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For this reason, they are sometimes referred to as the "Great Goddess" and the "Great Horned God", with the adjective "great" connoting a deity that contains many other deities within their own nature.
These two deities are sometimes viewed as facets of a greater pantheistic divinity, which is regarded as an impersonal force or process rather than a personal deity.
It is not known who precisely invented the term "Wicca" in reference to the religion, although one possibility is that it might have been Gardner's rival Charles Cardell, who was referring to it as the "Craft of the Wiccens" by 1958.
In ensuing decades, members of certain traditions – those known as British Traditional Wicca – began claiming that only they should be termed "Wiccan", and that other forms of the religion must not use it.
From the 1990s onward, various Wiccans began describing themselves as "Traditional Witches", although this term was also employed by practitioners of other magico-religious traditions like Luciferianism.
Most early Wiccan groups adhered to the duotheistic worship of a Horned God of fertility and a Mother Goddess, with practitioners typically believing that these had been the ancient deities worshipped by the hunter-gatherers of the Old Stone Age, whose veneration had been passed down in secret right to the present.
While duotheism or bitheism is traditional in Wicca, broader Wiccan beliefs range from polytheism to pantheism or monism, even to Goddess monotheism.
Wiccan celebrations encompass both the cycles of the Moon, known as Esbats and commonly associated with the Goddess (female deity), and the cycles of the Sun, seasonally based festivals known as Sabbats and commonly associated with the Horned God (male deity).
), also termed Pagan Witchcraft, is a modern Pagan religion.
Although recognised as a religion by academics, some evangelical Christians have attempted to deny it legal recognition as such, while some Wiccan practitioners themselves eschew the term "religion" – associating the latter purely with organised religion – instead favouring "spirituality" or "way of life".
Although Wicca as a religion is distinct from other forms of contemporary Paganism, there has been much "cross-fertilization" between these different Pagan faiths; accordingly, Wicca has both influenced and been influenced by other Pagan religions, thus making clear-cut distinctions between them more difficult for religious studies scholars to make.
Some traditions, collectively referred to as British Traditional Wicca, strictly follow the initiatory lineage of Gardner and consider the term Wicca to apply only to similar traditions, but not to newer, eclectic traditions.
Wicca is typically duotheistic, worshipping a Goddess and a God.