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How Many Here Consider Themselves Witches or....

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I'd like to make a note in here to be respectful.  We don't know everyone's circumstances.  Some people are finding their path and it's not an easy thing, and sometimes it's a phase, but lots of people go through a "cringy" stage in life.  Some people find it later in life, and some people just like the style.


On the subject, I'm not Wiccan, but I somewhat consider myself a witch, in the fact that I'm learning spellwork and the like. ❤️ 

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I am loving this topic and all the posts so far! I considered quoting and commenting on some things said so far, but I think I'll try avoiding my "textbook mode" (basically, me thinking I'm being helpful by pumping out an excessive amount of knowledge like the onslaught of a teacher putting entirely too many book assignments in front of you at once, but to which the typical feedback I receive often includes the word "condescending"). So I'll just stick with answering the original question. 😅


I do consider myself a Witch. Since that can cover a myriad of paths, styles, values, etc., I generally clarify with "Witch with heavy Wiccan influence."


I didn't like using the term "witch" initially (thanks to all the negative connotations as has already been brought up). I started as the typical brand-new-to-Wicca-solitary-type and simply learned and grew. I'm a contextual learner, so history and etiology were extremely pertinent. Learning that "Wicca" was born out of the earlier term for "Witch" in Old English, I realized that the two terms are one and the same. Yes, the way we use them can vary wildly and the paths they denote has evolved rapidly in the past 70+ years, but that realization that calling myself Wiccan was no different from calling myself a Witch made the discomfort completely fall away.


But then the community divide and "witch wars" seemed to widen rapidly. In response to all the "fluffy" or "newbie" self-proclaimed Wiccans (who will either come to stop using the term or grow and learn and devote to the path given their own time), there was the fundamentalism sweeping through and that has now reached a point where it's hard to connect with others of like-mind within the community because of an extreme view that the term "Wicca" is to be used exclusively by those following traditions which are now defining themselves as strictly mystery traditions. (So, in other words, if you have not been formally initiated into a coven of particular traditions, no matter how experienced, knowledgeable, and wise--especially if you would be quick to use the terms "eclectic" and "solitary"--you are likely to be shunned for using the label "Wicca" to define yourself). While I can certainly understand and respect the viewpoint, I also can't shake the feeling that that level of elitism and fundamentalism is what has led to many of the atrocities associated with other religions. Not for me. No thank you.


So as my spiritual path, values, theology, and magickal practices very much still resemble Wicca in most regards, Witch is the term I most identify with and use.


When it does come up, I typically do not pause or anticipate any sort of response beyond the perfectly normal "ah, okay" as with any other piece of information (like favorite colors or music genre). Not only because I have no interest in the shock value ("Yeah, that's right. I called myself a witch. What you gonna do about it, huh?"--who has *time* for that?), but also because I sometimes forget that others aren't "bookworms" and "research bugs" like me and I worry I might think less of them for thinking someone calling themselves a witch is anything to be shocked about in this day and age. Of all the things we *should* all be shocked--and outraged--about, words used to describe one's religion, spirituality, lifestyle, etc. is probably the dumbest...

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I'm very late to this thread but I wanted to add my tuppenny worth... 


I live in Britain, and I think my experiences and the pagan traditions are very different from those in America.

We are getting to be quite a secular country, and have far fewer intolerant Christian structures and churches, for one thing.


I practised as a witch for years, and named myself such, although not in public, but I agree about reclaiming the word.

After years of hedgewitchery and some Dianic groups, I ended up in a coven, being initiated into Wicca.


I'd like to define what I mean by “Wicca”.

In Britain and Europe, Wicca is a re created initiatory mystery religion which draws upon its roots in the Western Mystery Tradition, and traditional forms of folk magic, folklore, and the pagan traditions of The British Isles and Europe for inspiration.
There is no self initiation into Wicca, although there is, of course, into Witchcraft.

In America, and maybe other countries, Wicca and witchcraft seem to be used interchangeably.
Americans refer to initiatory Wicca as “British Traditional Witchcraft”.
In Britain, Traditional and Hereditary Witchcraft are quite different from Wicca.


I hope this is a good idea, to say this, as thanks to the plague (silver lining) I have a little more time and headspace to practise and to go on fora, and it might be helpful to explain what I'm going on about. 🙂



Having re read this thread, I’d just like to add that for me and my lot, it isn't a value judgement and isn't  elitist to say that a person is not a Wiccan, because, unless they have been through the same initiation, they aren't. 

They might well be a witch, a mage, pagan or something else





Edited by Mab
Something occurred to me
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(Been a while since I posted here, & I haven't read through all the posts).


I am a solitary progressive (or eclectic) hedge witch.

I was once in an Alexandrian Wicca coven (ala British Traditional Witchcraft defined by Mab just above my post here. I live in Britain.

And yes - @ EvylynRose - the elitism in Wicca can be pretty stinky in places).


So... I observe the 8 Wiccan festivals of the year (which have a mixed folk background) - when I'm in a mindset to do so.

(Always Samhain (Halloween) because it's my favourite one 🙃).

I devine occasionally, I work spells now and again when I'm in the mood, or when I feel I've tried everything else, and only a spell remains for anymore possible input, I meditate, I gaze at the moon. I go out into the coppice behind my house, set up altar and

do ritual (occasionally - the mosquitoes out there are MONSTERS). I do ritual regularly in my room at full moon under the window

(the room is on the 2nd floor with a wonderful sky view).  Very occasionally now - I may go to an open Wicca or some other kind of Pagan group celebration/ritual.  I have Spirit guides... that I listen to sometimes. Lol.


I enjoy my practice.

Edited by Tanga
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