What is the Difference Between Wicca and Traditional Witchcraft?

Black Magic for Dark Times: Spells of Revenge and Protection

Black Magic for Dark Times: Spells of Revenge and Protection

This subject confuses many people, including some Wiccans.  Wicca is a religion whose adherents are alternatively called Wiccans and witches.  By contrast, traditional witchcraft is not a religion, but a universal magical practice that transcends any religious belief or lack thereof.

While Wiccans generally acknowledge and revere a pantheon of gods and goddesses, traditional witches may belong to any religion or none, they may believe in a God or gods or they may be atheists.

Where Does the Term “Wicca” Come From?

Wicca is an Old Anglo-Saxon term for “witch” and refers to either a man or a woman. The usage of this word was revived in the 1950s by an Englishman named Gerald Gardner who is credited with founding modern Wicca. This branch of Wicca is commonly referred to as Gardnerian.

In the United States Wicca is, typically, more independently practiced. And, throughout the 1960s and into the present time, it has undergone some changes. It remains a polytheistic, earth-centered nature religion. Adherents are extremely conscious of their one “law” called the Wiccan Rede (“Rede” is Old Anglo-Saxon for “counsel”) which advised them to “Harm none.”

Wiccans observe the seasons and the traditional peasant holidays called Sabbats through celebrations of drumming, dancing and feasting.

In numerous court rulings, Wicca has been upheld as a religion whenever it has come under challenge.

About Traditional Witchcraft

Traditional witchcraft is a practice of occultism that encompasses many different types of activities including astrology, divination, spell casting, spirit communication and demonology. It includes the practices of many nations, cultures and religions as well as many books and writings from ancient times.

Traditional witches may admire King Solomon or St. Cyprian for their work with demonic forces. They may be adherents to the tradition of The Golden Dawn, which gave birth to the entire New Age movement and grew out of the work of the Rosicrucians.  Sometimes they choose even more arcane forms of magical practices.

They may be inclined toward Satanic witchcraft as it was practiced by Anton LaVey of The Church of Satan.  Or they may be Luciferians or Gnostics.

They may be practice Santeria, Hoodoo or any number of traditional magical practices from countries and cultures around the world.

Some witches are capable healers who have knowledge of herbs, minerals and an alternative science that allows them to heal people at a distance.

They are as different as the individual; and they are as good or as bad as the individual.  Most traditional witches are independent thinkers who try to do the right thing, but they are not encumbered by any pre-defined moral or ethical code.  There are no Commandments and no Rede.

In English-speaking countries, witches are often considered to be evil.  In popular American culture, such as the television show “Bewitched” or the movie  “The Wizard of Oz,” witches usually either good or bad. Of course, whether traditional witches are considered good or bad may be only a matter of opinion.

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Black Magic Vs. White Magic

Another common difference between traditional witchcraft and Wicca is the use of black magic. Wiccans sometimes deny the existence of black magic and some are opposed to spell casting of any kind. Wicca is a religion and a world view, which restricts adherents with the Wiccan Rede, which admonishes them to do no harm.  Spell casting within Wiccca is always beneficial or benign. Usually, they will not even harm someone who wants to harm them.  Like Christians, they turn the other cheek and leave revenge to “karma.”  Typically, they believe it is morally wrong to interfere with the free will of another.

By contrast, traditional witches do not eschew black magic. Moreover, there is no moral code in traditional witchcraft.

Summary

In short, the most fundamental difference between Wicca and traditional witchcraft is that Wicca is a religion and traditional witchcraft is not.

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What’s Next After Wicca? Non-Wiccan and Traditional Witchcraft

What’s Next After Wicca? Non-Wiccan Occult Practices and Traditional Witchcraft

What’s Next After Wicca? Non-Wiccan Occult Practices and Traditional Witchcraft

What’s Next After Wicca? Non-Wiccan and Traditional Witchcraft was written to show the true history of Wicca in Britain and the development of neo-Wicca in the U.S. It tells the benefits and the drawbacks of what has become the most popular, accessible and socially acceptable form of witchcraft. Wicca is the most popular aspect of the occult today, but it is certainly not all there is. This book encourages readers who want more to continue their exploration of witchcraft and their study of its origins.

It was written by a metaphysical bookstore owner who often heard the question, “What else is there?” Find “What’s Next After Wicca? Non-Wiccan and Traditional Witchcraft“ by Sophia diGregorio at Amazon, Barnes & Noble.

Amazon.com: “What’s Next After  Wicca?  Non-Wiccan and Traditional Witchcraft

See other books by Sophia diGregorio

 

6 Responses to “What is the Difference Between Wicca and Traditional Witchcraft?”

  1. midnight Says:

    How to set up altar for traditional witchcraft and in what traditional witches believe can you tell me please

  2. traditional witches don’t necessarily have specific gods or goddess they may believe in gods and/or gods and goddess

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