Traditional Wytchcraft (overview)


Alex Sanders
Wicca, or more importantly as the tradition that is referred to today as "British Traditional Wytchcraft"*, stems back to the teachings of an English civil servant, Gerald Gardner.  Since the 1950s when he first published a book on this Tradition (after the repellant of the English Witchcraft laws), much has changed.  The Wytchcraft of Gardner's day, and later of Alex Sanders, differs greatly to the modernised version referred to as "Wicca" that is often associated and accepted today - even to the point where some modern Wiccans have even decided to discredit the very founder of their belief, Gerald Gardner himself. 
BT Wytchcraft, as in Gardner's vision, and in its true sense, is a Mystery tradition, aligned with those from more ancient cultures such as Egypt and Greece, and it is through initiation that the seeker learns to understand these Mysteries.  This does not mean to say however that initiation is the "only" way - just that through the process of initiation and being "properly prepared", a deeper (or even different) level is revealed.  And it is this realisation that cannot be accurately described to those who have not gone through such a process, thus leaving the latter often feeling excluded .. which is not the objective.
 
Bale fire in the Cauldron

Why try to walk the path of someone else and see things through their eyes and relive their experiences?  Why not walk your own path for the beauty of the Mysteries is all around for all to share ... should only they open their eyes.


The Temple of the Dark Moon aligns itself with being "progressive" Alexandrian Wytchcraft.  We call it such as, following in the footsteps of our Tradition's founder (Alex Sanders) who "evolved" Gardner's version of Wytchcraft, we too have carefully added to the work we do, all the while keeping the core elements, what we consider to be the very essense of the Alexandrian tradition, in tact.  In doing so, this infers that we have moved away from various aspects of the "traditional" Book of Shadows compared to other covens, however in doing so, this does not imply that teachings contained within the Book of Shadows have been removed or discredited - they are still taught, however the manner in which they are taught may have changed. 

Outside Circle at the Covenstead (c2010)
Further, simply due to the fact that we reside in the Southern Hemisphere, we have also felt the need to make adjustments to various elements of the teachings due to our own environment and the numerous differences between the two Hemispheres. 

This bold step has not always been received positively, however, for those who have trained and circle with us, the reasons behind what and how we do things does become clearer.

At the end of the day, we are priests and priestesses of the Old Gods and it is to them that we serve - regardless of where we live.

Blessings - Frances



* In reference to "traditional Wytchcraft", there are in fact other versions of Wytchcraft which are not Gardnerians based at all - in particular hereditary family based traditions, those aligned with the Tubal Cain and 1734 traditions, as well as the Cultus Sabbati.  As neither Gardner nor Sanders classified themselves as "Wiccans", and in light of the increasing number of non or self initiated people of more eclectic traditions calling thems "Wiccans", the Temple has redefined what we refer our beliefs to be.