"Merry Meet and Blessed Be!"

"Bide the Wiccan law ye must,
In perfect love and perfect trust..."

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Important Dates in Recent Times

Erin Brinkley made the comment in an email to me about witchcraft being a religion. Her exact comment was "How can you say your ideas are a religion? Witchcraft is a joke and not a real belief system." Well just to answer her question, something I usually don't do when I get hate mail, here is a small look at our history for my "haters".


The actual timeline I have for our history is 25 pages long and spans from 15,000 B.C. to the current date! I'll just give you the most recent events that have shaped us into a real people with just as much faith as you think you have.

Early 1900s
The British Order of the Druids revives the practice of Wicca.

1910
Crowley meets a leader of German Masonic order called the Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.), a combination of Masonic rites and the traditions of the Rosicrucians, the Templars, the Illuminists, and Bengali Tantrism. Crowley was soon initiated into the order and progressing through the degrees of the order.

1912
Crowley is named Grand Master of the O.T.O. for Great Britain and Ireland.

1921
British archaeologist Margaret Murray writes The Witch-Cult in Europe, sparking an interest in witch covens.

1926
Birth of Alexander Sanders, founder of Alexandrian Wicca.

1929
Margaret Murray published her article “Witchcraft” in the 14th edition of Encyclopedia Britannica.

1939
The O.T.O. in Germany is effectively dissolved by the Nazis.

1939
Gardner joins the Folklore Society and presents a paper on witchcraft.

1939
The year Gerald Gardner claims he was initiated into a witch cult called the New Forest Coven, led by Dorothy Clutterbuck.

1940
         
Zsuzsanna Budapest, feminist writer and leader of Dianic Wicca, is born January 30.


1946
Gardner begins work on High Magic's Aid, a fictional novel partially based on those of his Southern Coven. The witches of his coven opposed making their rituals public, which is why it was presented as fiction and filled out with rituals from other sources. (A wonderful book I suggest reading)

1947
Gardner and Edith Woodford-Grimes start a company called Ancient Crafts Ltd.

1947
Gardner meets Crowley at Crowley's home in Hastings for the first time on May 1, and visits him again several times during May.

1947
Gardner becomes a member of the O.T.O. in May and is authorized by Crowley to found an O.T.O. encampment and initiate new members.

1947
Crowley dies on December 1.

1947
On December 27, Gardner writes a letter claiming to have been designated as successor to Crowley as leader of the O.T.O. Karl Germer assumed leadership instead, and held it until his death in 1962.

1949
Gerald Gardner publishes High Magic's Aid under the pseudonym Scire.

1950
Gardner begins distancing himself from Crowley and the O.T.O. in favor of Wicca.
Gardner states in a letter that Crowley had participated in the witch cult but left in disgust due to the leadership of the High Priestess and the nudity.

1951
Anti-witchcraft laws of 1735 are repealed by the British Parliament.
English writer Gerald B. Gardner declares himself a witch.
Gardner founds the "Northern Coven" in London and holds a small rite at his home near the British Museum on May Eve.

1953
 Doreen Valiente is initated by Gardner, and soon became High Priestess.

1954
Gardner publishes Witchcraft Today, an event which many regard as the founding of Wicca.

1957
Wicca splits into two factions, one that supports Gardner's growing publicity of the religion (led by Gardner) and one that opposes it (led by Doreen Valiente).

1959
Gardner publishes The Meaning of Witchcraft, in which he first uses the term "Wica."

1960s
Neo–paganism spreads throughout North America and Europe.

1963-64
Gardner winters in Lebanon to help his failing health.

1964
Gardner dies of heart failure on the SS Scottish Prince in the Mediterranean. His body is buried at the next port of call, Tunis.

1970s
 The Council of American Witches (which no longer exists) formulated a kind of basic Wiccan creed. 

1975
The Covenant of the Goddess is formed to incorporate hundreds of separate Wiccan covens. It is officially recognized as a church in the United States.

1985
The District Court of Virginia declares that Wicca is a legitimate religion protected by the First Amendment.

1986
A federal appeals court ruled that Wicca was a legal religion. Wicca is therefore now protected by the U.S. Constitution as are other religions.

1989
Valiente publishes The Rebirth of Witchcraft, a first-hand account of the history and development of Wicca.

1991
Aiden A. Kelly publishes Crafting the Art of Magic, Book I, which aims to show that Gardner's Book of Shadows could be entirely traced to earlier sources.

1999
A Wiccan vernal equinox celebration starts a controversy at Fort Hood, Texas.

2007
The Bush Administration votes to allow the pentacle (5 pointed star inside a circle) to be engraved on the headstones of fallen pagan soldiers buried in Arlington National Cemetery and other U.S. military burial grounds.

Please note the dates 1985 and 1986 Erin. Wicca (witchcraft) is a federally protected religion under the constitution of the United States of America. So yes, it is a real religion with historic dates in many countries going back to 15,000 B.C. The Druids, Egyptians, and many other countries in the world have polytheistic beliefs that include the use of magic and nature worship.

Blessed be,
Lady Alice