Alexandrian / Gardnerian / wicca / witchcraft

The difference between Alexandrian and Gardnerian traditions.

As much as being widely agreed that there are only few differences between Gardnerian and Alexandrian traditions, personal observation has led me to the conclusion that while differences appear to be only subtle on an external level, they are much more profoundly demarcated on the inner.

An example that immediately comes to mind concerns how the experience of the Mysteries impacts on an Initiate’s personal life.

Trauma – an in most cases severe trauma – features prominently among Alexandrians.

I wish it would say on the label, still I don’t think one can ever prepare you for what’s to come. Even after it has happened the mind struggles to come to terms and keeps on looking for a reasonable and logical explanation.

It is also said that one key difference lays with the founders of each tradition.  Alex Sanders came to Wicca through a Gardnerian.  It is unquestioned at least as far as his 1* is concerned.  It is also pointed out that he came to Wicca as an already accomplished magus and that his experimentations revolved areas of magic not pertaining to traditional Wicca.  If a lineage accumulates Karma through its founder and is passed in succession with the power and the inner contacts, then given the travailed and fallen from grace life of Sanders, it all begins to make sense.

Many initiates have reported a remarkable shift and change of energy when making a transition from one tradition to the other.

For example S. was initiated 1* Gardnerian before getting 2* and 3* Alexandrian.  He spoke about a rush of power infusing the circle during a ritual.  I can account for that.  The energy generated within an Alexandrian rite is dangerously high voltage, at times almost palpable and visible.  It’s so strong that it can become difficult to harness and direct and if ever control is lost one can be sure someone is going to suffer.  But you get used to it and then you become addicted to it and nothing else will do, unless it feels stronger.  I know one person who started off as Alexandrian, changed to Gardnerian and then regretted it because she missed the old circles.  Other former Alexandrians, instead say it gave them a sense of relief and would never go back.

Now, I’ve only ever worked with a Gardnerian once.  In comparison it was like smoking a Silk Cut as opposed of puffing on a pipe.  The ritual turned out to be just as effective, but at the time I was quite baffled as the power seeped in quite subtly and silently into the circle.  It was much better contained, unthreatening and easier to handle.  Other former Alexandrians also report that in Gardnerian tradition the power flow is much gentler, it feels safer and easier to handle as it is much more attuned to the rhythm of the Earth.

It makes me wonder: are the two traditions dipping for power from different sources?

I’d speculate that Alexandrian tradition is more heaven and hell orientated as opposed to Earth centred.  The majority of Alexandrians, Maxine included, are anything but bothered with ecological or social issues, as if those were affairs pertaining only to those who were mere mortal.  For the most part, Alexandrians are engrossed in writing books, making a name for themselves, setting up networks, YouTube channels, argue with and disrespect each other.  Most Alexandrians do not have children, and for a fertility cult, the birth rate is seriously low, bordering on the nil.  But those who do have children, often experience life threatening situations around them and so modify or limit their magical practice with some external philosophy. Including, if not first and foremost, Maxine herself.

Why do so many Alexandrians come to such close encounters with death or some other form of tragedy involving their offspring? Have the murders of Aylsbury Hill – where many rituals took place in the 60’s – tainted the power that was raised, thus infecting the lineage with corrupted inner contacts?

These are just some of the questions to which I have yet to find an answer.



13 thoughts on “The difference between Alexandrian and Gardnerian traditions.

  1. Have the murders of Aylsbury Hill – where many rituals took place in the 60’s – tainted the power that was raised, thus infecting the lineage with corrupted inner contacts?

    That is a very cogent and viable speculation indeed.

  2. I struggle to make any sense of this rant/ramble. Could the OP please clarify what he/she believes to be the “Aylsbury Hill Murders”?

    • Come again????…You might want to clarify in your head what you want to ask me in the first place.

      Do you mean what I believe to be the “Aylesbury Hill Murders”?…Well, you see, it’s not a case of what I believe but a proven fact with two people serving a life sentence, one of which croaked not long ago. Ever heard of Ian Brady, Nigel? Or are you just playing the fool?
      For those who are not British or weren’t even born at the time, the story goes that Ian Bradley was interested in witchcraft and had asked Alex for initiation. In one of the Sanders’ various biographies (either King of Witches or Firechild…maybe even both or just turn to p.72 of Fiosa’s A Coin for the Ferryman), you read that during the investigation into the murders police visited the Sanders’ home as part of their inquiries. The Aylesbury ritual had taken place in close proximity where the bodies of these children had been found and at around the same time the murders had been committed.

      I’m sure I do not need to explain to you how a land haunted by restless souls can affect the magic Nigel, do I?
      Have you paid a visit to Victor when he was in Dulwich, Nigel? Has he ever told you what he thinks? No, maybe not. Maybe not you.

      And please refrain from personal attacks in the name of clarity, next time you want to discredit an author. It takes a master of the pen to pull it off, something you are so obviously NOT.

      Here, have a bit of Stephen Fry, you sour old pompous fart…

  3. “[W]hat you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.”

    0/10 points for trolling.

    • Ahh… here we have an Amber and Jet crusader.
      Hi Lynda (aka Gaia Ivory Witch), how are you?
      Always squeezing a sour lemon between the cheeks of your seat I see.

      Holy mother of mercy, what do I read?

      Please come back from the daze Lynda …you’re not on A&J now…you’re on a blog page. You came here out of your free will and there is no room and certainly not any people in the room.
      It’s not a weblist or an online class, it’s just you and your computer screen. You’re not listening, you’re reading. Now calm down…and breeeeaaatheee…very gently…in…and out. Very soon you will be back in your pond…err, I mean on A&J in your natural environment.

    • Oh Molly Skank (or is it Shanks?) you judgemental little inquisitor!
      This is by far the most hilarious comment by someone who has been emotionally rattled I have read to date.

      May God have mercy on your soul?

      Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!

      11/10 points for the Bible Belt Award.

  4. Geee….sour grapes, much? No self respecting Alexandrian OR Garderian would EVER talk to a non-initiate about their experiences. What planet are you from? I am am Alexandrian, have children, have raised four more than my own, and while I have my share of issues from the deck life dealt me – being Alexandrian certainly isn’t to blame! You my dear are quite deluded, seriously mistaken – no wrong – and you have my utmost sympathy and hope that you get yourself some therapy and quit externalizing the need for approval.

    • Sally …or would you prefer if I called you Gaia?

      I smile at your generalised and shallow view of the world which sadly…sadly confirms a particular American stereotype . What planet am I from? A planet where Alexandrians make an infinitimillesimal part of the overall world population: 7 billions of them, 75% of which is likely more preoccupied on how to feed itself without further going into debt and 12% in small corner of the middle east whose main priority is to find shelter from your country’s bombing. A world in which I have yet to see an Alexandrian or Gardnerian run for American presidency or established a theocratic caliphate recognised by any other wordly or religious authority. And a planet which is smaller than a pinhead in the infinity of the universe but full of tiny beings who give themselves more importance than they actually have in the greater scheme of things. Beings who forget that one day they’ll turn to dust no matter what religion they slavishly followed.

      So… no self respecting Alexandrian or Gardnerian would EVER (and I like the way you stress EVER) talk about their experiences to non-initiates?
      So explain to me what are all those biographies from Sanders, Crowther, Valiente, Jihmal de Fiosa…and all the books from Farrars, D’Este are doing on bookshops’ shelves. Are these books the figment of my imagination or do these books come with sale restrictions that say ‘initiates only’…in the world you live in?

      Read my reply as many times as you need Sally and realise that hundred of people, wiccan and non are going to read what you and I have written here.
      Let my readers think for themselves who between you and I is seeking approval and needs therapy the most.

      Have a nice day.

    • Hi, Lynda Rixie (sounds like one of those names table dancers’ names for a 80s biker club)…I think only someone as myopic as you could mistake those fluffy bunnies’ pellets in her hand for something remotely resembling grapes.
      Your use of capital letters along with misplaced utter sympathy betray repressed anger issues which are exacerbated by the fact you cannot fathom how can anyone can just stroll around boundlessly breaking every taboo while you are standing there wrapped in your dogmatic bullshit like a 4000 yrs old mummy.
      Your child rearing history was totally unnecessary, as it validates nothing in itself and besides we would need to hear directly from those kids what it was like to be brought up by some hillybilly who thinks herself a witch and goes by such cringy name. Until then, your word is as good as gas coming out a dog’s arse, I’m afraid.
      Try not to make a fool of yourself and think before you react like a Jack Russell.

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