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What Is Wicca?

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Wicca is a nature-based religion, founded by Gerald Gardner in the 1950’s. Wicca or Wicce means “wise of the craft.” Wicca attempts to align itself with nature and it sees all life as part of such. Wicca worships a deity who is divided into female and male aspects, as represented by the High Priestess and Priest.
Wicca has become synonymous with Witches since its inception by Gardner. Gerald Gardner was born in England in 1874, moved to Maylasia as a child, entered the British Civil Service, staying in the Far East until he retired. Gardner claims to have been initiated in a coven in the New Forest region in England in 1939 by a friend named Dorothy Clutterbuck.
Wicca is largely Gardner’s creation, though it appears that he borrowed some information from others. In 1899, Charles Leland had Aradia, or the Gospel of Witches, a manuscript that was given to Leland by an Italian witch, printed. This book was a history of sorts concerning witchcraft in northern Italy. Another book that seems to have inspired Gardner is by Margaret Murray, A Witch-cult in Western Europe, printed in 1921. This book claimed that witchcraft was a fertility cult that survived for thousands of years and was very much alive today. While her thesis may have been proven false, her ideas have lived on.


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