I counsel for a living. It’s my career path in life, it’s how I pay my bills. I’ve been living a Pagan Wiccan lifestyle for 34 years. Please don’t comment asking for direction with your life. That’s what my email is for and that’s what the PayPal button is for. If you need to seek this Pagan’s advice and counseling, email me at…
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There are many belief systems – I haven’t touched on all of them, but those I felt important to know are listed below. Knowing how to properly identify who you are and what you will become can take time and personal experiences. There’s no rush so don’t push yourself to have to “fit in” to any category. Over the course of your life, you may change many times.
There are positive people and there are negative people, “it’s the law of attraction” if you behave negatively – then you attract negativity, (and visa versa), it’s physics – that’s what I believe. I categorize people in that way, I don’t care what religion you are – it’s how you behave and treat others, yourself, and this precious earth we ALL live on.
“Magic is magic, be it used to help or hinder. What you use it for will determine what kind of person you really are.”
Wicca: A modern Pagan religion with spiritual roots in the earliest expressions of reverence for nature. Some major identifying motifs are: reverence for both the Goddess and God; acceptance of reincarnation and magick; ritual observance of astronomical and agricultural phenomena; and the use of magickal circles for ritual purposes.
Witch: A practitioner of folk magick, particularly that kind relating to herbs, stones, colors, wells, rivers, etc. It is used by some Wiccans to describe themselves. Being solitary or a member of a coven. This term has nothing to do with Satanism.
Witchcraft: Witchcraft is a Pagan folk – religion of personal experience. The craft of the witch – magick, especially magick utilizing personal power in conjunction with the energies within stones, herbs, colors, and other natural objects. This belief system also has nothing to do with Satanism – Black magic (which some mistakenly take as Witchcraft) has traditionally referred to the use of supernatural powers or magic for evil and selfish purposes. Modern Wicca and Witchcraft practitioners have sought to distance themselves from those intent on practising with the dark arts. Voodoo has its own distinct history and traditions that have little to do with the traditions of modern witchcraft. Their penchant for magic associated with curses, poisons and zombies means they, and Voodoo in general, are regularly associated with black magic in particular.
Maleficium (Sorcery): is a Latin term meaning “wrongdoing” or “mischief”, and is used to describe malevolent, dangerous, or harmful magic, “evildoing,” or “malevolent sorcery.” In general, the term applies to any magical act intended to cause harm or death to people or property. Maleficium can involve the act of poisoning or drugging someone, and is often used in dark arts (black magic) and Necromancy (a form of magic involving communication with the deceased).
Pagan/Neo-Pagan/Paganism: General term for followers of Wicca and polytheistic Earth-based religions. The term “neopagan” provides a means of distinguishing between historical pagans of ancient cultures and the adherents of modern religious movements. Even Vikings were Norse-Pagan. These religions include syncretic or eclectic approaches like Wicca, Neo-Druidism, and Neoshamanism at one end of the spectrum. Also used to refer to pre-Christian religious and Spiritual belief systems. “Neopagan” is often deemed offensive and not used by many contemporary Pagans, who claim that the inclusion of the term “neo” disconnects them from their ancient polytheistic ancestors. Beliefs and practices vary widely among different Pagan groups; however, there are a series of core principles common to most, if not all, forms of modern paganism. Polytheism – One of the most important principles of the Pagan movement, the belief in and veneration of multiple gods and/or goddesses. Animism & Pantheism – is the holistic concept of a universe that is interconnected. In both beliefs divinity and the material and/or spiritual universe are one. For Pagans, Pantheism means that “divinity is inseparable from nature and that deity is immanent in nature.” Animism it can refer to a belief that everything in the universe is imbued with a life force or spiritual energy. In contrast, some contemporary Pagans believe that there are specific spirits that inhabit various features in the natural world, and that these can be actively communicated with – some which use animal spirits as a spiritual guide. Such views have also led many pagans to revere the planet Earth as Mother Earth, who is often referred to as Gaia after the ancient Greek goddess of the Earth.
Shamanism: A Shaman is an intermediary between this world and the spirit world. Shamans believe that unseen spirits permeate the world around us, act upon us, and govern our fates. They act on behalf of the community conducting ceremonial rituals, healing the people, and helping to guide others on the shamanic path. A shaman’s life belongs to the village and it is their responsibility to ensure the well being of the family, the community and all of creation. Shamanism is an ancient healing tradition and moreover, a way of life. It is a way to connect with nature and all of creation. Their practices tap into the power Mother Earth has to offer and the ancient indigenous teachings are derived from the simplistic truths of nature. Their goal being to create internal and external harmony with all creation. In remote locations where tribal culture is still the way of life, shamans continue to hold the positions of counselor, healer, spiritual guide. Shamanism is the path of immediate and direct personal contact with Spirit, deeply intuitive, and not subject to definition, censorship, or judgement by others. It does not have attached dogma and hierarchies etc. of modern day organized religion. All shamans must undergo an intense apprenticeship, learning the timeworn practices of their vocation.
Traditional Witch – The witches who take the journey of traditional witchcraft, are interested in the old ways (pre-Christian), and are followers of history and the arts, building a foundation for their craft. Usually the craft is passed down generation after generation within family units. These witches are less inclined to participate in the worship of Goddess or Gods, preferring to work predominantly with the Spirit world and will often call on their ancestors or land spirits for strength. They work with moon cycles, planetary symbols and cycles, rune symbols, herbs and their chemical uses, the land and ancestors are very important to a Traditional witch. Traditional witches are drawn towards both the dark and the light, performing banishing and repelling spells. They do not to follow the threefold law or the Wiccan Rede, (just to be clear traditional witchcraft is not Wicca) but careful consideration and responsibility is taken when performing any magic whether it’s healing, hex, curse or banishing spells. They perform Shamanic journeying by inducing trance that involves drumming, rattling, heavy dancing, rocking, entheogens, meditation, flying ointments, and more. Hedge-riding is a practice that involves traveling to the spirit world through the use of trance work and other various techniques to alter the conscious mind (including entheogens, which are herbs and other substances used to induce trance) which allows the spirit to leave the body. Animism is a part of Traditional Witchcraft because they believe everything on this earth has a spirit or soul. They believe in an Upper World, Middle World and Under World. Under – those who’ve died, awaiting reincarnation or choosing not to pass on or can’t ascend. Middle – the here and now. Upper – spirits/souls who have ascended and no longer need a body as they can survive without the recharging of the spirit/soul that life is, or were never bond to a physical form/body to begin with.
Kitchen Witch: (aka – Cottage Witch & Hearth Witch) This Witch carries practical sides of the Wiccan / Pagan religion, magic, gemstones, the elements and the earth. A Kitchen Witch is usually recognized as practicing Celtic Wicca: Goes by the elements, the Ancient Ones and nature. They are usually healers, respected highly and once they are past their 40’s tend to take on a “Wise Woman” role as they have an abundance of knowledge and are admired for it. They work with plants, stones, flowers, trees, the elemental people, the gnomes and the fairies. But above all performs her magic in the Kitchen and has Goddess given talents for food crafting. Potions, herbal remedies, and natural instincts for over protection of hearth and home. Most often they make the best mates as they are very crafty in love and relationships – and it is said one who is a friend of a Kitchen Witch has many perks.
Is the practice of nature-based and earth oriented witchcraft, drawing on the folklore, folk religion and folk magic of ancient cultures as they connected to the forest; such as the tree worship of Druids, the kitchen craft of Italian witches or the keeping of sacred groves as presented in Gallic paganism. Green witches usually practice a traditional form of witchcraft in which the earth, trees, herbs, plants and flowers are consulted for their medicinal and magical value. They will grow their own herbs or Wildcraft them, and are very good at making herbal remedies. Belief in deities depends on the individual witch, though many Green witches acknowledge and earth mother or series of nature spirits as their deity. Usually, the spirits of nature, the dead (that of humans and animals) or the Fey have a large part in Green traditions. A form of green witchcraft which is better classified as Green Wicca was popularized by Ann Moura.
Hedge craft is a path that is somewhat shamanic in nature, (sometimes referred to as wise man & wise woman) as they are practitioners of an Earth-based spirituality. These are the ones who engage in spirit flight and journey into the Other world. They can, in this capacity, be very powerful midwives and healers. A bird of one kind or another is usually associated with the Hedge Witch, most commonly the raven and the goose. The term “hedge” signified the boundary of the village and represents the boundary that exists between this world and the spiritual realm. (they are said to be Night travelers or walkers on the wind). Their main function is mediator between the spirits and people. They may also work as a herbal healer or midwife. Some claim it to be the continuation of the practices of the cunning folk and wise-women, while others say that it is a modern tradition.
An individual approach that picks and chooses from many different traditions and creates a personalized form of witchcraft that meets their individual needs and abilities. They do not follow a particular religion or tradition, but study and learn from many different systems and use what works best for them. Many Eclectic Witches refer to themselves as Solitary Practitioners, Sorceresses, Hedge Witches, Green, White, and Grey Witches. Some consider themselves Wicca, as long as the Rede is adhered to, the Earth and the Universe revered. One main complaint made against the Eclectic Witch is that they are not true Wiccans because they build a taylor-made religion or tradition for themselves from the ground up rather than following an established or correct form of Wicca. Their minds remain open and are receptive to knowledge, ideas, beliefs and methods that others practice. They adapt well to different situations and create their own paths by what they believe to be true and right at that time in their life (simply put – they don’t follow rules). They like to explore and make their own mistakes and take from experiences in turn creating their own rules and traditions. It’s why you can bring 2 Eclectic Witches into a room yet they are totally different in the way they practice, live, and believe as they are all different in some way.
Hereditary Witchcraft : The term hereditary witchcraft, is given to the witch who has inherited the magic gifts through genealogy. (Keep in mind just because your Grandparents or Parents were/are witches does not necessarily mean you are too. Sometimes this can skip generations.) These witches are born, usually to a magical family and begin their journey very early in their life, using the gifts handed down through the generations. Born into a tradition of esoteric origin (the conviction that nature is a living entity owing to a divine presence or life-force). These traditions are often not recorded, except in Grimoires which are also passed down but very highly protected, but rely primarily on oral and physical tradition. Each family has it’s own unique traditions. Most will stick together as family units rather than covens.
Sea Witch: (water witch) As the name implies, sea witches are believed to be able to control many aspects of nature relating to water, most commonly an ocean or sea. They specialize in water based magic and worship Sea Gods & Goddesses. However, in more modern times, sea witches can also practice witchcraft on or near any source of water: lakes, rivers, bathtubs, or even simply a bowl of salt water. Sea witches use witchcraft related to the moon, tides, and the weather, and are believed to have complete control over the seas. In some folklore, sea witches are described as phantoms or ghosts who have the power to control the fates of ships their passengers. Sea witches often improvise on what they have, rather than making purchases from a store or from another person. Common tools include clam, scallop, or oyster shells in place of bowls or cauldrons. They are beachcombers and collect items including seaweed, fishing net, shells, sea grass, driftwood, pieces of sea glass, and even sand. Driftwood was used as walking sticks and charged as wands. Sea Witch works with what is termed ‘grey magic’ to maintain a balance of light and dark – most are solitary.
There are still many more types of witches – these are the most common. In the last decade more people practicing have branched out as individuals and found certain strengths and attractions to become a force all their own. Go with how you as an individual feel, as you never have to “fit” into a category – these are just here to help you if you don’t quite know what type you are yet. You just may have a connection to one. Good luck on your Journey 😉 Aldora