The New Albion tradition of Witchcraft had its beginnings in the Mohsian Tradition, founded in Los Angeles by Bill and Helen Mohs in the early 1960s. Around 1985, Ellen Bentley and Spencer Wright brought together elements of the Mohsian Tradition, along with some borrowings from the Gardnerian Tradition, the Alexandrian Tradition, and Celtic mythology, to create the New Albion tradition. The tradition's name is derived from Albion, an old name for England. Since the tradition ultimately harks back to British Traditional Witchcraft, many practitioners would not find a New Albion ritual substantially different than their own method of working.
As with many other traditions, in New Albion there are the usual First, Second, and Third Degrees to which one may aspire. Additionally, for those who have recently joined a New Albion coven and are studying toward initiation, the tradition recognizes such persons with a formal dedication ceremony. The student then holds the rank of “Dedicate”. Unlike the three Degrees, however, the rank of Dedicate is not binding upon the candidate.
Some differences that distinguish the New Albion Tradition from other traditions are:
- During the quarter calls, each element is presented to North, East, South, and West. For example, the censer of Air will be taken around the circle and used to salute each quarter in turn;
- Any call to banish “evil”, during rituals, will be instead be a call to banish “negativity”;
- The Scourge, a usual working tool in many traditions, is rarely, if ever, used;
- Near the end of a typical ritual, any stray energy or entities will be cleared from the working space with a courteous dismissal.
Since its inception, the New Albion Tradition has grown to include groups not only in California, but also in Arizona and Illinois. These groups are very active both within the tradition and in public, holding regular open circles and classes.
Beaufort House, “Index of Traditional English Witchcraft”. <http://www.gardnerian.com/beaufort/beaufort_list_temp.html>