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Gardnerian Wicca

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“Wicca.” Many things flood the mind upon hearing that word. To many people, it is synonymous with devil worship, fortune telling, and even human sacrifices. Images of black pointed hats gracing green wrinkled faces burst on the imagination. Is this the truth about Wicca? Is it all about little old ladies running around a cauldron in the company of unruly black cats? Is Wicca in fact devil worship?

A study of the subject will show that there are many different sects collected under the umbrella of “Wicca.” Specifically, there are 28 main branches that are present throughout the world. Keep in mind, though, that these are only the most prominent branches. Because of the relativistic nature of the religion many other unknown sects exist, and many more could develop in years to come. There are significant differences in some of the sects; however they are all very accepting of one another. One Wiccan scholar writes:

As you can see by the number and variety of branches of Wicca, there is really no end of “traditions” that can arise in the religion of Witchcraft, and there is also no end to the disagreements over the definition of any named branch. Wicca is what any witch makes it, as long as the branch is based upon Pagan ideas and deities.

The purest and perhaps most widely practiced form of Wicca, though, is the branch known as Gardnerian Wicca. This is also perhaps the sect that holds to the most traditional Wiccan teachings and practices. All other Wiccan sects share at least some things in common with Gardnerian Wicca, and many sects that exist today are off-shoots from this very branch.


Ian Kyle

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