Seax-Wica is a tradition, or denomination, of the neopagan religion of Wicca which is largely inspired by the iconography of the historical Anglo-Saxon paganism, though, unlike Theodism, it is not a reconstruction of the early mediaeval religion itself.
The tradition was founded in 1973 by Raymond Buckland, an English-born High Priest of Gardnerian Wicca who moved to the United States in the 1970s. His book, The Tree, was written with the intent for it to be a definitive guide to Seax-Wica, and was published in 1974 by Samuel Weiser, though subsequently republished in 2005 as Buckland's Book of Saxon Witchcraft. There are also on-line Books of Shadows for the tradition on assorted websites.
The tradition primarily honours Germanic deities such as Woden and Freya, and are seen as representations of the Wiccan deities of the Horned God and the Mother Goddess, and uses a minimal set of the usual ceremonial tools and a spear. Runes are significant and regularly discussed.
Seax-Wica does not employ any secrecy oath. The official books of Seax-Wica do not intend to omit or misrepresent itself, although they may be a bit sparse in terms of detail, leaving such things to individual practitioners or groups.
Buckland's Book of Saxon Witchcraft does not mention how a solitary practitioner with no consecrated tools available gets started in Seax-Wica, as consecrated tools are used to cast the Circle, and tools are consecrated within the already cast Circle. Indeed, Buckland's Book of Saxon Witchcraft was written in mind that the reader would already be well versed in the various techniques of Witchcraft and Wiccan ritual, therefore intense study of other sources is imperative if one is looking to enter this tradition. However, Buckland has pointed out that his "Complete Book of Witchcraft" (commonly referred to as 'The Big Blue Book' and 'Big Blue') gives instructions on how to proceed when no tools are available. These instructions are sufficient enough to allow one to begin, self-initiate, and consecrate one's first tools.
There are also several Yahoo Mailing lists and web-based discussion boards for the tradition where one may inquire for more detail and clarifying commentary (see below).
Seax-Wica allows self-dedication as entry into its tradition. In the Seax Tradition, Covens work by a form of democracy, electing, un-electing, and re-electing Coven Officers, the Coven High Priest, and Coven High Priestess, and there are traditionally four Officers in Seax-Wica, and the elected High Priest and High Priestess serve for 13 full moons (a year). Within Ritual settings, there are the Thegn, a type of sergeant at arms/guard/watchman, who can also be responsible for the Covenstead (the meeting place of the Coven), or guarding a ceremony being performed, and a Scribe/secretary, who keeps most, if not all of the Coven's records. The word "Thegn", or "Thane" is an Anglo-Saxon title (Anglo-Saxon: þeg(e)n meaning "an attendant, servant, retainer or official," usually in a military sense similar to the later "knight."
Raymond Buckland is not the head of the Tradition in likeness to other religious bodies, such as the Church is to Christianity, but is respected as its founder, and continues to practice it and contribute to it. He has also written extensively on a number of topics relating to Wicca, Neo-Paganism, and Witchcraft.
The first "elected" steward of Seax Wica is one Wulfeage (Sean Percival) who was elected to that position.
- Buckland's Book of Saxon Witchcraft, ISBN 1-57863-328-1, p. xi.
- Buckland's Book of Saxon Witchcraft, ISBN 1-57863-328-1, page xi.
- Definition of "Thegn".
- Raymond Buckland's bibliography from his official website