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Wicca (English pronunciation: //), also termed Pagan Witchcraft, is a contemporary Pagan new religious movement. It was developed in England during the first half of the 20th century and was introduced to the public in 1954 by Gerald Gardner, a retired British civil servant. Wicca draws upon a diverse set of ancient pagan and 20th century hermetic motifs for its theological structure and ritual practices.
Wicca has no central authority. Its traditional core beliefs, principles and practices were originally outlined in the 1940s and 1950s by Gardner and Doreen Valiente, both in published books as well as in secret written and oral teachings passed along to their initiates. There are many variations on the core structure, and the religion grows and evolves over time. It is divided into a number of diverse lineages, sects and denominations, referred to as traditions, each with its own organizational structure and level of centralisation. Due to its decentralized nature, there is some disagreement over what actually constitutes Wicca. Some traditions, collectively referred to as British Traditional Wicca, strictly follow the initiatory lineage of Gardner and consider the term Wicca to apply only to similar traditions, but not to newer, eclectic traditions.
|Sabbat||Northern Hemisphere||Southern Hemisphere||Origin of Name||Associations|
|Samhain, a.k.a. Halloween||31 October to 1 November||30 April to 1 May||Gaelic Polytheism (see also Gaels)||Death and the ancestors|
|Yuletide||21 or 22 December||21 June||Germanic paganism||Winter solstice and the rebirth of the Sun|
|Imbolc, a.k.a. Candlemas||1 or 2 February||1 August||Gaelic Polytheism (see also Gaels)||First signs of spring|
|Ostara||21 or 22 March||21 or 22 September||Germanic paganism||Vernal equinox and the beginning of spring|
|Beltane, a.k.a. May Eve or May Day||30 April to 1 May||31 October to 1 November||Gaelic Polytheism (see also Gaels)||The full flowering of spring; fairy folk|
|Litha||21 or 22 June||21 December||Possibly Neolithic||Summer solstice|
|Lughnasadh, a.k.a. Lammas||31 July or 1 August||1 February||Gaelic Polytheism (see also Gaels)||First fruits|
|Mabon, a.k.a. Modron||21 or 22 September||21 March||No historical pagan equivalent.||Autumnal equinox; the harvest of grain|
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