As a religion, Wicca or the Craft pretends to be the revival and/or reconstruction of the pre-Christian pagan cults of Europe, especially Northern Europe (Celtic or Norse traditions) but also Greco-Roman, Egyptian, or Levantine traditions.
There is no consensus on the exact lineage Wiccan beliefs. It wasn't until recently that Wicca took formation as a loosely based system, mainly from the works of Gerald Gardner who formed the Wiccan tradition known as Gardnerian Wicca. Through Gardner the idea of the God and goddess were 'dogmatized' and Wicca became a religious movement.
A Wiccan is a follower of Wicca. Many Wiccans use the word Witch as a synonym for Wiccan. Others have abandoned the term Witch since they feel that centuries of religious propaganda have given the term such a negative connotation that it cannot be redeemed.
Because of the popular negative connotations associated with witchcraft, many Wiccans conceal their faith for fear of persecution. Revealing oneself as Wiccan to family, friends or colleagues is often termed coming out of the broom-closet.
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