When did the Wiccan religion REALLY begin?

The basis Wiccan faith dates back a thousand or more years to the witches of the old times. Some of the sources of Wicca pre-date the Christian era. However, the Wicca of today is not a direct line from the Witchcraft of those days. It is called a ‘modern reconstruction.’

According to Gerald Gardener, one of the most important figures in the modern Wiccan movement, Wicca began in pre-history as rituals associated with fire, the hunt, animal fertility, plant fertility and the curing of ancient diseases. This developed into a religion that recognized the Supreme Deity. However, the ancients knew that they were unable to fully understand the Supreme God, so they instead worshipped figureheads like the Goddess of fertility, and her horned consort the God of the hunt.

The Druids developed this faith system more completely and continued the worship of the Moon and Sun. Celtic Druidism reached from the British Isles, to France, Germany and the Netherlands. Although the Celts were threatened by Roman, Saxon and Norman invasions, they preserved their way of life by going into hiding. During the violent spread of Christianity, which lasted for most almost 10 centuries, the Druids and other pagan groups suffered causalities. The number of pagan groups dwindled, and some even theorized that major pagan presence dwindled all together during this time.

The 20th century experienced a low point in the Wiccan religion as the larger pagan groups were few in number. The faith was reinvented and re-established by Gerald Gardener in the United Kingdom in the middle 1960s. He was the first to write modern Wiccan text that was based on his findings in pagan literature that had survived through the centuries. He took the surviving texts, and added elements of ceremonial magick, spiritual practices and occult beliefs. What resulted was the modern Wiccan faith that incorporated the old and the new.

Rose Ariadne: Providing “Magickal” answers to your Pagan, Wiccan, Witchcraft spell casting questions since 2006.

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