The purpose of this post is to provide some common definitions for our site. There has been a long-running argument on various sites, of what some terms mean. To prevent this from continuing here, for the purpose of discussions, we ask that the following terminology be used. It should be understood that these categories do not imply that one is better than one another, only that they are not all the same.
This is lovingly stolen and slightly modified from Sangraal's blog.

British Traditional Wicca: This is the form that is accurately known as Wicca and how it will be understood on this site. Borrowing the definition from the Amber & Jet list:
"Wicca" refers specifically to the lineaged, initiatory mystery religion with roots in the New Forest region of Great Britain, manifested today through various "traditions" all linked with a common ancestry back to the New Forest area. "Wiccans" or "The Wica" are the properly lineaged, properly initiated members of those Traditions. Understanding this, we see that Wicca is well defined with a special emphasis on "initiation" and "lineage" back to (at the very least) the coven under the operation of Gardner/Valiente. The most noted Traditions are "Gardnerian", "Alexandrian" and "Central Valley Wicca".

Traditional Initiatory Witchcraft: This refers to the form of Witchcraft that is both initiatory, and therefore lineaged through an established tradition, but whose lineage does not necessarily go back to the New Forest region, and is therefore not technically Wicca. It can be a considerable broad term encompassing many forms of Non-Wiccan forms of Witchcraft with little to no bearing on what is understood as Wicca and therefore may exclude any resemblance to Wicca. Often, it is formed from covens that base their material on the public information known of Wicca and, although this part is under some debate, a tradition is born after two consecutive initiatory generations. In some cases, TIW covens are those that have broke off from BTW in order to manifest their own ideals that are no longer in sync with that Tradition. To sum it up, any coven that's formally a Tradition, that is not Wiccan can be considered Traditional Initiatory Witchcraft. Some examples of TIW would be "Oak, Ash and Thorn", "1734 Tradition", "Dianicism" and "Georgian Wicca" (although the Georgians use the term "Wicca" they are not BTW by their own website's admission).

It should be noted that those whom publicly declare that they identify with any particular Tradition, whether in the BTW or the TIW spectrum, may be requested to prove their Traditional affiliation through "vetting".


Dedicatory Religious Witchcraft: This is a relatively new term replacing such previous labels as "Neo-Wicca", "Solitary Wicca" or "Outer-Court Wicca". DRW is based upon Wiccan principles but holds no initiatory lineage to Wicca. This most accurately defines the vast majority of individuals of which identify with Wicca, practice on a mostly solitary basis, and are not initiated into any coven structure. This term was coined in respect to both the Traditional Wica and the practitioners of this methodology. It allows solitary witches to more readily identify with a system that allows more room to "tailor-fit" to their personal needs without imposing Wicca as a "whatever you want it to be" ideology. DRW is largely based upon "outer-court" material which is information derived from any number of books in print- i.e. if it's public information, it is outer-court. For more info regarding DRW, see YarrowSage's and Aislynns' group HERE.


Witchcraft:

There is yet another kind of Witchcraft of which many identify, however those that fall into this practice are very difficult to categorize due to a lack of large-scale conformity. It can be a variety of things, from eclectic to ethno-centric. It may or may not have religious components as some forms of Witchcraft identify little (if any) to any form of Deity. Such forms may be purely personalized or in the budding stages of a "famtrad". It may have little to no relationship to Wiccan practice and be completely outside of the "norm" to modern pagans. In whatever form or praxis it exists, it should be understood that practicing witchcraft is ultimately that which makes a witch, and therefore such practitioners are true and valid witches.


British Traditional Witchcraft (Not to be confused with British Traditional Wicca).


This term is sometimes used as an alternative to simply calling what one does Witchcraft.  It is heavily based on the folk magic practices of the British Isles.  Practitioners may approach it as a religious practice or may simply view it as working with Nature or with ancestors or the land.  Some British Traditional Witches practice in covens, but many do not.  British Traditional Witches try to avoid the use of such eastern concepts as Karma in their belief systems.  They do not ascribe to the Wiccan Rede, but they do have their own ethical standards.


Conclusion:

In conclusion, just as not all witches identify with one particular tradition, practice or even a set of ethics, not all that identify as Wicca are technically Wiccan. It most accurately identifies with a very small minority of those within the pagan community. However, I cannot stress it enough that this does not mean that other forms of Witchcraft, no matter how close or far from Wicca, are in any means inferior. It simply means that they are different. Why categorize and place an emphasis correct labeling? Because it honestly allows for the most personal growth when we work within the praxis that we most truthfully operate. It respects those that have fought for and maintained Tradition and for those that carry on the torch into future generations and wish for it to be understood for what it is- rather than whatever others want it to be.


Edited by Lark 1/27/2012 to differentiate between British Traditional Wicca and British Traditional Witchcraft.

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Great information Shawn!
*like*
Excellent "refer to" if it should raise its ugly head. Thanks Shawn.
*Applause* Great set of definitions!
Hey guys.. this isn't *my list* per se.. This is copied from Sang's blog, and then finessed :)

Even then, the definition of Wicca is taken directly from Amber & Jet.. So I take no credit except the copy/paste function and being a grammar fascist ;)
w00ts...thanks for the copy and pasting Shawn!
This is a great list Shawn and Sangraal. It is very informative and affirming! :)
For me BTW was an abbreviation of "by the way" till i said "btw" in chat and someone said "what about it?"

Thank you for the info :)

Thanks. That cleared up a lot of gray area for me.

 

My apologies no disrespect meant, but I will be leaving this fine place. I felt upon finding this community friendships and networking (without spamming) would be nice but I run a community of approx. 1800 members, many British, German, Welsh and Scottish all well versed and they even know original British Traditionalist. One of my Admin. knows a Gardner original and your version of British Traditional doesn't quite fit.  

Here is a description of British Traditional WitchCraft:

Popular Misconceptions about Traditional Witchcraft

Traditional witchcraft is neither a coven craft, nor a temple craft in the “old country”. As a nature based tradition its societies are tribal, hence the use of the term “Clan” or “Kindred”. However, in that sense the term “witchcraft” applies to the art of creative genius, just as much as psychic ability, in what one crafts. In essence, to transform an idea into physical reality with the utmost cunning and skill was considered a magical art, albeit farming, sword making, music, verse, healing, cleansing or even preparing food. A clan worked together, each of their own skill to the benefit of the whole. It was about improving the quality of an otherwise wretched struggle for survival. Thus, truly understanding the nature of traditional witchcraft begins with learning bush craft. It also helps us realize that our ancestors did not always have the convenience of books to guide them through this process, rather, passed on their experience or “kenning” through oral traditions of cleverly worded riddles or allegorical verse; that only one who had grown up in that environment could understand. This is why traditional witchcraft cannot be simply taught, rather must be experienced to even begin to understand this. It is not simply a practice, but a way of life.

Just the same, there is no initiation other than the “coming of age” traditions practiced by most tribal societies to this day. It is where youth is put to the test of its ability to survive on its own, in order to truly understand the needs of responsible adulthood. Under these conditions it was also where any exceptional skills amongst them usually became evident, and were singled out by the adept for special apprenticeship. A typical example of this in oral tradition is the story of Wieland the Smith.

http://fanzone50.com/Tales/Wieland.html

June Wharton (original member of Gardner) is still alive and in contact with a Freemason whom is my friend and she is his surrogate mother, she is in no way in line with many observations and teachings, so I take my leave and wish you adieu.

Again my apologies and hope for the best within your community.

Persephone

What's really sad is that if this person had stuck around to talk, there might have been some potential for discourse, and possibly even potential for revision of definitions. Unfortunately, when someone comes in, tries to name drop and brag about credentials that don't matter to any of us, and then leaves the building, there's no room for discourse.

One teacher of mine once said that if you have to preface a statement by saying that "no disrespect was intended", your subconscious actually does want to be disrespectful and your following words will be ones lacking in respect. Although I'm not sure that's true 100% of the time, it does seem to be the case more often than not.

But I do give great credit to this site and the energy therein that a potential troll was nipped in the bud without anyone having to deal directly with it. Cheers to one and all! 

Yep, it is sad that they left so quickly, because I would tend to agree that the initial definition of British Traditional Witchcraft given by the OP is probably incorrect...as Persephone pointed out.  British Traditional Witchcraft and British Traditional Wicca are not one and the same, at least in my opinion.  While Wicca has its roots in British Traditional Witchcraft it expanded on that by using other resources as well.  Perhaps we ought to go back and revamp the definitions a bit in a way that shows the differences.

Leisha said:

What's really sad is that if this person had stuck around to talk, there might have been some potential for discourse, and possibly even potential for revision of definitions. Unfortunately, when someone comes in, tries to name drop and brag about credentials that don't matter to any of us, and then leaves the building, there's no room for discourse.

One teacher of mine once said that if you have to preface a statement by saying that "no disrespect was intended", your subconscious actually does want to be disrespectful and your following words will be ones lacking in respect. Although I'm not sure that's true 100% of the time, it does seem to be the case more often than not.

But I do give great credit to this site and the energy therein that a potential troll was nipped in the bud without anyone having to deal directly with it. Cheers to one and all! 

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