Wiccan Traditions: Online Resources, From Asatru to Z
Putting together a list of Wiccan traditions is very difficult to do, some traditions don't particularly care for being lumped together with Wiccans, as they consider themselves ceremonial magicians, shamans or druids. In the interest of helping the layperson, or person new to the pagan community to sort out the traditions and the differences between them, this article includes some groups that do not identify as Wiccan . As new traditions are being recognized and practiced every day it is given that not all traditions can be included, and this article can only aspire to include enough of them to give the reader a good overall idea of the possibilities that are out there and perhaps inspire personal research on the readers spiritual journey.
The 1734 Tradition was founded, in a sense, on the writings of Robert Cochrane. Unique in it's own beliefs 1734 Wicca also includes an eclectic mix of practices and beliefs.
The Alexandrian tradition precedes the use of the term tradition and would be considered by most to be a mystery school instead of a tradition. Like it's predecessors The Golden Dawn, A.A., and Freemasonry Alexandrian Witchcraft utilizes ceremonial magic and initiation.
The Ara Tradition was founded in 1983 as shamanistic branch of Wiccan faith. A rather loosely defined tradition it's core element seems to be acceptance and encouragement of individual relationship with deity.
Asatru is a neopagan movement inspired by ancient Norse and Germanic pagan practices. American and Scandinavian branches of Asatruism vary in traditions but share the same common roots as a revival of Northern European traditions and lore.
Celtic Paganism is often misunderstood, and is a term used by groups who vary greatly in practice. Celtic traditions are traditions are generally aimed at recreating and discovering the true old ways of the Celts. Many of these pagans prefer not to be identified with Wicca in any way due to the modern and ubiquitous nature of the faith, and may see their study as purely Celtic, Druidic or even paleolithic reconstruction shamanism. There are , however certain traditions within the Wiccan faith that utilize Celtic symbology and reconstruction in their practice and identify themselves as Celtic traditions.
Chaos Magick cannot be identified appropriately as a tradition. Looking closely at Chaos Magick one concludes readily that it is more of a metaphysical based art than a faith or a tradition though it frequently borrows from several traditions including ceremonial magick.
The Church Of All Worlds is the first of many churches inspired (at least largely) by the science fiction work of Robert A Heinlein "Stranger In A Strange Land'. One of the most recognized characteristics of this faith is the encouragement of polyfidelitous marriages. While shocking at first to some, an understanding of the practices and the book that inspired them clears up the reasons and faith behind these practices.
The Correlian Nativist Tradition, also known as the Nativist Tradition is based in the teachings of the High-Correll family a family descended from Scottish/ Cherokee roots. The tradition calls itself a hereditary tradition but is easily accessible via their online education portal Witchschool. It is a flexible tradition with no inherent dogma, aimed it seems, at creating pagan awareness and offering education.
Reformed Druidism is a tradition that does not really belong on a list of traditions at all, but rather perhaps on a list of practices. Reformed Druids agree solely on one tenant, Nature is Good, and are left to their own religious beliefs or to none at all. Reformed Druidism began on the campus of Carleton College as sort of protest, but has since grown to include a number of pagan traditions and protogroves who share the sentiments of the basic tenet.
The Dianic Tradition is most known for it's feminist flavor, which is sometimes the cause of bad , and often undeserved,press in the pagan community. The feminist ideals expressed in The Dianic tradition lends itself to being embraced by lesbians and militants, and has become known for that feature more than anything else. The tradition, however, is many faceted and has to be understood from the perspective of those who practice and embrace the faith.
Discordianism is a complex tradition that prides itself on being indefinable. The only sure thing that can be said of the Discordian faith is that discordianism discards rigid faith in the interest of discovery. It may be hard to grasp the ideals of completion out of chaos and paradox that are inherent to Discordian belief, but one must be careful not to disregard what they don't immediately understand !
The Faery Tradition encompasses several different branches of Wicca that are often thought of ecstatic traditions. Some practice a reverence for faery and elemental beings and others place a great deal of emphasis on sexual and ceremonial magicks. Most are openly Dianic in nature.
The Gardnerian Tradition is founded upon the teachings and practices of Gerald Gardener. Gardnerian Wiccan tradition is a very traditional Wiccan practices with holidays and practices tied very closely to traditional holidays and faith.
The Seax Wiccan Tradition will be familiar to those who have studies the works of Raymond Buckland, as the tradition itself is based on his writings. This is a reasonably simple tradition to understand because Buckland's writings are open and unclouded by unnecessary imagery and mythos. It takes it's basic beliefs, according to Buckland, from the practices of the early Saxons. In fact, however, the tradition borrows from a number of older European traditions that many consider relevant to the practice.
The Thelemic Tradition, covers a broad range of practices, from pure Thelema to Wiccan practices affected by the traditions of Thelema and the teachings of Aleister Crowley. Both branches are based on the tenets (or laws) set forth in Aleister Crowley's inspired work The Book Of The Law.