While some Wiccans practice Witchcraft or ‘The Craft’, many say they don’t. Therefore not all Wiccans are Witches. In fact, some Wiccans keep their distance from Witches and Witchcraft. For the most part, this situation comes about because, in the modern world, Wicca is more acceptable. This is despite the fact that both Wiccans and Witches are peaceful and tolerant of other religions. However, because of misinformation and prejudice, some still keep their distance.
Through the big screen, documentaries and even anthropologists, Witches and Witchcraft become separate from most other spiritual religions. Obviously these people like to make labels for others. Indeed, they can even shape the opinions of others. However, the fact is that Witchcraft comes under the pagan umbrella, despite what they say. Not only that but their portrayal of Witches is usually totally wrong!
Of course, those Wiccans who separate themselves from Witches and Witchcraft may do so because of others outside Wicca! This is not an ideal situation because it means that outsiders are interfering with a perfectly sound religion.
Religion And Witchcraft
First of all, Wicca is the religion and Witchcraft is a practice. Of course that is a general statement but if you see Paganism as the umbrella, both Wicca and Witchcraft sit somewhere underneath it. However, people practice Witchcraft all over the world, including people from other religions such as Christianity.
So, you can have a religion from outside Paganism and still practice Witchcraft. Therefore, it is clear that Witchcraft is a practice rather than a religion on its own. With this in mind, how you practice Witchcraft is your personal choice. If you wish to call it a religion, so be it. Likewise, if you are a Wiccan or a member of another religion, you too can practice Witchcraft.
Since I am using the Pagan Council website, I speak from the overlap between Wicca and Witchcraft. I hope I have made this clear as I don’t wish to speak as if I am from an outside religion. I am a Pagan full stop.
Witchcraft – The Craft
One thing we know it that Witchcraft manifests itself all over the world within many religions. All of those are strikingly similar of course. They draw inspiration and comfort from both the natural world and the spiritual world. Furthermore, they work in harmony with nature and even inanimate objects such as the elements. Sounds familiar? That is because it is!
The Pagan umbrella includes Wicca and Witchcraft, of course. Not only that, but all earth-based religions from around the world share the same umbrella. However, Witchcraft is just as diverse as Paganism and Wicca itself. For example, some people can be Eclectic Witches that ‘borrow’ what they need from many sources to achieve their aims. Then there are Witches that have their own specific family traditions and this is possibly the most secretive type.
There are many types of witches such as a Hedge Witch and a Green Witch but there are many more. Some Witches don’t even know what ‘type’ they are and this is fine. After all, we don’t need outsiders to give us a label, do we? But most would describe themselves as an Eclectic Witch.
Just like Paganism and Wicca is diverse, so is Witchcraft. However, we all still share the same umbrella and are tolerant of each other despite the differences. Since Paganism is becoming more mainstream and acceptable again, things could become more diverse in the future.
However, since most Witches pull their craft from many sources most Witches will remain Eclectic. Indeed, despite the rise in Witchcraft, nothing is uniform. Most Witches are solitary and once they ‘come out’, families and friends usually accept this. However, for those living in a deeply religious household, things could be different.
Female And Male Witches
The stereotype Witch is that of an old female hag but this comes from misinformation. Again, nothing could be further from the truth. Firstly, more and more younger Witches are coming into the Craft. Secondly, not all Witches are female. Although it is true that there does appear to be more female Witches.
To draw a distinction between the sexes, many use Wicce to define a female Witch. For the Male Witch they use Wicca. The pronunciation sounds similar to Wickay and Wickah respectively.
Feminism In Witchcraft
I have wrote about this subject previously so I will repeat here for those who don’t know. There does seem to be quite a few ‘feminists’ joining The Craft. In particular, they tend to become a Dianic Witch. For those joining Wicca because of feminism, that’s the wrong thing to do.
Feminism is a modern day phenomenon and is a political thing, of course. In Wicca, everyone is equal regardless of gender or anything else. So there is no need to fight for equality when this already exists in Paganism. By all means join the Craft, but please don’t bring politics into Wicca. We have a balance to keep and joining as an equal is the only way to maintain the balance.
Magic And Spells
One of the advantages of Witchcraft is that you are able to cast spells and work your magic (magick). This is nothing like the stereotypical old Witch casting terrible spells on people. Witches don’t really turn people into frogs despite what those outsiders say. Actually, it’s rather funny!
To gather more strength and positive energy, it is worthwhile casting a circle. By doing this your spells may become stronger, and your overall well-being may improve dramatically. Empowering yourself and becoming liberated this way allows your quality of life to improve in ways you couldn’t imagine before.
Finding out about The Craft and realising that you have always been a Witch can be a beautiful experience. There is nothing strange about the religion at all, in fact, earth-based spirituality is natural. Witchcraft can liberate you, but it takes time to relearn our lost traditions and religions. Don’t worry about those people who are ignorant to The Craft, remember you were once!