Traditional witchcraft

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Traditional witchcraft is a term used to refer to a variety of contemporary forms of witchcraft. Pagan studies scholar Ethan Doyle White described it as "a broad movement of aligned magico-religious groups who reject any relation to Gardnerianism and the wider Wiccan movement, claiming older, more "traditional" roots. Although typically united by a shared aesthetic rooted in European folklore, the Traditional Craft contains within its ranks a rich and varied array of occult groups, from those who follow a contemporary Pagan path that is suspiciously similar to Wicca to those who adhere to Luciferianism".[1]

According to British Traditional Witch Michael Howard, the term refers to "any non-Gardnerian, non-Alexandrian, non-Wiccan or pre-modern form of the Craft, especially if it has been inspired by historical forms of witchcraft and folk magic".[2] Another definition was offered by Daniel A. Schulke, the current Magister of the Cultus Sabbati, when he proclaimed that traditional witchcraft "refers to a coterie of initiatory lineages of ritual magic, spellcraft and devotional mysticism".[3]

Some forms of traditional witchcraft are the Feri Tradition, Cochrane's Craft and the Sabbatic craft.[4]

In 1981, three pseudonymous authors published Wicca: The Ancient Way, in which they used traditional witchcraft to refer to Gardnerian Wicca.[5]



  1. Doyle White 2011, pp. 205–206.
  2. Howard 2011. p. 15.
  3. Schulke 2006.
  4. Howard 2011. p. 17.
  5. Doyle White 2010. p. 197.


Academic sources
  • Doyle White, Ethan (2010). "The Meaning of "Wicca": A Study in Etymology, History and Pagan Politics". The Pomegranate: The International Journal of Pagan Studies. 12 (2): 185–207. doi:10.1558/pome.v12i2.185.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Doyle White, Ethan (2011). "Robert Cochrane and the Gardnerian Craft: Feuds, Secrets, and Mysteries in Contemporary British Witchcraft". The Pomegranate: The International Journal of Pagan Studies. 13 (2): –. doi:10.1558/pome.v13i2.205.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link) CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Hutton, Ronald (1999). The Triumph of the Moon: A History of Modern Pagan Witchcraft. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0198207443.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
Non-academic sources
  • Howard, Michael (2011). Children of Cain: A Study of Modern Traditional Witches. Richmond Vista, California: Three Hands Press.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Schulke, Daniel S. (November 2006). "Way and Waymark". The Cauldron. 122.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>