What Kind of Witch Are You? 60 Witchcraft Traditions
Those who find themselves drawn to witchcraft might be surprised to discover just how many paths and traditions are open to them. In fact, you really are spoiled for choice. There is a witch tradition to suit every taste and interest.
I’m listing 60 of them here, but there are many more, as well as new hybrid paths. You may find out that you're interested in more than just one of these types of witchcraft, so I encourage you to explore and find the right one for you.
Am I a Witch?
If you are someone that has always been fascinated by the supernatural and you have always felt a bit different than other people, you might be a witch. Simply put, a witch is someone who uses energy to affect the world around them, someone who embraces the magical power that courses through our veins. There are some telltale signs to look for that indicate you could be a witch, such as an attraction to the dark arts, a love of nature, and the ability to identify the energy of any place you visit. The article I linked to also has a fun quiz to help you decide.
How Do I Know What Kind of Witch I Am?
The best thing about being a witch is that you get to choose what kind of witch you want to be. Unless you have been born and raised in a particular tradition by your family, you are the one who decides on what aspects of witchcraft you would like to incorporate into your life. It's a personal decision.
Different Types of Witches and Witchcraft
Here is a list of all the traditions I'll cover in more detail. If you are just looking for a quick reference, you need read no further. If you want to know more, scroll down the page to find the tradition/s you are interested in.
- African: An umbrella term for the many types of magic practiced in Africa.
- Alexandrian: Founded in the 1960s in Britain by Alex and Maxine Sanders and based on ritual and ceremonial magic.
- Ancestral: An ancient form of magic based around contacting the spirits of the dead and communicating with one's ancestors.
- Angel Witch: Practitioners of magic who communicate and work with angels and other divine beings.
- Animist: A witch who is in tune with nature and all living things on the planet. One who sees no distinction between humans, animals, plants, or any other physical object in the world.
- Art Witch: A magical practitioner who works with art as their primary medium.
- Arthurian Witch: Magic based around the old legends of King Arthur.
- Astarte: An occult order that worships the ancient Greek goddess of fertility and war.
- Astrology Witch: A witch who uses astrology in their magical practice and lifestyle.
- Augury: A witch who divines omens, signs, and symbols.
- Axis Mundi: The belief in a central pillar that connects the earth to the heavens.
- British Traditional Witchcraft: Local traditions, superstitions and spellcasting that sprung up all over the British Isles.
- Celtic Witch: Based on the study and worship of ancient Celtic deities, mythology, earth magic, and ceremonial rites.
- Ceremonial: A term that refers to practitioners of "high magick."
- Chaos Magic: A contemporary magical practice that blends all types of magic and is based on strong belief in the magic being used.
- Chthonioi: A variation of the Alexandrian tradition that also includes the pantheon of Greek gods and goddesses.
- Crystal Witch: A witch who focuses on using crystals in their magical practices.
- Dianic Witchcraft: An offshoot of Wicca which focuses on female deities. It is named after Diana, the Roman goddess of hunting, nature, and the Moon.
- Divination: A witch who specializes in divination, such as tarot cards, scrying, or other such means of discovering occult and hidden information.
- Dowser: A practitioner who uses the ancient art of dowsing to locate the ley lines that encircle the globe.
- Druid: Practitioners of the ancient Celtic religion.
- Earth-Based Witchcraft; Gaia: Nature-centric witchcraft based around old European traditions centered on harmony with the earth.
- Eclectic Witch: A witch that embraces all types of magic and magical traditions, refusing to be pinned down to one type of magical practice.
- Eco-Paganism: Someone who is an environmental activist who uses magical practices to defend the earth and help raise awareness of environmental issues.
- Egyptian Witchcraft: Magical practitioners who incorporate ancient Egyptian deities and magic into their arsenal. They may incorporate Wiccan traditions as well.
- Elemental Witch: A witch who works with the five esoteric elements: fire, water, air, earth, and spirit.
- European: An umbrella term for all of the witchcraft and magical traditions of Europe.
- Faery: Based on ancient folklore from the British Isles.
- Fellowship of Isis: An occult order based around the worship of the ancient Egyptian goddess Isis.
- Floral Witch: A witch who works primarily with flowers.
- Folk Witchcraft: This magical tradition is closely related to both British witchcraft (and its derivations) and Faery.
- Gardnerian: A version of Wicca based on the writings of Gerald Brosseau Gardner. The Gardnerian tradition is a highly structured form of witchcraft. It is coven-based and has a formal progression through degrees of initiation. Practices are kept secret, and many members keep their affiliation to their coven secret also.
- Green Witchcraft: A witch who bases their magical practice around things such as gardening and herbalism.
- Healer: Someone who uses healing magic.
- Hearth Witch: A witch who practices magic that is focused on the home.
- Hedge Witch: A solitary practitioner who follows their own path and a herbalist, who mixes up potions and brews in their kitchen.
- Hellenic: A form of magic and paganism based on the worship of the ancient Greek pantheon of gods and goddesses.
- Hereditary Witch: Handed down along the family line, hereditary witchcraft is unique to each family and contains many aspects of traditional paganism.
- The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn: An organization devoted to the study of the occult and ancient magic. Founded in England in the early 20th century, the organization helped revive interest in occult studies in Europe.
- Kitchen Witch: A witch who practices magic in the home and in the kitchen in particular.
- Law of Attraction: Witchcraft that is based on the now-popular Law of Attraction.
- Left-Hand Path: Witches who reject normal magical conventions and engage in the breaking of taboos.
- Lounge Witch: A witch who restricts their witchcraft to the home.
- Luciferian: Those magical practitioners who invoke and worship Lucifer, who is revered as the bringer of light and the morning star.
- Lunar Witch: A witch who works with the lunar cycles.
- Musical Witch: A witch who expresses feelings and thoughts through music.
- Neo-Pagan: An umbrella term that refers to the resurgence in all kinds of witchcraft and the ‘new’ earth-based customs.
- Norse: Known as seiðr or seidh, Norse witchcraft is based upon the ancient religion of Scandinavia.
- Satanic: A cult of defiance against the constructs of a dictatorial society, the church, and traditional magic.
- Scandinavian: A type of witchcraft practiced in northern Europe and derived from ancient Norse magic.
- Sea Witch: Practitioners of water-based magic who normally live in coastal areas.
- Secular Witch: A practitioner of magic that does not worship any deities.
- Shaman: A broad term used to describe a magician who works magic by deliberately entering an altered state of consciousness.
- Shinto: An ancient Japanese religion that is based around the worship of spirits known as Kami.
- Sigil or Word Witch: A practitioner of magic who uses sigils and weaves words into their magic.
- Solitary Witch: A witch who generally conceals their witchiness and works alone.
- Stregheria: An Italian form of witchcraft that has a lot in common with Wicca.
- Tech Witch: Someone who uses modern technology to aid in their witchcraft, such as using a microwave instead of a cauldron.
- Thelema: Founded by famed occultist Aleister Crowley, Thelema centers around ceremonial rituals and interpretations of ancient Egyptian rituals.
- Wicca: A form of modern paganism founded in England in the mid 20th century.
If you know of a tradition I haven't covered and it is one that deserves a mention, do let me know in the comments section at the bottom of the page. If you could share your experience of any tradition, that would also be helpful to other readers.
1. African Witchcraft
On the continent of Africa, witchcraft varies hugely from country to country. It is way too complex to be summarized simply as ‘African Witchcraft.’ There are healers, fortune-tellers, and practitioners of black magic. There are also witch finders whose job it is to seek out and imprison, torture, or kill anyone suspected of witchcraft. In some areas, the witch is revered as a healer and all-around good person. In other places, to have ‘witch’ whispered about you is a death sentence.
It’s a big subject and, if you are interested, I recommend you research on a per country basis. Unfortunately, space limitations prevent me from writing about it in any detail.
Alexandrian witchcraft is a tradition that began in Britain in the late 1960s. Taking Gerald Gardner’s reinvention of witchcraft, Alex and Maxine Sanders created their own version. It changed and morphed throughout Alex Sander’s lifetime. Based on formal ritual and ceremonial magic, Sanders described it as 'somewhat eclectic.' Students were expected to study as required and undergo initiation ceremonies.
Stuart Farrar, a student of the Sanders, wrote a popular book, still in print today, called “What Witches Do”, based on the workings of the Alexandrian coven. Farrar refers to the type of witchcraft they practice as Wicca, and I particularly like this quote:
Within Wicca there is much variety of emphasis on the factors I have mentioned. But the strength of Wicca is its flexibility. Rigid dogma, conformism, and monolithic organization are foreign to its spirit. The basic unit of Wicca is not any particular sect, but the individual coven and the people who compose it. Each coven has its own way, its own character, its own emphasis—and its own contribution. The mine of tradition is so rich that each coven can work its own seam. --Stuart Farrar: What Witches Do.
3. Ancestral Witch
A branch of folk magic and varying from country and continent. Ancestral witchcraft is focused on working with ancestors, both family and more generally. A practitioner of ancestral witchcraft performs rituals designed to connect them with the spirits of the dead. Witches, in general, only do this at Samhain (All Hallows, Halloween).
4. Angel Witch
The name might sound a little contradictory, but an Angel witch is someone who works with the energy of angels. It’s also the name of a UK heavy rock band. One person who works with angels is the author, Doreen Virtue. She would probably deny anything to do with witchcraft, but she does espouse working with angels to achieve your aims and improve your life.
There is another branch of angel magic, and it is a little more serious, focused, and less ‘fluffy.’ This is the type of work practiced by the writer, Damon Brand. He probably wouldn’t describe himself as a witch either. This energy work is based on working with the names of angels and their sigils (special symbols that represent them).
5. Animist Witch
Animism is the belief that there is living energy in all things. The term comes from the Latin ‘anima,’ meaning ‘breath of life.’ An animist witch sees no distinction between humans, animals, plants, or any other physical object. Additionally, they also believe that words hold their own life energy.
The animist witch sees the Universe as a whole, connected, living entity. Continually changing and evolving. When they do magical work, they tune into the pulsating live force of the 'all.'
6. Art Witch
An art witch works through the medium of art. She may express her witchiness through her work, and/or use art to manifest her desired outcomes.
7. Arthurian Witch, Isles of the Blessed, Avalon
An Arthurian witch takes the mythology of Britain’s King Arthur and creates a whole way of being based upon it. However, the problem with this is that it is only a fantasy because there is no evidence that the events described in the story actually happened. The King Arthur myth is mostly based on Geoffrey of Monmouth’s imaginative retelling of history. In other words, he made it up. In reality, we know very little about the real King Arthur.
There is evidence, however, that the hills surrounding Bristol and Bath in the South West of England were once small isles that rose above the sea. This is where Glastonbury is located, and the area was known as ‘Avalon.’
Astarte is an ancient Greek Goddess who was based on the Egyptian deity, Astoreth. Her origins are lost in the mists of time, but she was also worshiped by the Canaanites and Phoenicians. Astarte is the goddess of fertility and war. She is also seen as chief among goddesses.
Her followers today, study her history, mythology, and call upon her to aid them in ritual.
9. Astrology Witch
Some astrologists also embrace witchcraft and base their practice and lifestyle on the alignment and position of the heavenly bodies. An eclectic witch might decide to incorporate a little astrological study to aid her energy work. An astrology witch, however, is someone who is all about astrology and knows their subject inside out.
10. Augury Witch
An augury witch is one who divines omens, signs, and symbols. They are not a fortune-teller exactly, yet they are able to interpret whether a proposed course of action is good or bad. They can aid anyone on a specific spiritual quest.
11. Axis Mundi Witch
The Axis Mundi is a fascinating concept with roots in almost all ancient civilizations. At its core is the idea that there is a central pillar (either man-made or natural) that joins earth to heaven. Each civilization had its own Axis Mundi, for example, Mount Fuji in Japan, Uluru in Australia, The World Tree or Yggdrasil in Norse mythology.
An Axis Mundi witch studies the concept and its variations, and embraces the tenet, “As above, so below,” believing that patterns and events are mirrored—from the construct of the Universe down to the very particles of our own bodies.
12. British Traditional Witchcraft
British Traditional Witchcraft has many branches, too many to list here. Ranging from the wise woman, village midwife of old, to ceremonial magicians. Generally speaking, British witchcraft is based on local traditions and variations. From Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales, and the Isle of Man, traditions vary wildly. And they also deviate within the countries, regions, counties, and villages within those counties.
For example, I was born in Cornwall where there is a very strong tradition of wise women and men. Known as pellers or pellars, they were viewed as an integral and important part of society. True, there were plenty of frauds among them. And occasionally someone was wrongly (or rightly) accused of malevolent witchcraft and imprisoned. Usually, people respected witches because they knew it wasn’t a good idea to offend them; otherwise, misfortune would surely follow.
Traditional British witchcraft was not religious but called upon ‘the old ones’ (and variants thereof) to help with magical works. It’s as informal as it gets. A traditional witch might spend a long time preparing for a ritual spell, or she might simply utter a curse on the spot.
13. Celtic Witch
Also with roots in Britain is Celtic Witchcraft. Though the origins of the Celts have been disputed by scholars for years.
Somewhat different to everyday village witchcraft, Celtic witchcraft is, oddly, a much more recent development. It owes its existence to the rise in neo-paganism. Celtic witchcraft is built on the study and worship of ancient Celtic deities (mostly Welsh and Irish), mythology, earth magic, ceremony, and ritual.
Celtic witchcraft seems to have struck a chord with witches the world over and there are many new ‘traditions’ springing up everywhere.
14. Ceremonial Witch
This term simply describes a witch who practices ‘high magick.’ They usually follow some specific tradition, such as Hermetic, Thelemic, and Enochian. Often people who practice high magic wouldn’t dream of calling themselves ‘witch.’ Such a practice requires a lot of study and many accouterments for magical rituals. Rituals are carried out in a strict step-by-step fashion as prescribed by the particular tradition followed.
15. Chaos Magic/Witchcraft
A person who uses chaos magic (or magick) borrows from all kinds of other traditions. The term ‘chaos magic’ began in the 1970s in the UK. The central idea behind it is belief: belief in the preferred outcome, and belief in the method of working toward it. The main rule is that there are no rules. It couldn't be further from ceremonial witchcraft as described above, yet it will use elements of it if the practitioner believes it might help.
A chaos witch works on the same principle; taking various deities, methods, and systems from other traditions, ramping up his or her belief in the certainty that it will work and having total faith in themselves and their ability to change and create their reality.
16. Chthonioi Alexandrian Wicca
A variation of the Alexandrian tradition, Chthonioi Alexandrian Wicca is based in Boston, Mass. It boasts an unbroken lineage back to the original 1970 coven. It also breaks with the British version by including a pantheon of ancient Greek gods and goddesses.
17. Crystal Witch
A crystal witch focuses their practice on the use of crystals. Using them to increase and concentrate energy for a wide range of applications, including healing, protection, and divination.
18. Dianic Witchcraft
An offshoot of Wicca, Dianic witchcraft focuses on female deities. It is named after Diana, the Roman goddess of hunting, nature and the Moon. It’s likely that the worship of Diana was a cult back in ancient Rome. Dianic covens are usually, though not always, restricted to female members. This branch of witchcraft celebrates all things female and many members report that their coven helped and supported them through difficulties. Dianic witches will work magick on those who oppress or abuse women, and happily work binding spells on them.
19. Divination Witch
A witch who specializes in divination, such as tarot cards, scrying, or other such means of discovering occult (hidden) information. Someone may set out on the witchcraft path and then find themselves being wholly absorbed by the fascinating topic of divination.
Dowsing is an ancient tradition, and there are two main ways to do it. One is by using a hazel twig or lightweight metal rods. The other is by using a pendulum. A dowsing witch is one who incorporates dowsing into her witchy work. Dowsing is used to locate ley lines (energy grids that criss-cross the planet), underground streams and natural reservoirs, lost items, and all kinds of other things.
The modern or neo-Druid witch has a deep respect for nature and base their whole life on the druidic way. Often members of environmental organizations, Druids identify with Celtic culture. Some Druids claim an unbroken lineage back to ancient times, but there is no evidence for that. Plus the ancient Druid rites and knowledge were never recorded so modern Druidry is an attempt at reconstruction. They do have lots of fun, I’ve heard.
22. Earth-Based Witchcraft; Gaia
This covers a wide-ranging variety from Druidry, neo-paganism, Hedgewitchery, and the like. Simply put, it is any kind of nature-centric witchcraft.
23. Eclectic Witch
I expect there are more witches of the eclectic type than any other. An eclectic refuses to be pinned down to one tradition. They embrace everything that appeals to them and define their own path.
An eclectic witch might have an interest in crystals. S/he might enjoy tarot reading or healing. They might include several Wiccan practices. They may consider their path to be faith-based, or not. It's the chocolate box of witchcraft. No one can dictate to you what you should do or not do. It's unique to you.
Eco-pagans are usually environmental activists. They work hard to raise public awareness of problems. They often incorporate rituals that bind or oppose those they see as ‘enemies of the planet’. Their faith and belief that nature is sacred underpins everything they do. Eco-paganism embraces witchcraft and other branches of paganism as long as they share their values.
25. Egyptian Witchcraft
Egyptian witchcraft follows a Wiccan-like path, but focuses on the ancient Egyptian deities. They incorporate most other Wiccan elements, such as moon phases, the Wheel of the Year and the solar festivals.
26. Elemental Witch
An elemental witch is one who bases their path on working with the five esoteric elements: fire, water, air, earth, and spirit. They may also incorporate working with the ‘elementals’; creatures such as: salamanders (fire), undines or nymphs (water), sylphs (air), and gnomes (earth). There are many more elementals, all of them restricted to their own realm.
Like witchcraft practiced on the continent of Africa, European witchcraft covers a huge range of different kinds of witchcraft. Each country, region, and locale will have its own particular characteristics and traditions. Again, it’s best to explore country by country.
Faery traditions are based on ancient folklore, usually found in, but not restricted to, the British Isles. In Ireland, the faery folk are called the Tuatha de Danaan. In Wales, the Twlwyth Teg, and in Scotland, there are a whole bunch of faery folk, such as, Buachailleen, Brownies, Gnomes, the Gruagach, Heather Pixies, Pixies and Seelie Courts, But you must watch out for the bad guys: "Ghillie Dhu, Kelpies, Nucklelavees, and Fachans.
There is also a branch of Wicca called Faery Wicca.
29. Fellowship of Isis
Not to be confused with any terrorist group, the Fellowship of Isis began in Ireland in 1976. It is multi-faith and inclusive. It is based on the worship of the female goddess, Isis, the Divine Mother, ‘she of 10,000 names’. There are 26,000 members of FOL worldwide. Their website is well worth exploring.
30. Floral Witch
As the name suggests, a floral witch works mainly with flowers, their properties, and essences. She may work magick or focus completely on healing.
31. Folk Witchcraft
More commonly known as ‘cunning folk’, this tradition is closely related to both British witchcraft (and its derivations) and Faery. They are called by many names: white witch, pellar (Cornish), wise woman (or man). They work their trade among the population, their skills being advertised through word-of-mouth. There aren’t many left, but they are still around, if you can find them. These will be hereditary witches; their skills and knowledge passed down through the generations.
32. Gardnerian Tradition
Modern witchcraft owes its existence to Gerald Brosseau Gardner. Drawing on all the research he could muster, he created and crafted the religious movement, Wicca (although he did not give it that label). Some claim he received initiation into witchcraft from a coven based in the New Forest in the south of England.
The Gardnerian tradition, is a highly structured form of witchcraft. It is coven-based and has a formal progression through degrees of initiation. Practices are kept secret, and many members keep their affiliation to their coven secret also.
There have been a number of offshoots, namely the covens and traditions started by Alex Sanders in the UK and Raymond Buckland in the US.
33. Green Witchcraft
A green witch builds her life around such things as gardening and herbalism. She may specialize in essential oils, flower crafts or nature study. She may also incorporate other natural skills like healing and divination. A green witch may also be known as a hedge witch. Or a very hungover witch.
A healing witch may use one or more modalities. They include hands-on healing, Reiki, Quantum healing, spell work, visualization, or sigils. Herbalism might come under this classification but beware of any non-qualified person handing out healing ‘remedies.’ Herbs can be as powerful as any other drug.
35. Hearth Witch
A hearth witch’s practice is centered on the home. It’s similar to kitchen witchery. Hearth witches take as their representative, the goddess, Hestia (Greek), also known as Vesta (Roman). Hearth witches celebrate everything about domestic living: cooking, gardening, cleaning, bringing up children. It might seem a little mundane, but in fact, it isn’t. Anyone whose mother embraces hearth witchery is a lucky one indeed. Hearth witches might call on the help of Brownies and Hobs to aid them in their daily lives. One unhelpful house spirit is, of course, the Sock Monster.
36. Hedge Witch
A hedge witch is an individual; a solitary practitioner who follows her own path. Her tradition comes from the times when a hedge was the boundary where forest met pasture. It’s along this line the magical herbs of the hedge witch’s healing remedies are found. A hedge witch is a herbalist, mixing up potions and brews in their kitchen. They work with the forces of nature and the cycles of the moon.
37. Hellenic Witch
Hellenic or Hellenistic paganism is based upon the pantheon of Greek gods and goddesses. Many witches feel a kinship with the mythology of the ancient Greeks because their stories have such relevance to life today. It’s common for a witch to call on Pan to help her with a spell. Or to place a statue of Aphrodite on their altar. Should you be unsure of your new path, take a look at the ancient Greeks; they have a lot to offer.
38. Hereditary Witch
Much less common than some folk would have you believe, hereditary witchcraft is handed down from parent (or grandparent) to child through the generations. The problem is that mass migration, two world wars, and the advance of science disrupted the cycle. Many families dissociated themselves from their pagan pasts in pursuit of the American dream. Hereditary witchcraft is more prevalent in Europe and Africa.
39. The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn
This was an organization devoted to the study of the occult. In fact the Golden Dawn was the first of three orders in a hierarchy through which students progressed. The second was usually abbreviated to the Rosy Cross and the third was called the Secret Chiefs. Many of the rituals and practices of the Golden Dawn were incorporated into Wicca. It also shares certain commonalities with Freemasonry, as all three founding members were Freemasons. One very important distinction was that women were welcomed as members from the start.
The Golden Dawn was plagued by internal politics and disputes, and although two off-shoot temples survived until the 1970s, it had more or less disbanded by the mid 20th century. However several forms of the order have been revived and have an online presence.
40. Kitchen Witch
Kitchen witchery shares many practices with the hearth witch, the hedge witch, and the green witch. As you can guess, a kitchen witch bases their magickal work and practice around their home. Additionally, they also incorporate their witch-love and magic into their cooking. Originally a ‘kitchen witch’ was a kind of doll that hung in the kitchen to help the cook by preventing culinary disaster. These days the kitchen witch makes use of all modern tools available to her.
41. Law of Attraction Witch
This is a new breed of witch who bases their beliefs on the now ubiquitous Law of Attraction. In fact, all witchcraft was and is based on this concept. From the sympathetic magic worked by the Cornish pellar to the Wiccan three-fold law, it all comes down to LoA.
42. Left-Hand Path
There is a lot of confusion about the LHP. Many think that taking a left-hand path, magickally speaking, is about black magick or devil worship. This is not true. The left-hand path is much more about the rejection of convention and the breaking of taboos. LHP followers may well work with entities that many would categorize as demonic, but they might also work with angels.
43. Lounge Witch
A witch who restricts their witchcraft to the home, and often used as a disparaging term, yet no one who works in this way should care what others think. Some people can only practice witchcraft by themselves and at home for various reasons, including the fear they may offend loved ones, or because they are housebound. To all the lounge witches out there, you are no less a witch for working this way.
Lucifer is often mistakenly identified as the Devil due to the belief that, as an angel, he fell from God’s grace. Yet among many, he is revered as the ‘bringer of light,’ the path to enlightenment, independence, and progression. Luciferians are avid supporters of the arts, science, and the natural world.
The witch and astrologer, Margaret Montalban, founded her own branch of Luciferianism in England: the Order of the Morning Star. With her husband, she went on to develop a magickal system which they delivered via a correspondence course.
45. Lunar Witch
A Lunar witch bases her workings around the lunar cycles. Not only that, she takes the phases of the moon into account when making any major decisions and organizing her life. She may well create her magickal ingredients and potions according to the moon, as well as when planting seeds and seedlings. She is always aware of where the moon is in its monthly and 18.6-year cycles.
46. Musical Witch
Like the art witch, the musical witch expresses her pagan feelings and ideas through her music. A notable example, although she probably wouldn’t describe herself that way, is Kate Bush. Other ‘out of the broom closet’ musical witches include Lisa Thiel and Loreena McKennitt.
47. Norse Witchcraft
Witchcraft of the Norse tradition has a complex history based on a vast ocean of mythology. Known as seiðr or seidh, Norse witchcraft is a type of ancient sorcery. It was primarily associated with two main Nordic deities: Odin and Freya.
Neo-paganism is an umbrella term that refers to the resurgence in all kinds of witchcraft, including Wicca, Gardnerianism, and all the ‘new’ earth-based customs.
Satanic witchcraft came into being as a reaction to historical accusations of witches cohorting with the Devil. Its roots are in America, but with the advent of the internet, the movement has spread worldwide. Satanic witchcraft is a cult of defiance against the constructs of a dictatorial society. If you are for something, your average satanic witch will be against it. They hold that no person can have authority over another without their consent.
Satanic witches live by seven tenets:
- Live with compassion.
- Justice for all is the ongoing goal.
- A person’s body is inviolable.
- The freedoms of others must be respected.
- Beliefs should be in alignment with current scientific thinking.
- People make mistakes. We should right our own wrongs.
- Wisdom, justice, and compassion must always prevail.
Each of the above tenets is a guiding principal designed to inspire nobility and honor. Fair enough. I’d give my vote to a satanic witch over a politician any day of the week.
50. Scandinavian Witch
Witchcraft is big in Scandinavia. Anne Mia Steno, a research assistant at the Danish Folklore Archives, says that almost everyone in Denmark knows a witch, even if they don’t know it. Scandinavian witches are very diverse and they keep their practice secret. She also estimates that one in every four witches is a man. Scandinavian witchcraft takes elements from many other traditions, including, of course, the Norse tradition.
51. Sea Witch
Sea witches are usually to be found living near the coast, surprise, surprise. They make use of their surroundings, often working their magick late at night in a secluded cove. They are always in tune with the tides and moon cycles. They closely aligned with water witches; those who practice near rivers, streams, and lakes.
Originally, sea witches were portrayed as magickal beings who appeared on ships or as humans with the ability to control the sea and weather conditions. Sailors went to great pains to avoid offending them.
A sea witch may practice the art of austromancy; a method of divination based on the tides.
52. Secular Witch
Secular witchcraft is an interesting animal. It refers to a witch who does not call upon, work with, or worship deities in her witchcraft practice. It doesn’t mean that the witch doesn’t believe in a higher spiritual intelligence, only that those beliefs are not incorporated into her magickal work.
Yet a secular witch does make use of energy, and energy is the force that binds the universe together. To me, that’s Source, to some, God. Confused? Me too.
Shaman is a term for a magician who works magick by deliberately entering an altered state of consciousness. Shamans and shamanism are found all over the world in the ethnic religions of many peoples. The word is a western construct. Each tribe or society will have a different name for their personal shaman.
Shamanism assumes that the practitioner is a conduit of energy from the spirits and that s/he has a direct line to those deities who can help or hinder human beings. It’s a huge subject and well worth exploring.
Shinto is a Japanese religion that combines legends, folklore, diverse beliefs, and ritual, with the worship of gods and ‘essences.’ Many aspects of it date back to the 6th century. It’s charming, fascinating, and has much in common with animism. Its central tenet is ‘kami,’ defined as the ‘spiritual essence’ which permeates all things.
55. Sigil or Word Witch
Ah… this is me, or part of my witchcraft practice at least. I have a fascination with words and their influence. I also love the magical power of sigils. And as a lazy eclectic, sigils are perfect for my modus operandi.
A word witch weaves his or her magick into words. We know that merely writing things down can cause changes in ourselves and in the universe. We can bring our desired outcome merely by writing it down, putting some energy into it and then assuming, without doubt, that it will happen. What we don’t have control over (and neither would we want it so) is how it happens. Thus we are very, very careful how we craft our magickal words.
56. Solitary Witch
A solitary witch is one who works alone. They may keep their witchiness a secret. They believe they can raise more power and do more good relying on their own ability to channel energy. A solitary may also be any of the witch types described on this page. So a Kitchen witch may be solitary. A Wiccan might be a solitary.
Having said that, it doesn’t mean the solitary might not meet up with others for a good old knees-up in the local pub, otherwise known as a moot. After which, they may morph into a green witch and, on the way home, find themselves communing with a bush, thus transforming into a hedge witch. Magickal. Let's hope they have a good friend who can provide them with a hangover remedy in the morning.
One of the first books I bought on witchcraft was the late Scott Cunningham’s Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner. It is still sold in huge numbers and really, every witch should have a copy on her bookshelf (or on her Kindle device). This book is a foundational practice for many a Wiccan, the world over.
Seek wisdom in books, rare manuscripts, and cryptic poems if you will, but seek it out also in simple stones, and fragile herbs, and in the cries of wild birds. Listen to the whisperings of the wind and the roar of water if you would discover magic, for it is here that the old secrets are preserved.— Scott Cunningham June 27, 1956 – March 28, 1993
Stregheria, or Strega, is an Italian form of witchcraft. It has a lot in common with Wicca. In recent years, Strega has been given prominence by the writer, Raven Grimassi. However, not all practitioners agree on its format, and there seems to be a lot of rivalry between various factions. I’m always put on my guard when I see warnings on websites to beware of other sites offering ‘misinformation.’ To me, witchcraft is ever changing and evolving. Acceptance of all seems paramount to me.
Stregheria was first brought to the attention of modern pagans in the 1970s by Italian-American Leo Martello. Since then Grimassi’s writings and practice have driven the movement forward.
58. Tech Witch
A tech witch is one who makes the most of all the technology available today. They think nothing of working a spell on their phone, tablet, or laptop. They also work with others using such tools as Skype and Whatsapp. They may keep their grimoire or Book of Shadows in digital form. And there’s no denying that the advent of the internet has enabled growing interest in modern pagan movements.
Tech witches believe that using all the tools available, such as a microwave in place of a cauldron, is perfectly fine, as I’m pretty sure that ye olde village witch would have done the same if she had access to such resources.
Thelema is Aleister Crowley’s version of witchcraft. It’s religious, philosophical and based on its singular tenet: "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. Love is the law, love under will.” Which is a damn good one as far as I’m concerned.
Crowley’s system is based on ceremonial ritual, primarily derived from an interpretation of Egyptian traditions. Crowley is much derided, but modern Wicca owes a lot to his work, and he was a fascinating character.
The neo-pagan religion, Wicca, developed from a tradition created by the retired English civil servant, Gerald Gardner in the 1950s. Many people believe that Wicca is ancient, but it is far from it. It is based on all manner of traditions and has grown a slightly ‘sweetness and light’ veneer over the last few years.
In some ways, Wicca is lovely because you can construct your own version and make it be exactly as you wish. However, you have to be careful of any coven or organization which tells you it ‘must’ be done in a certain way. Wiccans can be as dogmatic as any religious sect.
There’s no evidence that Gardner ever referred to his particular brand of witchcraft as Wicca. However, it’s said that he called those who practiced it ‘wica.’ The first recorded use of the term Wicca was in 1962.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Questions & Answers
I am Christian but I have been drawn to witchcraft. I believe I may be a witch but I’m not sure I can be a Christian and a witch. Is that possible? Is there any advice you could give me?
There are many people who call themselves Christian witches. I've heard people call Jesus the greatest witch ever. If you're on Facebook see if you can find a Christian witchcraft group.Helpful 141
I've been gathering info on many forms of witchcraft for a while now trying to find what feels right to me, and so far, I love it all, I've done a couple of rituals calling on various gods/goddesses to help. I love all the different meanings I've found for various flowers to use in ritual or just in a bit of tea. Through all this I'm still not sure of two things: does the fact that I do these things make me a witch? And if so what kind of witch am I?
I would say you are an eclectic witch. However, the great thing about this way of life is that you don't have to label or classify yourself as anything if you don't want to. Having a label makes no difference to who you are or what you do.Helpful 81
I have a strong belief that I am a witch. I'm an empath and have known it all my life, before I knew the definition of the word. I was already using it to self-identify. I'm having the same feeling about being a witch. I don't know if it is possible to be both, but I read on another website that it is. I just wanted to know if there was something I could do myself to find out if I am a witch?
Of course, it is possible to be an empath and a witch. Witches are almost always empathic to some degree. If they aren't when they start, it's a quality they develop over time.
I have to keep clearing up this idea that being a witch is something innate inside you.
Having a psychic gift does not make you a witch. Witchcraft is a path you choose. And anyone can choose it. If it's something that calls to you, then give it a try. Many people feel as though they have 'come home' when they embark on the study of the craft.Helpful 66
I'm a descendent down my maternal line of the Pendle witches of 1612. I'm a solitary witch, a white witch, yet I seem to have the abilities of all witches, especially those linked to spirits and not religion. I seem to have the ability to visualise instead of gathering components of recipes. I'm also an empath and a healer. Is there a broader term for the type of witch that I am?
You don't have to have a label of any kind if you feel you don't fit into, or follow, any of the traditions. It seems to me that your gifts lie more in the realm of spirituality than practical witchcraft, so perhaps you are more of a spiritual healer than a witch?Helpful 6
I've recently become very interested in witchcraft. I would like to become a witch but not sure what my parents would think. I'm really interested in more of the healing/using plants, so I don't think I would be harming anyone. Do you think I should become a witch?
There are several reasons why you should not become a witch yet. Firstly, witches need to have a certain amount of life experience. The word 'witch' is thought to come from a derivation of 'wise.' Therefore, young people have not gained that necessary amount of life education. Secondly, if your parents might not approve, then you really can't do anything until you grow up and leave home.
Healing with herbs can be one of the most harmful practices of witchcraft unless you A. only use domestic cooking herbs or B. get yourself fully trained. Herbalism can be a good career choice, but you do have to know what you are doing.Helpful 2
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