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Saturday, 28 May 2005

Trad Witchcraft Compared To Wicca

Trad Witchcraft Compared To Wicca Cover Trad Witchcraft, or "Traditional British Witchcraft" is not Wicca. Trad Witchcraft, has existed for many hundreds of years before Wicca. That doesn't make Trad Witchcraft better, but it does make us different.

Trad Witchcraft is a family of traditions that come from our common British historic past. The Trad Crafter (or witch) follows a household tradition that is reflective of that past, while as in every age, individual practices can be changed and modified to personal taste. Nevertheless, these changes and modifications are done within our Basic Principles, traditions, and customs.

However, Wicca goes far beyond the traditions of our ancestors. Wicca is a modern religion. Wicca was formed in the 1950's by Gerald Gardner. He took from quite a number of external concepts and practices to form his new, unique brand of witchcraft. Many of these additions had never previously been part of any tradition in British Witchcraft.

Here are a few differences:

1. Exclusivity - Gardnerian, Alexandrian and other conservative Wiccans believe they have the exclusive right to initiate (or create) a witch. Therefore, conservative Wiccans do not recognize other witches, even those fully trained in traditions older than Wicca.

Trad Witches take exception to this nonsense. One can only surmise that all the witches across the centuries were not witches according to Wicca. This is astonishing. since Wiccans come from a tradition that is only about 57 years old!

It should be noted that many liberal or progressive Wiccans do not follow this aspect of conservative Wicca, and openly recognize witches of all traditions.

2. Public Nudity - Wicca's founder, Gerald Gardner, was a nudist. When he created Wicca, he incorporated nudity (he called it "skyclad") into ritual ceremonies.

Trad Witches take exception to this practice. There has never been nudity in any tradition of old British Witchcraft. Trad Witchcraft has always believed that nudity is insulting to the spirits.

3. Public Ritual Sex - Wicca has a ritual called the "Great Rite", which in its highest form requires full sexual intercourse between the High Priest and the High Priestess, in "closed" covens.

Trad Witches take exception to this rite for several reasons. 1) Sex is a private matter that should take place only behind bedroom doors. 2) Performing public sex is grossly insulting to the spirits. Thus, this rite has never and would NEVER take place in any Traditional British Witchcraft group.

I must make clear that many liberal or progressive Wiccan covens only perform this rite "symbolically" using an athame and a chalice.

4. Female Dominance - Conservative Wiccans and many (but not all) liberal Wiccan covens recognize a state of superiority for their High Priestesses over their High Priests, and the superiority of the Goddess over the God.

Trad Witches take exception to the idea of female dominance, the idea is inconsistent with our fundamental principle of gender equality. In reality, neither females nor males are innately superior to the other. All peoples are equal and must be treated as equals.

Books in PDF format to read:

Jaroslav Nemec - Witchcraft And Medicine
Paul Boyer - The Salem Witchcraft Papers Vol 3
Archmage Bob Andrews - Old Witchcraft Secrets
Anonymous - Witchcraft A Guide To Magic
Anonymous - Witchcraft And Wicca Faq