But what do you actually do?

Some people have expressed confusion about what inclusive Wicca does that is different from other Gardnerian and Alexandrian Wiccans (despite the fact that there is massive variation among covens and lineages in the rest of Wicca).

But Wicca is not just about the words we use in ritual - many covens within the Gardnerian and Alexandrian communities use different words for casting the circle, calling the quarters, consecrating and so on. The point is that we are orthopraxic - we do the same actions and we use the same techniques.

Gerald Gardner gave five different books of shadows to five different priestesses - consequently there is quite a lot of variation between and within the lineages descended from them.

There are also various different texts available for creating sacred space. Different covens will use different versions of these within Wicca as a whole. Some covens use words based on the Key of Solomon; some use other words.

What is the same as in the rest of Wicca?
  • The initiation ceremonies. These are the same as what we were handed by our initiators. You might be surprised about variations between lineages in the rest of Wicca, actually, but the basic core ceremony is the same. Some of us do same-sex initiations, but the actual ritual will be the same.
  • Casting the circle and calling the quarters. We use the same words and procedures that were given to us by our initiators. We don't tend to say "Lords of the Watchtowers..." but then lots of covens don't do that.
  • Making magic. We use the same methods of making magic that other covens use.
  • Celebrating festivals. We celebrate the Wheel of the Year, the eight Wiccan Sabbats. (Some covens in the USA use the same words for every Sabbat; most covens in the UK create new rituals for each festival using a combination of words from their BoS and newly created words. Some covens use a story about the God and Goddess that fits the festivals; some do not.)
What is different from the rest of Wicca?
  • Polarity. We believe that polarity can be made by any pair of opposites. 
  • Consecration of participants.  This can vary - but we don't divide people up by gender.
  • Invocation: any person of any gender may invoke a deity of any gender onto another person of any gender (other than that, it's the same).
  • Cakes and wine. We do the same actions, with slightly different words, which emphasise that the symbolism of the chalice and athame encompasses all acts of love and pleasure.
  • Degree of flexibility. Many covens are prepared to flex things to accommodate differences - but how far they are prepared to flex can vary widely. In inclusive Wicca, we try to accommodate disability, gender variance, sexual orientation, and so on. 
Given the huge variation between and within lineages in Gardnerian and Alexandrian Wicca, adding a bit more variation to the mix shouldn't be in the slightest bit controversial - but strangely, as soon as you mention including LGBT people, disabled people, and people of colour, it becomes controversial. I wonder why that is?

Further reading


  1. A good article. The more I read on this the more it shows that Inclusive Wicca reflects pure common sense.

  2. Thanks a lot for this great article!
    Personally, I have always seen inclusiveness as an attitude... which, to me, doesn't mean that everything has to be ‘as inclusive and neutral as possible’... Sometimes I think that many straight/cis people's feelings towards inclusiveness is that it's telling them that using heteronormative symbolism is not okay anymore, and that is not the case. I believe that it is much more about understanding that other people's approach towards a ritual might be different from ours: so while a straight couple may be called by purely male/female symbolism, that may not work for other people. And each of them is entitled to practice that way.
    In short, I think it is much more about ‘Do it the way it move you BUT do not expect others to follow you verbatim’.

    1. Very good points, Alder, and a really helpful addition to the discussion.

      Indeed, the point of being inclusive was not to repalce heterosexual symbolism with LGBT symbolism, nor to replace cisgender symbolism with transgender symbolism, but to include all types of symbolism.

      It's also not about being "neutral" as that would take all the flavour away: it's about including more flavours.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

New book: Transmasculine Guide to Physical Transition

The festival of Borrowed

We Reject Racism