Witch or Wicca Witch
A Witch may be a Wicca but not all Witches are Wicca

Triple Moon associated with WiccaTriple Moon associated with Wicca

Witch or Wicca? - After much research about Witchcraft and the overwhelming influence of Wicca on Witchcraft today, these is MY thoughts on the subject
If you practice magic or Witchcraft do you call yourself a Witch? Most will say yes.  
But then are you Wicca?  
Is a Wicca a Witch? Yes.  
Are all Witches Wicca? NO!  
There IS a profound difference in types of Witches, Wicca is NOT the mainstream path, it is just ANOTHER path of Witchcraft.

Unfortunately there is a subsection of Wicca that think theirs is the one true path (heard this before?).

Guess what, you do NOT have to be a Wiccan to be a Witch!  

Browsing the web today I came across this -
"The religion that the Witches follow is called Wicca "

This is what I am trying to change. This is totally FALSE and it is RUBBISH. Not all Witches are Wicca or follow Wicca. This is what many "Wicca" themselves are putting out on the net. They really need to do some research themselves. Wicca is not the be-all and all owner of the titles Witch & Witchcraft. They are Pagan who practice Witchcraft.

I spent a long time researching the difference between Witchcraft and Wicca. During my research I found a huge difference between the two paths. Whereas Witchcraft was the old religion it became clear that Wicca is a modern religion based around ancient concepts and ideas. Studying the difference between Witchcraft and Wicca it became clear to me that Wicca was not the path for me. You may not approve of my views but as this site is based on my own path it is my view of what I have learnt.

Is Witchcraft a faith? a religion? NO. it is as it it states, it is a craft, it is what a Pagan practices. Many pagans practice Witchcraft but do not assume they are all Witches. There are many new misconceptions, misunderstandings and some quite frankly incorrect information out there recently about Witches, Wicca and faith.
So in my understanding and in the most general of terms, a Witch is someone who casts spells and works Magic as a lifestyle. A Pagan is a person who worships or honors Nature in all its basic forms. A Wiccan is someone who follows a goddess-based spiritual path. One can be a Witch, without being a Wiccan, just as a person can be a Christian, without being a Baptist. Wicca is a recognized religion, while Witchcraft itself is not considered a religion more as a practice. Thus, Wicca is best be described as a modern religion, based on ancient Witchcraft traditions. Therefore, a Pagan is anyone who is not Christian, a Wiccan is a follower of Gerald Gardner's principles and ideals, and a Witch is one who uses ancient Magic associated with one or more of the Old Paths; the Old Ways, Traditional Witchcraft.

There are many Pagan paths but here we will look more closely at Witchcraft and what it means after you strip away the ideas of Harry Potter and Hogwarts and the teenage shows now on TV that glamorize the craft.

Traditional Witchcraft
Traditional Witchcraft is a practice, those who follow the Traditional Witchcraft practice and call themselves Traditional Witches (like myself) indicate that they pre-date or otherwise differ from the Wicca path. Traditional Witches practice magic in their own way. They do not typically practice ritual in the very precise ways Wicca's tend to. The practice of Traditional Witchcraft is not associated with any religion. The main thing a Traditional Witch will use in the craft is two most powerful tools they have in their magic, will power and their mind. Most Witches do not follow the Sabbats etc like the Wicca's do, Witches tend to follow the sun or more traditionally the Moon as in past times. Wicca also honor the Goddess, again this is a part of the Wicca path, as is creating and closing a circle for spell work. All these rituals are not necessary to be a Witch.

A simple Altar of an ordinary modern witchA simple Altar of an ordinary modern witchCommon Traditional Witches are free to use whatever basic craft practices they choose. Witchcraft has nothing to do with a religion, Witchcraft is the practicing of the Craft and not religion. A person can be both a Witch and a practitioner of any number of religions or they may not practice a religion at all where Wicca IS a religion in itself. If you take away the "Wicca" you will find traditional Witchcraft a totally different path which is based on common sense,  your heart and your soul. Any spell can backfire be it good or bad and is a path where you do what is needed. Any spell is open to you if you are willing to take the consequences. There are many types of "Witches", Egyptian Witch, Pagan Witch, Satantic Witch, Celtic Witch, Hoodoo Witches to name a few.

Witchcraft, in its various forms, has been around since the dawn of man. In every corner of every continent in one way or another there has been the practice of Magic and Witchcraft. Before science there was a need for understanding the world around. It took the form of Magic but in fact a lot of it was the beginning of science. Shaman understood animals and the forces of nature, Druids understood the seasons, the weather and the land, Old Wise Women knew plants and herbs for healing. Every village had a healer and each healer used magic and Witchcraft.

Witchcraft underwent a change in the Middle Ages. Christianity was born and came to the forefront and it tore a great wound around the world, wiping out many Pagan religions, killing those who did not convert to the Bible. The Church "invented" Satan, or the Devil to scare the local people and used it as leverage against those who practiced what they said was black magic. It was a bleak time for Witchcraft and still today it has a stigma attached to it that most every day people really do not understand.

So what of Witchcraft today. It is undergoing a revolution in understanding among a growing following of Pagan practitioners. A growing awareness of nature, the need to protect it and understand it has made Paganism the 7th most popular religion in the UK (Census 2012) and Paganism accounts for 50 percent of all religions (Cambridge Fact Finder -1988).  

First Please Understand - Wicca is a MODERN religion!!

I find Wicca very limiting. Wicca is lifted from some practices of ancient Witchcraft. Wicca is not the only "Old Path" as Wicca itself did not exist before Gerald Gardner's "organized" Witchcraft into Wicca including the Wiccan Rede which also did not exist in ancient times, nor was it a concept in general. Before him, there simply WAS no religion known as Wicca. And while its roots go far back, predating Christianity, most other Pagan religions do as well. A Wiccan adheres to Gerald Gardner's version of Witchcraft and Magic as the "set" path of their choice.

The main part of Wicca is the Wicca Rede which is a type of law that Wicca followers adhered to practising this art. Wicca ethics and behaviour are guided by the Wiccan Rede. The Rede is the central part of the Wiccan philosophy and is central to all parts of the Wiccan religion. The Wiccan Rede is based very strongly on the basis that there is no evil or dark side. It appears that the read laws are in some ways a very constraining what you are able to practice.The Wicca RedeThe Wicca Rede

Most follows of Wiccan class themselves as Witches but as they cite the Rede "An Ye Harm None, Do What Ye Will" they are in fact Wicca's! General Witchcraft does not pose such constraints, in fact this,  the main part of the Rede, introduced by Gerald Gardner is a modern take on an old path and was unheard of until his "invention". The phrases "Merry Meet", "Blessed Be" and "Harm no one" are all Wiccan phrases. Wicca is based very heavily round the Rede, the circle and the wheel with Goddess intervention. It is a should I say gentle, innocent path which will very much appeal to many which explains its modern popularity.  If that is the path you feel drawn to then follow your heart. Although both Wicca's and Witches practice magical spellwork, that is where the similarity ends.
My Conclusion
It is sad that so many Wicca's think they are following an ancient path!

My years of being a Witch and studying Witchcraft it has been very hard to find information that is not completely based in Wicca. The biggest giveaways that you are looking at a Witchcraft site or maybe a book based on Wicca is mention of the "Rede", references to the "Horned God" and "Mother Goddess" and the saying in the form of Harm ye no one, do what you Will".

So what is Wicca? There is an amazing amount of information out here on what Wicca is, but in basic terms it is a path of Witchcraft which was "constructed" in the 50s, became popular in the 60s and now has a very large following especially in the United States. It is basically based on a law that is a set of rules called The Rede.

Anyone looking on the Internet on a simple search for Witchcraft will automatically find the top results all relate to Wicca. The idea of traditional Witchcraft has been totally overtaken by the Wicca influence. Most Wicca's call themselves a Witch without even understanding what it is to be a Witch, but refer to their craft as "old & ancient"!  Merry Meet and Bright Blessings are used heavily on social network sites and this is one of the major things that to me make a Wicca stand out. I wonder how many greet normal people in the street etc the same, way, maybe go up to their child's teacher and say "Merry Meet".

I put a post on my GothWitch Facebook page about Dark magic and a Wicca was quick to interject about harm ye no-one, but as I have heavily stressed, I am NOT a Wicca so that rule to me is non-existent. Witches use whatever is necessary using their own judgment to consequences without having to rely on a Rede.

Wicca is a religion and Witchcraft is a practice. Not all Witches are Wiccan, same as not all Wicca's are Witches. The focus of Wicca is on the Goddess and God (or Lord & Lady) the Wheel of the Year, and  spirituality. The focus of Witchcraft is on the use of magic in casting spells towards a specific goal and being in harmony with nature.

It is in this respect that most Wicca's class themselves as Witches by default as they have no other form of references everything leads back to the Wicca path.  
It is also unfortunate that most Wicca do not do the research on the Wicca history believing in fact they are following an ancient path where as in reality they are following a very modern limited made-up restricted religion.

Wicca is not the only path. There are so many paths of magic and Witchcraft that are so varied anyone looking to walk the path should spend time researching and discovering them, to learn the right path for them. Wicca does not suit everyone. To be a true Witch you need to find your true self and find the path that fits your soul like a glove, that you can live and breath. Witchcraft is not just a whim, it is a life, a path, a religion, a calling. It is you in all its entirety.

I hope here I can introduce you to ideas that are not based on the Wicca path, in fact this magic is everything, white, black, grey and everything in between. Welcome to Witchcraft without Wicca!  
Important - for magic to work, you must be a believer. If you do not believe, like all religions it will not work, plain and simple. The Universe will only give up its information to those who believe in it.

Those who don't believe in Magic will never find it...

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