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Types of Witchcraft
Witchcraft is a broad term that varies by culture. Traditionally the term witchcraft is used to describe the practice of magick or the use of supernatural powers. Witchcraft itself is not a form of religion, it is a lifestyle, a spiritual practice, a manipulation of energy. As such, it can be practiced by anyone, regardless of religious belief.
The Witching Community of today the
Types of Witches
Religious witches include religion in their witchcraft practice. You may be religious and a witch, without being a religious witch. The purpose of forging a relationship with a deity is to strengthen your
witchcraft practice and your understanding of the world around you. The most well-known type of religious witches are wiccans, who honor the God and the Goddess as complementary entities. Many pagan witches worship pantheons of gods and goddesses, such as ancient Egyptian, ancient Greek, ancient Roman, Norse, and Celtic. A witch may choose to primarily honor one deity in a pantheon, or call on different deities for different parts of their practice. A religious witch can also believe in any current religion, such as Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, or Hinduism, and include the associated dieties/entities in their practice. Deity work is an important part of the religious witch’s practice (though they may have non-deity related practices as well), and may include a dedication altar, offerings, evocations, and deity communication via meditation or dreamwork. Each individual witch or coven will have their own relationship with deities, and therefore a unique practice that works for them.
Secular witchcraft is the use of witchcraft without religious association. This is not to say that secular witches don’t have a religion, just that it is separate from their witchcraft.
Typically, secular witches believe in the ebb and flow of energy in the universe at a bare minimum. The power of secular witches is typically sourced from the Earth or natural world, as well as within oneself. Secular witches may work with fae or spirits, but typically do not work with deities.
Being a hereditary witch means that witchcraft has been passed down your family for generations. Typically, this means that hereditary witches enter witchcraft with resources and relationships or contacts (deities, fae, spirits, etc). Hereditary witchcraft is not a type of witchcraft, so much as an identifier, similar to calling yourself a solitary witch or a secular witch. Some hereditary witches can trace their witch lineage back hundreds of years, while others begin with the Wiccan religion or even later.
It is a debated topic whether bloodline is required to be a hereditary witch, but many people now prefer the more inclusive definition of hereditary, allowing adoptees and the like to claim hereditary status. Some witch families have their own familial practices, similar to coven work, while others are solitary and only provide guidance and knowledge to the next generation.
Eclectic withes are those who incorporate a variety of elements from multiple sources, picking and choosing those things that speak to them. Often eclectic witches are solitary as their
practice & beliefs are individual to them alone.
When starting on your own path, there are so many possibilities. It can be difficult to chose only one tradition or belief system. But the good new is, you don't have to!!
Solitary Witches, as the name suggests, practice their witchcraft alone. But being a solitary witch is only one identifying characteristic. Solitary witches can be religious or secular, eclectic or
traditional, etc. Solitary witches have no rules or restrictions, this permits them a great deal of freedom.
Coven witches, as opposed to solitary witches, are those who practice with other witches. Each coven is unique. Some require an initiation ritual, along with other conditions. Often covens share beliefs
and traditions and impose certain restrictions. Some consider certain sacred numbers (ei 7 or 13) to be the ideal number of witches within a coven, but realistically, 3 or more is considered a coven. two witches is often considered a "working couple".
Witchcraft is as varied as the witches who use it, each choosing a different method of practice. Here are some common methods of witchcraft practiced in different traditions.
Divination is the practice of exploring & discovering hidden significance or the cause of events in one's life, or to foretell the future by using magickal methods.
The term Divination is derived from the Latin word "divinare" which means: to foresee, to foretell, to predict, or to prophesy. It also relates to the Latin word "divinus" meaning divine.
Sources of Magick
Witchcraft is as varied as the witches who use it, each choosing a different method of practice. Here are some common methods of witchcraft practiced in different traditions. Elemental Magic is a powerful force to draw from & many witches will feel most drawn to one or two specific elements.
& Earth Magick
The Earth element is associated with grounding & stability. Earth magic incorporates plants, crystals, gems & metals, and animals.
Green Witches are quite common in today's modern witching community. Often specializing in gardening & the uses of Herbs in their practice. Those who associate strongly with the element of Earth are known to be generous & grounded, but they can also be over-cautious and sometimes they need a push to take risks. Many Garden & Kitchen witches also identify as Green Witches.
& Water Magick
The Water element is associated with the flow of emotions & ideas. It is a powerful tool for cleansing & healing.
Water is commonly used in magick as it has powerful absorbing abilities. Water will take on the essence & energy of objects placed within it. Those who associate strongly with the element of Water are known to be intuitive & flexible, but they can also be emotionally sensitive. Their practice often focuses on healing & cleansing. They love collecting water from a variety of sources.
& Fire Magick
The Fire element is associated with will power & hope. Fire incorporates both warmth & light. It is ever changing, powerful, dynamic & difficult to
control. It is the most dangerous of the elements & there for requires caution when working with fire magick.
Those who associate strongly with the element of Fire are known to be strong willed & courageous, but they can also be aggressive & stubborn. They are often drawn to candle magick.
& Air Magick
Air is invisible & intangible, perhaps this is the reason it represents mystery & wisdom. As water is to emotions, air is to intellect. Air is refreshing &
purifying. We all know the power of a breath of fresh air. The Air element is often represented by smoke.
Those who associate strongly with the element of Air are known to be gentle & intellectual, but they can also be detached from their emotions & overly rational. They are often drawn to birds & the weather.
& Cosmic Magick
Sounds such as the ringing of bells or the spoken encantation
Music is magick,
Traditional Sources of Magick
Hedge witches are typically solitary witchcraft practitioners, focused on herbology and understanding the natural world. Their interests and magical preferences vary greatly, but
most are involved with healing magic, hearth/home magic, and protective magic. Hedge witches are experts at fitting magic into their everyday routine. A common activity for hedge witches is hedge riding. This is when the witch enters the spirit realm completely. There is less control than astral projection, as you can only control your own spirit body and not your surroundings and other spirits. Hedge riding is experienced differently by every witch, but the outcome is the same- a level of enlightenment that aids the witch in powerful magic. Some hedge witches engage in hedge riding, but it is not strictly necessary to be a hedge witch. You should not call yourself a hedge witch if you don't believe in the benefits of astral projection and hedge riding. (Use eclectic witch, herbalist, or hearth witch instead.) However, you may choose not to engage in astral projection or hedge riding and still call yourself a hedge witch.
Foxglove Academy strives to provide free, quality information to witches all over the world. We are always working on new content. we thank you for your patience!
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