May 25, 2016

Posted by in Magick, Occult Studies, Paganism, Spirituality, Witchcraft | 0 Comments

Sorting Witches – Part I

English: One of the Book of Shadows owned by G...

English: One of the Book of Shadows owned by Gerald Gardner, left in his will to Doreen Valiente, and through her to John Belham-Payne. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In this day and age, you can’t just call yourself a witch and be done with it. People seem to need more precise definitions, or at least more adjectives. This makes sense when you consider that Christianity, for example, has long since stopped being merely Catholic, Orthodox, or Protestant. Nowadays, there are a head-spinning number of Protestant denominations alone, and the differences between the Episcopal Church and the Apostolic Christian Church, for example, are so stark that they barely even look like the same religion.

While there are not thousands of different official witch classifications – not that very much about witchcraft is official in the first place – there are quite a few different approaches. To complicate matters further, some witches worship a deity or deities as part of their practice, while others do not. Further, in true witch fashion, there is not always agreement as to the nomenclature of the various approaches. Thus, what follows are the names most commonly used, along with a description of each “flavor” of witchcraft.

Alexandrian – Alexandrian witches are followers of the religion of Wicca, as outlined by Gerald Gardner and Doreen Valiente, but modified by Alex and Maxine Sanders.

Dianic – Dianic witches concentrate exclusively on the Goddess – in Her aspects of Maiden, Mother, and Crone – in their worship and practice. They do not allow men to participate in their rituals.

Eclectic – Eclectic witches pick and choose from many traditions and sources to create a practice that is unique to them and their path.

Gardnerian – Gardnerian witches are followers of the religion of Wicca, as outlined by Gerald Gardner and Doreen Valiente.

Green (Garden) – Green witches practice in nature, using natural objects, in order to be close to Mother Nature Herself.

Hedge – Hedge witches practice on the boundary between this world and the world of the spirit. Their work can be roughly described as a combination of shamanism and herbalism.

Hereditary (Family Tradition) – Hereditary witches have been taught their craft by older members of their own family. Sometimes their version of “The Craft” is unique to their family, and has been passed down through many generations. More often, their parents and/or grandparents became witches sometime in the 20th century, and raised them in their new path. Unfortunately, there are hereditary witches who believe that they are somehow superior to witches who found their calling more recently. This is rubbish. There are also witches who claim to have come from a family tradition that goes back for many hundreds of years. Unless they can provide verifiable documentation, such people are most likely lying.

To be continued…

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