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Wicca


Wicca (English pronunciation: /ˈwɪkə/), 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

Significant historical works
Practices and beliefs
History of Wicca
  • Kelly, Aidan A. (1991). Crafting the Art of Magic: A History of Modern Witchcraft, 1939–1964. Llewellyn. ISBN . 
  • Heselton, Philip (2000). Wiccan Roots: Gerald Gardner and the Modern Witchcraft Revival. Capall Bann. ISBN . 
  • Heselton, Philip (2001). Gerald Gardner and the Witchcraft Revival: The Significance of His Life and Works to the Story of Modern Witchcraft. I-H-O Books. ISBN . 
  • Heselton, Philip (2003). Gerald Gardner and the Cauldron of Inspiration: An Investigation into the Sources of Gardnerian Witchcraft. Capall Bann. ISBN . 
Wicca in different countries
General
  • Buckland, Raymond (1 January 2002). The Witch Book: The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft, Wicca, and Neo-paganism. Visible Ink Press. ISBN . 
  • Lewis, James R. (1999). Witchcraft Today: An Encyclopedia of Wiccan and Neopagan Traditions. ABC-CLIO. ISBN . 
  • Rabinovitch, Shelly; Lewis, James R., eds. (2002). The Encyclopedia of Modern Witchcraft and Neo-Paganism. Kensington. ISBN . 
  • Lewis, James R., ed. (1996). Magical Religion and Modern Witchcraft. State University of New York Press. ISBN . 
  • Luhrmann, T. M. (1994). Persuasions of the Witch's Craft: Ritual Magic in Contemporary England. Picador. ISBN . 
  • Kelly, Aidan A. (1991). Crafting the Art of Magic: A History of Modern Witchcraft, 1939–1964. Llewellyn. ISBN . 
  • Heselton, Philip (2000). Wiccan Roots: Gerald Gardner and the Modern Witchcraft Revival. Capall Bann. ISBN . 
  • Heselton, Philip (2001). Gerald Gardner and the Witchcraft Revival: The Significance of His Life and Works to the Story of Modern Witchcraft. I-H-O Books. ISBN . 
  • Heselton, Philip (2003). Gerald Gardner and the Cauldron of Inspiration: An Investigation into the Sources of Gardnerian Witchcraft. Capall Bann. ISBN . 
  • Buckland, Raymond (1 January 2002). The Witch Book: The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft, Wicca, and Neo-paganism. Visible Ink Press. ISBN . 
  • Lewis, James R. (1999). Witchcraft Today: An Encyclopedia of Wiccan and Neopagan Traditions. ABC-CLIO. ISBN . 
  • Rabinovitch, Shelly; Lewis, James R., eds. (2002). The Encyclopedia of Modern Witchcraft and Neo-Paganism. Kensington. ISBN . 
  • Lewis, James R., ed. (1996). Magical Religion and Modern Witchcraft. State University of New York Press. ISBN . 
  • Luhrmann, T. M. (1994). Persuasions of the Witch's Craft: Ritual Magic in Contemporary England. Picador. ISBN . 
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Wikipedia

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