Wicca? Witchcraft? What's The Difference?

Wicca? Witchcraft, they are the same aren't they? Well not quite! There are very distinctive differences between these two practices. However, before I get into those differences I want to share my personal story coming into the craft. 

My Story

I knew I was a witch at a very young age, i'd estimate around age 8 or so maybe even younger. It's something i've always been incredibly passionate about. 

I don't really remember why the word witch was so important to me growing up; maybe it was their ability to transform their world in accordance to their will through magick? Or perhaps it was their tools, the cauldron & their familiar the frog/toad or black cat. I just knew that I was a witch! 

When I was in 6th grade in middle school, I remember starting off searching for information about witches. I was in a new school and their library had books besides just silly story books. I set out to find all I could about Witches so I could "officially" become one. 

Of course my middle school's library didn't have any books on how to become a Witch, they had plenty on the witch trials or the "burning times." I was a bit disheartened from that because naturally their scholarly point of view was "witches do not exist!" Pfft! I was a witch so of course they existed! 

Being naturally persistent and not giving up on something I wanted, I talked to my family (I was lucky enough to have very supportive aunts & parents!) My aunt told me that she had some books she would give me. I was really excited! 

One of those books was Paul Huson's book "Mastering Witchcraft." If you haven't read this book I highly recommend it; but for my 11 year old self, it was intense! I enjoyed it & found it only fueled my interest to find out more information about it! So I went to the bookstore and found some great books; celtic magic by Dj conway was probably the most influential book I read before I started my official witch journey, the first ritual I ever cast was from that book. 

It was a full moon, I was camping at the beach with my mom; I had let her read the book and the ritual. I completed my first full moon ceremony that night and It was so influential at the time that I woke up with my first moontime the next morning. I was officially inititated into being a witch that night! 

It was so powerful & to this day, though I don't remember an awful lot of my middle school years that moment sticks out in time! 

So i continued with other books from Scott Cunningham, Dorothy Morrison, Silver Ravenwolf, DJ Conway, Diane Stein, Ed Fitch, and Raven Grimassi. Of course one of the things that I didn't realize at the time that all of these authors wrote from a Wiccan perspective. 

After I graduated high school and really stepped into myself as a witch, I started doing more research on wicca & witchcraft and the differences because at the time I believed they were the same thing, it wasn't until several people corrected me that I realized that there was a difference between the two. 

What Are The Differences Between Wicca & Witchcraft? 

First let me start off with the similarities:

  • They are both nature oriented, meaning that their ingredients & practices, techniques for entering into an altered state of consciousness, and their practices are very shamanic in nature. 
  • They both can work with a male or female deity. 
  • Both can involve spells & rituals to create change or honor the seasons. 

The Differences:

  • Wicca is a religion, military can request the pentagram on their tombstone and observe Wiccan ceremonies. As can the incarcerated. 
  • Witchcraft is a practice any religion can have witches; there are Christian's who identify themselves as witches, Jewish witches, Muslim witches. Witchcraft is simply something someone is/does it's not a belief system. 
  • Wiccan's adhere to the "Harm None & The Rule of Three" (explained in the link).
  • Witchcraft there is no code of conduct, because it's not a religion. Just as there is no code of conduct in the crochet or knitting world, it's just a craft that people can do and adapt to their personal beliefs and preferences. 
  • Wiccan's observe the wheel of the year- holidays that align with the solstices. 

So Do I Practice Witchcraft or Am I Wiccan?

Well when I first started off on my witch journey, I identified myself as Wiccan because it's what I knew, it's what was readily available for me at commercial bookstores. A quick side note that there are few really good books on Witchcraft at bookstores 98% of what you find on the shelf are books on Wicca- even if they say witchcraft! Now that I am older, have a job of my own and have done extensive research (we are talking over 200 books yo!) on Wicca and Witchcraft. I am just a witch, I don't hate Wicca, i think it's a very beautiful religion, however, I have always been a "march to your own drum" kinda girl. 

Being Wiccan served me well for many years, I was Wiccan for a good five years before I veered away from calling myself that. 

I'd love to know what you are? Are you a Witch or Wiccan?