What Are the Origins of Wicca?

Many of the origins of modern-day Wicca are in religious traditions, ritual magic and folk witchcraft that date back before the rise of Christianity. Gerald Brosseau Gardner's "Book of Shadows," an early 19th century compilation of spells and rituals, is another major source of inspiration for the creation of Wicca.

Wicca is a system of beliefs and practices that are part of a broader Pagan witchcraft tradition. In Wiccan thought, the idea of a divine being manifests in the form of the Triple Goddess, which is associated with the three phases of the moon. Wicca itself is without any centralized authority and composed of individual witches, as well as those who join covens and practice together. Wiccan witches practice magic and believe in a form of reincarnation after death.