Witchcraft Research Association

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The Witchcraft Research Association was a British organisation formed in 1964 in an attempt to unite and study the various claims that had emerged of surviving remnants of the so-called Witch-Cult, such as those of Gerald Gardner, Robert Cochrane, Sybil Leek, Charles Cardell and Raymond Howard.

It had been set up by Gerard Noel, with the help of several other interested witches. Presidency was first held by Sybil Leek, but after she was forced to emigrate to the United States after suffering persecution and being evicted from her home, it was taken over by Doreen Valiente, who had herself already been involved in several strands of neopagan witchcraft, including Gardnerian Wicca, Cochrane's Craft and the Coven of Atho.

The WRA began publishing a magazine entitled Pentagram, the first issue of which came out in August 1964.

Pagan studies scholar Ethan Doyle White noted that a column on Halloween contained in the fifth issue of Pentagram featured the second oldest printed use of the term "Wicca" in reference to Pagan Witchcraft that he was aware of; although the author's name was not included, he speculated that it might have been Noel or Valiente.[1] Following the culmination of Pentagram, a group of British Gardnerians under the editorship of Dorset-based John Score replaced it with a newsletter titled The Wiccan, first issued in July 1968.[1]



  1. 1.0 1.1 Doyle White 2010. p. 193.


  • Clifton, Chas S. (2006). Her Hidden Children: The Rise of Wicca and Paganism in America. Oxford and Lanham: AltaMira. ISBN 978-0-7591-0202-6.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • 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.<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.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

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