Wicca vs witchcraft, what is the difference between the 2 similar sounding practices?
What Is Wicca Vs Witchcraft?
Wicca is a Neo-Pagan religion that was originally founded by Gerald Gardner. Traditional Wicca is based on Paganism, although it is today frequently combined with other personal practices and cultural beliefs. These beliefs can vary depending on the individual and their circumstances. Wicca is a polytheistic religion featuring a Goddess and a God, as well as other deities depending on the path the individual practicing. In Wicca, rituals and ceremonies are very popular. With many incorporating a hierarchical system with a High Priestess and High Priest in traditional Wicca; however, this only applies to Wiccans who are members of a coven, or group of Wiccans.
This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.
Wicca also requires a structured initiation by a coven. Although many Wiccans today have not had a coven-initiation and instead have performed a ritual of dedication, or self-dedication. There is no bible or holy scripture in Wicca, as there is in many other organized religions. Instead, many Wiccans live and practice by the Wiccan Rede, which was originally a poem.
“Bide the Wiccan law ya must, In Perfect love and perfect trust, Eight words the Wiccan Rede fulfill: And it harm none, do as they will. Lest itself-defense it be, Ever mind the rule of three. Follow this in mind and heart, And merry ye meet and merry ye part!”
This poem incorporates the Threefold Law, which is akin to Karma in that all that is sent out will be returned threefold. The energy which is sent out into the universe returns back to use three times as strong. Newton’s Law of Magic shows us witches interact on 4 levels: physical, emotional, spiritual (divine), and magical. If any magical action is taken on any of these planes, it emanates on the other levels as well. Every act of magic has an equal but opposite reaction, or a “cost”, commonly known as Karma. The energy which is received should also be returned threefold to complete the cycle.
As a result, Wiccans will not typically hex or curse, and they avoid performing spells on those who have not given their consent. One method to tell if a spell or ritual follows this criteria is to analyze all outcomes and determine if you would like any of them to come your way.
There are eight Sabbats, or feasts, in Wicca, which follow the earth and sun’s cycle. There are four main Sabbats, which commemorate the God and Goddess’s life cycle, and four minor Sabbats, which mark the seasonal equinoxes. Wicca places a high priority on the moon, and many Wiccans observe Esbats, or Full Moons and sometimes New Moons.
Witchcraft is a more independent practice with no single source of origin. It has existed since the beginning of human history and continues to exist in some form or another around the world today. Witchcraft, like Wicca, has its roots in animism and makes use of magick. Witchcraft, on the other hand, is not a religion. It is a way of life rather than a religious system, and it is considerably older than Wicca in many ways.
It comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, based on ethnic customs and traditions, and it is typically extremely personal to each witch. Witchcraft is commonly employed in various belief systems, including Wicca, but it is not limited to Wicca.
It is vital to remember that the concepts that apply to Wicca (such as the rule of Harm None and the threefold law) do not always apply to Witchcraft. As a result, it’s crucial not to lump Witches and Wiccans together, as many don’t affiliate themselves with Wicca. A Witch is someone who performs witchcraft (though different people may use different terms due to personal preference).
Furthermore, unlike conventional Wicca, Witchcraft can be practiced by anyone and does not require a ritual initiation. However, this does not apply to closed practices or faiths that include parts of Witchcraft. Witch is also a gender-neutral term, which is often a source of misunderstanding, while it is up to the practitioner to refer to oneself as a witch or any other name they want. Folk Witchcraft and European Paganism, Voodoo and Hoodoo, Santeria, and different varieties of occultism, Thelema are all widespread practices or belief systems that involve witchcraft.
Wicca Vs Witchcraft Similarities
The most evident similarity between Wicca vs witchcraft is the belief in and application of magick. Wicca uses common magick techniques that are also employed in witchcraft, and many, if not all, of them entail the use of nature and spirit or energy forms. With many Witches, like Wiccans, following the moon and seasonal cycles.
Candles, ritual knives and cups, talismans, and various divination instruments, such as tarot or oracle cards, crystal balls, and crystals in general, are used by both Wiccans and Witches, but they are not required in either Wicca or Witchcraft. Non-Wiccan Witches and Wiccan Witches both utilize spells and rituals to achieve their goals, albeit the “how” varies a lot. Wicca’s foundational founders, such as Valiente, Buckland, Cunningham, and Gerald Gardner, were known to practice Witchcraft and have various writings on the subject, which have nothing to do with Wicca.
Not all witches are Wiccans, and not all Wiccans are witches. Witchcraft practitioners, are not required to believe in the Wiccan God and Goddess, or in Wiccan principles such as the Threefold Law or the Harm None Rule. Wicca is a religion, witchcraft is not. You can practice witchcraft and be a member of practically any religion, or you can follow your own path and practice witchcraft without being a member of any religion.
Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases. However, this does not impact our reviews and comparisons. We try our best to keep things fair and balanced, in order to help you make the best choice for you.
For more information on Wicca Vs Witchcraft check out the links below:
Witchcraft Today By Gerald Gardner
Natural Magic By Doreen Valiente
Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner By Scott Cunningham
Buckland’s Complete Book of Witchcraft By Raymond Buckland