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  1. I agree. I don’t identify myself as a Wiccan either. I am a sea witch… I do honor the brightest Star (Goddess).. but I see she and I as divine spiritual beings occupying two different spiritual planes.. obviously she has more spiritual knowledge and energy than me, so I like to tap into that knowledge and energy and absorb it into myself… if that makes any sense at all.

  2. It’s interesting that you post this because I have been struggling with my pagan identity. I have been a practicing Wiccan since I was 13, but over the last year I have been asking my self if the Wiccan religion is really the right path for me. I’m more of a witch then a Wiccan these days because I have been so put off by the dogmatic laws of Wicca. I don’t really adhere to any coven laws and I have also begun to question the necessity of a circle to practice witchcraft. I don’t feel threatened when I practice and certainly don’t believe that any negative spirit or energy can influence my will.

  3. Very well put. I personally have come to describe myself as a Wiccan influenced Witch when people ask if I’m Wiccan. Those that need more info from there get the nutshell version of my 25 years as a Witch all boiling down to yes, I’ve practiced and trained as a Wiccan, I enjoy many aspects of Wicca, however certain parts don’t work for me in the day to day aspect of things. I have some issues with the Rede, I don’t feel I need to make a big spectacle of every moon phase or other astronomical event that happens, and I don’t cast circles for everything I do. I also tend to be of the mind that with all the books on eclectic Wicca, neo-Paganism, and modern spellcraft that there are a great deal of misconceptions being created and perpetuated about Witches and the Craft.

    Being Wiccan doesn’t make you a Witch, living the life of a Witch and practicing the art of magick does. It always amazes me when I meet Wiccans that call themselves Witches but they don’t practice magick because they have read books that make them afraid to even try.

    Being a Witch comes down to who you are at the core, what you do, and how you live your life.

  4. I agree with everything you say here, Astrid. Especially the bit about being naked in England. Really, who does that? Ok, perhaps it’s best not to know 😉

  5. i love this 🙂 i’m witch too i wear short skirts love to laugh and am definitely Witch i practice the craft get told i’m wiccan most of the time it doesn’t bother me because i think it helps people deal with it better but i’m witch by name and witch by nature all my family and friends except it so that’s all that matters. i’m proud to be witch 🙂

  6. I came here for the Practical Magic Party, and I know this is an old post, but can I say, you are awesome! I am from a family of witches, and we aren’t Wiccans. I just tell people I’m “old school”. I’m so thankful for the Wiccans, so I can be out, unlike my ancestors who had to keep their craft on the down low!

  7. Thank you for posting this. I now have the terms to use to explain to others. Eventhough I have been part of a Wiccan coven It was not always a perfect fit.

  8. Thank you very much, Astrid. Your simple, easy to understand post is perfect. I am 45 years old and just figuring out I’m a witch, I think. I’ve just started to seriously read about Witches and Wicca. You have given me some clarity. ~Lori

    1. Me too, I am 42 and have always felt the pull of it. But I am now finally diving in. Only problem is I have no idea where to start

      1. I’m 47! Same here… always felt it and worked as a nurse.. doing good and practicing witchy ways before I KNEW the calling. But life’s a journey! 😍 I’m starting slowly and integrating slowly.

        1. DITTO to you LOVELIES! I have always felt the call AND for the last two years (am 51 now) have been reading. I too feel that am a witch but not Wiccan. Have been studying some fruity but it’s not sitting right with me… Thanks for this post because I was looking to find what I am and this post clarified IT. Thank yoio!

  9. The important thing is for Pagans of all ‘denominations’ to stand together and not to become overly concerned by names and systems.
    Every Witch has their own magical ‘DNA’,and there could never be one definitive path suited to all.

  10. WOW you said exactly what I have been feeling just didn’t have the words to go with it. I have never felt comfortable trying to rituals with the chanting and circle casting. It’s nice to know that others out there feel the same as I do. ThANK YOU for a wonderful post.

  11. I agree, I am a shamanic witch. I get asked all the time if I am wiccan and it irritates me because then people feel I have to explain myself for not fitting into the “accepted pagan path” lol… Everything I have ever practiced was passed down through generations of women in my family. I do know several wiccans and they don’t seem to understand the difference either.. but the solitary witches I know understand completely. I have never been in a circle, or a coven. I don’t chant, and I don’t do ritual.

  12. To add to the many voices here already, I whole-heartedly agree with what you’ve posted, Astrid. There are several aspects of Wicca that don’t work for me (mostly the ones you’ve already pointed out), but I will say that I practice Witchcraft as both a way of life, and a spiritual following.

    Like you, it is important to me to be ‘out’ about my faith and practices. But when I’m sitting at the doctor’s office, or hospital, and they ask me what my religion is, I actually find myself saing Wicca more often than not. I say this because it is becoming well understood (here in the US, at least) that Wicca is, in fact, a faith. Witchcraft is not at all seen that way, and to say ‘Witchcraft’ when asked my religion would really confuse most of the non-pagan folk out there (and really, I just want to get on with my day, not sit and have to explain myself to the confused data-entrant taking my info!).

    I’ve wondered if any other Witches out there have ever found themselves in a similar situation. I’m glad Wicca is becoming more and more accepted as a spiritual practice, and I do hope that Witchcraft follows.

  13. when people find out that i am a witch i have never been asked if i am wiccan, but as for form filling i just put Pagan as this is acceptable to most. I too had troubles with the whole Goddess/God thing but got over it and practice magic quite happily my own way, its great to find others doing the same

  14. I stumbled across this site by chance and so very glad i did.
    Being brought up since childhood in the Craft has given me insight and knowledge that for many years had me very confused and dare i say was made to feel ashamed by outsiders for the beliefs i hold. As a result, i never mentioned my family background. Then some years ago, the UK law changed and i took a chance to speak openly about what was important to me and what i believed in. Many of my friends dropped me, saying i had lost the plot and a male can not be a Witch. Some who were a more worldly, claimed i had become Wiccan.
    Since then, i have checked up much of what has been written on Wicca, and compared it to what i learned growing up with the Craft.
    As others have mentioned here, many who have grown up with it, do not belong to covens, dress as Gandolf or have much displaying their beliefs. In fact i only have a small Pentacle which for the most part is hidden by clothes. The one thing that should be mentioned though is how attitudes have changed over the past 20 years. In many ways,Wicca has helped in bringing about a change and acceptance to alternative beliefs, and for that, i’m very grateful. Whatever system is yours, if you believe in it and it harms no one, and that includes yourself, then follow it and be happy.

  15. It was a joy to read……I get asked what do you do…when I answer what ever is needed on the day…I just get…oh are you a healer or what..what do you do.
    My memories as a toddler where based on the craft..I know what I am and it is be me whatever that is on the day. No religion or dogma…just flow.

  16. Hi Astrid…..I found your post so enlightening! It’s made me realise, that i can be myself & not have to feel i have to be “Wiccan”. I’ve recently been through an experience, where i thought it was necessary to join a coven, but after reading your story, i realise that what i have, i must go with & know in my heart, that i don’t have to prove myself to anyone! I’ve been doing ok on my own for quite a while & now i’ve got a renewed sense of purpose.
    I’d love to hear from any of you, who can give me more moral support too!!!!!

  17. I have been very slow at getting round to reading your blog Astrid (typical me 😉 ), now that I have read it all I can say is ‘Thank you’ for writing it.
    It has made me feel free of the chains that go along with casting circles and chants, I have never thought that a spell needed all of these things and as my garden is overlooked I dread to think about going naked, I think anyone overlooking would either roll on the floor laughing or they might even up roots and move 🙂 I can’t say I am a pretty sight to behold.
    Thank you for your blog it has brightened my day.
    Blessings to you. x

  18. Just spotted this and added a link to my blog hope you do not mind! It is so hard getting across the difference, Radio Kent the other night had a quiz and it was what is Wicca, they basically said its if you are a witch or do witchcraft NOOOOOOO!!!!! xx

  19. LOVE this Astrid! And all I can say is…”Yeah! Me too!” (although I do have a black cat…well, 2 actually!) LOL. Much love & huge crystal blessings to you Sister xx <3 xx

  20. I have just found your website by complete accident and it is fabulous. Just off out but just had to let you know, and I shall be returning to it upon my return. Thank you so much – BB x)O(x

  21. Hi found your site by chance it is great to read this because i haven’t been feeling comfortable to do a circle as i couldn’t visualize the blue light and kept thinking i was useless and it kept putting me off doing the spells butnow i know that i dont need to do it and the nakedness put me off to. Many thanks for your site it has given me a lot of encouragement. what a great idea thankyou Astrid.

  22. I’m a recently come out of the closet solitary witch and Iam not sure if I’m a regular witch or Wiccan witch?
    I do do spells, I also work with crystals and also am a holistic therapist in my day work!
    I have a BOS and an altar. I meditate and help friends to see things clearly. I feel a little lost as to wherein fit in.

  23. Thankyou for describing the difference between wicca and witchcraft so clearly – I know now that I can be defined as a witch. What I feel is a very deep connection to something old; something ancient, natural and – to me – perfectly logical. A connection to the earth and everything that grows – also to all animal life. Everything is divine in it’s own special way, and everything is spiritual. I try to look for the beauty in everything.
    I love your website -I’m learning all the time, and your site is so informative and everything is so clear. You definitely have a gift for words and would make a wonderful teacher!
    I wish you a rainbow of blessings, love and light.

  24. Oh, happy day! I’ve been trying to find “people” that are closer to my ideology of witches. My thought is that crafting is a natural ability in all of us: tapping into our divinity in whatever way is natural for the individual to create magic without all the costumes and dancing. (That’s great if it feels right for you, but it’s just not me.) Witchcraft is normal.

    The real problem arises when trying to learn. Learning from books is great and experimenting on your own is good, too, but sometimes I just would like to talk to another person who shares my interest and, um, perceptions of how to go about crafting. A mentor would be great, but I can’t seem to find one. (It seems all the local witches are of the costume, dancing, drawing down the moon type.)

    Anyway, if I’m ever in England, I’m definitely stopping by your shop.

    You can thank EveryMagicalDay (Storybook and Pyper) for turning me on to your site. (Talk about prayers being answered….first I found their site, then yours in less than 24 hours.)

  25. Thank You for writting this artical! I have had to explain this so many times to people now I can point them this way. 🙂 Love Your site .

  26. Hi ya =), crystal here and yes its my real name and not a witch (as i get asked da alot) I am so glad you put this up cause I was starting to feel like, i was getting this whole thing wrong. i couldnt get my head round why things from both witch and wiccan felt rite for me and now i understand, its cause im a pagan wiccan witch =)
    ta babes and ya ireland not to good for the naked dancing too lmao xxxx

  27. So glad I came across this, I am new to crafting but don’t feel comfortable with the whole circle casting and rede thing, I am the type of person to do what needs to be done, now I feel more affinity with being a witch rather than a wiccan.

  28. This is just absolutely wonderful. I feel as though you are speaking for me here! I respect Wiccans and their beliefs and can totally relate to their religion and the aspects of their faith but I personally identify as just a Witch. I practice Witchcraft. I am a Witch. It is not my faith or my practice of religion, it is just what I do. Reading this helped me realize exactly how I identify so I must thank you for putting this out there for people like me to relate to and help simplify who/what I am into words! 🙂
    Blessings and best wishes to you, I am so glad I’ve discovered this website!

  29. Thank you for your article. It has helped me clarify for myself where on the spectrum of Wicca/The Craft I might be at the moment and where I might go in the future. Because of a ‘seeing’ I had some years ago, I do identify with a Goddess and feel that She has power in my life but She is also more simply the Earth beneath my feet and deserving of universal respect and care for our environment. Living as I do, close to the sea, its tides and moon phases are in my blood and I rarely have to look up a High Water or Full Moon date or time. I don’t worry too much about what other people need to label me. It is people of other faiths who seem to feel the need to tie us all down to an exact set of rules, rituals etc. and they find it hard to understand that what I do, think and believe can’t be put in boxes like that.. On forms, I usually put Pagan or ‘Other’ or just leave it blank if I can.. No-one else’s business anyway.

  30. Thank You for sharing this. I’m fairly new to this, but have to say, the” theatrical” side of the Pagan Community seems un-natural for me to follow. However, the path You follow, makes me think that I’ve just arrived home. Blessed Be.

  31. Hi Sal, I just came across your website. I really like what you wrote here and I look forward to exploring your website further. I’m in Australia and always had an interest in witchcraft. I’m returning to those roots that sprouted many years ago, feels like coming home now : )

  32. I’m holding back tears as I write. I thought for so long I was the only person in the world who felt this way. Thank you thank you thank you!!

  33. Hi i’m ray, i like what you said about how your not a wiccan your a
    witch, thats the orginal way, i like that, i’ve been reading a coven book for three and a half years now, i always wanted to become a witch since i was little,
    and the way you explained everything about you being a witch, i respect the honesty about
    Wiccan and being a Witch, thats why i ask, can you teach me
    I would love to have you as my teacher

  34. I have found your comments very helpfull.After coming out of a very dogmatic religious belief system the last thing I want is another one to follow.I’ve found myself getting bogged down with my wiccan journey.I’m sure its right for many but I’m becoming drawn to the practice of witchcraft solely.

  35. ?? so happy I found this page u sound like ur talking about me Iv dabbled in different practises but none of them seemed right for me it’s always just been there I am a witch I to don’t need to cast circles or partake in rituals I just have a profound connection to the earth and the animals who dwell here it’s so refreshing to see someone the same ✌️?

  36. I’m like you. Since I was a child I always been in tune with the natural world. I summoned my first familiar at 14 – no ritual just the will and the knowledge that I could. Within the week, a kitten came to my house directly to me from several houses down the street and never left once she saw me. Through the years, I’ve done the same when I was ready to accept a new friend(familiar).

    I’ve done some healing, a little weather magic and so on. I do what I feel is needed, when I need to … just like you do. But, I just can’t get into the Wiccan philosophical religious thought it just not how I’m. May God(which ever one it is) bless you and yours. 🙂

  37. so lovely to finally hear someone saying these things, my girlfriend is very wiccan, i am simply witch and when we try to do work together it tends to go wrong because she has a “wiccan way of doing” and I just want to do what i am inspired to. I thought i was the only one who knew that its ok to do things this way xx

  38. I have identified as a solitary pagan witch for some time now. I agree with everything you’ve written. Thanks so much for such a well-written post.

  39. I`m a witch and not a wiccan, i dont like their rules,prefer to work by for this working naked lark, I think if you can`t work magick with clothes on you can`t much of a magickal ability. I to follow my own path

  40. I completely agree, and I find it difficult purchasing books that are topical only to Witchcraft. Usually (due to purchasing online) they describe themselves as witchcraft/topical/historical etc and all refer to Wiccan belief. Only the other day I bought a new booked entitled witchcraft and in fact the first page was A dedication to the Wiccan rede. I was not impressed. I love to research and Occultism and Witchcraft history is so amazing, yet I seem to stumble across Wiccan books everywhere?!

    Can anyone recommend any Witchcraft books that have absolutely no reference to Wicca?! (p.s I do not hate wiccans lol!)

  41. I love the site so much i tell people i am a witch not a Wiccan and they think i’m evil. this site explains everything i basically do

  42. I could’t have said it better, and yet, here i am doubting myself. I just want to get back into that feeling again, the feeling you described. Thank you so much for your words, I think they might just be what I needed to be my ‘witchy’ self again. 🙂

  43. I am very new to all of this world, but just these words have helped me through some very tough times over the last couple of months. Thankyou

  44. Thank you for your perfectly lovely way of explaining that not all who are witches are wiccan. I have known my nature as a witch all of my life, however, when I encountered Wiccan it was like, hey you are making a religion of this? And that turned me off… I’ve been dismissed by Wiccans because my practive and understanding are not theirs. This, to me, is no different than being dismissed by Christianity or other established religions. We all have our own gifts all day our own paths. It’s refreshing to encounter tolerance. Thank you.

  45. Good article.Good explaination.41 years I have practiced and pulled from within and the world around me.Wicca has a place for many in this new world,so all is fine.But I don’t need the ladder of organization within Wiccan practices.
    My connection is my own as many Solitary Witches practice.
    Blessed be to all.

  46. I too am a witch I am over 60 been a witch all my adult life I see a lot of Wiccans who are good witches but of course some are not so niceI just hate how some of them go on blogs just to say Wicca is the true witches craft and yadayadayada when they don’t even know who Gerald B Gardner is That being said most of my friends (many wiccans ) are wonderful witches and I too do not go around naked Canada is very cold even in april as I look outside it is snowing here so brrrr no outdoor ritual here either

  47. Thank you for this! Being a fairly new witch, I’ve been feeling some rather intense conflict about identities and titles, and even practices surrounding the lifestyle — but this has offered some invaluable insight on the matter. I feel as though for me, my power comes from within and the world around me, and I don’t personally feel the need for strict rules or a Faith in anything outside of my own intentions. It’s reassuring to know that I’m not ‘required’ to identify as Wiccan to be who I am xx

  48. THANK YOU for this post. I was apart of a small group of witches in school (1999-2004) who were a mixture of Wiccans and Pagans, but when I tried to explain that I didn’t feel like being either Wiccan or Pagan, (just myself and following alchemy witchcraft connecting spells through herbs and species that work well together, using gemstones, fruits, vegetables, flowers and seeds etc) – I was belittled and looked down upon the eldest girl, who was pretty much the leader we had in our small group, I know look back and realise I was almost bullied by her at the time. I look back now and realise this was jealousy for a couple of reasons, one because I was/am a very kind, caring and helpful person, very well liked and probably because I had access to books that were outside of Wicca and Paganism; I found them in the local library, it wasn’t like they were hard to get.

    I had dreams that came true and just ‘knew things’ that were happening – but I think that’s because I’m socially intelligent and pick up on body language, facial expressions and tone of voices etc through my subconscious – which allowed me to ‘predict’ what was going to happen next, what a person might do or say next, who said what about me or someone behind my back – I had a lot of dejavu too – but a lot of my drama at school was caused by one girl, different girl and I believe that patterns started emerging from her behaviour and attitude towards me, so it became second nature. Although before her becoming a bat shit crazy sabotager, I did have a lot of visions/dreams about my peers.

  49. Oh my gosh this is definitely me!! 🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻 I recently was asked if I was a witch & I said ‘no, I’m just magical, always have been’ but the person was insistent that being a witch just meant what I called ‘being magical’ … So now I get it… it means the same thing!! & it doesn’t mean I belong to a religion or philosophy outside my own spiritual beliefs!! Thank you for writing this & sharing it!xx

  50. I’m so happy and relieved that you have posted information like this. I’ve longed felt that I was a witch, not because of any religion belief way of doing things or anything. I was interested in Wicca in my early 20s but it just wasn’t for me. However I’ve always felt the calling within. I’ve identified myself as a pantheist for a very long time now because I really didn’t know what to call my beliefs all the way I feel inside. Pantheism was about as close as I could get. I so much want to live my life with intent and with magic, right up until recently I’ve been very afraid to just do what feels right. I thought maybe for some reason I had to follow Wicca, or a set of rules, rights, regulations or a list of things I had to do daily. Even though my partner believes it’s all folly, I feel that it is within me and I would like it in my life. So now I believe I can call myself a witch, your post has solidified that for me. Thank you.

  51. I was picturing Granny Weatherwax from the Discworld books while reading this, and she has always been my ideal of what a real witch is. Loved this article and felt at home right away. 😊

  52. Can anyone point a beginner in the direction of finding information, spells, books, anything at all really, that are NOT Wiccan?? Because I am finding it nearly impossible 😩😩
    Thank you in advance 💚

  53. Finally! I don’t have to feel alone anymore because this is exactly how I feel about my craft. I have investigated (and tried) Paganism and even Wicca but they left me feeling like a gluten-bloated belly. I also investigated and tried Kabbalah, but found it to be too intricate and with too much show and grandeur. And then all the other paths such as Hedgewitchery, Chaos, Hoodoo Voodoo… they’re all “funky” and “quirky”, but too restrictive.

    Being a Traditional Witch fits. I like this and now I know how to refer to what I practice.

  54. I love this so much I never felt Wiccan honestly could never get into. I have tried to read up on it many times and just said I can’t do alters etc…it was a bit much some stuff. I just couldn’t deal with do not harm etc blessed be irritated me sooooo much lol. But naturally a Medium and Empath but I have always been interested in Witchcraft just not those corny stereotypes. This site made it extremely clear. Thank you so much for your description it hit close to my heart an may explain something’s.

  55. Lovely! Thank you for helping an old witch nod her head in agreement. I just am…it’s a great way to be. Do what is needed….using wisdom, and kindness. (Being kind is not being nice, but kindness arises when you must make the right decision for the best result!) being practical and sensible I. This world is very strong witchery. Much love to all witches.

  56. Hello, I’ve always been a non believer. Although recently my feelings have changed. Maybe it’s been a long time that I have believed but it’s only recently that I’ve realized there is another deeper; “force” for lack of better terms. I realized that my grandfather, great grandfather, great great great grandfathers I come from a line of royal blood even, my uncle and his sons are all very successful but my father and my brother and I areally all cursed. I had one of the highest i.q. in the world when I was in high school. I can invent things people can’t even fathom exist yet I’m drug though the worst kind of bull cap you could ever imagine. Never making it always failing beING beaten stabbey robbed falsely persecuted constantly stolen from. My mother hated my father she hates me and on my opinion Hates my brother that’s all I can work with except I heard my mom say once: then by the power of three who believe it shall be true. I’m still skeptical as I am everything seems how my life is constantly being threatened and I am attack or lied to so often. I am willing to give anything reasonable trust though and I just want to know how I can lift the curse.

  57. You have literally freed me! The rede dies hindred a person. In my case to such a point that I hardly cast at all because I was made to fear conquences instead of getting done what needs to be done. My mother always told me that we were daughters of Karma and when one harms us in anyway Karma happens quickly to others. I think after this article that it wasn’t a fact of it happening quickly, it was a fact that unconsciously we were “casting” without realizing it. Thank you thank you thank you

  58. This article was what I needed. I am a Religion major but do not identify as religious. I believe in on God and Jesus but I also believe in witchcraft and using the energy of crystals, water and other things to help me through out my way. I would love to say I am a witch but got scared as heck reading about Wiccan. Oh heck no. It’s cool that people believe in different gods and goddesses but I am not going down that path. I know you said that a witch doesn’t believe in anything but I think you can be a witch and believe in higher beings.

    Thanks again for this post.

    1. Trad witches don’t worship, but we have belief. We can believe in other things, revere them, honour them etc. We just don’t worship generally. But, everyone is different and that’s the beauty of traditional witchcraft over Wicca… in traditional witchcraft, you walk to the beat of your own drum and not a doctrine set out in stone by some bloke in the 1950’s 😉

  59. Honestly thank you! I am terrible at staying up super late so lots of my spells are done in the day. I do favor crystals for their healing properties and aid in my meditations and i use tarot cards. But as wiccan i was beating myself up about doubting goddesses…missing celebrating sabbats or staying up late to perform spells under the moon. Thank you for writing this!!!

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