Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

Blessed Mabon! In this week’s installment of Witchcraft 101: A Beginner’s Guide to the Craft

I’m going to be diving into the background of modern witchcraft, the difference between Wicca and Paganism, and different types of “modern” witches.

Lexico.com (Powered by Oxford) defines Wicca as “A form of modern paganism, especially a tradition founded in England in the mid 20th century and claiming its origins in pre-Christian religions.”1 and Paganism as “A modern religious movement incorporating beliefs or practices from outside the main world religions, especially nature worship.”2 

Let’s break this down into fun sized bites:

Paganism: is a nature-based religion that follows the idea of The Horned God and The Triple Mother Goddess. These two are equal in every way, and responsible for the changing of the seasons and all aspects of nature. Pagans celebrate “Sabbats” (like Mabon!) or holidays that correspond with “The Wheel of the Year”. Not all Pagans are Witches.

(If you would like to hear a little more about Paganism, I recommend this HerCampus article3 written by Lauren Eolin, a fellow Tampa Contributor)

Wicca: is a practice that branches from Paganism. It follows the idea that one may live the life they desire, as long as they are not intentionally causing harm to anyone. Most Wiccans also abide by the rule of 3. The Wiccan Threefold Law describes the rule of 3 as the law that whatever one casts out into the universe, it may come back to them threefold4. This mostly applies to harmful magick (hexes, curses, jinxes) and explains the risk that if one wishes to send harm out, they are risking receiving the same fate unto them (but 3 times worse)5.

A wiccan someone who is pagan and practices witchcraft.

They can follow moon phases, practice Magick, and follow whatever rules they please (or none at all!).  Witchcraft is a practice that revolves around the concept of Intuition, Magick and power of self. Witchcraft is not inherently good or bad, or tied to any one religion. You can be Christian and a Witch! Witches are not automatically occultists or Satanists, as these are individual practices just like any other. 

Here’s the million dollar question: “How do I know if I’m a Witch?”

  • You practice Witchcraft. That’s it.

WitchTok and gatekeepers may have you think that you have to have mystical powers and generations of witches in your family to be a witch. This couldn’t be farther from the truth!

As long as you are respecting yourself and Mother Earth, you are as valid a witch as any. 

 

A large portion of  modern witches today identify as different “types” of witches depending on the Magick they practice.

Some of these types include:

  • Green Witch- Deeply nature based, Greenthumb, Herbalist

  • Secular- Practices without aid from Gods, Goddesses or Deities

  • Kitchen/ Cottage Witch- Practices through food, crafts, hearth and home

  • Hedge Witch- Practices through spirit work, otherworldly travels (astral projection or lucid dreaming)

  • Sea Witch- Deeply water oriented, follows tides and uses mostly organic beach/ ocean materials

  • Faerie Witch- Woods/nature oriented, works with the fae. Great at crafting offerings and communicating with spirits

  • Solitary Witch- Exclusively practices alone

  • Eclectic Witch- Takes bits and pieces from all paths and practices. Super extra unique!

 

As always, I highly recommend doing your own research if you are deeply interested in the Craft and beginning your own practice. I also recommend checking out https://wiccaliving.com/ for more detailed information.

For now, I bid you a blessed Mabon and a beautiful first week of Autumn!

Love Eternal.

 

REFERENCES:

  1. U. (2020). Wicca: Definition of Wicca by Oxford Dictionary on Lexico.com also meaning of Wicca. Retrieved from https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/wicca

  2. Paganism: Definition of Paganism by Oxford Dictionary on Lexico.com also meaning of Paganism. (n.d.). Retrieved September 22, 2020, from https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/paganism

  3. Eolin, L., & Eolin, L. (2020, September 19). How I Realized the Main World Religions Weren’t For Me and I Am *Special*. Retrieved September 22, 2020, from https://www.hercampus.com/school/tampa/how-i-realized-main-world-religions-weren-t-me-and-i-am-special

  4. The Wiccan Threefold Law – Basics of Wicca. (2017, November 06). Retrieved September 22, 2020, from https://wiccaliving.com/wiccan-threefold-law/

  5. What is Wicca? A Beginner’s Guide to the Wiccan Religion. (2017, November 06). Retrieved September 22, 2020, from https://wiccaliving.com/what-is-wicca/

  6. What is Witchcraft? A Beginner’s Guide to the Craft. (2017, November 06). Retrieved September 22, 2020, from https://wiccaliving.com/what-is-witchcraft/

 

Capricorn ☀️ Gemini ? Taurus ? Maryanna is a freshman Art Therapy major at the University of Tampa. She loves all things wellness, spirituality and the metaphysical lifestyle. You can often find her in the park painting pictures of cows, or on Instagram @maryanna__bee. Blessed Be!