There are such a wide variety of Traditions, Paths and Practices that come under the banner of Paganism that it can be very confusing the those seeking their way on the Pagan Path.
How DO you tell your Wiccans from your Wytches, your Asatru from your Odinists, your Gnostics from your Eclectics?
The articles on these pages are written by practitioners of these various traditions and many more.
Do YOU practice a Tradition that is not included here? Is YOUR Path different from the explaination given by another practitioner?
Then send us an article that YOU have written on your beliefs, and how you practice Paganism with your details and if suitable we will publish it right here! (all rights remain with the authors)
Alexandrian Wicca: Originated in England in the 1960's, founded by Alex Sanders. The rituals are said to be of Gardnarian basis. Alex Sanders referred to himself as the "King" of his Wiccans. Although similar to Gardnerian Wicca, Alexandrian Wicca tends to be more eclectic and liberal. Alexandrian Wicca has made some of Gardnerian's strict rules, such as the requirement of ritual nudity, optional.
Asatru: (See Teutonic/Nordic) an Old Norse compound derived from Áss, which refers to the Æsir, (one of the two families of gods in Norse mythology, the other being the Vanir), and trú, literally "troth" or "faith". Thus, Ásatrú is the "Æsir's faith." The term is the Old Norse/Icelandic translation of Asetro, a neologism coined in the context of 19th century romantic nationalism, used by Edvard Grieg in his 1870 opera Olaf Trygvason. Ásatrúar, sometimes used as a plural in English, is properly the genitive of Ásatrú. Modern Scandinavian forms of the term, Norwegian Åsatru, Swedish Asatro, Danish Asetro (Ēsatrēowð in Anglo-Saxon), were introduced in Neopaganism in Scandinavia in the 1990s.
In Germany, the terms Asatru and Odinism were borrowed from the Anglosphere in the 1990s, with a chapter of Odinic Rite formed in 1995 and the Eldaring as a partner organization of The Troth formed in 2000. Eldaring takes Asatru as a synonym of Germanic neopaganism in general, following usage by The Troth. Other organizations avoid Asatru in favour of Germanisches Heidentum ("Germanic Heathenry"). Eldaring is the only pagan organization at the national level in Germany self-described as Asatru.
The term Vanatru is coined after Ásatrú, implying a focus on the Vanir (a second tribe of gods in Germanic paganism) rather than the Æsir.
British Traditional Witch: This is a mix of Celtic and Gardenarian beliefs. These traditionalists move mostly within the Farrar studies and are fairly structured by their beliefs. They train through a degree-structured process. The International Red Garters is the most famous organization at this time.
Celtic Witchcraft/Wicca: The Celtic tradition is based on the practices of the pre-Christian Celtic world. This includes Ireland, Wales, Scotland, and Gaul. There is also a significant amount of Druid practice used in this tradition. It shares a lot with the Teutonic traditions, including the use of runes. This traditional is extremely earth based and strong in the religious aspects of the Craft. Many aspects of Christianity were drawn from the Celtic pagans, such as Cerridwyn's cauldron translating into the Holy Grail, and the goddess Brigit becoming Saint Bride.
Ceremonial Magicians: Less religion, more emphasis on the art and science of magick.Rituals are generally complex and practices lean towards the secretive, hidden side of magick. Not generally thought of as being geared towards the solitary practitioner, but can easily be adapted for those who choose to work alone.
Correllian Nativist Tradition: The Correllian Nativist Tradition is based upon the teachings of members of the High-Correll family. The High-Correll family were descended from a line of Cherokee Didanvwisgi who inter-married with a line of Scottish Traditional Witches, whose descendants were further influenced by Aradian Witchcraft and by the Spiritualist Church.
The founder of the Tradition is the blv. Orpheis Caroline High-Correll. She is said to have founded the Tradition as an entity separate from her ancestry, on September 4, 1879.
In creating Correllian Nativist Wicca, Orpheis Caroline drew upon her Native American heritage, as well as ideas of European Witchcraft, Spiritualism, and Hermetic thought. The early history of the Correllian Tradition is somewhat unclear, with familial and religious structures wholly interconnected. The family followed a very formal, matriarchal and matrilinear structure with its roots in Cherokee custom, from which the current offices of the Correllian tradition derive their form.
Lady Orpheis called the Tradition simply Nativist, and this would remain the Tradition’s primary designation until the appellation of the term “Correllian Nativist” in 1992, or as we now more commonly call it; Correllian.
Dianic Wicca/Witchcraft: Tradition from Western Europe, tracked back to Margaret Murray in 1921. This tradition has been pegged as the "feminist" movement of the Craft. It is a mix of many traditions, but its focus is on the goddess, especially Diana (hence the term Dianic).
Eclectic Pagan: An eclectic Pagan doesn't follow any strict traditional guidelines, but instead, practices the beliefs that suit them best. They mix traditions to find their most fitting stance on their religion, using the magick that is most practical for their lifestyle and studying the parts of the religion they consider being essential. The eclectic tradition marks Paganisms expansion into an extension of various beliefs and theories.
Faerie Wicca: Also referred to as fae, fey, faery, fairy, fairie... tradition based on faery lore and beliefs. Consists of a mixture of "green" Wicca, Celtic and Druidic practices, and modern witchcraft.
Fairy Witchcraft: Often confused with Faery Wicca, it is the term often applied to Male Homosexual Covens, this is not considered to be a derogatory name but rather a manner of claiming truth and acceptance, or as one fairy Witch said ..."Out of the closet, Out of the broomcloset and Proud to be Pagan!"
Gardnerian: Gardnerian is the tradition founded by Gerald Gardner. He was one of the firsts to go public with information about the Craft, modern Wicca has mostly been derived from his books. Gardner's inspiration was drawn from many sources, including 'Aradia, Gospel of the Witches', where strands of the Gardnerian tradition such as required ritual nudity can be found. This is an extremely traditional path with a hierarchical grade structure. These individuals are very secretive and take oaths upon initiation. Although there are a number of Gardnerian Covens active around the world, they are difficult to locate and once located are not easy to join. This tradition does not lend itself well to solitary practice, but some aspects of it do. It therefore deserves some study by solitary practitioners, especially eclectics.
Gnostic Paganism: Based on the Belief that Ancient 'Christian' or Hebrew Beliefs were Pagan in Originand therefore can be practiced in a manner similare to much of modern Witchcraft. Often seen as a merging of Christian and Wiccan/Pagan beliefs. Pany object both in the Christian and pagan Communities that these two beliefs are mutally exclusive, however practitioners of Gnostic Paganism disagree, using the 'Missing Gospels' (such as the Gospel of Thomas) as proof positive that these beliefs can be compatible. [Gnostic Paganism Article]
Hereditary: This is a person that can trace the Tradition they practice back on their family tree and was also taught the practice by a living relative. ("My mother's grandmother's sister's cousin was a Wiccan" doesn't count!) Because of the youth of many Modern Traditions (Including Wicca), this term has (up until this generation) really only applied to practitioners of cultural forms of Paganism. However as the years have passed many family Covens are growing and many children are being raised in the various Pagan Traditions. My own children and now grandchildren have been raised in our Path and I am proud to say I hope to see a full third generation (our grown grandchildren) of practicing Primordial Wytches in our Family tree!
Hoodoo is an African American type of folk magic with its roots in African, Native American, and European traditions. Also called conjure or conjuration, hoodoo developed in the American Southeast and spread mostly through word of mouth. Though there are experts in hoodoo, there is no hierarchy, and the practice of hoodoo is open to anyone. Traditionally, experts in hoodoo, known as hoodoo doctors, traveled to practice their craft and took on apprentices.Hoodoo is often confused in the popular imagination with Voodoo, a religion originating in West Africa. The concept that most people have of Voodoo is actually closer to hoodoo. Hoodoo practices include folk remedies, magic spells, necromancy, and fortune telling, and practitioners are predominantly Christian rather than followers of Voodoo. Though there are spiritual elements in hoodoo, it is not a religion.
Kitchen Witchcraft: This form of Paganism is one that practices by home and hearth concentrating on the practical side of religion, magick and the earth and elements. Can be seen as a more convenient form of practice for those who have limited space and resource, mainly suburban and city witches. This focuses on shamanic, practicality, the use of magick in the home and in the workplace, and convenient ritual writing that includes readily available "ingredients" on short time and a tight budget. [Hoodoo Article]
Odinism: The term "Odinism" tends to be associated with racialist Nordic ideology, as opposed to "Asatru" which may or may not refer to racialist or "folkish" ideals. As defined by Goodrick-Clarke (2002), Nordic racial paganism is synonymous with the Odinist movement (including some who identify as Wotanist). It has been described as a "spiritual rediscovery of the Aryan ancestral gods...intended to embed the anglo races in a sacred world view that supports their tribal feeling", and expressed in "imaginative forms of ritual magic and ceremonial forms of fraternal fellowship".
Pictish Witchcraft: European witchcraft with a strong connection to nature in all of its forms. The practice is actually mostly Magickal with little emphasis on the religious aspect. This is practiced as a solitary tradition.
Primordial Wytchecraft: An Shamanic form of Wytchecraft, drawing heavily on the eclectic practices of medicine wo/men, tribal healers and other Elder Tribe spiritual leaders. Terra Sphere Coven developed the Tradition to allow the practitioners to work their spiritual practices while honouring the local beliefs of the local Aboriginal Peoples. [Primordial Wytchecraft Article]
Pow-wow: This is a magickal system, not a religion, based on 400 year old German Magick. In this day and time it has lost much of its concentrations and is basically now into simple faith healing.
Seax-Wica: (Or Saxon-Wicca) Founded in 1973, by Raymond Buckland. Raymond Buckland authored this tradition without breaking his original Gardnerian oath. His contributions to the Craft is of great significance and many popular books today are of his authorship.Shamanism: Beliefs are connected to contact with the spirit world. Through communication with the spirits, the Shaman can work acts of healing, divination and magic - revealing by way of vision, poetry and myth the deeper reaches of the human spirit.
Teutonic/Nordic: This is from ancient time, the Teutons have been recognized as a group who speak the Germanic group of languages. The languages include the English, Dutch, Icelandic, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish. Norse practitioners are often Astatru 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. Germanic Practitioner are often Odinists, however there are some practitioners of the Teutonic Beliefs that follow an Eclectic Path, however these tend to be few and far between. (see also Asatru, Odinism)
Theodism: originally sought to reconstruct the beliefs and practices of the Anglo-Saxon tribes which settled in England. However as it evolved, the Theodish community moved past solely Anglo-Saxon forms and other Germanic tribal groups were also being reconstituted; Theodism, in this larger sense, now encompass groups practicing tribal beliefs from Scandinavia and the Continent, following in the model set forth by the Anglo Saxon theods founded in the 1970s. The term Theodism now encompasses Norman, Frisian, Angle, Saxon, Jutish, Gothic, Alemannic, Thuringian, Swedish and Danish tribal cultures. This relaxing of the original term "Theodism" functionally identifies Germanic Neopagans who practice or advocate Neo-Tribalism.
Witta: An Irish Pagan Tradition attempting to provide a missing link to understanding the Irish religion in a more cultural context, developed by Edain McCoy. Modern Witta has adopted some of same ritual tools of Wicca, but for those wishing to harken back to the very old Pagan ways, simplicity is the key.The practice of Witta, is very much akin to Kitchen Witchcraft, in so much as it focuses much more on an individuals practice and use of everyday items.
Note: Witta is often considered by it's critics as a 're-interpretation' of witchcraft and history, based on Edain McCoy's own preferences, background, experiences and genuine belief in what was, read or taught. Even though the many claims made in reference the to the teachings cannot be validated historically and often conflict with what has been documented, it is important to remeber that these re-interpretations of Wicca or other forms of Paganism resonate for certain individuals or even groups and therefore should be accepted as a valid path for those who practice them, regardless of the origins. Any belief system which calls to the individual is as valid as the next.
Please Note: These articles and definitions have been submitted by practitioners of the various Paths and Traditions. The Author of the site, it's publishers and members do not nessasarily endorse the validity of any statements made, nor any of the practices mentioned. Nor do they endorse, advocate or dispute the validity of becoming a Practitioner any of the Paths mentioned herein, unless stated as such.