~ Wiccan/Pagan Paths Denominations ~
Although not exactly a Celtic tradition, many Celtic paths today use words and expressions
which reflect the Kabbalistic influence of this Pagan tradition. It's founder,
Alexander Saunders, was a Pagan leader who successfully blended Kabbalistic practice
with Anglo-Celtic Pagan practice. Many people believe that this blending first
began in the later 1400s when Moors, Jews, Pagans , and other non-Catholics fled
the Spanish Inquisition. Many of these people came to thte west of Ireland,
then the end of the known world, to to hide and begin a new life. The book,
Secrets os a Witches' Coven, By Morwyn, outlines the basic teachings of this tradtion.
American Celtic Wicca
"The American Order of the Brotherhood of the Wicca" covens stem from Jessica Bell
("Lady Sheba"), a self-styled Witch Queen. The tradition's rites are virtually the
same as Gardnerian, though covens work robed. They follow the same practice of Gardnerian
in preferring couples; preferably husband and wife. "Ceremonial Magic is the primary
work of the American Celtic tradition and it is conceived as being the most powerful
and ancient means of sychological and occult therapy by which normal. healthy
people can undertake a program of initiation and development."
A tradtion based upon the belielf of the itinerant Gypsy people of Britain
and Ireland, commonly called "Tinkers." This tradition often is blended with
the more mystical aspects of European Catholicism.
An English path combining the practices of the Celts with those of the sourthern
Teutons, whose Pagans are also sometimes called "witches." Though the popular
word "Wicca" is Anglo-Saxon in origin, the followers of this path discard it as
a label for themselves. There are many followers of thistradition, and many
varied expressions of it's teachings.
A tradition from Wales and Cornwall based upon the Arthurian myths which
each of the figures in his stories as individual divine images. Books on the
Arthurian legends can give you a basic idea of the practices of this pathway.
Look to the writings of Geoffrey Ashe and John Mathews for the best and broadest
Asatru is a Norse word meaning 'belief in the Gods'. This tradition is very ancient
with its roots in the historical agricultural Vanir and warrior Aesir tribes of
Scandinavia and northern Germany. The main deities are the Goddesses Freya, Frigg,
and the Norns while the main Gods are Odin, Thor, and Frey.
Australia has just about every version of Craft in healthy
existence; the only significant difference is that Australians celebrate the Sabbats
in opposite order from those in the Northern hemisphere, in keeping with their own
Brezonek Tradition (Bray-zone-AY'K)
This is the little-known Celtic tradition of Brittany. It has most
likely been influenced by both Roman and Celtic Gual, and by the Celts of the Britich
Isles, though its followers think of themselves first and foremost as Celtic.
An Anglo-Celtic tradition which encompasses the belielfs brough to England
by the invading Romans, as well as those of the Celts.
Influenced heavily by Gardnerian Wicca and Celtic traditions. Covens are co-ed and
members train through a degree process. Janet and Stewart Farrar are British Traditionalist
witches. The International Red Garters is British Traditionalist.
A generic label often applied to traditions of Wales, Cornwall, and England.
Though the Bretons also speak a Brythonic language, this name is usually not applied
to their spiritual pratices.
This Scottich tradition receives little publicity in the Pagan press.
The name Caledonii is Roman in origin and may indicate that it, like the Hibernian
tradition of Ireland, has strong Roman influences. The now defunct Samildanach
was the quarterly newsletter of this tradition.
A briad abd eckectuc branch of Paganusm originating in Celtic Gual, western
and northern England, Ireland, Wales, Scottland, Brittany, and the Isle of Man.
Generally they share much in common, but, specifically, they have many differences.
A basic overview of shared Celtic Pagan beliefs can be found in D.J Conway's book,
Based upon old Celtic/Druidic practices, and ritual Gardnerian design. The emphasis
is placed heavily upon Celtic deities, the elements, nature and the magic of trees.
1974 Circle is founded in Madison, Wisconsin. Its name, logo,
and focus are conceived by Selena Fox. Circle sponsors its first Sabbat gathering.
This small gathering is a Yule celebration hosted by Selena Fox and Jim Alan in
their home in Madison, Wisconsin and includes Pagans from the USA and UK. For more
information visit their website by Clicking here
Creabh Ruadh Tradition (Crahv ROO-Ah)
The "Red Branch" tradition is highly secretive, initiatory, male mysteries Irish
path based upon the myths nd exploits of the Red Branch warriors of Ulster.
It is highly stratified in character, much like Celtic society.
Cymri Tradition (KIM-ree or KEEM-ree)
The principal Pagan tradition of Wales. It claims to be a pre-Celtic
path which may antedate many of the Arthurian legends, though Arthur and his legions
figure heavily in the teachings and mythology of this tradition.
Deborean Tradition (Deb-OR-ee-awn)
This American eclectic tradition has Celtic ties in the sense that they use names
from the Anglo-Celtic mythos to designate their leaders. They are an initiiatory
tradition which attempts to reconstruct Wicca as it was before the wtch persecutions,
know in the Craft as "The Burning Times." They view their prinicipal purpose
as being to help all humans find their inner spiritual home.
A tradition that worships the Goddess as Diana, as the central deity. Female leadership
is encouraged, though male members are allowed into covens. Rituals are either skyclad
or robed. There are also some covens which are female
exclusive and follow a Dianic Feminist Wicce.
A Druidic path, as much cultural as it is magical and religious, which devotes
itself to Celtic study and accurate as possible a reconstruction of past practices.
The teachings and beliefs od the Druidiactos are outlines in The Sacred Cauldron
by Tadhg MacCrossan.
The pathways based on the practices, rituals and magic of the Celtic priestly
class known as the Druids. Many expressions of this tradition exists, and
theirdifferences have often been cause for dissension in the Pagan community.
Two of the best books published in recent years on Druidism are Book of Druidry
by Ross Nicols, and The 21 Lessions of Merlin
, by Douglas Monroe.
A feminist traiditon of female Druidesses who were given their name by the tree
faeries of the Celtic lands, who are also known as Dryads. Faery lore plays
a strong role in their practices, and the majority of their other teachings are
Druidic with a modern feminist slant.
Basically a loosely based tradition which uses any practices of other paths and
incorporates them into their own path. It is now quite a common and popular form
of Wicca, as the followers use what works best for them regardless of its source.
Eireannach Tradition (AIR-un-n'yock)
Several distinct tradtions claiming this label seem to be operating in North
America. The name simply means "Irish." Eireannach is probably best
described as a catch-all term for the various Irish paths rather than the name of
any one single expression.
Erisian Tradition (Discordia)
A philosophy which believes that the universe is uncertain and that natural laws
are not everywhere and constant. Eris is the Goddess of chaos. Discordia was rediscovered
in 1960's by Californians Kerry Thornley and Gregory Hill, who published a book
called Principia Discordia on their experiences. The tradition also involves humor
in its rituals. Similarly Englishman, Austin Osman Spare, often called the father
of chaos magic, took chaos to a more scientific plateau.
An environmentally-minded path which claims its origins in the oral teaching of
the Tuatha De Dannan of Ireland, the deities who became the faery folk. Once
a secretive, Californian-based group, their beliefs and practices have been made
public in the Faery Wicca
series of Books by Kisma K Stepanich.
Various traditions passed down through individual families are usually tossed
together under this label. Some of these are secretive for reason of personal
security, others openly combine their Celtic Pagan beliefs with those of mainstream
religions. A Family Tradition can be a part of any culture's indigenous reigion,
not just Celtic.
An initiatory Irish path which takes its name from Fionn MacCumhal's warriors,
A generic label sometimes applied to the traiditions or Ireland and Scotland.
One of the first traditions in witchcraft to emerge into the public eye during the
1950's. The teachings are based upon the works of Dr. Gerald Brosseau Gardner, who
researched much of the history of the Craft and added them to his famous Book of
Shadows. Many traditions use his Book of Shadows, in a modified form, as a basis
for ritual practice.
An eclectic Wicca tradition founded by George E. Patterson in 1970. This tradition
is influenced mostly by Alexandrian and Gardnerian teachings and leans towards Goddess
and God worship at an eclectic level. Individuals work either skyclad or robed and
are encouraged to write their own rituals.
A secritive Socttish traidtion which is based on the Irish myths, but no which local
legends associated with them are applied
This Irish traadition probably developed during the Middle Ages and shows
A generic term used to identify traditions native to Ireland and her people.
Many indicidual tradtions come under this broad heading, though some believe the
only true Irish traidition is one which is pre-Celtic.
An English traidition with Celtic roots. Look for the Internations
(An eight-times a year publication and umbrella organization for
followers of the various English traditions which prints much contoversial materal.)
for more information.
Witches who practice around the home and hearth, and incorporate Magic and
religion into daily life around cooking, weaving, etc.
This initiatory path was founded in England in the late 1970s and worships a generic
Mother Goddess, sometimes called Rhiannon, and the Horned God. Maidenhill
does not have a significant number of followers in North America.
An English traidition which views the long succession of ruling monarchs as sacrificial
kings and fertility quues. Look for the Internations Red Garters
a year publication and umbrella organization for followers of the various English
traditions which prints much contoversial materal.) for more information.
An Irish tradition which traces its roots to the mystical Isle of Man. Lots
of faery lore-based beliefs and ritual workings are part of this path. Manann
Mac Llyr, God of the Sea, and Fand, a Faery Queen, are its principal deities.
North Country Tradition
The Pagan traidition of Yorkshire region of England. The principal inluences
on it were from England (which was heavily influenced by Pagan Rome) and from the
Northern Isles Tradition
A combined path which follows the old Norse and Celtic ways - sometimes labaled
Asatru. A Pagan group which calls itself "Northern Way" incorporated in Chicago
in 1982. Their beliefs are broadly outlined in Northern Magic, by Edred Thorsson.
The Anacronym for the Order of the Bard, Ocates and Druids, a tradition of Celtic
Druidry based in England. As of this writing, the OBOD offers correspondence
courses, a newsletts, and netowrking.
This is the solitary path of the pre-Celtic people known as the Picts.
The inhabited northern Scotland and warred frequently with the Celts before being
absorbed by them. The beliefs and practices of this path are recorded by Raymond
Buckland in his 1991 book, Scottish WitchCraft
Witchcraft developed in Scotland. It's followers are solitaries and worship involves
animal, vegetable, and minerals, as aspects of nature.
This flourishing tradition was organized at Carleton College in Minnesota in 1963
in protest against a school rule which required Sundday chapel attendance.
The original group rituals were based on the Episcopal form of worship, but its
splinter groups have since tried to revise their rituals in line with the old Celtic
This tradition combines Celtic and Roman Pagan practices in the same way that they
merged and blended in Gual many centuries ago.
Sacred Wheel Tradition
An eclectic neo-Pagan path which was organized in Delaware within the past
decade. Calling themselves Wiccan, they focus on balance and learning.
celtic beliefs are a part of their teachings. Still concentrated in the eastern
states, covens are formed from study groups which include both old-timers abd novices.
Notice about the formation of Sacred Wheel study groups can be found in Pagan periodicals,
especially those based in the northeastern United States.
A tradition for which little public information exists. It is a path
which attemptes to reconstruct the early Milesian faith as practiced about the time
the Celts came to Britain. This would ofnecessity seek to include old Iberian
(Spanish) Pagan beliefs which are not virtually extinct thanks to the gross efficiency
of the Spanish Inquisition.
A generic term used to identify traditions native to Scotland and her people.
Many individual traditions come under this broad heading, though some believe that
the only true Scottich tradition is one which is pre-Celtic.
While most people do not at first think of Shamanism when they think of the
Celts, this spiritual practice has been noted in all ancient cultures. John
Matthews book, The Celtic Shaman
, is an excellent text on this largely
There is NO worship of "Satan" in Witchcraft. These deities were created by the
Christian religion. A Satanic Witch is an oxymoron and anyone who tells you otherwise,
knows nothing about the Craft.
Founded in 1973 by Raymond Buckland, this tradition incorporates Saxon lore. Covens
have co-ed open rituals and are either performed robed or skyclad. Buckland developed
this tradition without breaking his Gardnerian oath.
A tradition founded by a witch called Aradia around 1353 CE. Strega can lay claim
to being one of the oldest unchanged forms of witchcraft. This tradition preceded
Garderian or Celtic based religions and developed in Italy during Roman times.
A tradition based on Germanic culture; can come from English, Dutch, Icelandic,
Danish, Norwegian and Swedish traditions. Also known as the Nordic tradition; sometimes
separated into a different part of neo-paganism far different from Wicca.
Tuatha De Danann (TOO-ah Day THAY-nan or DAWN-an)
An Irish tradition based upon the mythic tales of the Tuatha De Danann, the
last race to hold power in Ireland before the Milesian (human) invasion. The
mythic figures of the Tuatha constitute most of the Irish pantheon and serve as
a divine foundation for virtually all of the Irish traditions. Llewellyn Publications
will soon be releasing a book on this tradition by Long-time Danann, Katharine Clark.
Ueleda Tration (WEE-lay-dah)
Ueleda was a name sometimes broadly applied to female Druids, and today it is the
name for an all-female, initiatory Druidic tradition.
A catch-All term for the several different Pagan traiditions which came out of Wales.
West Country Tradition
The principal Pagan tradition of Cornwall and Devonshire in southwestern
England. West Country Wicca, By Rhiannon Ryall, discusses the Anglo-Celtic
practices of the West Country Pagans before the influence of Gerald Gardner.
Wicca (WICK-AH, WEECH-AH, or WEEK-AH)
The Anglo-Saxon term for witchcraft popularized by Pagan writers since the 1950's.
The term usually refers to an Anglo-Celtic practice, particularly as interpreted
by Wiccan leader Gerald Gardner. Wicca is an Anglo-Saxon word meaning "wise
one," a term which came to label the craft as it was practiced in England, Wales,
and the continental region once known as Saxony. Many good books ave been
written about Wicca and are easily found. Look for authors suchs as Raymond
Buckland, Scott Cunningham, Dion Fortune, Diane Stein, and Doreen Valiente for solid,
The olde English word for Wicca. It is sometimes used to refer to an
English Traitions where the Saxon influences, but not the Celtic ones, have been
eliminated wherever possible.
An eclectic Scottish path which combines the Scottich, Celtic, Pictish, and
Norse traditions. Like the Irish Witta, it values the many influences upon
itself as an asset to be cherished rather than eliminated. Modern Wita has
done away with much of the stratification of Celtic society and accepts self-initiation
This is another broad term which encompasses several, rather than any single, Pagan
tradition. All witches are Pagans, but not all Pagans are witches. The
term "witch" seems to have become a term exclusively reserved for practitioners
of any of the Celtic or Anglo traditions, or less often, for the Teutonis paths
(this latter is probably becuase the Saxons and the Norse had such a great impact
on Celtic Paganism). You will find witch used occaionally in thie book in
place of the word Pagan.
Wittan Tradition (WEED-an)
An eclectic Irish path which keeps very old Irish traditions and combines
them with the influences of the Norse. Witta values Irish Pagan history and
recognizes that at each stage in its development, over many centuries, each generation
has been able to add something of value. Until recent times Wittan covens
were characterized by strict stratification and one-on-one teaching for its apprentices.
Today most Wittan covens operate on a consensus basis and will accept self-initiation
and the solitary life as valid. The precepts of the Wittan tradition are outlined
in Edain McCoy's Witta: An Irish Pagan Tradition
Y Tylwuth Teg Tradition (Ee TEE-Loo-eeth Tay'g)
A Welsh-based tradition names for the faery folk of that land, a people who roughly
correspond to the Tuatha De Danann in Ireland. Though the Tradition was officially
founded in the United States, it maintains deeply Celtic roots and very humanistic
philosophy. Students of this path are asked to place heavy emphasis on the
study of Welsh myth, folklore, and faery lore.
Church of the Cresent Moon
Check out this URL for more Information: http://www.webspawner.com/users/churchofcrescentmoon/
Other Paths and Denominations not yet described here include....
Coven of the Forest, Far and Forever
Dianic Feminist Wicce
There are some that are not even mentioned here and some of the information
was taken from Edain McCoy's Celtic Myth & Magick
. We wish you
the best of luck in discovering which path is right for you. Or if you have already
found your way, Blessed Be!