mohsian, wicca in the uk/usa

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i just joined yesterday :)
my understanding is that there are lots of brits in this board, which is good..
im a seeker who is looking to be formally trained in a witchcraft tradition
i live in the usa, and the closest british traditional wiccan coven to me is a mohsian. then, there is a gardnerian coven
about 2 hours away from me
there are no other non-btw covens that i know of in the area as in, 1734 (unless they are very secretive)

there are two questions i want to know:

1. is mohsian considered btw? ive read that some believe that btw is only gardnerian and/or alexandrian only
2. what are the major differences between traditional wicca in the uk and america? is traditional wicca in the usa as good as in britain?

from what i know living in the usa, is that lineaged wiccans are a minority, and neowicca is very popular. i ve read that in the uk,
being wiccan means that you initiated into a wiccan tradition

the reason im asking these questions is because this is a major decision for me. i want to make sure that if im accepted,
it will be a true witchcraft tradition and not something watered-down and superficial. ive even met high priestesses and priests
in the usa that went through the 3 degrees, and they did not learn anything substantial...
i guess i feel that british wicca is superior to american wicca because it seems to me, that in britain, wicca is respected as having guidelines
and people will work hard to attain it, whereas in the usa, people want everything "now!", everything becomes watered-down and superficial... which may mean that in the uk, you are more likely to learn real substance in a traditional coven than in america (even if it is btw)

i guess that seeing how serious wicca seems to be in the uk, i cant help being biased
i dont know if joining the gardnerian coven (that is 2 hours away from me) would be practical because of time and driving but, the mohsian tradition has some cochrane elements which gives it a shamanic flavor...and i like this

by the way,
for those who dont know anything about mohsian

thanks a bunch!

Hi Seeker

Firstly, we do ask that people introduce themselves here before they post on the main boards.  Please could you go into the Members Introductions part of the forum and tell us a little about yourself so that we can formally welcome you.  There is a template here that you could use to give you some help although it's use isn't compulsory.

The short answer to your question is Mohsian Wicca considered part of the British Tradition, I would say no - Gardnarian/Alexandrian traditions follow a relatively strict form and unless Mohsian uses this to the letter it wouldn't be considered British Traditional over here (which is a term you use in the states for what we would call Wicca).  The other thing is why call it Mohsian if it is Gardnarian/Alexandrian.  To call it by a different name means that it probably takes elements from the Gardnarian tradition (reading the intro to Mohsian and taking it at face value) which the HP/s were taught when initiated into it and then changing or adding other elements to make it more personalised to them.  If this were not the case and they were teaching all of Gardners stuff, they would call it Gardnarian Wicca surely.  However, whether or not it is a reputable form of Witchcraft is down to the people who are teaching it.  The name makes it neither better or worse than British Traditional Wicca, it is the reputation of the practitioners or teachers that is important.  That you must discover for yourself.

In short a reputable coven of any tradition will not charge you anything more than reasonable expenses (a donation to cover consumables etc) to teach you, will not insist that you do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable (although they should challenge you to come out of your comfort zone from time to time), will have an outer circle where you can both check each other out and will not insist on any unreasonable commitment from you before you have got to know everyone in the group a little better - this protects both yourself and the coven, so beware of swift initiations and the need to promise all sorts of weird things.  Will behave and expect you to behave within the laws of the land. They may ask you for some discretion concerning the people you may have met through them, but that should be all before you are accepted formally.  They may and even should ask you to wait a fairly considerable time before considering you for initiation - usually a year, but it depends on the covens practice and they may offer dedication first of all.

Hope this helps a little and I look forward to reading your introduction



thats confusing
even this british web site
says that mohsian is recognized as part of btw
including central valley wicca
maybe there are different views on this between americans and british
dont know...

Thank you for posting the link because I have had never heard of Moshian Wicca before and although I'm not Wiccan myself, I am British, and have been on my path for 40 long years, and met with many Wiccan's (and folk following other Pagan paths) over that time, but I think I might have heard of Moshian Wicca by now had it been common in the UK.  That's not to say there is no such thing, of course, as you say, sometimes covens keep things secret, but that if there is such a practice alive and flourishing, it's not been in the circles I mingle with, and I do know lots of Pagan folks here in England.  I will have to ask around, and get back to you about it later.  I suspect you may be right about Americans having a different view on this, but maybe there are folk here who know better.  Good luck in your search.


Hi Seeker

First of all, I will nail my colours to the mast and let you know that I am an initiated Wiccan, to 2nd degree through a Gardnarian line.  However, I don't practice in the way I have been trained any more having adapted it to my own needs and personal tastes.  Therefore i don't call myself Wiccan any more because over here, the Wiccan tradition is pretty exclusively Gardnarian or Alexandrian.  This may be seen as elitist, but there seems to be a sort of 'need' to be seen as Wiccan amongst the beginners who read a book and then call themselves Wiccan because the writer says they can.  Wicca, as I am sure you are aware, cannot be learned from a book.  There is also British traditional Witchcraft, which is, I believe, derived from the work of Robert Cochran (someone correct me if I have got it wrong) plus many other Witchcraft based traditions.  There is a tendancy over here that if something is different from Gardners teaching, it isn't called Wicca (there are plenty of robust discussions about this on the forum if you want to look through).

However, some British Gardnarians who have been initiated, have moved to the states and exported some of Gardners teaching have adapted them and called them xxxxxx Wicca, Ray Buckland I believe being one of the first, calling his Pecta(?) Wicca, basing it on some Scottish stuff.  What is happening in the USA is that they are interchanging the words Wicca and Witchcraft.  If Buckland had developed his tradition over here he would have probably called it Pecta Witchcraft because there were still enough of Gardners peers alive to complain if he didn't. (there has always been a lot of infighting, Bitchcraft we call it here)

I think that the site you linked us to is mainly a resource to tell about the different traditions out there without making a value judgement.

Mohsian Wicca would not be considered part of the Gardnarian coven system over here (I don't think) because as I said earlier, it must have been adapted and changed otherwise it would have still been called Gardnarian.  However, that doesn't mean that it is watered down in any way and it may be that it could be more a more complete teaching than some of the gardnarian covens over here.  Please don't equate Gardnarian or British traditional wicca as the only benchmark of merit.  Obviously, there are many reputable Gardnarians who like to make sure that there is a certain standard maintained, which is why Wicca tends to equate with Gardner or Alex Sanders in the UK but that doesn't mean that because someone has adapted their teachings and are calling it something slightly different, that you are getting Gardner Lite.

Whatever tradition you choose to take on, and you are still young enough to 'try before you buy', you have to take the personal responsibility of researching the group and asking the right questions to make sure that you are getting what you expect.  Even if they say they are Gardnarian, it doesn't necessarily follow that they are either good or reputable. Most are, but, as in all walks of life, there are schiesters out there who are after the control, power and money that unsuspecting accolytes bring.

As for Wicca in the USA vs Wicca in the UK - I don't know, I have only ever been trained and practiced it in the UK so I have no experience to say whether it is better or worse. Probably just a bit different!

My partner who has been to Canada found that it is slightly more theatrical when he has been invited to a couple of Wiccan rituals over there, (some of the ritual being conducted in Tolkeins Elven language) but whether that is commonplace over that side of the Atlantic, or like it is over here, probably more to do with the personality of the High priest/ess, I don't know.  Again, that is something you will have to decide for yourself.



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