The Growth of Wicca

In 1990, the American Religious Survey found 8,000 people who identified themselves as Wiccans. In 2001, that number was 134,000, an incredible growth! Wicca is currently the largest non-Christian faith practiced by members of the U.S. Air Force. An independent group places the worldwide number of Wiccans at 1,000,000.

How did Wicca (“wick-uh”) become the fastest growing religion in the world, even though Wiccans don’t proselytize? There are two answers. The first reveals how Wicca grew—it started in England in 1951. The Anti-Witchcraft Act of 1735 was repealed, and people were free to admit they were witches. Gerald Brousseau Gardner claimed to have been part of a genuine witchcraft group, and in 1954 published Witchcraft Today, the first book about witchcraft by a self-professed witch.You may be wondering what witchcraft and Wicca have in common. Wicca is an Old English word meaning “to bend or twist.” Originally pronounced “wee-cha,” it became our word “witch.” So a person who could bend reality—work real magic—was a Wiccan or witch. Wiccans also generally worship a Goddess, as well as a God.

The basic organization of Wicca was focused on small groups called covens. To fully participate, you had to be initiated into a group. For years the scarcity of covens held back the potential growth of Wicca. Raymond Buckland introduced Wicca to the U.S. in 1964. Authors published books on Wicca, revealing its secrets. Slowly, the tradition grew.

During the 1970s, I began studying Wicca with Raven Grimassi. Another of his students was Scott Cunningham. Frustrated by the structure of covens and limiting beliefs, he asked two simple questions:

IF WICCA IS AN INITIATORY RELIGION, WHO INITIATED THE FIRST WICCAN?

WHY DO YOU NEED TO BE INITIATED IN ORDER TO WORSHIP THE GOD AND GODDESS?

A decade later, Scott wrote Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner. That opened the floodgates. People saw that they could worship the God and Goddess as they wanted, and use any positive set of spiritual beliefs and practices. Suddenly, the numbers of a small but growing religion began to explode!

The numbers show that Wicca is not just another fad. Certainly there was added growth thanks to the 1996 movie The Craft, the TV show Charmed, and the character Willow on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but the faddists come and go while the number of Wiccans continues to grow.

More importantly, though, is the second question of why Wicca has grown so quickly. The answer is in the beliefs of Wiccans. Wicca is not only spells. It is a modern evolution of earlier pre-Christian religions. Beliefs include:

• The worship of a Goddess and a God, bringing balance to the nature of the Divine. This has helped to make Wicca very popular among some feminists.

• Reincarnation, the belief that our soul returns in a new body.

• A version of karma (what you do will come back to you three-fold), giving ethical meaning and personal morality to all actions.

• Celebrations based on lunar and solar events, helping people attune to universe. This appeals to many people who feel isolated within modern civilization.

• Honor and respect for all things: animals, plants, and the environment. This has helped to make Wicca popular among some people interested in ecology.

• Techniques to use your conscious and unconscious mind, combined with psychic abilities and the power of the Divine to achieve your goals. Commonly called “magic,” these techniques give people power over their lives. It is not supernatural or evil.

It is these beliefs that have attracted so many people. Some Christian groups and politicians, ranging all the way to President George W. Bush, have attacked the legitimacy of Wicca. This, however, is a common response to new faiths—didn’t the Romans attack Christianity? Even with such opposition, it seems likely that Wicca will continue emerging, maintaining its claim as the fastest growing religion in the world.

Donald Michael Kraig graduated from UCLA with a degree in philosophy, and has become a certified hypnotherapist and Master NLP practitioner. After years of personal work and study, Don began teaching workshops on the Kabalah, Tarot, Magick, past lives, Tantra, meditation, the chakras and numerous other subjects throughout the U.S. and in Europe. His book, Modern Magick, is the most popular step-by-step course in real magick ever published.

How can you get in touch with your psychic side? Try a psychic reading. Call 1.800.573.4830 or choose your psychic now.

28 thoughts on “The Growth of Wicca

  1. yesmin

    People cheat because they get tired of the same person & cheating Its a choice they decide to cheat on you some ppl cheat Because they get tired they might want to get you back . & if you really love someone you wouldn’t hurt them even tho they hurt you . A cheater always a cheater if you try to get back w/ him even tho he cheated on you that’s like you making him slide & he or she will cheat they don’t deserve second chances at all.

    Reply
  2. Pingback: What is Wicca? | Andy Wrasman

  3. 'Maria Hernandez Hoffman'

    SOO thats whats it’s called. I knew it was called something. I accept it now. The rules of common humility. It’s funny how one feels the harm but doens’t roll with the Universe. One must learn to be amused by it or roll with the punches and make magic….

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  6. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    Hail and Well Met !!! Slayerofwolf,

    I enjoyed reading your posting and hope that you will join us again in the future , on the topic of Wicca, and other topics as well.

    Blessed Be )O(
    Gina Rose ext.9500

    Reply
  7. slayerofwolf

    Please excuse the awful spelling, I was in process of doing corrections when I accidently sent ths mess. at my age I suffer from fat fingers and reading small print…… darn. Slayerofwolf.

    Reply
  8. slayerofwolf

    FRom my earliest memories , It seems that htere are some that predate this current existance dating from ancient tikes, Some might even say that I am on of those who were high priests at Thebes. This time around I was born on the Hliest day bof the witches year, Oct 31, 1931. From he beginning I have always had the ability of precognition and able to sense thepresence of unseen creatures. My guardians are 4 , , Acougar, A white female arctic wolf , a red tailed Hawk and a dark Salamander. Whike groewing up these 79 years ago I ofetn experssed things that were welll.. not nh copatqtble withthe so called natural worls. I wa brough t up as a methodist christian wilt emphasis on the baptism of the holy spirit, In Hebrew the asheroth of Adoni Olam, or ha’ Shekina. That may sem strange to you who folloow the wiccan path. My Mother and grandmothers always told me to keep these abilities hiden from all as they might think me either wierd or insane. While in Highscholl i was one of the founders of the wyrd ones club associated with the Highschool Orchestra I edited the high school paper.
    After meny years of working in the electrical field I Became aware that many of my ancestors of Wales and Devon had been had b also been workers and miners of zinc, tin and Copper the electricians metals. Mean while I wouldld oftem nake notes and poems about places wjher ai had never ben in thi world, I astounded my about to be in-laws about their cabins in the north woods and ai had nefve been there before also some strange thing s about somem mining propeties and abandoned railways. I aslo found that I Could project and influence the formation of clouds and predict rain and snow to the extent that on one occasion when a friend mad a remark about the abiity to project therre came sudden an unexplained snow strommthe tied up the area with a blizzard of high intensity. mean while, not having studied the wiccan paths as that is not mine to speak of, a lady I know very well one day after seeing some things that happen around dme said , Paul, You are a Witch!. I had ever thought of these abilities that way but now being miore aware I have looked into some of the wiccan (Natural path of the Wise, In German, “Die wisen”) beliefs , practices and writings. I do like the opinions of Silver Raven Wolf. My friend who is a fgardenarian high priestess , also said that ia a m a an NBW, a natural Born Witch and that she has also determined that on the side of my family that attached to the Ham’s is an aunt, of about the 6th century by Name was, Vivienne Morgana Lefaye; the witch who taught Merlin his trade. Wicca is a marve4lously loose yet binding set of beelifs and practices, one can even be a priest or a rabbi or even any one of the people who practice the healing arts. I havwe found many of those who work in haospitals or clinics are often to be founfd to be one of those who are considered in their own small circles to be witches too. The things that they, as a group fear is to be, “outed” and that the burning times will be for what ever reason be reinstituted , as i HAVE FOUND OUT BECAUSE OF THE STRANGE THINGS AND THE HEB OEN THING TH

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  9. misskrystalmisskrystal

    This is why I am interested in Donald writing an article on Kabalah and Wicca as explained in my other comment…

    There are some similarties as it appears….thanks, miss krystal

    Reply
  10. misskrystalmisskrystal

    Yes, Gina Rose, it would be great if we both were invited to CP in CALI, at the same time…
    Would love to meet you and take you to lunch! Hope it comes true-a wish of mine 🙂

    Reply
  11. misskrystalmisskrystal

    Thanks, Gina Rose. May I also add-spiritual growth, embracing the moment/living in the now and our love for cooking and treating/rewarding ourself after cleansing..-and my mama is from Ill. lol
    🙂

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  12. misskrystalmisskrystal

    Donald-I would love to see an aritcle where you compare, contrast and possibly combine Kabalah and Wicca…
    I do request, please…….THANKS
    miss krystal

    Reply
  13. misskrystalmisskrystal

    duckling-if you read this (seems like your kind of article) good luck in the BCS championship game!
    I am thinking of you and your daughter.
    Miss Krystal

    Reply
  14. misskrystalmisskrystal

    By the way, Thanks, Donald. GO BRUINS! I see you went to UCLA…You are another wonderful Bruin writer (lots of them) and I wish you lots of success.
    😉
    miss krystal

    Reply
  15. misskrystalmisskrystal

    Thanks, Gina Rose….Our country has become so diverse that the key to winning friends and trust is cultural awareness and acceptance. We isolate and create division when all we want to do is be with our own kind-hate to say it, but that is fear based….And ignorance….I love watching Kathy Lee and Hoda in the morning.
    These are two women, from two totally different backgrounds, that get along and find common grounds.
    The key to international understanding, and more unity in our nation would be cultural awareness, and that includes acceptance and respect for all people and their backgrounds. Miss Krystal

    Reply
  16. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    Hi,
    It struck me this morning that I think Miss Krystal and I are a very good example of two people, with very different religions, that get along and work together just fine.

    We joke around, dialogue well with each other in the different forums, respect each other…..we have found common ground, outside of the fact that we are both in the same career field, is our love for animals. I’ve given her some training tips for her puppy, Abbey. If I ever get out to CA, maybe we can do lunch……would be fun!

    It’s important for people with different spiritual beliefs, I believe, to search for common ground. I honestly could care less what faith a person follows…..I care more about the integrity and honesty and compassion that a person exhibits.

    Blessed Be )O(
    Gina Rose ext.9500

    Reply
  17. Ronelle

    Hi Donald

    Thanks for your article. I have been reading books on Spells and Wicca my whole life. It is only within the last couple of years that I have had the confidence to really immerse myself into it. I believe in arming myself with knowledge before doing anything. If it doesn’t feel right the don’t do it. By reading as much as I can I know what I feel morally and spiritually safe in practising and with what I want to avoid. I like explaining to people that everything is threefold in whatever you do so if you do not want bad karma then don’t do or say anything bad. For me, everyone should at least practise some basic Wiccan principles with threefold and respect and honor of all things. Life would be much better. I love discussing Wicca with Christians. However they do get a bit upset when they find out that some of their own practices come from Wicca or pagan times (ie christian fish, red & green at christmas – you get the idea). It would be a perfect world when people begin to realise that everything is interrelated, including their religious beliefs.

    Love to all
    Ronelle

    Reply
  18. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    Yes…..I agree with Miss Krystal……

    I have many friends of different faiths from all over the world. Wiccans are generally very acepting and open minded of the belief systems of others.

    Religion, or a certain chosen spiritual path, is a only but a vehicle of personal choice……

    ….The true magick comes from within one’s own heart. If your religion makes you a better person, than keep it…..if it doesn’t, than feel free to explore other paths.

    Blessed Be )O(
    Gina Rose ext.9500

    Reply
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  20. misskrystalmisskrystal

    This is the United State of America. Where we have the freedom to put our faith where we want.
    I think it is great that we are informing the masses on here about this. It is my belief, that no matter what we believe, as long as it is in good faith, we can all find a “common ground”-

    I found all of your remarks so interesting. It appears there is a big passion out there for Wicca.

    It is my hope that we can share other forms of faith on here-The purpose for that is to bring this country into a place of acceptance. Growing up with two parents, who are still married, yet, having different faiths, has taught me a lot. My parents came together out of love and acceptance-and their marriage still works. I truly believe that coming from a background like this has given me the ability and flexibilty to accept all people, cultures and different faiths.

    I think this is a great place to share backgrounds and educate people on all the different philosophies and walks of life out there. We need more peace in this world and I truly feel by sharing and accepting, we can learn acceptance -and to me that is Justice. We must walk away from division and the people who try to use manipulation of faith to divide us all. We should look at a persons heart and how they treat us. We need to learn to listen to other ways of life and be at peace with it.

    The people in this world that can find a common ground, are the people in this world who will shine the brightest…

    I look forward to reading more articles on all the different faiths and ways of the world.
    God Bless everyone…Thank you for this article.
    Miss Krystal

    Reply
  21. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    Another tip…..
    IF you wish to join a circle, and they accept you into their circle…..enter the circle with an open mind and drop all previous ideas and notions of what YOU think Wicca is all about.
    Because most is nonsense and put out over the years by media.

    For example, the term ” warlock ” came straight out of Hollywood , made for TV & movies.LOL LOL !
    It is NOT a Wiccan term for a male witch. A male witch is called a male witch or male Wiccan.

    Blessed Be )O(
    Gina Rose ext.9500

    Reply
  22. silverfaery333

    I actually like this artical. I started out with Wicca when I was 19, have since found my own path.

    I always recommend the Scott Cunningham books to beginners, they are in my library to this day, considering I now teach and have students and friends that use them. I don’t care much for Silver Ravenwolf, her style is just not the greatest for me. I have noticed a HUGE interest in Wicca as well as the more traditional paths, I live in a small town, so finding a teacher or even a group is not the easiest. Though I too am listed in Witch’s Voice.

    Joining a group or finding a teacher is never easy. I will admit I have turned down many people who “swear” they are really interested, and I just feel they are not ready nor willing to do the work..so they have to go on their own or find another teacher. I might pick up one or two new students a year, and that’s it out of maybe 5 to 10 that ask me every year! That and those that are under 18 tend to have more problems with finding a teacher, especially if their parents don’t approve of it.

    Reply
  23. Jacqueline

    Hi Donald Michael Kraig,
    I totally enjoyed your article, I have seen this uprising for sometime, not only with Wiccan but all traditional old beliefs related within every culture, Native American, Asian, African they are on there way back in a big way, we have such great exciting things to look forward to, what may have seem to be lost, will show that they are not.

    This is where people realize that we are connected to everything around us,

    Blessings and Big Hugs!
    Jacqueline x9472

    Reply
  24. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    Another excellent source for reading material on Wicca….and a great place to start is the Witches Voice site on the internet……

    If one is interested in joining a coven, ( or ” circle ” as we call it ),……check in your area to find one……Witches Voice is a good place to check as you can find practicing circles in your area.

    You may not be accepted immediately into a circle…..a circle will usually wait to see how interested and how long you persist in trying to join….. as they want to make sure your intentions are serious and pure and you are not wanting to join to become a once-a-year-Halloween witch or use your knowledge in a harmful way to others, including yourself.

    My daughter, Autumn Silver Sky,( her Wiccan name ) teaches Wicca 101 and is involved with a Wiccan Parenting Organization.

    Blessed Be )O(
    Gina Rose ext.9500 ( and my Wiccan name is RavenBear )

    Reply
  25. Kimberly Cornish

    I have just ordered my very first set of books on Wicca, and am very excited for them to arrive. I am going to bless my home first with my two children and our dog. I really want this to be an uplifting experience for me, so any comments would be appreciated. krosie2468

    Reply
  26. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    And yes….Scott Cunninghams books are a good reference too.

    I really enjoyed this article and look forward to reading more.

    Thank You, Donald.

    Blessed Be )O(
    Gina Rose ext.9500

    Reply
  27. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    Interested in learning about Wicca ?????

    I HIGHLY suggest reading any of Silver RavenWolf’s books on the subject. Her books are great for the novice or curious…..and she is well respected thru out the Wiccan community.

    Blessed Be )O(
    Gina Rose ext.9500

    Reply
  28. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    As I stated earlier….I am Hereditary Wiccan Elder…..good article…..hereditary because I can trace my Wiccan hereitage back over 10 generations. Hereditary Wiccans are extremely rare. Most of the real serious Wiccans I know practice solitary, but some do join covens.

    Wicca can be traced back all the way to the ancient Egyptians.

    Real Wiccan spells are handed down by word of mouth as many of our ancient texts were destroyed and burned, as we were, in ancient times which we refer to as : ” the burning times”.

    But therein lies the problem with new age ” witches ” who have put their own spin, some inserting Satanic nonsense , on our ancient rituals….all of which have nothing to do with worshipping Satan ( no such deity exists in real Wicca beliefs by the way).
    Or ,almost just as bad, dabble, and attach their own meanings to ancient rituals and beliefs without really understanding the whys and hows…. or the harm and Karma they are attracting.

    Rule of thumb…..if a coven or solitary witch is worshipping Satan they are NOT Wiccan, they are part of some ridiculous cult practicing some gothic cult myth.

    Remember…..the magick comes from within.

    Do as you will, lest it harm no one…..and remember the Karmic Universal Law : ” Rule of Three “.

    Blessed Be )O(
    Gina Rose ext.9500

    Reply

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