There's a lot of rubbish written about Witchcraft these days; the main
and recurring myth is that Wicca is witchcraft.
It isn't; Wicca is a modern neo-pagan religious philosophy. It may
incorporate some practices it believes to be witchcraft but it is primarily a
Invented by Gerald Gardner and drawing on such disparate sources as
medieval Guilds, Romantic poetry, and Victorian spiritualists it purports to
be an ancient pagan religion and identifies itself with many of the cultural
myths surrounding medieval witch trials.
To find out more about Wicca, read Professor Ronald Hutton's Truimph of the Moon
Many of the modern ideas of witchcraft stem from Gardner's mangling of
history; the Christian church in medieval times invented a Church of
Satan - and then set out to look for it, hence persecuting satanists and
heretics often under the charge of "witchcraft" by which they meant - well,
satanists and herectics. Not Witchcraft in any meaningful sense. Hence
the archetypal images of a coven of 13, flying on broomsticks, horned
god etc all of which were Christian imagery inverted and linked to the
Black Mass. Far from being remnants of a pagan religion they were the
perversions of psychotic Medieval churchmen.
Many people now claim to be from hereditary or traditional witcchraft.
Most are not.
Obviously "herediary" witchcraft keeps itself to itself; traditional witchcraft need not be hereditary,
but it is and should be based on real traditions. Confusingly many Wiccans
who follow Gardner's origional structure for Wicca call themselves Traditional - eg Traditional British Witchcraft
however it is Wicca, Traditional Wicca if you like but Wicca nonetheless