It’s a common question…”Are you a Witch or a Wiccan?”…the answer is totally dependent on your personal perspective. However, before we take a moment to look at the differences between the two, we need to look at why this question gets asked so much.
The most common reason the “Witch” or “Wiccan” dilema is so prevalent may come down to people not really knowing what each term means. And you could argue that there is no clear distinction between the two or that the words are merely interchangeable, and the portrayals of witches and wiccans in fiction, whether on TV, in films or books support this. It is not unheard of to hear of a Wiccan practicing witchcraft (although a Witch practicing wicca is less common). And in a roundabout way this brings us back to our first question. The definitions and interpretations of the words will depend entirely on who you ask.
Let’s take a quick look at some of the different viewpoints (please note two things: 1) this list will not cover every viewpoint! If you feel any other perspectives should be added to the list, please leave a comment below; and 2) some of the viewpoints expressed below will not be those held by me, they are included in the list for illustrative purposes only)…
- To some a witch is someone who practices witchcraft, that is magic. There is no spiritual association with this definition. It is more akin to a job title.
- To others a witch is someone who practices a religion that pre-dates the arrival of Christianity in Western Europe (especially, though certainly not exclusively in the Celtic countries).
- To some a Wiccan is someone who practices the modern equivalent of one of the aforementioned pre-Christian religions.
- To others a witch is an evil person whose sole purpose (perhaps at the behest of someone much more evil than they, for example, Satan) is to cause harm and destruction to other people.
- To some the term Wicca and Wiccan are complete modern fabrications, part of a ‘made up religion’, born out of 1940’s and 1950’s England.
- In general the term ‘witch’ has more negative associations in its wider social context, which means there are many out there who hear the word ‘witch’ and instantly think ‘evil’. However, this ultimately comes down to a severe problem of misinformation.
As this post points out, the answer is subjective. If the answer is important to you, you need to take a little time out, do a bit of research, ask a few questions and then think over the following:
- What does each term mean to you?
- How does each term fit in with your spiritual viewpoint, if indeed you do have one?
- Does it really matter?
The last point may seem a little flipant, but it is not meant to be. Does it really matter? Shakespeare asked ‘What’s in a name?’ Is there any intrinsic value in a label, because that is ultimately what each word is. Some cling to labels as it helps them grasp their place in the world, but others use labels as weapons, to hurt and displace others…You may even find that either word doesn’t sufficiently describe you or cover what you do and how you see yourself.
Whether you be witch or wiccan…as long as you know who you are, that should be all that matters.
My Personal Viewpoint…
I am definately a witch, there is no question of it. The word wiccan doesn’t sit with me very well, as to why, I can’t explain it. All I know is that in my heart I am a witch, always have been, always will be…the essence of a Forever Witch.