Wicca is a derivative of a pagan belief system that was popularized by Gerald Gardner in 1954. Gardner is considered the “father” of the Wiccan belief system. In its current form, Wicca has been around for a little over 60 years, though its roots go back hundreds of years.
The practice of Wicca is called witchcraft, though it is not witchcraft as modern society views it. Hollywood and the Judeo-Christian religions have created a stigma associated with the words “witch” and “witchcraft.” These terms, when used in the context of describing Wiccan followers & their practices, are not insults. Wiccans are witches (whether you’re male or female – there is no such thing as a “warlock” in Wicca) and they practice witchcraft, which is not a “dark” practice.
There are different variations to the practice of Wicca. Many modern day witches associate with one or more of the different “flavors” of Wicca. Some of the popular Wiccan variations are:
- Gardnerian Wicca – Founded by Gerald Gardner
- Alexandrian Wicca – Founded by Alex Sanders
- Dianic Wicca – A variation of Wicca birthed out of the Feminist Movement
- Georgian Wicca – A mix of Gardnerian & Alexandrian Wicca
- Celtic Wicca – A combination of Gardnerian Wicca & Druidic practices
- Eclectic Wicca – As the name suggests, this is simply a term for those Wiccan practitioners that take traditions from various other Wiccan variations
Although there are some differences in the core teachings of the different Wiccan variations, at the end of the day, a Wiccan is a Wiccan is a Wiccan.
I try to distinguish Wicca as NOT a religion, but a good analogy for the different Wiccan variations is to think of the Christian religion. There are Baptists, Catholics, Methodists, and more. But they all believe basically the same thing.