Fact Wikipedia, Ronald Hutton (“The Triumph of the Moon”), and many others claim that
St. Gerald Gardner founded Wicca and some claim thta Raymond Buckland brought Wicca to New York.
Fact They are all wrong. Although Gerald Gardner did a great deal to publicize Witchcraft, in only one place in all his writings did he use the word wicca–and he was not referring to a spiritual path or to a religion.
Whee. Let’s have a schism.
We well remember the occasion in 1968 CE when the Coven of Boskednan gathered after a circle, each with a glass of Beverage, to discuss whether the thing they were working on should be called Wicce or Wicca. The final agreement was that it should be Wicca (the male form of the noun). Thus in 1968 the Church and School of Wicca was born. The Church earned its Letter of Determination from the IRS on August 31, 1972.
Many people have contributed to the formation of Wicca.
Gerald Gardner popularized his form of Witchcraft and with the help of Doreen Valiente formed Gardnerian Witchcraft. Later–posthumously–at some time in the mists of history, someone declared that it had now become Gardnerian Wicca.
Raymond Buckland brought Gardnerian Witchcraft to New York in 1964. In 1966 he wrote “Witchcraft the Religion”. In 1971 June Johns wrote “King of the Witches”; Stewart Farrar wrote “What Witches Do”; and Leo Martello held a “witch-in” in New York City’s Central Park.
Our (Frosts’) first use of the word Wicca to identify a spiritual path and a religion was welcomed and embraced by the community, especially the community’s feminist side. Raymond Buckland formed Seax Wicca in 1973; in that same year Reclaiming Wicca, a Feri tradition, was born based loosely on the teachings of Victor and Cora Anderson.
It is amusing to see how Wicca has moved back in time. Indeed, one could now easily believe that there was an ancient Roman religion called Wicca and perhaps even one in Catal Huyuk in, say, 14,000 BCE. Of course there may well have been elements of the modern reconstruction in the thoughts of those earlier peoples. Certainly we find glimmers of them in old Tantra and in Jewish mysticism, particularly in the concepts of timelessness and oneness associated with Nirvana and the indescribable, unknowable Ein Sof. And goodness knows, there was a time before Pope Gregory dealt with the calendar, when people timed their festivals by the movement of heavenly bodies, not “on the first day of calendar month X.”
We think it behooves self-appointed people who lecture, people who write, people who otherwise discuss this new vibrant spiritual path, to get their facts straight. If they can’t be bothered, then their whole set of claims becomes equally suspect.
Historic sources, like the virgin, need to be immaculate.