If you’re new to Wicca, it can be a bit overwhelming because there are several different types of Wicca. My best advice is to study a bit from each path so that way you can make a decision on which one is right for you. Since you are unlikely to know which path to take until you know the paths, I thought I would share the main types within the Wiccan faith so you can get an idea of the focus of each one.
The Different Types of Wicca
Gardnerian Wicca was founded by Gerald Gardner and is considered the first tradition to step out publicly as being witchcraft practitioners, being Wiccans, etc. They are usually credited as the source of Modern Wicca because most lineages of Wicca today can be traced by to the Gardnerian tradition. This tradition focuses on an emphasis of the Goddess over the God. It requires initiation and works with a degree system for it’s coven members. There’s also a LOT of debate over whether or not Gardnerian Wicca is the only “true” Wicca, but that doesn’t stop other paths from taking root anyway.
Alexandrian Wicca was founded by Alexander and Maxine Sanders. Heavily influenced by Gardnerian Wicca, Alexandrian tradition also uses initiation and degree systems, but focuses on equality between the God and Goddess. They also utilize a lot of ceremonial magick in rituals for esbats and sabbats.
British Traditional Witchcraft
This usually refers to Gardnerian and Alexandrian Wiccans which all originated in Britain. You may also see it abbreviated as BTW or Brit Trad. It can also refer to traditions that predate Gardnerian and Alexandrian traditions, though, and under the BTW tradition, one must be initiated by a lineaged coven member. There are other requirements in terms of training and practice requirements as well.
Founded by Raymond Buckland, a British author, who traveled to America. He studied under Gardnerian Wicca, but has created his own tradition since that is known as Seax Wicca. This is because his Wiccan tradition has a Saxon pagan foundation and deals with Germanic deities and rune divination. The tradition focuses on open, public rituals with no requirement for initiation. Members can self-dedicate similar to eclectic Wiccans and the path is easy to customize for both group covens and solitary paths.
Blue Star Witchcraft
Utilizing a 5 star degree system, Blue Star refers to itself as Witchcraft/Witches only; not Wiccans. That said, the path is modeled from Gardnerian traditions and also requires initiation.
Celtic Wicca combines Gardnerian Wicca with the Celtic druid paganism. Nature, the Ancient or Old Ones is heavily emphasized, and the elements are drawn more so than Gods/Goddesses. A deep knowledge and reverence for the healing aspects of nature, the magickal properties or plants, stones, spirits, gnomes, and fairies is stressed.
Although there are many other titles that different sects within Wicca might call themselves, these are all considered eclectic paths.Often referred to as NeoWicca/NeoWiccans, eclectics tend to draw from several styles, pantheons, and traditions in order to form a new path. They typically pick and choose what and how to incorporate various elements as they like and can be either solitary or part of a coven.
Other terms you might hear of, but that I haven’t mentioned yet include…
Hereditary witches (taught by a family member and inherited traditions), kitchen witch (focuses mainly on magickal properties within their food and home), hedge witch, Norse Wicca (focuses on the Norse pantheon), Strega (Italian witchcraft – must be Italian to be considered within this path), AND ceremonial witchcraft which includes things like spells, rituals, and other practices, but holds no religious significance for it’s practitioners.