Contemporary Witchcraft and the TDM

Witchcraft, or more importantly that tradition which is referred to today as “British Traditional Witchcraft”*, stems back to the teachings of an English civil servant Gerald Gardner.  Since the 1950s when he first published a book on this Tradition (after the repellant of the English Witchcraft laws), much has changed.  The witchcraft of Gardner’s day, and later of Alex Sanders, differs greatly to the modernised version referred to as “Wicca” that is often associated and accepted today – even to the point where some modern Wiccans have even decided to discredit the very founder of their belief, Gerald Gardner himself.

British Traditional Witchcraft, as in Gardner’s vision, and in its true sense, is a Mystery tradition, aligned with those from more ancient cultures such as Egypt and Greece, and it is through initiation that the seeker learns to understand these Mysteries.  This does not mean to say however that initiation is the “only” way – just that through the process of initiation and being “properly prepared”, a deeper (or even different) level is revealed.  And it is this realisation that cannot be accurately described to those who have not gone through such a process, thus leaving the latter often feeling excluded .. which is not the objective.

Why try to walk the path of someone else and see things through their eyes and relive their experiences?
Why not walk your own path for the beauty of the Mysteries is all around for all to share …
should only they open their eyes.

The Temple of the Dark Moon aligns itself with being a “progressive” Alexandrian witchcraft coven.  We call ourselves such as, following in the footsteps of our Tradition’s founder (Alex Sanders) who “evolved” Gardner’s version of witchcraft, we too have carefully added to the work we do, all the while keeping the core elements, what we consider to be the very essence of the Alexandrian tradition, in tact.  In doing so, this infers that we may have moved away from various aspects of the “traditional” Book of Shadows compared to other covens.  While on the surface this may appear to be true, and we believe we have very good reason in doing this as outlined below, this action does not and should not be interpreted that the teachings contained within the Book of Shadows have been removed or discredited – they are still taught, however the manner in which they are taught may have changed.

The reason for our diversion is a simple one (at least in our eyes) – the Temple of the Dark Moon resides in the Southern Hemisphere, and as such we have felt the need to make adjustments to various elements of the teachings in order to truly reflect our own environment as well as the hemispheric differences that may or may not have been observed during initial evolution of the Book of Shadows.

This bold step has not always been received positively, however, for those who have trained and circle with us, the reasons behind what and how we do things does become clearer.

In more recent times the Temple of the Dark Moon has adopted the usage of “contemporary witchcraft” to describe the style of Craft followed within our training circles as a way of differentiating what is taught outside of the Inner Court and what is taught inside the Inner Court (the Alexandrian material).

More about what contemporary witchcraft can be found here:

*In reference to “traditional witchcraft”, there are indeed other versions of witchcraft which are not Gardnerian based at all, in particular hereditary family based traditions, those aligned with the Tubal Cain and 1734 traditions, as well as the Cultus Sabbati.  As neither Gardner nor Sanders classified themselves as “Wiccans”, and in light of the increasing number of non or alleged “self-initiate” people following more eclectic styles calling themselves “Wiccans”, the Temple of the Dark Moon has reworded the style of Craft we utilise for clarity.

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