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The Creation of “Traditional Witchcraft”

Pagans, Luciferians, and the Quest for Esoteric Legitimacy

In: Aries
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  • 1 University College London
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Abstract

Since the early 1990s, increasing numbers of occultists have come to identify as practitioners of “Traditional Witchcraft”, “Traditional Craft”, or “Old Craft”. This article maps out this milieu, outlining the existence of both its modern Pagan and Luciferian components and in doing so demonstrating that the term lacks precision for etic scholarly purposes. It follows this by exploring what purpose this term actually serves, examining both its historical development and its contemporary usages to illustrate how it represents a form of rhetorical self-identification adopted by occultists seeking to retain the label of “Witchcraft” while evading associations with “Wicca” and at the same time functioning as a legitimation strategy by foregrounding the inheritance of “tradition”.

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