What Is A Witch? Defining Witchcraft For Both Past And Present Day

What is witchcraft? Is it separate from magic or a subsection of it? Are the terms “magic” and “witchcraft” interchangeable? If not (or not always), what makes them different?

First of all, a fast etymology lesson. Witchcraft itself comes from theOld English word wicce (wicca in the masculine form), which specifically refers to a “female magician, a sorceress”. The masculine version is not much different. Either way both terms mean “a sorcerer, wizard or magician who practices witchcraft or magic”. In short, if you dig down into the roots of the term, both magic and witchcraft are more or less completely interchangeable.

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Witchcraft Has No Gatekeepers

Ten years ago if you had asked me to define Witchcraft I would have probably given you a rather generic answer that included a Goddess, the sabbats, and most likely magickal practice. I would have been rather passionate about it, but hopefully not so close-minded that I wouldn’t have accept answers differing from my own. Today when someone asks me that question I tend to shrug a little bit and answer with “whatever one wants it to be.”

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