Rose Ariadne's Chitchcraft Blog

Dear Friends,

If you start researching Wicca and looking into Paganism, you might notice that there are several different branches of Paganism. While there are common themes within each one, it’s helpful to learn about different traditions. You may find one that speaks to you more than another, and your Spirit Guides are giving you a nudge in the right direction. The following few messages will be exploring different Pagan traditions. I feel this is an important part of learning about this spiritual path, and hopefully it will enrich your experience as a Wiccan.

The Gardnerian tradition takes its name from Gerald B. Gardner. He reinvented the ancient, ancestral religion that existed in Pre-Christian Europe. He started the first neo-Pagan coven in secrecy in Britain during the middle of last century. After the 1951 changes in the laws that once made witchcraft illegal, Neo-Paganism exploded onto the world scene especially in Great Britain and other English speaking countries. Raymond Buckland brought Gardnerian Wicca to North America.

The core beliefs of Gardnerian Wicca focus on balance, and duality of the God and Goddess in equal partnership. They acknowledge the reality of Life and Death as part of the necessary cycles of life. In order for Life to exist, there must be Death. For example, if nothing ever died we would be up to our ears in houseflies in no time flat. Humans are meant to cooperate and compete and to love and hate. Balance is the overall goal, and because of that, everything in Gardnerian magick is arranged in balance of male and female.

Gardnerian believers preserve the work of Gerald Gardner, but also incorporate creativity and expansion. Ritual is important in this tradition but fellowship is most important. The Gardnerian covens are autonomous, with each coven having its own unique personality. If you are looking for a Gardnerian coven, keep this in mind. If you don’t have anything in common with one group, then you can easily try another Gardnerian coven. The coven is run like a family, and the process of joining a coven is more like a courtship than an interview. Gardnerians practice a formal initiation which signifies that the initiate and the coven want to make their relationship formal. Initiation is not offered lightly, and a coven looks for honest seekers to join.

Each and every Gardnerian Wiccan that is initiated is a Priest or Priestess in their own right. This is a commonality between many Pagan religions. There are no intermediaries; each individual has a direct relationship with the Gods.
There are no ministers, no pastors and no former clergy. The High Priestess and High Priest of each coven are in an advising role, more than a dictating role. They act as confidants and counselors, and are the first among equals. They are normally experienced in the Craft and can help guide conveners in their own spiritual path.

Gardnerian is a path that states only a Witch can make a Witch; there is no self-initiation in this tradition. Only a Gardnerian can initiate a Gardnerian, and the tradition has record of the lineages dating back to Gardner himself.

Like other traditions, Gardnerian Wicca is a mystery tradition with oaths of secrecy. This means that the Book of Shadows, customs and rituals are not open to the public. This is to honor Paganism heritage as a secretive religion.

If you are interested in Gardnerian Wicca, you can look for a local group or read the works of Gerald Gardner, Doreen Valiente and Raymond Buckland. These people have provided the foundational texts for the development of the Gardnerian tradition, and their practices and beliefs.

Love And Light,

Rose Ariadne, Your Warm And Caring “Resident Witch In Charge”

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