Witchcraft vs Wicca (Witch vs Wiccan) A brief overview
In our modern world, the term Witch and Wiccan have gotten all jumbled and intertwined and are often used to mean the same thing. In truth, that is part of the very reason I sat down and wrote my first book on Witchcraft and Wicca about 13 or 14 years ago, because the lines between Wicca and Witchcraft had become so blurred in the modern teachings that one new to the path often never was even educated that there IS a DIFFERENCE!
Witchcraft and Wicca are not, nor have they ever been one and the same thing. They both have different histories and backgrounds and even beliefs and practices! I have seen a few books over the past decade that differentiate, but sadly more than not still teach Wicca as being the same as Witchcraft, as do many websites I still come across.
Education is the key! So, what is the difference… the main difference is that Witchcraft is a craft, a practice of witches, magic, herbs, midwifery, spells, healing, and ancestors, essentially a way of life or a practice, get it a craft! You say, well, Wicca has all that! Yes it does, but the big difference is that Wicca is not just a way of life; it is a religious way of life, a reverence of the Creator, of the Lady and the Lord or Gods and Goddesses and of nature, has the triple goddess, Maiden, Mother, and Crone and adheres to the Wiccan Rede of ‘harm none’.
Witchcraft is not a prescribed religion. Don’t get me wrong, witches of the Craft do tend to have a very deep, and some would say spiritual, connection to the earth and to the spirits of nature. Some do honor many Gods and Goddesses as well as the ancestor. However, Traditional Witchcraft is not a religion per say. Overall, since Witchcraft does not have to have any religious foundation at all, to be called Witchcraft and to be practiced, then you cannot say that Witchcraft, on the whole, is a religion, whereas there is not a doubt that Wicca IS a religion. (Conundrum: Witchcraft is recognized as a legal religion in the United States and a few other countries, and is not really considered a religion per say by its practitioners. Wicca is not listed, but since so many equate it Witchcraft, I guess many see Wicca as a recognized, by the government, religion, yet Wicca is a religion.)
Another big difference – in Witchcraft there are no real rules so without a doubt you will and do find Witchcraft used for good and bane a like. Wicca has a big rule, the Wiccan Rede, eight little words: And it harm None, do what you will. So, essentially, Wicca is not allowed to, or supposed to do bad or harmful magic, again, the same cannot be said about Witchcraft. So, to sum it up, one is a practice and one is a religion.
A practitioner of Witchcraft is called a witch. A practitioner of Wicca is a Wiccan. However, many Wiccan’s tend to call themselves witches as well. This is not going to change; I can tell you that for a fact. The thing is that you need to understand, if you are talking with someone and they term themselves as a witch, you need to discover if you are talking with a person that practices Witchcraft or a person that adheres to the religion of Wicca, because they are two very different witches.
A little more education here, the term witch is non-gender specific, so a witch can and is either male or female, not just solely used to identify a female practitioner of Witchcraft. I know some will throw the term Warlock around, any educated witch knows in the history of Witchcraft that term was associated with someone that breaks an oath, an oath-breaker, and no one wants to be considered a liar, so most that know our history will NOT go by the term of Warlock as a male witch, only witch.
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