: Followers of the new age
pagan belief known as Wicca which originated in the early to late 1940's which became more openly public in the 1950's when the United Kingdom finally revoked the law of Witchcraft and substituted it for Unlawful Mediumship in 1951. Wicca was founded by Gerald Brousseau Gardner (1884–1964) who was fascinated by all things occult. He spent many years abroad in Asia where he familiarize himself with all things occult and magical in belief. He was greatly influenced by the writings of Aleister Crowley and just before the start of World War two became heavily involved in the British occult community.
He started a new sect of pagan faith, with heavy influence laid upon nature and the female deity, the Mother Goddess with many traditions and beliefs from Western mythology and witchcraft being borrowed. In 1954 Gardner wrote his first book Witchcraft Today
. In the same year he formed his first coven and with the aide of Doreen Valiente the sect spread in to what we now know today as Wicca.
Wicca was the rise of Neo-Paganism embodied. During the 1960's the new faith flourished, particularly in the United States, with it's emphasis on love and tolerance making it particularly popular with the more liberal minded people of the time. The faith continued to rise in popularity and gain some form of acceptance, but as the religion progressed it became warped by new writers and ideas.
Although Gardner claimed several times that the things he wrote about (-it should be noted that Gardner himself was a poor writer. All of the popular lines quoted from Wiccan texts were in fact written by Valiente who later broke away from Gardner after a "falling out") were in fact from ancient teachings from a surviving witch cult, this has since been debunked as pure fabrication on his part. Any reference in Gardner's work to anything remotely resembling the old faiths is probably due to the liberal borrowing he did from various different traditions and sects which survived primarily in historical and mythological sense. This has however not stopped people from believing in the misconception that Wicca is an ancient religion.
Wicca is not an ancient religion, it is neo-paganism, with old religions mixed and matched together by Gerald Gardner and every other Wiccan writer who ever chose to embelish on his work.
In comparrison to many other religions Wicca is barely out of training wheels, despite it's continued modern day popularity. In years it has become increasingly watered down from the "original" ideas created by Gardner and Valiente and become a fad, a part of pop culture and a way to rebel for many young people.
Hence the creation of Playgans
and other sites like it being a necesity.
So what is the definition of a real Wiccan?
-Someone who accepts that Wicca is not an ancient faith predating Christianity and any other properly ancient belief system.
-Someone who has read the original works by the likes of Gardner and not just the watered down third generation tripe that sells so well in bookstores.
-Someone who actually knows that Wicca has more than one rule.
-Someone who follows that rule to the law.
-Someone who doesn't use their faith to obtain status or rebel against "the norm"
-Someone who acknowledges that Wicca is not made of pure light and fluffy bunnies and rainbows. Wicca actually has a dark side to it.
-Someone who accepts that their faith (like most others, arguably) is made up from a mix of many other faiths, and although perhaps being a good way of life and basis for morality is not the only correct and ancient faith people would have you believe.
And many other things. In short, someone who has researched the faith, knows its origins and chooses to abide by the theories and rules as written by Gardner and Valiente just under sixty years ago.
I hope this has made things a bit clearer for those who asked.