The 1734 Tradition is a tradition of Traditional Witchcraft founded by the American Joseph Wilson, who developed it between 1964 and 1972 and founded the tradition in late 1973 and early 1974. It was largely based upon the teachings which he received from an English Traditional Witch named Robert Cochrane, the founder of Cochrane's Craft.
Wilson stated that "1734 was NOT intended to be a tradition by which legitimacy is recognised by a confirmed/recognised pedigree" and because of this he did not believe that there was any leader of 1734. He did mention in his writings whom he believed was "authentic 1734", talking only of people to whom he had taught his methods, and in so doing stated that there was no "lineage" of the Tradition. He was very specific in stating that it was NOT Wicca, and NOT a "lineaged religious system". His best definition of the Tradition was that it was a "Method, cloaked in a Mystery."
In the correspondence between Wilson and Cochrane, the glyph of 1734 and the meaning of the figure were set as a task for Wilson to complete by Cochrane, who taught through induction. The actual results of that discussion and as much as is able to be written down about the actual meaning of the glyph and the cryptogram of 1734 are in the Letters, which were published as The Robert Cochrane Letters by Capall Bann. The "meaning of 1734" as Wilson envisioned it, was that there is more than one meaning, more than one riddle, and more than one Mystery, connected with the etymology, and that people must first encounter the Mystery, and then figure out its meaning for themselves.
- Adler, Margot (2006). Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America. Penguin. p. 126. ISBN 9781101549766. Retrieved 5 August 2012.
- Bramshaw, Vikki (2009). Craft of the Wise: A Practical Guide to Paganism and Witchcraft. O Books. pp. 39–. ISBN 9781846942327. Retrieved 5 August 2012.