WHAT’S UP WITCHES?!?!?
Bright Blessings and welcome to the second installment of our Witchcraft 101 series. In part one we discussed what witchcraft is and how it can be practiced as either a religion or a more personal spiritual journey. In part two we will dive a little bit deeper and go over several different types of witchcraft and magic. Keep in mind that this list is forever changing as time progresses and there are a hundred million different types of witchcraft. For this reason, we will only be going over some of the most common types. If you are already familiar with one way to practice but don’t see it here, do us a favor and comment on this post stating what that type is and give a brief description to spread that knowledge on to the next generation.
Before we dive into the bottomless pit of theology, I thought it best to first add some clarity by defining a few terms. I would also like to add a disclaimer that many of the practices listed below can be practiced in more than one way. For example, persons who practice the same general path could potentially practice with either monotheistic, polytheistic, monolatry, or even atheistic or nontheistic beliefs.
Abrahamic & Non-Abrahamic: terms used to separate religions that either worship “the god of Abraham” (i.e., Christianity, Judaism, & Islam) or not.
Monotheism: the worship, honoring, and recognition of existence of only one divine being.
Polytheism: the worship, honoring, and recognition of existence of two or more divine beings.
Monolatry: the constant worship of one deity without denying that other deities exist
Pagan: an umbrella term used to describe many non-Abrahamic spiritual practices that are usually polytheistic and/or nature based.
Types of Witchcraft
Religious based witchcraft is the practice of magic that has been incorporated into a religious belief system. The list below includes many religions that either already incorporate a magic practice into their belief system or that a magic practice could be easily added.
- Wicca– a nature-based Neo-Pagan religion that worships a god and goddess generally seen as two aspects of a single divinity. (more info here)
- Santeria– a polytheistic religion that worships Orisha’s which represent aspects of nature, human life, and the divine.
- Vodou (Voodoo)– a commonly misrepresented and misunderstood religion, Vodou is a religion that combines Roman Catholicism and Native African religions from the region on Dahomey. Vodou is a monotheistic religion honoring a single god as the most high but recognizes lesser gods that are involved more in the everyday practice.
- Hinduism– As one of the world’s oldest religions, Hinduism is a combination of religious, philosophical, and cultural beliefs and ideals. Hinduism is unique in that practitioners can hold polytheistic, monotheistic, monolatrist, atheistic, or even nontheistic beliefs and still be Hindu.
- Paganism– There are many different religions which may be categorized under the term Pagan(ism). Some commonalities that they share would be that they are nature-based, (usually) polytheistic, and are non-Abrahamic in their beliefs. Some pagan religions are:
- Druidry (Druidism) — a pagan religion with a worldwide following that upholds nature as sacred and is goal oriented to achieve creativity, wisdom, and love within their lives. With no strict dogma or sacred text, Druids beliefs and practices vary between individuals ranging from no deity to one to several but always honoring nature as sacred. (For more information check out druidry.org).
- Reconstructed Religions — a revival of the religious and spiritual practices of the Ancient Civilizations. This would include: Roman Polytheistic Reconstructionism, Hellenism (Greek), Slavic Native Faith, Celtic Reconstructionist Paganism, and Heathenry (Germanic).
- Stregheria — a modern pagan religion based on the traditions of early Italian witchcraft. It is believed that Stregheria has pre-Christian roots.
- Wicca — see above.
- Kemetism — a term used to group together 3 different approaches of the same belief based on the religious traditions of the ancient Egyptian peoples. Kemetic Reconstructionism is practiced most closely to the way the ancients would have where as the Kemetic Orthodox Religion is a borderline monotheistic belief where many deities are recognized but only one is consistently worshipped, and the third approach being somewhere in between. (for more info click here)
Spirituality based witchcraft is the practice of magic without the practice of a religion nor the worship of any deity.
- Hoodoo– a spiritual magic practice often referred to as root-work or conjuring. Practitioners (root-workers and/or conjurers) may or may not hold any religious belief alongside their hoodoo practice, although many practitioners often use prayer and passages from the bible in their workings.
- Kitchen Witchcraft– a witch who utilizes this spiritual practice is often found creating new and interesting items in the kitchen. Kitchen Witchcraft combines magic with cooking and the witch who practices as such uses their knowledge of herbs, spices, and other ingredients to preform spells and/or make magical food.
- Hedge Craft — traditionally the witch who practices this form of witchcraft was often found living on the edge, or outskirts, of town, being knowledgeable in herbs, healing, spell-crafting, counseling, and adept in psychic abilities. It was common for many townsfolk to seek out the hedge witch for charms or potions, a spell to protect livestock, a house blessing, or even just to tell their problems to, which the Hedge Witch was happy to do in exchange for goods or money.
- Elemental Witchcraft– although the majority of witches utilize the elements in their craft, Elemental Witchcraft will often have a heavy focus on one singular element. For example, a Sea Witch heavily focuses on the element of water, a Flame Witch (or Fire Witch) focuses on fire, an Earth Witch focuses on earth, and an Air Witch focuses on the element of air. Likewise Elemental Witchcraft can also be defined as witchcraft that uses all the elements in their craft but will focus each spell, ritual, and/or ceremony on a specific element most related to the desired outcome they wish to obtain.
- Eclectic Witchcraft– this form of witchcraft is often frowned upon due to its ties to cultural appropriation, but, in my opinion, is one of the most commonly practiced spiritual paths within the magic community. Eclectic witches create their own style or way of practice by respectfully taking bits and pieces of different cultural and spiritual beliefs and practices and combines them to create their own unique path that feels right to the practitioner while still honoring the cultures from which they were based.
- Animism — the belief that everything has a spirit, including plants, animals, weather, and inanimate objects.
- Shamanism — a practice involving a shaman who interacts with the spirit realm through altered states of consciousness, such as a trance, usually for healing or divination.
types of magic
In addition to the different ways to practice witchcraft there are also many different types of magic, all or most of which can be used regardless of the witchcraft practice the witch follows. As a reminder witchcraft, magic, and the practice of is in itself neither good or bad, but the witch may wield that energy for either good or bad reasons. Many of the types of magic below are similar in that they invoke aid from an outside source. Some of the different types of magic would include but not limited to:
- Candle Magic — candle magic involves the burning of a candle until it extinguishes itself. Often times the witch will carve symbols, or sigils, or words onto the candle as well as “dress” the candle with oils or herbs that will assist in obtaining the desired outcome. The color of the candle is often chosen deliberately so that the meaning of the color matches the spell.
- Elemental Magic — elemental magic utilizes the natural elements to obtain the desired end goal. Depending on the belief of the witch this may also mean invoking the spirit of a specific element for aid.
- Blood Magic — blood magic, much like the name suggests, uses blood to connect a person to the spell/ritual to either strengthen the magic and/or give the magic a target. This type of magic only takes a minimal amount of blood (just a drop or two) and is a separate type of magic than animal sacrifice.
- Moon Magic — Moon magic uses the phases of the moon to strengthen a spell or ritual. Moon magic also can be used to cleanse objects by basking the object overnight in the moon’s light.
- Ceremonial Magic — this type of high magic is usually performed within covens or other “church-like” institutions, involving strict book learning and complicated ritual that must be performed with absolute precision.
- Herbal Magic — herbal magic utilizes the magical properties of herbs and plants to achieve the desired outcome or two strengthen a spell.
- Crystal Magic — crystal magic uses the energy of crystals and their properties to aid a spell or ritual. Many witches will create a crystal grid by places specific crystals in specific spots so that when they are arranged this way their energies are multiplied and working together.
- Sex Magic — sex magic uses the powerful energetic release of an orgasm to complete a spell or ritual.
- Entity Based Magic — this type of magic invokes the aid of a specific entity or group of entities to strengthen a spell or ritual, or as a way to hire the entity to do your bidding, although I would not suggest attempting to do the later.
- Draconic: often coined Draconic Wicca, this type of magic calls upon the wise and powerful Dragon’s to assist you in your magic.
- Faery: the truthful and tricky Fae people, sometimes called the little people, are invoked in this type of magic.
- Angelic: although often paired with Christianity, many witches will still invoke the angels or archangels for assistance.
- Demonic — opposite of Angelic, this form of magic invokes Demons to do the bidding of the witch. Oftentimes demon will be forceful to achieve the desired result.
- Spirit Guides — Most witches use spirit guides in their craft, by asking for guidance (like their name suggests), requesting aid with spells/rituals, or simply just to be there for support. Spirit guides can take the form of practically anything and are unique to the practitioner.
- Ancestral — ancestral magic is the honoring, by giving remembrance and recognition to, your ancestral lineage, whether or not you knew them personally. Although this form of magic has been slowly gaining more followers, ancestral magic is most often found heavily within Ethnic practices more often than mainstream practices (which is a shame…more witches should try this out!).
- Spirit Animals — similar to spirit guides, spirit animals work alongside a witch offering guidance, aid, support, and even protection. Where the two differ is that spirit animals, like I’m sure you have guessed, strictly take the form of an animal or animal-like creature.
Witchcraft and magic can be practiced in a multitude of ways. A Witch may or may not follow and uphold a religious doctrine as part of their witchcraft, while also utilizing one or more forms of magic as well. Virtually no two Witches will practice the craft the exact same way, no matter how similar their beliefs and craft may be. That is what make magic and witchcraft so magnificently beautiful and draws more and more people to join a magical path. That versatility, diversity, and freedom of choice makes witchcraft a very inclusive way of life. Often times you will find that witches will carry those ideals with them into their everyday life, knowing that there is no singular right way to achieve a goal and that not every way will work for everyone. The trick is finding what works best for you and aligns with your beliefs. Sometimes that takes a little trial and error, but once you find what works, everything just seems to click and flows naturally.
I hope you enjoyed reading about the different types of witchcraft and magic, and hopefully whether you’re a baby witch or a seasoned crone you learned something new. Comment below if you would like me to expand more in anything in this post or if you know of another type of witchcraft or magic that I didn’t cover please share it in the comments.
For the next few parts of this series, I am planning on covering the magical properties of some herbs and crystals, going over colors and their meanings in witchcraft, and touching on grounding, centering, and meditation and why they are important. So, stay tuned and on the lookout for these next installments of the Witchcraft 101 series, written by me, GreyFox Crawford, as part of the one and only Any Witches Blog brought to you by Any Witches Way at https://anywitchesway.com.