Sunday, August 30, 2009

Traditional Witchcraft and Wicca: What's the Difference?

Readers often assume that since I practice witchcraft, I must be a Wiccan. I am not. I practice Traditional Witchcraft. At Spiritual.com.au, Branwen discusses some differences between Traditional Witchcraft and Wicca.
... The first, and I believe the most important, difference between Wicca and Traditional Witchcraft is the relationship to Deity or deities. Wiccans worship a Goddess and sometimes a God, regarding them as supreme beings. Traditional Witches do not worship any entity as their superior, though they recognize the existence of other entities. They believe in the equality of all beings in the Universe, seeing them as different, separate, but never superior or inferior. This difference is often a source of confusion. A traditional witch may speak of the god and the goddess, usually referring to the female and male aspects of Nature, and while they revere and respect Nature, they do not worship it or its representatives. A Wiccan may speak in similar terms but Wiccan rituals make it clear that the Goddess and God are seen as superior beings to be worshipped. This dualism forms the basic foundation of Wiccan theology, the necessary feminine and masculine components of creative energy. Traditional Witchcraft, however, is polytheistic and animistic, incorporating a number of spirits/deities into a meaningful whole.

[...]

Traditional Witchcraft has neither the Wiccan Rede nor the Threefold Law. There is no morality test, only personal responsibility and honor. Also, there is no good or evil, only intent. Humans have the ability to make decisions and act on them, and they may choose and act with good or evil intentions. Traditional Witchcraft does not set out laws as to what actions and intentions are evil, but followers of this path take responsibility for them. In practical terms, this means that using curses, hexes, and the like are not ruled out on principle. If provoked or threatened, the Traditional Witch may act for self-preservation or the protection of family and home. These are considered honorable acts. Yet if there are negative consequences, the Traditional Witch is willing to suffer them. Read more

2 comments:

Rayne said...

You realize that Witchcraft and Wicca are almost interchangeable terms now-a-days right? Most Wiccans call themselves Witches, and always have. Most Wiccans consider Wicca to /be/ Witchcraft and vice versa. I think to avoid confusion, you should redefine the words "Witch" and "Wiccan" for the scope of your post to suit what you think a Witch is and what you think a Wiccan is, because it seems that your definitions are quite different from most of the Wiccan community. Otherwise, nice post!

Caitlin MacKenna said...

"I think to avoid confusion, you should redefine the words "Witch" and "Wiccan" for the scope of your post to suit what you think a Witch is and what you think a Wiccan is, because it seems that your definitions are quite different from most of the Wiccan community."

I think I did. Did you not read the post? However, I don't really care what definitions the Wiccan community uses.