Options for involvement
Organizing documents

Articles, brochures, guides
Writers Guidelines
Press Releases

Modern Paganism
Modern Witchcraft
Recommended reading list
Sacred Action e-mail lists
Speakers Bureau
Resources for incarcerated Pagans
Pagan Community Fund
Resources for the press

Membership & subscription forms
Renewal forms
Publications order form
Members' Directory form
Advertising rates

get up, get active
Become a member
How to strengthen the Pagan community
Contact us

Web Master

Info Sheets
These Info Sheets are designed to give brief sketches of some of the diversity of Pagan paths. They are by no means meant to be comprehensive. They may be copied so long as the information is unaltered. Information presented here was gathered from a variety of sources: books (especially The Encyclopedia of Witches & Witchcraft by Rosemary Ellen Guiley), networking tools such as Circle's Guide to Pagan Groups, discussions with Pagans, and responses to PEN's ongoing request for Pagans to tell us what they practice. Resources are recommended where we had specific information. Please feel free to contact the groups or organizations listed for more information. In all your correspondence with groups, please include a business-sized, self-addressed envelope.

("Faith in the Æsir") Norse Pagan tradition emphasizing courage, honor, hospitality, liberty, industriousness, loyalty, honesty, and individuality. Ásatrúers celebrate 8 Blóts ("Blót"means "blessing"): Dísfest: 31 Jan., Ostara: 21 Mar., May Eve: 30 April, Midsummer: 21 June, Freysfest: 31 July, Fallfest: 23 Sept., Winter Night: 31 Oct., and Yule: 21 Dec. Local groups are called Hearths, Kindreds, or Steadings. There are at least 800 Ásatrúers in North America. Guilds promote skills and fellowship, and little emphasis is placed on magic or meditation.

RESOURCES: Teutonic Magic, Kvedúlf Gundarsson; Myths and Symbols of Pagan Europe, Hilda Ellis Davidson

GROUPS: The Ring of Troth, PO Bx 25637, Tempe AZ 85285

NET: The Irminsul Ættir, www.eskimo.com/~valkyrie/

Church of All Worlds
Formally chartered in 1968 by Oberon (previously Tim/Otter) Zell. Inspired by Robert Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land. Centered in Ukiah, CA with "nests" (local groups) around the world. CAW has had a long, evolving history and is focused on evolving a "network of information, mythology and experience that provides a context and stimulus for re-awakening Gaea, and re-uniting her children through tribal community dedicated to responsible stewardship and evolving consciousness." Meets weekly to promote celebration and honoring of all life. Sees Earth as living, divine organism (see "Gaia Hypothesis"). Rituals follow the round of seasons and the cycle of life, death, and rebirth. Celebration of Goddess and God. Nine circles of training. Publishes Green Egg, one the most popular Pagan journals.

GROUPS: CAW/Green Egg, Box 1542, Ukiah CA 95482



Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans, Inc.
Independent affiliate of the Unitarian Universalist Association and a nonprofit organization. At the UUA's General Assembly in 1995 the association adopted a new source of spiritual inspiration, affirming the contributions of earth­centered spirituality in Unitarian Universalism. The amendment, which was the first change to Unitarian bylaws in a decade, was written by members of CUUPS, the UU Women's Federation, The Seventh Principle Project and the UU Network for Indigenous Affairs. CUUPS' statement of purpose, adopted in 1987, calls for networking among all religious groups, development of thea/ological materials based on nature-centered spirituality, and more creative use of the arts in UU ritual and celebration. As CUUPS brochures point out, the UU church is the first mainstream religious body to welcome Pagans since the Burning Times. CUUPS offers membership benefits and publishes a newsletter, Pagan NUUS, available to all.

GROUPS: CUUPS, PO Box 422, Boyes Hot Springs CA 95416

NET: www.cuups.org/

Evolved in the 1960s as the (tongue in cheek?) honoring of the Chaos principle, embodied by the Greek goddess Eris (Roman Discordia). Discordians observe the Law of Eristic Esca-lation: Imposition of Order = Escalation of Chaos. Therefore, let us honor computer crashes, traffic jams, and late-night television, as they are manifestations of the Goddess. We have discovered that Discordianism appeals to a certain sense of humor ‹ either you have it, or you don't. Discordians do not honor Chaos in some nefarious way ‹ they merely follow their anti-establishment proclivities and do things like declare themselves pope and then excommunicate each other. Many Dis-cordians are affiliated in some way with the Church of the Sub-Genius. According to the Illuminatus! trilogy by Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea, Discordians are in an archetypal battle with the Bavarian Illuminati. Discordians are the good guys, of course. Among the "rules" of Discordianism (which all Discordians are encouraged to break) is a prohibition against the eating of hot dog buns except on Friday, when eating them is compulsory. All bowling alleys are sacred to Discordians (as this was where one of the founders had a vision) and are to be defended to the death from desecration. Read the book.

RESOURCES: Principia Discordia (Or, How I Found the Goddess and What I Did to Her When I Found Her), Malaclypse the Younger (1991 edition from Illuminet Press)



Druidism (Celtic)
The Druids were the priestly, judicial, and (sometimes/perhaps) bardic class of the ancient Celts. "Druid" probably comes from the Greek Drus (oak) and the Indo-European wid (knower). The history of the Druids is very complex, since they left virtually no written records and because Celtic civilizations stretched over such large distances and times. What is known is that the training for the priesthood seems to have lasted 19-20 years, was an entirely oral tradition, and appears to have been open to women, though maybe not in all places at all times. Much of our information on the Druids comes from the writings of Caesar, hardly an unbiased source. The Druids did not build Stonehenge (it was built in three phases from 3500 to 1100 BCE and the Celts did not arrive in Britain until circa 400 BCE), though they may have used it and other Neolithic ritual places and tools.

RESOURCES: Pagan Celtic Britain, Ross (out of print); Celtic Heritage, Rees & Rees; The Druids, Piggott; The Celts, Gerhard Herm; Women of the Celts, Jean Markale

Druidism (NeoPagan)
Many varieties of Druidism are practiced by NeoPagans, with varying degrees of scholarly research into the original Druids. Keltria is a Neo-Druidic religious tradition, founded by Pat Taylor and Tony Taylor, with a coherent administrative and belief structure (unlike many free-form Pagan movements). Local groves are autonomous, provided they stay within the framework put forth by the Henge. Keltria celebrates the eight traditional Pagan festivals as well as two lunar rites per month. The Mistletoe Rite, on the sixth day of the moon, concentrates on health and communion. The Vervain Rite, held on the third quarter of the moon, is devoted to magic working. They also observe two annual feasts, one in reenactment of the giving of immortality to the Gods and the other in commemoration of the Druids who were slain and the groves that were desecrated by Caesar when his army took the island of Anglesy in 60 CE. It also commemorates all people who have died because of religious persecution. Organization consists of three Rings (similar to degrees). Within these Rings, Keltrians may choose a particular discipline such as Bard, Seer, or Priest/ess. The Henge is democratic, strives to maintain gender equity in its administration, and is open to all regardless of race, ethnicity, class, etc.

Druidiactos is a tradition discussed in Tadhg MacCrossan's The Sacred Cauldron. MacCrossan is the Uer-Druis (Over-Druid) of this tradition, which places emphasis on scholarly research into the practices of the Druids. Members of Druidiactos celebrate four major festivals: Samhain, Oimelc, Bealtaine, and Lughnasadh. The term "Druid" is reserved for the priesthood (in contrast to Wicca, where each initiate is considered priest/ess). Druidiactos, unlike most other Pagan traditions, has requirements for entry into the priest/esshood: the candidate must be 27 or older, financially independent, been a member of Druid-iactos for at least three years, have a degree in a field related to work in Druidiactos, and be willing to submit to training under the high council of Druids. Candidates also undergo both oral and written exams and ordination rites.

Ár nDraíocht Fein ("Our Own Druidism"), founded by Isaac Bonewits in 1983, incorporates practices of the Druids with other practices and beliefs of "Indo-European" origin. Integrates religion with the healing arts, ecology awareness, psychic development and artistic expression. Worships the Earth Mother at each ritual and is polytheistic. 5 circles of training. ADF celebrates the eight seasonal rituals found in many other Pagan traditions. ADF isn't a Celtic organization; rather, it is a NeoPagan religious organization dedicated to the worship of the gods of the Indo-Europeans. Its goals are twofold: to make Pagan worship accessible to all, and to create standards for Pagan clergy. While making no claim to practicing a religion handed down from the ancients, ADF does encourage research to learn about the practices and beliefs of those who have gone before.

RESOURCES: The Druids, Peter Berresford Ellis, The Elements of the Celtic Tradition, Caitlín Matthews; The Elements of the Druid Tradition, Philip Carr-Gomm; The Sacred Cauldron: Secrets of the Druids, Tadgh MacCrossan

The Henge of Keltria PO Bx 33284, Coon Rapids MN 55433

Druidiactos PO Bx 472143, Garland TX 75047

ADF PO Bx 15259, Ann Arbor MI 48106-5259

Celtic Traditionalist Order of Druids PO Box 23431,
Phoenix AZ 85063-3431




Combination of feminism, ecology, and spirituality. Ecofeminists see the oppression of women and the destruction of nature as related phenomena. They believe new power relations must be rediscovered or invented to create an egalitarian rather than dominator culture. They are for the freedom of all, not for the replacement of the domination of women for the domination of men. Ecofeminists understanding of interconnection fosters an awareness of lines of cultural division, whether based on class, race, gender, sexual orientation, ability, etc.

RESOURCES: works by Starhawk; Reweaving the World. Irene Diamond and Gloria Feman Orenstein, eds. 1990; "Making Feminist Sense of Environmental Issues" in Sojourner. Joni Seager. Feb. 1991; "Why African-Americans Should be Environmentalists" in Earth Island Journal. G. Anthony. Winter 1990; Women and Environment in the Third World. Irene Dankelman and Joan Davidson. 1988



Gaia Hypothesis
Though postulated earlier by others in the scientific community, James Lovelock has become known as the main proponent of this theory. He wondered why the Earth's temperature has remained steady enough to create an environment fit for life, when its temperature "should" have varied more. He theorized (in 1979) that Earth/Gaia is a conscious entity with the mission of evolving life. If any species gets in the way of that, it is eliminated.

Otter G'Zell developed his own Gaea Hypothesis about the same time, with a greater emphasis on spiritual aspects. He believes that Gaea's ultimate mission is to send humans out to populate other planets. His ideas evolve through the pages of Green Egg (see "Church of All Worlds"). Consequences of these theories are that all living things are sacred and that we are in no position to "save the Earth" if we don't change our destructive ways of living, Gaia will rid herself of us without batting a metaphorical eyelash.

RESOURCES: Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth, James Lovelock


Gaia Works, Inc.
Gaia Works is an Indianapolis Faith-based Community Service Organization which is open to anyone who believes in Religious Tolerance and promotion of that belief through Community Service work.

Gaia Works Mission: The mission of the Gaia Works is to foster pride in Pagan identity through education, activism, charity and community. To further this mission, Gaia Works helps members within Indiana organize local events in honor of religious tolerance, including but not limited to public awareness events, picnics, parades, festivals, networking events, social activities, public education through media or publications, and food drives or other charitable donation drives. Other activities may be included depending on the wishes of the organizers; members shall not in any substantive manner engage in activities that are illegal or that are not in furtherance with the stated purpose of the organization.

Gaia Works Purpose: The purpose of this organization shall be the advancement of religion and elimination of prejudice and discrimination based on religious beliefs, specifically those religions that fall under the definition of "Pagan" as defined for this document. The organization is organized exclusively for charitable, religious, and educational purposes, including, for such purposes, the making of distributions to organizations that qualify as exempt organizations under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. This corporation is a religious corporation.

Contacts: Webmaster  or Dave Sassman

NET:  www.gaiaworks.org

Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn
One of the most influential Western occult societies of the late 19th to early 20th century. Founded in the late nineteenth century, though the founders claimed it was an old, secret German occult order. Members included Aleister Crowley, WB Yeats, and Israel Regardie. Initiate training circle, then 10 de-grees to advance through, corresponding to the 10 sephiroth of the Kaballah. During its heyday, the Golden Dawn taught the Key of Solomon, Abra-Melin magic, and Enochian magic. Also incorporated material from the "Egyptian Book of the Dead", William Blake's Prophetic Books and the Chaldean Oracles, Rosicrucianism, theosophy, and Masonry. Instruction was given in astral travel, scrying, alchemy, geomancy, astrology, and tarot. Permutations of the original tradition exist today, but personality conflicts broke up the original group. Offshoots/related groups included Golden Dawn and Stella Matutina.


(also spelled "Qabalah," "Cabala," and various other ways) Hebrew for "collected teachings."

Jewish system of theosophy, philosophy, science, magic, and mysticism developed since the Middle Ages. Collection of anonymously-written works on mystical topics. Holds God is both immanent and transcendent, is all things, and letters and numbers are the keys to unlocking the mysteries of the universe. Main imagery is the Tree of Life, which shows the ten sephiroth as the emanations from the Godhead to humanity. Each sephiroth corresponds to levels of knowledge, parts of the body, aspects of the universe, etc. By traveling up the Tree of Life, one may attain divinity (similar concepts are found in Gnosticism). Kaballah had a great influence on the founders of many modern Pagan traditions, and many Pagans use Kaballistic principles in their workings today.

Native American
"Native American" is an adjective that gets attached to many of Pagan practices these days, so we wish to point out a few things to remember about its use. First of all, we tend to think of nations like the Navajo and Hopi when we say "Native American." However, peoples such as the Mayan, Incan, Miami, Mohawk, and Eskimo are all Native American as well. There is no one "Native American" tradition -- there were thousands of nations in existence in the Americas when Columbus tripped over it, all with their particular traditions. Sweat lodges and peace pipes were/are not elements of every tradition. Some Native peoples have complained that Anglos' overgeneralizations are another form of colonization, a denial of the diversity of the Native experience. Secondly, several Native teachers have written to Pagan magazines complaining that Pagans and New Agers come to them asking for knowledge but then high-tail it out of the reservation, being unwilling to deal with the host of problems facing Native people such as alcoholism, unemployment, and extreme poverty. These teachers feel that this is "the last colonization" -- the colonization of the spirit. They do not wish to see their teachings and traditions separated from their culture or from their roots in responsibility to the community. Some Pagans have responded by pledging not to use Native elements in their work or have committed themselves to working for Native causes such as freedom of religion. Other Pagans feel the traditions of modern indigenous peoples are the property of the race as a whole, just as are the teachings of ancient Egyptians, modern Buddhists, or any flavor of Islam. This is a matter of dialogue and individual conscience, in the understanding that we have a special obligation to make sure we hear the concerns of those to whom we owe so much. Lastly, as with Vodoun and other religions, there is significant debate as to whether indigenous traditions are part of the Pagan movement. Some Native Americans do not wish to associate themselves politically with Pagans and others do -- again, there are no hard and fast rules.

Ordo Templi Orientis
Known more commonly by its initials OTO. Organized in Germany at the end of the nineteenth century and now established in over twenty countries. It was originally created to concentrate in a single order the knowledge developed by over two dozen esoteric orders. The original OTO utilized sexual magical workings at the higher degree levels and promoted universal brotherhood and liberal social reform. Alister Crowley became head of the OTO in 1923 and rewrote its rituals and teachings in accord with the system known as Thelema. The foundation of this system is Liber Legis, The Book of the Law. Thelema states that the highest will of the individual is one with divine will, hence the familiar phrase "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law." Crowley considered the OTO and Thelema to be an ideal combination and the Order continues to espouse Thelemic principles today. The OTO is an initiatory society, as well as a fraternity of Thelemic magicians, but is not a school. Recommendations for study are given, but initiates are expected to learn on their own. The OTO publishes The Equinox and The Oriflame, newsletters available to the public. Extensive information about the OTO is also available on the Internet.

RESOURCES: The Equinox, vol III no. 10 (Weiser, 1986, 287 pp., $14.95)


Practiced in Brazil, Cuba, Haiti, Central South America, Caribbean Islands. Santería's proper name is Yoruva Lucumi and is practiced by people of all races and classes. It was born in Nigeria before Christianity and was exported to the New World by people who were brought as slaves. The person's initiation date becomes their new birthday, which they celebrate with guiros, tambores, food and sweets, and then proceed with edible animal sacrifices. Each Santero or Babalowo is the leader of their own following, or Godchildren (Ahijados). No group or leader has authority over any other group or leader. Mutual respect and understanding exists between all groups. They share in common the same religious ceremonies and Saints which are the same for all groups in Santeria. The Santeros do not work in cemeteries, with the bones of dead people or gun powder, or with evil spirits. The Saints that are received are called Orichas such as Yemaya Olucun, Algalluy, Orichaolo, the Melles, and others. The Saints are born with the water of medicinal and fruit leaves and of animals that can be used as nourishment.The Saints are made of stones and shells and placed within a soup bowl, the color of which corresponds to the Saint. The Saints do not inflict harm on anyone. The God of Santería is called Olofi and the Goddess of Nature is called Oludu Mare.

RESOURCES: International Union of Yoruva Religion Rights, Inc., PO Bx 1158, Miami FL 33142

The word "shaman" comes from a Siberian term that includes both genders, but the term "shamanka" is sometimes used by Pagans to denote a female shaman. Shamans are found in indigenous cultures the world over and shamanistic techniques are in widespread use among Pagans. In traditional societies, one becomes a shaman through some form of vision quest or near-death experience, during which the individual is "astrally" torn to pieces and then reassembled. From then on they act as healer and spiritual advisor to the community. Commonly they travel up the World Tree to the spirit realms to gain information or to retrieve lost souls. They also utilize ecstatic dancing, drumming, and natural drugs to alter their state of consciousness.They almost always have totem animals and spirit guides to help. The Russian artist Vassily Kandinsky (1866-1944) was fascinated by shamans in his country and explored the theme extensively in his work with "The Blue Rider." A shaman, in the anthropological sense of the word, is not something a person becomes by reading a book. Pagans utilize many of these techniques; very few Pagans are shamans in the anthropological sense.

Streghería (pronounced stray-gay-ree-ah) is an indigenous Italian Witch tradition that can be traced to the 14th century. The growth of Italian Witchcraft began when a peasant girl, Aradia di'Toscana, had a vision along the shores of Lake Nemi in the Alban Hills region of Italy. In this vision, the Goddess Diana commissioned Aradia to return the ancient Pagan arts ("La Vecchia Religione" or "The Old Religion") back to the people from whom the church had stolen their pride and dignity. Aradia then set forth on a mission to teach the lost arts which she herself had learned from her grandmother. She was widely accepted among the peasantry wherever she visited and became known as "La Bella Pelegrina" ("The Beautiful Pilgrim"). Hunted down by the established church, Aradia was forced to leave Italy at sometime during her quest. Her followers continued the work she, "The Holy Strega," had begun; but the movement went underground when the Italian Inquisition began its organized persecution of so-called "witches" in the 16th century. At that point, the faithful divided the teachings into three clans: The Fanarra, The Janarra, and The Tanarra. To each of these Clans was kept the practice of the three components of the art: Earth Magik, Moon Magik, and Star Magik, respectively. It was the hope of the elders that by dividing the teachings, at least one aspect of Streghería would survive the Inquisition. As fate would have it, all three survived, passed down through generations of Italian hereditary witches. Today, Raven Grimassi has been the leader in the resurgence of Streghería. A hereditary Witch himself, Grimassi has sought to re-unite the teachings of the three clans back into one full system. His system, the Aridian Tradition, is a re-assembling of the three divided Clans and a break-away from hereditary blood lineage, attempting to share the knowledge with all who are sincerely interested. While Streghe (Italian plural for "witches") consider themselves cousins to those who practice Wicca, they see themselves as separate and different. Streghe utilize the Roman or Etruscan names for deities in their rituals (Etruscan is preferred in the Aridian Tradition), and celebrate an eight-sabbat Wheel of the Year (called "Treguendas"): La Festa della Ombra (October 31), La Festa dell' Inverno (December 21), La Festa di Lupercus (February 2), L'Equinozio della Primavera (March 21), La Giornata di Tana (May 1), La Festa dell' Estate (June 21), La Festa della Cornucopia (August 1), and L'Equinozio dell' Autunno (September 21).

RESOURCES: Ways of the Strega, Raven Grimassi, Llewellyn Publications, 1995; The Wiccan Mysteries, Raven Grimassi, Llewellyn Publications, 1997; Aradia: The Gospel of Witches, Charles Godfrey Leland, Phoenix Publishing. 1990 (reprint); Etruscan Magic and Occult Remedies, Charles Godfrey Leland, University Books, 1963; Folklore By The Fireside: Text and Context of the Tuscan Veglia, Alessandro Falassi, University of Texas Press, 1980.


Also called "Voodoo" or "Hoodoo." A combination of African religions and Roman Catholicism. Created by blacks brought as slaves to the Americas, especially to the islands of the Caribbean. The Vodoun pantheon contains thousands of gods, called loas. The most important loa in ceremony is Legba, the sun god, syncretized with St. Peter or sometimes Christ. Loas can be kind, wise, violent, sexual, vindictive, generous, or mean. The two main Vodoun rites are Rada and Petro. The former emphasizes the gentler aspect of the loas. Participants wear white and animals sacrificed include chickens, goats, and bulls. Petro rites are more violent and participants wear red. Pigs are sacrificed for Petro loas. Offerings of other food, drink, and money are also made. The priestess ("mambo") and priest ("houngan") serve as healers, diviners, psychologists, and spiritual leaders. They summon loas and help them to depart. Divine possession by loas and the practice of magic are integral to the Vodoun. Loas manifest to protect, punish, prophesy, give council , or cure illness. Magic is used for both "good" and "evil" purposes, though "evil" magic is not encouraged. There is no "and it harm none" provision in Vodoun. Because of misinformation, Vodoun (and Santería, a similar religion) is still a persecuted religion. Defenders point out that believers are frequently poor and animal sacrifice means they at least get something to eat. They also point out that ritual sacrifice is used in Judaism and other religions and is preferable to modern Western slaughterhouses, which have no respect for the animals "processed." There is much debate as to whether Vodoun and similar religions are a part of the Pagan movement -- the subject is included here to provide information. PEN makes no official pronouncement on the issue, though members are free to hold their own opinions.

See the
Modern Witchcraft page for relatively concise background information. Traditions are many and varied. While almost all traditions celebrate the eight seasonal festivals, Marian Green in A Witch Alone suggests adding Twelfth Night (06 Jan.) to the Wheel, for a total of 9 sabbats. Just when you thought you could generalize. . . .

*Gardnerian: Founded by Gerald Gardner, developed by Doreen Valiente and others. Three degrees of training and initiation. Designed for group/coven work, though solitary workings have been evolved. Generally emphasizes polarity. Originally practiced ritual light scourging and the Great Rite in actuality between high priestess and priest, though these traditions have declined in use. Worships skyclad.

RESOURCES: Witchcraft Today and High Magic's Aid, Gerald Gardner

*Alexandrian: Named after Alexander Sanders. An offshoot of Gardnerian. Greater emphasis on cord magic and ceremonial magic.

*Dianic: Also called "feminist" Wicca. Most Dianic covens worship the Goddess exclusively (Diana and Artemis are the most common manifestations) and most are women-only. Emphasis is on rediscovering and reclaiming female power and combining politics with spirituality. Dianic Witches are generally against female subordination, not men.

RESOURCES: Casting the Circle: A Woman's Book of Rituals, Diane Stein, anything by Z. Budapest

*Celtic: Traditions utilizing Celtic mythology and traditions. One of the most popular flavors of the Craft.

*Hellenic: Practitioners of Hellenic Wicca practice a form of Wicca but utilize the Greco-Roman pantheon(s) of deities. The eight Sabbats of Wicca are celebrated in a Mediterranean flavor but with little variation otherwise. Additional holidays may be celebrated, as Hellenic Wiccans sometimes draw from classical Greco-Roman religion for inspiration. It is important to note that Hellenic Wicca is not symmetrical with Hellenic Paganism. The latter is a reconstructed religion having historical basis (like Ásatrú) while the former is a modern adaptation of ancient practice and belief. Nor is Hellenic Wicca equated with Streghería. While some aspects may cross-over, the latter is an indigenous Italian tradition that can be traced to 14th century Italy. Hellenic Wicca is a modern adaptation of the Wiccan model with some classical Greco-Roman elements woven into its practice and form.

RESOURCES: The Wiccan Mysteries, Raven Grimassi, Llewellyn Publications, 1997; Practical Solitary Magic, Nancy B. Watson, Samuel Weiser, Inc. 1996.

*Hereditary: While many claims were made by people in the 60s and 70s that their magical Pagan roots stretched back to the dawn of time, this seems to have been more fancy than fact. Hereditary Witches do exist in the Pagan movement, their way of practicing determined by what has been handed down through the years. Frequently hereditary Witches are those whose families practice herbology or folk magic traditions. Many hereditaries have augmented their family practices with NeoPagan ones, while others prefer to remain apart from the Pagan movement in general.

*Faery: Founded by Victor Anderson and Gwyddion Pendderwen. Ecstatic tradition emphasizing polytheism, practical magic, self-development, and theurgy. Utilizes meditations on the Iron and the Pearl Pentagrams, discussed in Starhawk's The Spiral Dance.

*Seax-Wica: Founded 1973 by Raymond Buckland. Saxon orientation but is not a reconstruction of Saxon religion. Developed to be more egalitarian than the Gardnerian covens Buckland had worked with. High priest/ess chosen by annual election, God and Goddess equal in importance. Developed for both group and solitary worship.

RESOURCES: The Tree: The Complete Book of Saxon Witchcraft, Raymond Buckland

*Witchcraft as a Science: Founded 1955 by Laurie Cabot. In addition to basic Craft history, teaches parapsychology, physiology, astrology, sociology, anthropology, aura reading, healing, crystal use, psychic arts, and past-life regression. Cabot theorizes there are root races of humankind who came from other planetary systems. Also teaches that alpha waves store all the knowledge of the universe. As of 1988, more than 10,000 people had taken Witchcraft as a Science courses.

*PectiWita: Religion of the Picts, indigenous people of Scotland. Transmitted by Raymond Buckland from Aidan Breac. A tradition for solitary Witches, PectiWita emphasizes natural magic and the Craft as a way of life rather than worship of the Gods (though that does exist). The Craft is passed through families, practicing herbology and divination. PectiWita is in the tradition of the solitary wisewoman or cunning man.

RESOURCES: Scottish Witchcraft: The History and Magick of the Picts, Raymond Buckland

*Wiccan Shamanism: Founded by Selena Fox. Ecumenical and multicultural focus. Combination of Wicca, humanistic psychology and a variety of shamanistic practices from around the world. Rituals held outside, designed to help person connect to the Divine through nature. Celebrates 8 traditional festivals. Emphasis on healing. Uses traditional shamanistic techniques to change consciousness, such as drumming and ecstatic dancing. No illegal drug usage.

RESOURCES: Selena Fox, Circle, PO Bx 219, Mt Horeb WI 53572

*Georgian Church: An English Traditionalist Wiccan path founded by George Patterson, organized before the Second World War. Honors the Goddess and God in the eight Sabbats and the full moons. Has three degrees, after which the practitioner can attain Elder status. The Church of Wicca of Bakers-field is the home base for the Georgian Church and was chartered in 1977. The Georgian Church was incorporated in 1980 in California and is an international organization.

GROUPS: Georgian Church, PO Bx 41718, Bakersfield CA 93304.

Other traditions include regional/ethnic blendings (Baltic, Greco-Roman, Sumerian, Egyptian, etc.) and political, such as the Radical Fairy gay men's tradition. We are a diverse people.

This information is available from PEN as a professionally-produced handout, suitable for a broad range of educational purposes. Information was compiled from a variety of sources, including "The Encyclopedia of Witches and Witchcraft" by Rosemary Ellen Guiley, various books from our recommended reading list, and PEN's ongoing surveys of Pagan practices. Click here to order. This information © 1998 PEN