Water Witches

Until 1970 there existed a community of people in England, numbering at their peak quite a few thousand, who constituted a race apart from general society, keeping very much to themselves. They were travellers, but unlike the gypsies, their medium of transport was water. They lived and worked on the canals and rivers of England. Some of the other canal dwellers called them Water Witches, because they represented one branch of that multifarious system of ancient practices that we now lump together under the heading of Traditional Witchcraft.

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Eclectic Wicca

An eclectic Wiccan as the term implies, doesn’t follow any strict traditional guidelines. Instead they practice the beliefs that suit them best. They often mix traditions to find that which most suits their own stance on religion or personal beliefs.

They practice whatever magick they consider obtains the best results, and study those parts of any religion that best suit their lifestyles. This is mostly of modern origin and rather New Age; where previously most Wiccan traditions had more restricting boundaries. The eclectic tradition marks witchcraft’s expansion into a patchwork quilt of various beliefs and theories.

Pow-Wow Wicca

This is a system, not a religion per se, which is based on a 400 year old German Magick. In this day and age though, it has lost much of its ancient concentrations and is basically now more simple faith healing, but being revived somewhat.

For a lot more information on Pow-Wow click here to go to our “On-Line Books” section where there is a complete book that describes this tradition. This book is actually a grimoire in the “Pow-wow” tradition of the Pennsylvania Dutch. In spite of the name, Pow-wow is not a Native American tradition, but a rural European healing and hexing system which was imported into America in the 18th and 19th Century by German immigrants. After nearly dying out completely it has, as we mentioned above, experienced a small revival in recent years.

Faery Wicca

Also referred to as the fae, fey, feri, faerie, fairy, and fairie tradition. Founded by Victor and Cora Anderson in the mid-late 1950’s, when they were inspired to form their own tradition after reading a book by Gerald B. Gardner “Witchcraft Today”. Anderson was responsible for writing most of the tradition’s rituals, which he initially based on fairy folklore and beliefs, he is still universally recognized as the Grand Master of the Faery Tradition. In 1959, Victor initiated the late Gwydion Pendderwen, who then aged 13, would later become a leading voice in the Faery Tradition.

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Dianic Wicca

Wicca is a religion which honors the Earth through worshipping the God and Goddess, as represented by the masculine and feminine aspects of the universe. There are many sects of Wicca including Gardenarian, Alexandrian, Blue Star and Dianic

The differences between them usually surround matters of practice, rather than belief. Structure of groups is another place of divergence (i.e. heirarchy). Dianic Wiccans, however, vary in that while they recognize the existence of the God, generally only actively worship the Goddess. Of course, rather naturally, the majority of Dianic Wiccans are female. Read more

Algard Wicca

Mary Nesnick (Dionysia), an American initiate in Gardnerian and Alexandrian traditions founded a so-called ‘new’ tradition called Algard. This tradition brings together both Gardnerian and Alexandrian teachings under a single banner. This was possible due to the great similarities between the two traditions.

She stated that she bought fifty percent of it from Aleister Crowley, borrowed ten percent from books and manuscripts like Leland’s Aradia and filled in the remainder by borrowing from Far Eastern religions and philosophies. Some texts even say she was a renegade who had been expelled from the Gardnerian tradition as a First Degree for stealing their Book of Shadows.
Since Alexandrian is already mostly Gardnerian, it actually seems a little redundant. There are very few Algard covens in either the US or Britain as the tradition never really caught on.

Janet and Stewart FArrer actually operate their Covens on a healthy mix of Gardnerian and Alexandrian traditions, as they are so very similar as to be hardly noticeable and their books highlight any and all differences however small, so one can read for oneself and see that Algard in and of itself is actually quite redundant as said earlier. Sort of re-inventing the wheel and calling it fire.

Stegheria Wicca – Italian Witchcraft

Italian witches, known as Strega, walk the path of the Old Religion (Str. They are the witches of Ancient Italy. In 1890, folklorist Charles Leland published a book titled ARADIA; GOSPEL OF THE WITCHES. Although it was typical in many ways of the distorted Christian image of Witchcraft of this period, we do find several things of interest. In Leland’s book, Italian witches worship a goddess and a god, meet for full moon rituals and celebrate with singing, dancing and making love. Their celebration also includes a feast containing cakes and wine.

In 1609, Francesco Guazzo published several woodcuts in his book Compendium Maleficarum. One of these Italian woodcuts depicts witches gathered inside a circle drawn upon the ground. In 1954, Gerald Gardner describes English Witchcraft in very much the same way. Take a look at some of the topics on this Web Page for other interesting similarities between the Strega Path and Wicca. Read more

How to Start as a Solitary Practitioner

Being a solitary practitioner in the world today can be somewhat daunting to the beginner. There is always comfort and safety in numbers and many people feel that without a coven or some sort of group to study and practice with they will somehow not be able to achieve the things in their spirituality they wish. Such thinking really needs to be banished from the minds of new practitioners and even ones that have been studying for years, weather it is in a group or alone. Many people’s paths lead them down the solitary road for many reasons. Some have the need for secrecy, some do not have people they can feel comfortable studying with, and some people just feel that they are meant to walk their path in their own way and center on themselves. None of these things should stop someone from fulfilling themselves, from having the relationship they desire with their deities.

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Wiccan Witchcraft – The Craft of the Wise

The practice of Witchcraft allows one to develop abilities that transcend the mundane rules of existence, and to enter realms only dreamed of by other people.

It has been said that Wicca is one of the fastest growing “religions” in the world, certainly in Britain and the United States. Whether true or not, I will try to herein clarify what Wicca actually is.

There is no dogma attached to Wicca and new adherents come in all the time, where subtle changes take place within the various Covens, thus personalizing it somewhat and make it their own. Wicca in the nineties and now, the new millennium, is different to the nineteen fifties revival when it flourished in Great Britain. Today’s Wiccan are for the most part, ordinary people who draw their beliefs from ancient beliefs and roots and apply them to the needs of modern life. Read more

The Old Religion

The practice of Witchcraft allows one to develop abilities that transcend the mundane rules of existence, and to enter realms only dreamed of by other people.

Many Family Traditional Witchcraft (FamTrad) practitioners and many solo witches still maintain an Earth adoring attitude to their practices and beliefs. The roots of Family Traditional Witchcraft come from pre-Christian, European/British shamanic religious tradition. It is essentially termed a ‘pagan’ religion, which means, that it is not Judeo-Christian in origin. These ancient beliefs, (wherever in the world they have survived) are all earth, nature and fertility orientated, where its adherents worship at the turn of the seasons and at the new and full moons. They generally acknowledge both male and female Deities and Ancient Powers, (long lost to the modern day average person). They believe in magick and divination and although a spiritual and philosophical path, it is first and foremost a religion, termed the ‘Craft’, meaning the “Craft of the Wise”. Groups of families that can trace a direct, unbroken line back to ancient times are, as mentioned earlier, known as “Traditional” or “Hereditary” witches. Traditional groups still tend to be extremely secretive indeed and do not usually recognize or mix with other pagan paths. Read more