Witchcraft has always been an interesting topic to me, for many reasons. The subject is surrounded in mystery, superstition, secrecy, and most interesting of all, real magic! I used to associate witchcraft with ugly old hags wearing pointed hats and rags while riding a broom stick through the air on a full moon. I never thought of it as a religion, but it was the first religion, according to Dr. Margaret Murray, who studies witchcraft's history and origins. Raymond Bucklands book, Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft mentions her research, saying that she found it to be a fully organized religion throughout Western Europe centuries before Christianity (1). I being Christian, thought that it was Satanic until I read about the topic, and discovered the truth. Witches do not worship any entity known as "Satan" or "the Devil.".
Most books about Witchcraft focus on coven Witchcraft and it is very hard to find a book on anything else. A coven, according to Silver RavenWolf, author of To Ride a Silver Broomstick, is a group of thirteen or fewer witches that work together in an organized fashion for positive magickal endeavors or to perform religious ceremonies (20). Every religion has different divisions, this religion is no exception. Here are just a few different kinds: Alexandrian Tradition, British Tradition, Celtic Wicca, Caledoii, Ceremonial, Dianic, Eclectic, Gardnerian, Hereditary, Kitchen Witch, Pictish, Pow-Wow, Seax-Wicca, Strega, Teutonic, The Wiccan Witch and Solitary Wicca (RavenWolf 11-15). A Solitary Witch can be an individual who has no desire to practice with or learn from a coven structure, but still may adhere to a specific tradition or sect through the teaching of another (14). I choose to concentrate on the Solitary Wiccan for many.
reasons, it is the most basic form of the Craft because it has no history, there is no strict rules like most other forms and the books and articles about it are straight forward.