Did Gerald Gardner really

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Forums -> Wicca -> Did Gerald Gardner really

Did Gerald Gardner really
Post # 1
Did Gerald Gardner really 'create' and invented Wicca? Many sites and many people say that Gerald Gardner invented Wicca.

I think he did not invent nor create his own practice. His practice was later on called Wicca. He did not use the word Wicca, he used the word Witchcraft. His book was Witchcraft Today not Wicca today. If its of my understanding Wicca was a term later used to describe Gerald's form of witchcraft because the word witchcraft had a negative connotation (This was stated by Raymond Buckland). Thus, Gerald did not used that term in the beginning.

I think he did not create it. He introduced it. Introducing and creating are two different things. His tradition and his beliefs were handed over by oral tradition by his coven.

There are lots of forms of Witchcraft, many forms do not have names! The witchcraft that Gerald practiced was known to be Wicca. Wicca and other forms of Witchcraft are different. Wicca IS witchcraft. In Wicca we have the God and Goddess, celebrate the Sabbats and Esbats and so forth! These are distinctions that make Wicca different from other forms of Witchcraft.

Please correct me if I'm wrong.
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Re: Did Gerald Gardner really
Post # 2

Wicca is a duotheistic religion of nature and mysteries based on certain Pagan and Asian beliefs and practices. Witchcraft is a practice based in certain European countries and while Gardner called it Witchcraft, that does not mean Wicca is Witchcraft. There are some sources that state Wicce meant male Witch and Wicca meant female Witch (weecha and weechae, respectively). I've not done research to back this up, though I do know it still stands that Wicca as it is known today is not Witchcraft of tradition. Wiccans can be Witches, though not all Witches are Wiccan or vice versa.

As we cannot actually do the research into Gardner's tradition historically, it's passed off as a 'granny story' (and quite possibly where the modern meaning came from) by those who prefer tradition over Neopaganism and Neowitchcraft (not a term I've seen before, but it may as well be used for those who lump all Witchcraft together and even go as far as to state all Magick is Witchcraft and I could go on for days about how that is rather ignorant).

While it is true that some traditions of Witchcraft were religious, not all were and it honestly depends on the region and time it came from. Whether or not he made up what he wrote or if he actually introduced his path to the masses is up to debate.

If you research the various things incorporated with Wicca, such as the holidays, methods, and traditions, you will find them in their original forms in Celtic/Norse encompassing countries and in Hinduism (with the chakra/3 Fold 'Law' bits). If all of this were to actually be a part of a singular tradition, that singular tradition would had to have been exposed to many countries a long, long time ago. You can decide for yourself whether that's likely the case or not.

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Re: Did Gerald Gardner really
Post # 3
Can Witchcraft be more than just European traditions? Or is just just ONLY that?
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Re: Did Gerald Gardner really
Post # 4

Witchcraft as a practice and set of traditions are from Europe, though it has been influenced by other paths via commerce and soical interaction. At times of the Christian uprising in Europe, many paths that were not Witchcraft were labeled as such and grouped in with Devil Worship. There are plentty of practices in Europe that are not Witchcraft, such as Seidhr and Saami Joiken for example.

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Re: Did Gerald Gardner really
By: Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 5

I would disagree that Gerald Gardner did not create Wicca.

Certainly there is concrete evidence that Gardner was initiated into a group referring to themselves as Witches or "of the Wica" in December 1939. However, Gardner points out from the beginning that this group failed to meet his expectations of what witchcraft should be about. He was basing his expectations on the writings of Margaret Murray. And when he wanted to go public to draw in more members he was told that he could not. At that point Gardner separated himself from his initial coven and began to develop a more cohesive Tradition using input from Masonic rituals, ceremonial magick, folk magick, etc. In addition, much of the liturgy was created by his first HPS, Doreen Valiente and added to by subsequent High Prietesses and Gardner himself. Thus what Gardner created and what we today refer to as Wicca was a far cry from the original group into which he was initiated. And so it appears only fair to state that Gardner did "create" that which is today called Wicca.

In the beginning Gardner referred to his practices as the "Cult of Witchcraft" and to its practitioners as being "of the Wica". However, Gardner was familiar with the Anglo-Saxon terms for Witch, being "wicce" (female witch) and "wicca" (male witch). And by 1961 Gardner himself was referring to his practices as Wicca. You can see him use the term in an interview in 1961.

I would recommend the following books on the history of Gerald Gardner and Wicca:

"Triumph of the Moon" by Ronald Hutton

"Gerald Gardner and the Cauldron of Inspiration" by Philip Heselton

"Wiccan Roots" by Philip Heselton

"Witch Father, A Life of Gerald Gardner" Vol 1 & 2

"50 Years of Wicca" by Fred Lamond

"Lid off the Cauldron" by Patricia Crowther

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