly inspired by the publication, by Charles G. Leland, of his work on reclaiming similar survivals in Tuscany and from within the culture of the Rom. Certain traditional practices had survived in Gardner's family, and he found others who had preserved similar survivals, and shared his beliefs in the ancientry of this knowledge.
The Green Wicca Tradition was first named by Ann Moura in her book "Green Witchcraft" (1996) where she claims it is more a tradition of solitary Wiccan's who put heavy emphasis of herbalism for spells and healing.
A tradition formed for gay males to explore their spirituality without the historical inclusion of women
New Reformed Orthodox Order of the Golden Dawn
North East United States Welsh Tradition See "American Welsh"
While not a formal tradition it is still an important part of Wiccan movements to be included here. The first book to be written on the subject was "Magick without Peers: A Course in Progressive Witchcraft for the Solitary Practioner" by David Rankine and Ariadne Rainbird. It is described as an approach which is more universal than the traditions of Garnerian and Alexandrian Wicca. It draws on each of these traditions but is a system suited to solitary practitioners who wish to incorporate a wider variety of influences into their beliefs and practices.
Seax-Wica was the invention of Raymond Buckland who was also the first person in the US to openly admit to being Wiccan. He was initiated in the Garderian tradition, and Gerald Gardner was present at his initiation. He eventually went on to found this, his own tradition, with a heavily Anglo-Saxon influence.
Scotish Wicca Tradition
A path of Wicca influenced by the religious philosophy of Thelema ("Will").
This is an American Tradition which uses primarily a Christian Pantheon within a Wiccan form of pactice.
Welsh Faerie Tradition
This is a family tradition of Witches and Bard's that had an ancestor who was initiated into the Gardnerian Tradition and thus combined the two to form their own tradition of Wicca.
Y Tylwyth Teg
See Welsh Faerie Tradition