Wiccan vs. Witch

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Aesiryth
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Wiccan vs. Witch

Post by Aesiryth »

Hello, big question to ask. So, I know that there is a difference between a Wiccan and a Witch, kind of like squares and rectangles, but is a Witch able to cast the same spells as a Wiccan? Obviously, Wiccans use some of the same spells and take ideas from spells, but there are still spells and such that are very different. Especially since a lot of Wiccans make their own versions of spells. I've gone back and forward on considering myself a Wiccan or a Witch, and I lean more towards the Witch side for personal reasons. I like some of the spells that Wicca uses, but I'm not sure if it would work the same way. Any insight?

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Re: Wiccan vs. Witch

Post by SnowCat »

I'm not French or Spanish, but I speak some of both languages. Spells are language to help make something happen. The power comes from within you. Spells and tools are things to help focus the power.

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Re: Wiccan vs. Witch

Post by firebirdflys »

Do you cast a circle when you work a spell?
I have heard there are witches who do not consider themselves Wiccan. They do not necessarily cast a circle when making spells.
I believe most Wiccans cast circles in which they preform spell work. Maybe that's the difference?
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Re: Wiccan vs. Witch

Post by Jenny Crow »

Hello Aesiryth,

Wicca is a religion begun by Gerald Gardner back in the 1950's. Witchcraft is not necessarily a religion - it is to some but not to others.

Witches can cast spells just as Wiccans can. There are some Wiccans who actually don't cast spells these days.

To help you learn what exactly you wish to follow and practice I would suggest you read some good books such as Mastering Witchcraft by Paul Huson; An ABC oif Witchcraft by Doreen Valliente and Raymond Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft. They''ll give you a good grounding on the subject. :)

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Aesiryth
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Re: Wiccan vs. Witch

Post by Aesiryth »

firebirdflys wrote:Do you cast a circle when you work a spell?
I have heard there are witches who do not consider themselves Wiccan. They do not necessarily cast a circle when making spells.
I believe most Wiccans cast circles in which they preform spell work. Maybe that's the difference?
Bb, Firebird
Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. But I usually don't only because I struggle with pantheons, elements, God and Goddess, etc. to call on. I'm sure that's one of the differences, though.
Jenny Crow wrote:Hello Aesiryth,

Wicca is a religion begun by Gerald Gardner back in the 1950's. Witchcraft is not necessarily a religion - it is to some but not to others.

Witches can cast spells just as Wiccans can. There are some Wiccans who actually don't cast spells these days.

To help you learn what exactly you wish to follow and practice I would suggest you read some good books such as Mastering Witchcraft by Paul Huson; An ABC oif Witchcraft by Doreen Valliente and Raymond Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft. They''ll give you a good grounding on the subject. :)
My question wasn't really on what I should follow or how Wicca started as I already know, more of if Witches were able to cast the same spells as Wiccans. Obviously in this case the said Wiccans would be such that cast spells now-a-days.
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Re: Wiccan vs. Witch

Post by Siona »

firebirdflys wrote: I have heard there are witches who do not consider themselves Wiccan. They do not necessarily cast a circle when making spells.
I believe most Wiccans cast circles in which they preform spell work. Maybe that's the difference?
As a hedgewitch, I'm one of those non-Wiccan witches. :flyingwitch: Part of it does have to do with ritual structure, which includes casting circles, but as Jenny Crow said, it really comes down to the fact that Wicca is a particular religion and tradition, where there are many, many non-Wiccan witchcraft traditions. As following a more traditional witchcraft path I don't cast circles (I use a different ritual structure, though often not for simpler spells), I don't follow the Wiccan rede, threefold law, use all the same ritual tools, don't follow the God/Goddess mythos, etc, because they're just not a part of my tradition.

To answer your question Aesiryth, no, there's not really any sort of spellwork that a Wiccan can do, that a non-Wiccan witch cannot do. In fact, depending on the particular view of the Wiccan, a non-Wiccan witch might be open to more things like binding, hexing and the like - some Wiccans are more open to that than others, and of course, not all non-Wiccan witches go in for that sort of thing, either, but it's something that comes to mind. Aside from that, I think the only thing a non-Wiccan witch wouldn't have any access to would be the initiatory, oath-bound material of traditional Wicca - but that is less about spells, and more about the mysteries of their deities, and so on. (And other witchcraft traditions might have their own mysteries to work with.)
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Re: Wiccan vs. Witch

Post by SpiritTalker »

I think Siona has pegged it
Witchcraft can include hexing whereas Wiccans probably choose to harm none but can still protect self, family & home. Wiccans choose to use the prescribed structure outline but can simplify it for Solitary use.

Witchcraft evolved with humans from our earliest desire to control circumstances effecting our survival.
Wicca is a 1950’s reconstruction adapting ceremonial ritual & intended to give a common structure to independent covens from what I’ve read.

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Re: Wiccan vs. Witch

Post by mikezmac »

This is a rather condensed but clear explanation on Wicca. And more. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Wicca

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Re: Wiccan vs. Witch

Post by samikcha »

I think ...Wicca is a religion.. belief in a God and a Goddess and observe seasonal changes in the form of sabbats... worshipping the God and Goddess would be a primary thing... not spell work.. well that is important too.. but if u r just interested in spellwork and magick then you are a witch not a Wiccan.. that is what I think..

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Re: Wiccan vs. Witch

Post by Satara »

I never thought magic would have such restrictions, but maybe you could restrict yourself in such ways. If you are convinced a spell won't work because it's only for Wiccans, then it won't work, I'd say.

In the end, Wicca is "just" a religion that uses magic in its rituals and has a moral code how to use magic (generally). So it's probably more about believing in the Goddess and God, practicing rituals like the yearly holidays.
Magic usage on the other hand doesn't come with a religion or something in mind. And I think the most important things are always purpose, conviction and practice.

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Re: Wiccan vs. Witch

Post by Corbin »

Wicca as a 'thing' - both a craft and a religion - is recognised as the path developed by Gerald Gardner and Doreen Valiente. It is not the only witchcraft path to emerge when the Witchcraft laws were repealed in the 1951 in the fraudulent mediums act....

And just in case you think the UK became 'fuzzy and friendly' toward witchcraft - it didn't, it just officially recognised it as bunkum (which is the way some of us like it).

Other stuff arrived like Cochrains craft, appearing at the same time - strictly witchcraft not wicca (though Doreen Valiente later joined that also for a time until the bile leveled against GGs wicca pissed her off). Many of these claimed dubious or 'secret and ancient' family lineage in an effort to gain 'establishment' (like a 'right to exist as a thing' ; I can't think of the correct word... a weird thing perhaps to an American audience but a historical curiosity of the stuffy side of British class, originating from the class system). As Starhawk once commented astutely, and no doubt also with a wry smile - 'bulls*it makes excellent fertiliser'.

So it was popular and as a fresh draft from a magical spigot it quietly grew. So stuff like Alexandrian witchcraft and Seax-wica sprung up from the streams from the same fountain. We continued to diversify for many different reasons as we 'practiced' - that's the important factor; practice.

I would argue (and have done many... Many times) that wicca and witchraft as terms became interchangeable for a while even then (I have several older books that start out being definitely not wicca and swiftly the author reverts to those terms). For quite a while I mixed terms mostly because I voraciously read older, but not ancient literature on the subject. Oxfam bookshops, gotta love them.

Like it or not, Gerald Gardner and Doreen Valiente were the parents of modern witchcraft.

However...

It was Scott Cunninghams 'My Wicca' that cemented the attachment of wicca=witchcraft in the US I guess due to its sheer inclusivity and popularity. The Wiccans rose in America and produced some pretty good stuff too. Witches became published witches and stuff grew.

Then the term 'wiccan' kinda fell out of fashion, with people busily promoting the own brands of 'definitely not wicca' and 'I can't believe it's not wicca' - Pop culture had caught up with us.

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Re: Wiccan vs. Witch

Post by Lord_of_Nightmares »

Casting a circle is from Ancient Sumerian magical practices. They're not Wiccan. So yes a witch can use Wiccan spells. It also works on the opposite
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Re: Wiccan vs. Witch

Post by Satara »

@Corbin:

But couldn't one say that every religion has its craft? There are almost always rituals and practices that are linked heavily to a religion. A Buddhist will most likely also have a meditation habit, a Christian often goes to church on Sundays or at holidays. I think at it's core, almost every religion is a craft.
Then the term 'wiccan' kinda fell out of fashion, with people busily promoting the own brands of 'definitely not wicca' and 'I can't believe it's not wicca' - Pop culture had caught up with us.

People remain people.
That's something I'll never quite understand. Yes, people are people, but we seriously don't learn a thing. I don't consider myself Wiccan, but I won't go around telling every Wicca I find that I'm "definitely not like you". Respecting each other is still a thing, and in most modern countries, we have freedom of religion and belief, so this bickering is even highly pointless.

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Re: Wiccan vs. Witch

Post by Corbin »

Satara wrote:
Tue Aug 25, 2020 5:28 am
@Corbin:

But couldn't one say that every religion has its craft? There are almost always rituals and practices that are linked heavily to a religion. A Buddhist will most likely also have a meditation habit, a Christian often goes to church on Sundays or at holidays. I think at it's core, almost every religion is a craft.
Then the term 'wiccan' kinda fell out of fashion, with people busily promoting the own brands of 'definitely not wicca' and 'I can't believe it's not wicca' - Pop culture had caught up with us.

People remain people.
That's something I'll never quite understand. Yes, people are people, but we seriously don't learn a thing. I don't consider myself Wiccan, but I won't go around telling every Wicca I find that I'm "definitely not like you". Respecting each other is still a thing, and in most modern countries, we have freedom of religion and belief, so this bickering is even highly pointless.
Personal opinions only.

Yes every religion has its rituals and symbolism.. but also has its esoteric core or mysticism. Religions are founded by mystics but developed by (at best) the faithful, then the blind unthinking learned-believers and then (at worst) those abusing it for temporal worldly power.

Faith is not belief, it transcends it. It is within Spirituality and It is a gift. The mystics oracle.

Christianity has gnosticism, judaism has the kaballah. They are part of a faith but often at odds with the mainstream dogma of religion.
Mysticism has no denomination and considers the dogma as guidelines for the masses and symbolism as guideposts for the faithful and inquisitive.

Now if we consider wicca simply as Gardners practice it was a craft-religion. While witchcraft is a part of that wicca, wicca doesn't have to be a part of witchcraft in the same way as you don't have to be Buddhist to meditate. Like mysticism, meditation has no denomination.

Interestingly in Eastern practices the word 'religion' and 'spirituality' mean practically the same thing. The labels are things people get all hung up on though.

I call it 'window dressing'.

Witchcraft doesn't need to have religion or moral bounderies to work at all - chaos magic works (because belief is not faith) - but people benefit from a broader awareness of cause and effect - reaping what you sew.

Hell, people work magic all the time without even realising it.

I was trying to clear up why Wicca is often equated with witchcraft entire - at some point in history the terms became vague, mostly due to authors truth be told. Now it seems egos have entered the equation.

Pete Jennings, ex-head of the pagan federation called (paraphrased) organising or getting pagans to agree on something like herding cats.

-----

We have been bickering and posturing as a species and then society since we came into being - why do we think that is even going to change? The wise try to be kind to each other or at least keep the disagreements playful and good natured. Having seen the 'witchwars' and pissing contests aplenty - despite our best intentions, witches are people too. Fallibility is what we all have in common.

I try to give people a free pass these days, I believe they call it mellowing with age 🤣😂

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Re: Wiccan vs. Witch

Post by firebirdflys »

Satara wrote:
Tue Aug 25, 2020 5:28 am
That's something I'll never quite understand. Yes, people are people, but we seriously don't learn a thing. I don't consider myself Wiccan, but I won't go around telling every Wicca I find that I'm "definitely not like you". Respecting each other is still a thing, and in most modern countries, we have freedom of religion and belief, so this bickering is even highly pointless
It's really unfortunate the splitting hairs around NOT being Wiccan or my trad is witchier than yours, yet Wicca was that very movement that largely opened the doors to all manner of witchcraft. It became the bridge for us all to choose our paths, yet so many are appalled to be associated with Wicca. I also do not consider myself Wiccan, yet have many practices that taste like Wicca. When trying to explain to an outsider my path, and then say, well... it's like Wicca they suddenly get it. I don't really care.
>Shrug< I dunno, division seems to be the way of things these days, and that is bumming me out.
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