:Tradition Basics:

Not all Wiccans are the same. There are different traditions within this religion. To someone who is new to Wicca, all of these different names can be intimidating.
This is in no way a complete list of every tradition that is out there. This is merely an introduction into some of the more common ones to help you understand the differences. Even within each tradition there will be variations from coven to coven.


This tradition is named for its founder, Gerald Gardner, who was one of the first to bring witchcraft back into the modern age. Details about their rituals are not available to non-initiates. Much of their knowledge can be traced back to Gardner himself and is passed along as new covens are 'hived' or 'spun'. There are different degrees that one can acquire through study and training.


Alex Sanders was trained in the Gardnerian tradition, but his own teachings have spawned a distinct tradition. Much of the beliefs and rituals are similar to Gardnerian covens, but there are notable differences. Alexandrian covens do not hide their activities and their rituals have evolved to include more elements of Ceremonial Magick.


The Dianic tradition is female-oriented, and was founded by Zsuzsanna Budapest in the 1970s. Some Dianic covens are women-only and their rituals focus on the Goddess, and some exclude the God altogether. Covens lack any heirarchy and they do not require any formal initiation.

Druidic Tradition

Druidic Witchcraft is an eclectic tradition, drawing its beliefs and practices from a variety of sources. These include elements of the Druid religion, as well as Irish, Celtic, and Gardnerian beliefs. Druidic Witchcraft should not be confused with that of the Druid Religion, which is entirely different. Druids are not witches and do not practice magick, though there are many links and similarities between the two.

Chaos Magic

In the late 1970's some twenty years after the death of the great "Austin Osman Spare" (1886-1956), a Mr. Carroll and Mr. Sherwin formed the "Illuminates of Thanateros", a new tradition that became synonymous with Chaos Magic. Chaos Magic is based primarily on the workings and philosophy of Austin Osman Spare. While it incorporates witchcraft, its the cutting edge of "High Magic" and is more into the realm of the Magician than that of the Witch.

Celtic Wicca

The Celtic tradition is based on an eclectic blend of materials, beliefs and practices taken from the pre-Christian, Celtic and Gaulish peoples of Northern Europe, including Gaul, Ireland, Wales, and Scotland. This tradition has obvious close links with the Druids, who of old were the "wise men" and "priests" of the ancient pagan Celts and Gaul's. The Celtic tradition is an earth-based tradition, and has a strong focus on its religious beliefs.

Faery Wicca

Also referred to as the fae, fey, feri, faerie, fairy, and fairie tradition. Founded by Victor and Cora Anderson in the mid-late 1950's. Anderson was responsible for writing most of the tradition's rituals, which he initially based on fairy folklore and beliefs, he is still universally recognized as the Grand Master of the Faery Tradition. Today the tradition has evolved and contains of a mixture of Green Wicca, Celtic and Druidic practices, as well as modern Witchcraft. The Tradition is gender-equal, and all sexual orientations seem able to find a niche. Some secret branches of the tradition remain but while only a few hundred initiates can trace their lineage directly back to Victor Anderson; many thousands are estimated to practice neo-Faery Traditions.


Strega is the name given to the Italian traditions of Witchcraft. Stregheria is the Italian word for the religion of Witches, and Sregoneria the magickal practice of Witches. Italian Witchcraft is one of the oldest forms of European Witchcraft that can be documented through historical and literary references. Italian Witchcraft differs from region to region. Those traditions originating in the north tend to be rooted in the ancient Erruscan religion. Those in central Italy often contain a mixture of medieval magick with Italic Paganism, while those in southern Italy retain the more rural forms of Witchcraft. Sicilian Witchcraft is probably one of the least altered forms of original Witchcraft due to its relatively insular nature as an island.


This comes from ancient times; the Teutons have been recognized as a group who speak the Germanic group of languages. These languages include: English, German, Dutch, Afrikaans, Flemish, Frisian, the Scandinavian languages, and Gothic. Norse practitioners are often Astruar that is, followers of Asatru. Many worship similar to their Norse predecessors, following Scandinavian and Germanic deities such as Odin, and using divination methods like the runes.


Witta is a tradition born out of America during the mid-twentieth century and is based on Celtic Irish Paganism. However Witta embraces the influences of the Norse on the history and culture of Ireland, and incorporates many of the beliefs and practices of modern eclectic Wicca. Witta is not a well-known tradition and has not spread far from its roots in North America. Witta is a non-hierarchical, and instead of a degree structure all initiates are encouraged to study and learn to be leaders, priests, and priestesses who can lead rituals and teach others. The author Edain McCoy has written two books on Wittan beliefs and practices: Witta, An Irish Pagan Tradition (Llewellyn - 1993), and Inside a Witches Coven (Llewellyn - 1997). Both of which are very good reads.