Alexandrian Wicca was started in England by a witch named Alex Sanders (1926-1988) and his wife, Maxine (who was a Roman Catholic), in the 1960s. He was referred to as "The King of the Witches." He had claimed to be initiated into Wicca at the age of seven by his grandmother but later admitted that this was not true. There was controversy within Wiccan circles as to the motivation of Mr. Sanders in developing his tradition. Some thought he was involved for the fame and influence. But this only helped to increase his popularity.
Alex Sanders experimented with homosexuality, magick, claimed he could heal people, and is said to have even worshipped the devil for a while. He had been initiated into the Gardnerian tradition, and his Alexandrian Wicca reflects some of those aspects. However, Alexandrian Wicca does not require ritual nudity as Gardnerian Wicca does.
At first, the Alexandrian tradition grew but later declined when it was discovered that Alex Sanders had been dishonest about his claim to be a hereditary witch. The Alexandrian tradition focuses on ceremonial magic and has elements of the Kabbalah.1
- 1. Cantrell, Gary, Wiccan Beliefs and Practices, St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 2004, p. 34, and http://www.meta-religion.com/Spiritualism/Wicca/alexandrian_wicca.htm.