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Wicca is a nature-based religion popularised in 1954 by Gerald Gardner, a retired British civil servant.[1] He said that the religion, of which he was an initiate, was a modern survival of an old witchcraft religion which had existed in secret for hundreds of years, originating in the pre-Christian paganism of Europe.[1] The veracity of Gardner's statements cannot be independently proven, however, and it is possible that Wiccan theology began to be compiled no earlier than the 1920s.[2]

Various Wiccan traditions have since evolved from that established by Gardner, which came to be called Gardnerian Wicca. These other traditions have distinctive beliefs, rituals, and practices. Many traditions of Wicca remain secretive and require that members be initiated. There is also a movement of Eclectic Wiccans who do not believe that any doctrine or traditional initiation is necessary in order to practice Wicca.[3]

Core concepts

Wicca is one variety of pagan witchcraft, with distinctive ritual forms, seasonal observances and religious, magical[4] and ethical precepts. Other forms of witchcraft exist within many cultures, with widely varying practices. Many Wiccans, though not all, call themselves Pagans, though the umbrella term Paganism encompasses many faiths that have nothing to do with Wicca or witchcraft. Wicca has also been described as a Neopagan or a Mesopagan path.[5] Because there is no centralised organisation in Wicca, and no single orthodoxy, the beliefs and practices of Wiccans can vary substantially, both among individuals and among traditions. Typically, the main religious principles, ethics, and ritual structures are shared, since they are key elements of traditional teachings and published works on the subject.

As practised by initiates in the lineage of Gerald Gardner, Wicca is a variety of witchcraft founded on religious and magical concepts. As such it is distinguished not only by its beliefs, but by its practice of magic, its ethical philosophy, initiatory system, organisational structure and secrecy.[6] Some of these beliefs and practices have also been adopted by others outside of this lineage, often termed Eclectic Wiccans, who generally discard the institutions of initiation, secrecy and hierarchy, and have more widely varying beliefs. Some Eclectic Wiccans neither perform magic nor identify as witches. Within traditional forms of Wicca there are three degrees of initiation. First degree is required to become a witch and gain membership of a coven; those who aspire to teach may eventually undergo second and third degree initiations, conferring the title of "High Priest" or "High Priestess" and allowing them to establish new covens.[6] At initiation, some Wiccans adopt a craft name to symbolise their spiritual "rebirth", to act as a magical alter-ego, or simply to provide anonymity when appearing as a witch in public (see Acceptance of Wiccans below).

Beliefs

For more information, see: Wiccan views of divinity.

For most Wiccans, Wicca is a duotheistic religion worshipping a God and a Goddess, who are seen as complementary polarities, and "embodiments of a life-force manifest in nature."[7] They are sometimes symbolised as the Sun and Moon, and from her lunar associations the Goddess becomes a Triple Goddess with aspects of "Maiden", "Mother" and "Crone". Some Wiccans see the Goddess as pre-eminent, since she contains and conceives all; the God is the spark of life and inspiration within her, simultaneously her lover and her child. This is reflected in the traditional structure of the coven.[8] In some traditions, notably feminist Dianic Wicca, the Goddess is seen as complete unto herself, and the God is not worshipped at all. Wicca is essentially an immanent religion, and for some Wiccans, this idea also involves elements of animism. A key belief in Wicca is that the goddesses and gods are able to manifest in personal form, most importantly through the bodies of Priestesses and Priests via the ritual of Drawing down the Moon (or Drawing down the Sun).

According to Gardner, the gods of Wicca are ancient gods of the British Isles: a Horned God and a Great Mother goddess.[9] Gardner also states that a being higher than any of these tribal gods is recognised by the witches as Prime Mover, but remains unknowable.[10] Patricia Crowther has called this supreme godhead Dryghten.[11]

Some Wiccans have a monotheistic belief in the Goddess and God as One. Many have a duotheistic conception of deity as a Goddess (of Moon, Earth and sea) and a God (of forest, hunting and the animal realm). This concept is often extended into a kind of polytheism by the belief that the gods and goddesses of all cultures are aspects of this pair (or of the Goddess alone). Others hold the various gods and goddesses to be separate and distinct. Still others do not believe in the gods as real personalities, but see them as archetypes or thoughtforms.[12] Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone have observed that Wicca is becoming more polytheistic as it matures, and embracing a more traditional pagan world-view.[13]

Beliefs in the afterlife vary among Wiccans, though some support reincarnation. Reincarnation is a traditional Wiccan teaching - Raymond Buckland holds that a soul always reincarnates into the same species,[14] though this belief is not universal.

Morality

For more information, see: Wiccan morality and Homosexuality and Wicca.

Wiccan morality is largely based on the Wiccan Rede: An it harm none, do what ye will, which is usually interpreted as a declaration of the freedom to act, along with the necessity of taking responsibility for what follows from one's actions and minimising harm to oneself and others.[15] Another common element of Wiccan morality is the Law of Threefold Return which holds that whatever benevolent or malevolent actions a person performs will return to that person with triple force.[16]

Many Wiccans also seek to cultivate a set of eight virtues mentioned in Doreen Valiente's Charge of the Goddess,[17] these being mirth, reverence, honour, humility, strength, beauty, power and compassion. In Valiente's poem, they are ordered in pairs of complementary opposites, reflecting a dualism that is common throughout Wiccan philosophy. Some lineaged Wiccans also observe a set of 161 Wiccan Laws, commonly called the Craft Laws or Ardanes. Valiente, one of Gardner's original high priestesses, argued that these rules were most likely invented by Gardner himself in mock-archaic language as the by-product of inner conflict within his Bricket Wood coven.[18][19]

Although Gardner initially demonstrated an aversion to homosexuality, claiming that it brought down "the curse of the goddess",[20] it is now accepted in many traditions of Wicca.

File:Paganavebury.jpg
A handfasting ceremony at Avebury in England, which occurred during Beltane of 2005.

Ritual practices

When practising magic and casting spells, as well as when celebrating various festivals, Wiccans use a variety of rituals. In typical rites, the coven or solitary assembles inside a ritually cast and purified magic circle. Casting the circle may involve the invocation of the "Guardians" of the cardinal points: East (Air), South (Fire), West (Water) and North (Earth). This use of the classical elements is a key feature of the Wiccan world-view. Every manifest force or form is seen to express one or more of the four elements. Some add a fifth or quintessential element called Spirit (also called aether or akasha). The five points of the frequently worn pentagram symbolise, among other things, the four elements with spirit presiding at the top.[21] Once the circle is cast, a seasonal ritual may be performed, prayers to the God and Goddess are said, and spells are sometimes worked.

Many Wiccans use a special set of magical tools in their rituals. These can include a broom (besom), cauldron, chalice, wand, Book of Shadows, altar cloth, athame, boline, candles, crystals, pentacle and/or incense. An altar is usually present in the circle, on which ritual tools are placed and representations of the God/Goddess may be displayed.[22]. Before entering the circle, some traditions fast for the day, and/or ritually bathe. After a ritual has finished, the God, Goddess and Guardians are thanked and the circle is closed.

A sensationalised aspect of Wicca, particularly in Gardnerian Wicca, is the traditional practice of working in the nude, also known as skyclad. This practice seemingly derives from a line in Aradia, Charles Leland's supposed record of Italian witchcraft. Skyclad working is mostly the province of Initiatory Wiccans, who are outnumbered by the less strictly observant Eclectics. When they work clothed, Wiccans may wear robes with cords tied around the waist, "Renaissance-faire"-type clothing or normal street clothes.

Special occasions

Wiccans hold a wide range of occasions with religious significance. Each full moon, and in some cases a new moon, is marked with a ritual called an Esbat. Wiccans also follow the Wheel of the Year and celebrate its eight festivals known as Sabbats.[23] Four of these, the cross-quarter days, are greater festivals, coinciding with old Celtic fire festivals. These are Samhain, Beltane or May Eve, Imbolc, and Lammas or Lughnasadh. The four lesser festivals are the Summer and Winter solstices, and the Spring and Autumn Equinoxes, which are referred to by some groups as Litha, Yule, Ostara and Mabon, respectively. The names of these holidays are often taken from Germanic pagan and Celtic polytheistic holidays. However, the festivals are not reconstructive in nature nor do they often resemble their historical counterparts, instead exhibiting a form of universalism. Ritual observations may display cultural influence from the holidays from which they take their name as well as influence from other unrelated cultures.[24]

Handfasting is another celebration held by Wiccans, and is the commonly used term for their weddings. Some Wiccans observe the practice of a trial marriage for a year and a day, which some traditions hold should be contracted on Lammas (Lughnasadh), as this was the traditional time for trial, "Telltown marriages" among the Irish. Infants in Wiccan families may be involved in a ritual called a Wiccaning, which is analogous to a Christening. The purpose of this is to present the infant to the God and Goddess for protection. Despite this, in accordance with the importance put on free will in Wicca, the child is not necessarily expected or required to follow a Pagan path should they not wish to do so when they get older.

Book of Shadows

In Wicca a private journal, history or core religious text known as a Book of Shadows is kept by practitioners, similar to a grimoire.[25] In lineaged groups, such as Gardnerian Wicca, the Book's contents are kept secret from anyone but the members of the lineage concerned (i.e., those initiating and initiated by a particular coven). However, several proposed versions of the Book have been published.[26][27] Sections of these published versions, such as the "Wiccan Rede" and the "Charge of the Goddess", as well as other published writings about Wicca, have been adopted by non-initiates, or eclectic Wiccans. For many eclectics, they create their own personal books, whose contents are often only known by themselves.

Traditions

See also: List of Wiccan organisations, Category:Wiccan traditions, and Denominations in Wicca

A "tradition" in Wicca usually implies the transfer of a lineage by initiation. There are many such traditions[28][29] and there are also many solitary or Eclectic Wiccans who do not align themselves with any particular lineage, some working alone, some joining in covens. There are also other forms of witchcraft which do not claim origins in Wicca. Traditions within the United States are well described in Margot Adler's Drawing Down the Moon, Starhawk's The Spiral Dance, and Chas S. Clifton's Her Hidden Children: The Rise of Wicca and Paganism in America[30].

The lack of consensus in establishing definitive categories in Wiccan communities has often resulted in confusion between Lineaged Wicca and the emergence of Eclectic traditions. This can be seen in the common description of many Eclectic traditions as traditional/initiatory/lineaged as well. In the United States, where the confusion usually arises, Wiccans in the various linages extending from Gardner may describe themselves as British Traditional Wiccans.

Covens and Solitary Wiccans

Lineaged Wicca is organised into covens of initiated priests and priestesses. Covens are autonomous, and are generally headed by a High Priest and a High Priestess working in partnership, being a couple who have each been through their first, second and third degrees of initiation. Occasionally the leaders of a coven are only second-degree initiates, in which case they come under the rule of the parent coven. Initiation and training of new priesthood is most often performed within a coven environment, but this is not a necessity, and a few initiated Wiccans are unaffiliated with any coven. [14]

A commonly quoted Wiccan tradition holds that the ideal number of members for a coven is thirteen, though this is not held as a hard-and-fast rule.[14] Indeed, many U.S. covens are far smaller, though the membership may be augmented by unaffiliated Wiccans at "open" rituals. When covens grow beyond their ideal number of members, they often split (or "hive") into multiple covens, yet remain connected as a group. A grouping of multiple covens is known as a grove in many traditions.

Initiation into a coven is traditionally preceded by a waiting period of at least a year and a day. A course of study may be set during this period. In some covens a "dedication" ceremony may be performed during this period, some time before the initiation proper, allowing the person to attend certain rituals on a probationary basis. Some solitary Wiccans also choose to study for a year and a day before their self-dedication to the religion.

In contrast, Eclectic Wiccans are more often than not solitary practitioners. Some of these "solitaries" do, however, attend gatherings and other community events, but reserve their spiritual practices (Sabbats, Esbats, spell-casting, worship, magical work, etc.) for when they are alone. Eclectic Wiccans now significantly outnumber lineaged Wiccans, and their beliefs and practices tend to be much more varied.[6]

History

For more information, see: History of Wicca.

Origins

The history of Wicca is much debated. Gardner claimed that the religion was a survival of matriarchal Pagan religions of pre-historic Europe, taught to him by members of the New Forest Coven; their rites were fragmentary, and he had substantially rewritten them. It has been posited by authors such as Aidan Kelly and Francis X. King that Gardner invented the rites in their entirety,[31] incorporating elements from the thesis of Dr. Margaret Murray, incantations from Aradia[32] and practices of ceremonial magic.[33] Philip Heselton concludes that while Gardner may have been mistaken about the ancient origins of the religion, his statements about it were largely made in good faith. Gardner's account is as follows: After retiring from adventuring around the globe, Gardner encountered the New Forest coven. Subsequently fearing that the Craft would die out,[34] he worked on his book Witchcraft Today, releasing it in 1954, followed by The Meaning of Witchcraft in 1959. These books formed the basis for the growth of Wicca from the 1960s onwards. Many of Gardner's rites and precepts can be shown to have come from the writings of earlier occultists and other extant sources, and the remaining original material is uncohesive and mostly takes the form of substitutions or expansions within unoriginal material. Roger Dearnaley describes it as a patchwork.[35]

Some, such as Isaac Bonewits, have argued that Valiente and Heselton's evidence points to an early 20th century revival pre-dating Gardner, rather than an intact old Pagan religion. This argument points to some of Gardner's historical claims which agree with the scholarship of that period but contradict later scholarship. Bonewits writes, "Somewhere between 1920 and 1925 in England some folklorists appear to have gotten together with some Golden Dawn Rosicrucians and a few supposed Fam-Trads to produce the first modern covens in England; grabbing eclectically from any source they could find in order to try and reconstruct the shards of their Pagan past."[36] The idea of a supreme Mother Goddess was common in Victorian and Edwardian literature: the concept of a Horned God — especially related to the gods Pan or Faunus — was less common, but still significant.[37] Both of these ideas were widely accepted in academic literature and the popular press at the time.[38]

Later developments

Gardnerian Wicca was an initiatory mystery religion, admission to which was limited to those who were initiated into a pre-existing coven. Wicca was introduced to North America by Raymond Buckland, an expatriate Briton who visited Gardner's Isle of Man coven to gain initiation. Interest in the USA spread quickly, and while many were initiated, many more non-initiates compiled their own rituals based on published sources or their own fancy.[39]

Another significant development was the creation by feminists in the late sixties and seventies of an eclectic movement known as Dianic Wicca, or feminist Dianic Witchcraft. Dianic Wicca has no connection of lineage to traditional Wicca, and creatively interprets published materials on Wicca as a basis for their ritual structure. This specifically feminist, Goddess-oriented faith had no interest in the Horned God, and discarded Gardnerian-style hierarchy and lineage as irrelevant. Rituals were created for self-initiation to allow people to identify with and join the religion without first contacting an existing coven. This contrasts with the Gardnerian belief that only a witch of opposite gender can initiate another witch.

In the United Kingdom, initiates of Gardner had begun to perform their own initiations, and a number of lines of Gardnerian descent began to arise. From one of these (although it was originally claimed to derive from a traditional, non-Gardnerian source) came the line known as Alexandrian Wicca. Increasing popularity on both sides of the Atlantic, and in other countries, along with the increasing availability of published material, meant that many people started to practice a form of Wicca without being part of a coven or having participated in an initiation. In response to this, traditionally initiated Wiccans in North America began to describe their version as British Traditional Wicca.

Demographics

Isaac Bonewits points out some of the practical problems in establishing the numbers of any neopagan group.[40] Nevertheless some estimates have been attempted. The 2001 American Religious Identification Survey estimated that at least 134,000 adults identified themselves as Wiccans in the United States, compared to 8,000 in 1990.[41] In the UK, census figures do not allow an accurate breakdown of traditions within the Pagan heading, as a campaign by the Pagan Federation before the 2001 Census encouraged Wiccans, Heathens, Druids and others all to use the same write-in term 'Pagan' in order to maximise the numbers reported. For the first time, respondents were able to write in an affiliation not covered by the checklist of common religions, and a total of 42,262 people from England, Scotland and Wales declared themselves to be Pagans by this method. These figures were not immediately analysed by the Office of National Statistics, but were released after an application by the Pagan Federation of Scotland.[42] Adherents.com, an independent website which specialises in collecting estimates of world religions, cites over 30 sources with estimates of numbers of Wiccans (principally from the USA and UK.).[43] Their median estimate for Wiccan numbers is 800,000 worldwide.

Etymology

See also: Witch (etymology)

The spelling Wica first appears in the writings of Gerald Gardner (Witchcraft Today, 1954, and The Meaning of Witchcraft, 1959). He used the word as a mass noun referring to the adherents of his tradition of witchcraft ('the Wica'), rather than the religion itself. He referred to the religion as witchcraft, never Wica. The word seems to be based on the Old English word wicca Template:IPA3; similarly, wicca and its feminine form wice are the predecessors of the modern English witch.

Gardner himself claimed he learned the term from existing members of the group who initiated him into witchcraft in 1939: "I realised I had stumbled on something interesting; but I was half-initiated before the word Wica which they used hit me like a thunderbolt, and I knew where I was, and that the Old Religion still existed."[44][45]

The spelling Wicca was not used by Gardner and the term Wiccan (both as an adjective and a noun) was not used until much later, but it is now the prevalent term to refer to followers of Wicca.[46]

Acceptance of Wiccans

For more information, see: Religious discrimination against Neopagans#Wicca.


In the United States, a number of legal decisions have improved and validated the status of Wiccans in that country, especially Dettmer v. Landon in 1985. However, there is still hostility from some politicians and Christian organisations.[47][48][49]

According to the traditional history of Wicca as given by Gerald Gardner, Wicca is a survival of the European witch-cult that was persecuted during the witch trials (sometimes called the Burning Times). Since then theories of an organised pan-European witch-cult have been largely discredited, but it is still common for Wiccans to feel solidarity with the victims of the witch trials.[50]

There are occasional accusations that Wicca is a form of black magic and Satanism, especially in connection with Satanic Ritual Abuse hysteria, although Wiccans deny any association with either of these.[51] Because of the popular negative connotations associated with witchcraft, many Wiccans continue the traditional practice of secrecy, concealing their faith for fear of persecution. Revealing oneself as Wiccan to family, friends or colleagues is often termed "coming out of the broom-closet".


References and footnotes

  1. 1.0 1.1 Gardner, Gerald B [1954] (1999). Witchcraft Today. Lake Toxaway, NC: Mercury Publishing. OCLC 44936549. 
  2. Heselton, Philip (November 2001). Wiccan Roots: Gerald Gardner and the Modern Witchcraft Revival. Freshfields, Chieveley, Berkshire: Capall Bann Pub.. ISBN 1861631103. OCLC 46955899. . See also Nevill Drury. "Why Does Aleister Crowley Still Matter?" Richard Metzger, ed. Book of Lies: The Disinformation Guide to Magick and the Occult. Disinformation Books, 2003.
  3. Adler, Margot (1979). Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-worshippers and Other Pagans in America Today. Boston: Beacon Press. ISBN 0-8070-3237-9. OCLC 6918454. 
  4. The term magic is sometimes spelt magick; this spelling has a specific meaning within the context of Thelema.
  5. "Defining Paganism: Paleo-, Meso-, and Neo-" (Version 2.5.1) 1979, 2007 c.e., Isaac Bonewits
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 British Traditional Wicca F.A.Q.. New Wiccan Church International. Retrieved on 2007-04-02.
  7. Pearson, Joanne; Roberts, Richard H; Samuel, Geoffrey (December 1998). Nature Religion Today: Paganism in the Modern World. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, p. 6. ISBN 0-748-61057-X. OCLC 39533917. 
  8. Farrar, Janet; and Stewart Farrar (1981). A Witches' Bible: The Complete Witches Handbook. London: Phoenix Publishing, pp. 181-182. ISBN 0919345921. OCLC 62866821. 
  9. Gardner, Gerald B [1959] (1988). The Meaning of Witchcraft. Lakemont, GA: Copple House Books, pp. 260-261. 
  10. Gardner, Gerald B [1959] (1988). The Meaning of Witchcraft. Lakemont, GA: Copple House Books, pp. 26-27. 
  11. Crowther, Patricia (1974). Witch Blood! The Diary of a Witch High Priestess!. New York City: House of Collectibles. ISBN 0876371616. OCLC 1009193. 
  12. Adler, Margot (1979). Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-worshippers and Other Pagans in America Today. Boston: Beacon Press, pp. 25, 34-35. ISBN 0-8070-3237-9. OCLC 6918454. 
  13. Farrar, Janet; and Gavin Bone (January 2004). Progressive Witchcraft: Spirituality, Mysteries, and Training in Modern Wicca. Franklin Lakes, NJ: New Age Books. ISBN 1564147193. OCLC 53223741. 
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Buckland, Raymond (1986). Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft. Saint Paul: Llewellyn, pp. 17, 18, 53. ISBN 0-87542-050-8. OCLC 14167961. 
  15. Harrow, Judy (Oimelc 1985). "Exegesis on the Rede". Harvest 5 (3). Retrieved on 2007-02-26.
  16. Lembke, Karl (2002) The Threefold Law.
  17. Farrar, Janet; and Stewart Farrar [1981] (May 1992). Eight Sabbats for Witches. London: Robert Hale Publishing. ISBN 0709047789. OCLC 26673966. 
  18. Valiente, Doreen (1989). The Rebirth of Witchcraft. London: Robert Hale Publishing, pp. 70-71. ISBN 0709037155. OCLC 59694320. 
  19. Hutton, Ronald [1999] (2005-05-24). The Triumph of the Moon: A History of Modern Pagan Witchcraft. New York City: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0198207441. OCLC 41452625. 
  20. Gardner, Gerald B (1954). Witchcraft Today. London: Rider and Company, pp. 69, 75. OCLC 1059746. 
  21. Valiente, Doreen [1973] (July 1988). An ABC of Witchcraft Past and Present. Phoenix Publishing, p. 264. ISBN 0-919345-77-8. OCLC 18547421. 
  22. Crowley, Vivianne. Wicca: The Old Religion in the New Age (1989) London: The Aquarian Press. ISBN 0-85030-737-6
  23. Farrar, Janet and Farrar, Stewart. Eight Sabbats for Witches (1981) (published as Part 1 of A Witches' Bible, 1996) Custer, Washington, USA: Phoenix Publishing Inc. ISBN 0-919345-92-1
  24. Crowley, Vivianne. Wicca: The Old Religion in the New Age (1989) London: The Aquarian Press. ISBN 0-85030-737-6 p.23
  25. Crowley, Vivianne. Wicca: The Old Religion in the New Age (1989) London: The Aquarian Press. ISBN 0-85030-737-6, pp 14-15
  26. Farrar, Janet and Farrar, Stewart. A Witches' Bible, (1996) Custer, Washington, USA: Phoenix Publishing Inc. ISBN 0-919345-92-1
  27. Gardner, Gerald. Witchcraft and the Book of Shadows (2004). Edited by Naylor, A.R. Thame, England: I-H-O Books.
  28. Beaufort House Index of English Traditional Witchcraft. Beaufort House Association (1999-01-15). Retrieved on 2007-04-02.
  29. Different types of Witchcraft. Hex Archive. Retrieved on 2007-04-02.
  30. Clifton, Chas. S. Her Hidden Children: The Rise of Wicca and Paganism in America, Lanham, MD: Rowman Altamira, 2006, ISBN 07591020023
  31. Kelly, Aidan (May 1991). Crafting the Art of Magic, Book I: A History of Modern Witchcraft, 1939-1964. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications, pp. 41-42. ISBN 0875423701. OCLC 22891894. 
  32. Leland, Charles G [1899] (1998). Aradia, or, the Gospel of the Witches. Blaine, WA: Phoenix Publishing. ISBN 0-919345-34-4. OCLC 44483420. 
  33. Aidan Kelly's theories have been critiqued in detail: Frew, Donald Hudson (1991). Crafting the Art of Magic: A Critical Review. WildIdeas.net. Retrieved on 2007-06-05.
  34. Gardner, Gerald B (1954). Witchcraft Today. London: Rider and Company, pp. 18-19. OCLC 1059746. 
  35. Dearnaley, Roger (2000). An Annotated Chronology and Bibliography of the Early Gardnerian Craft. Cyprian.org. Archived from the original on 2006-04-24. Retrieved on 2005-12-09.
  36. Bonewits, Isaac (1971). A Very Brief History of Witchcraft 1.0. Spiritualitea.com. Retrieved on 2007-06-05.
  37. Hutton, Ronald [1999] (2005-05-24). The Triumph of the Moon: A History of Modern Pagan Witchcraft. New York City: Oxford University Press, pp. 33-51. ISBN 0198207441. OCLC 41452625. 
  38. Hutton, Ronald [1999] (2005-05-24). The Triumph of the Moon: A History of Modern Pagan Witchcraft. New York City: Oxford University Press, pp. 151-170. ISBN 0198207441. OCLC 41452625. 
  39. Holzer, Hans (1972). The New Pagans. Garden City, NY: Doubleday. OCLC 281240. 
  40. Bonewits, I (2005)[http://www.neopagan.net/HowManyPagans.html How Many "Pagans" Are There?
  41. American Religious Identification Survey. City University of New York. Retrieved on 2007-06-05.
  42. Pagans and the Scottish Census of 2001 Accessed 18 October 2007
  43. Adherents.com Statistical summary pages: W Accessed 12 December 2007
  44. Gardner, Gerald B (1959). The Meaning of Witchcraft. London: Aquarian Press, p. 11. OCLC 2378484. 
  45. Bracelin, Jack L (1960). Gerald Gardner: Witch. London: Octagon Press, p. 151. OCLC 2792799.  1999 reprint, Thame, Oxfordshire: I-H-O Books.
  46. Definition of "Wiccan". Dictionary.com. Retrieved on 2007-05-13.
  47. Free Congress Foundation (1999-06-09). 'Satanic' Army Unworthy of Representing United States. Press release. Retrieved on 2007-07-11.
  48. Silk, Mark (Summer 1999). "Something Wiccan This Way Comes". Religion in the News 2 (2). ISSN 1525-7207.
  49. Barr's Witch Project: Lawmaker Wants to Ban Witches from the Military, LawStreet Journal, 1999-11-01. Retrieved on 2007-07-11.
  50. Buckland, Raymond [1971] (2002-09-01). Witchcraft From The Inside: Origins of the Fastest Growing Religious Movement in America, 3rd edition. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications. ISBN 1-56718-101-5. OCLC 31781774. 
  51. Prominent claimants of Wiccan involvement in a Satanic conspiracy include Jack Chick (see Cuhulain, Kerr (2002-08-26). Jack Chick. WitchVox.com. Retrieved on 2006-11-01.) and, in the late 1980s, Lieutenant Larry Jones of the Boise Police Department (see The Vile "File 18". HolySmoke.org. Retrieved on 2006-11-01.). A hoax document quoted by Jones and others is "The Seven W.I.C.C.A. Letters" (strongly resembling the "Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion" hoax), which details the supposed Satanic conspiracy (see The Seven W.I.C.C.A. Letters. HolySmoke.org. Retrieved on 2006-11-01.).

Further reading

  • Nikki Bado-Fralick, Coming to the Edge of the Circle: A Wiccan Initiation Ritual (Oxford University Press, 2005).
  • Raymond Buckland, The Witch Book: The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft, Wicca, and Neo-paganism (Detroit: Visible Ink Press, 2002).
  • Helen A. Berger, A Community of Witches: Contemporary Neo-Paganism and Witchcraft in the United States (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1999).
  • Jon P. Bloch, New Spirituality, Self, and Belonging: How New Agers and Neo-Pagans Talk About Themselves (Westport: Praeger, 1998).
  • Anne Carson, Goddesses and Wise Women: The Literature of Feminist Spirituality 1980-1992 An Annotated Bibliography (Freedom, California: Crossing Press, 1992).
  • Chas S. Clifton and Graham Harvey, The Paganism Reader, New York and London: Routledge, 2004.
  • James R. Lewis, Witchcraft Today: An Encyclopedia of Wiccan and Neopagan Traditions (Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 1999).
  • Graham Harvey, Contemporary Paganism: Listening People, Speaking Earth (New York: New York University Press, 1997).
  • Lynne Hume, Witchcraft and Paganism in Australia (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1997).
  • James R. Lewis, ed., Magical Religion and Modern Witchcraft (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1996).
  • T. M. Luhrmann, Persuasions of the Witch's Craft: Ritual Magic in Contemporary England (London: Picador, 1994).
  • Sabina Magliocco, Witching Culture: Folklore and Neo-Paganism in America (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004)
  • J. Gordon Melton and Isotta Poggi, Magic, Witchcraft, and Paganism in America: A Bibliography, 2nd ed., (New York and London: Garland Publishing, 1992).
  • Sarah M. Pike, Earthly Bodies, Magical Selves: Contemporary Pagans and the Search for Community (Berkeley/Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2001).
  • Shelly Rabinovitch and James R. Lewis, eds., The Encyclopedia of Modern Witchcraft and Neo-Paganism (New York: Kensington Publishing, 2002).
  • Kathryn Rountree, Embracing the witch and the goddess: Feminist Ritual-Makers in New Zealand (London and New York: Routledge, 2004).
  • Jone Salomonsen, Enchanted Feminism: The Reclaiming Witches of San Francisco (London and New York: Routledge, 2002).
  • Allen Scarboro, Nancy Campbell, Shirely Stave, Living Witchcraft: A Contemporary American Coven (Praeger Publishers, 1994). DOI 10.1336/275946886.

External links

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