This page is to give a basic overview of witchcraft generally (rather than a specific tradition thereof). I've tried to include every question I thought a person might ask, but if you have more please do ask in the comments of a blog entry and I will update this page to include that information.

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Is witchcraft a religion?

No. Well - no, but in some cases, yes. Witchcraft in general, in itself, is not a religion. However, most practitioners refer to it as a spiritual craft, and for some it is a spiritual path in and of itself. Still others practise a religious form of witchcraft, like Wicca. Individuals who practise a personal religious witchcraft might describe their religion primarily just as "witchcraft", in the same way that they might identify just as "Pagan".

Are all witches Pagans?

No. Witchcraft is a craft - partly a spiritual one, to be sure, but a craft nonetheless. Witches can be practitioners of any religion that doesn't outright restrict the practice of witchcraft. People from a variety of religions can incorporate it into their practice.

What different types of witches are there?

To begin with, there are religious witches and secular witches. Within the religious subsection, there are Christian witches, Pagan witches, Jewish witches and so forth.

The differences are usually how the craft is incorporated into their faith and vice versa rather than differences in practice. However, there are definitely different flavours and traditions of witchcraft that witches may be practitioners of or inclined towards. Often these types of witchcraft are vaguely defined; that is, there's a great deal of overlap, and witches may define themselves as they will. For example, Wiccan might, when at home, be quite the kitchen witch.

Ceremonial witches practise a craft that draws from ceremonial magic in some way. Their spells often involve checking the position of the planets, phase of the moon, and a lot in the way of trappings. They may or may not be theistic.

Wicca-flavoured witches practise a craft derived from Wicca-esque religions. It is often theistic, and the craft itself often involves magic circles and minor elements of ceremonialism. This form of witchcraft is very popular, and many books on witchcraft tend to favour this form of the craft.

Traditional witchcraft can refer to many things, depending on who you ask. Another term for Wicca is "British Traditional Witchcraft" and the phrase can refer to other forms of witchcraft that involve initiation within a particular tradition. These forms of witchcraft are often ceremonial. This is a bit ironic as the term "traditional witchcraft" is also used for pre-Wiccan forms of witchcraft, to distinguish them from more modern forms that may be more Wicca-flavoured. These Traditional Witches often use witch-trial records, archaeological evidence of witchcraft, and folklore to help form their craft.
When I use the term "traditional witchcraft" I tend to be using it in this way. In this sense, it can refer to witchcraft that is quite personal and in that sense modern, but derived largely from pre-Wiccan and non-ceremonial forms of witchcraft. (Think the village wise-woman.) I'll use it that way in my blog, but be aware that it can mean very different things!

Hearth-craft or Hearth witchcraft is a form of traditional witchcraft (that is, "pre-Wiccan") that is based within the home, primarily the hearth, and involves care for the homestead and family. It tends to be very pared-down and come-as-you-are, with common household items used as tools when required.

Kitchen witchcraft is witchcraft based in the kitchen, often incorporating much in the way of cooking and herb work. There are large overlaps with hearth witchcraft. Kitchen witches are, if anything, more come-as-you-are and tend to use kitchen items as tools when required.

Green witchcraft often refers to the tradition of witchcraft created by one Ann Moura (which itself is rather Wicca-flavoured), but can also refer to the craft of a witch who tends to base their craft outside. Green witches favour working with growing things, and often grow and use their own herbs. Their craft might be similar to that of a kitchen witch, but centred in gardening rather than cooking.

Hedge witchcraft or Hedgecraft is a form of traditional witchcraft that places a great stress on trancework and otherworld travel, referred to in various ways such as "Walking the Hedge". The metaphorical "hedge" in hedgecraft is a border between this world and the next. A hedgewitch crosses a metaphorical village wall and goes out into the "wild", sometimes with the use of herbal tinctures or "flying ointment". There are a lot of cross-overs with hearth craft, and many witches of various descriptions will practise some form of trancework or otherworld travel without identifying with hedgecraft.

Most of these different types of witchcraft could be practised theistically or non-theistically. There are, no doubt, quite a few more types of witchcraft, and that's completely aside from all the different traditions of witchcraft such as Wicca, Cochrane's craft and so forth.

I read that there's no such thing as Satanic witches.

Satanists can practise witchcraft if they want to. There's nothing stopping them.

 Do all witches follow the rede? Harm none, right?

The rede, sometimes referred to as "the Wiccan rede", is a fragment of advice that appears to originate from a speech by Doreen Valiente. It goes: "An it harm none, do what ye will".
"An" is an archaic word meaning "if"; thus the line is a conditional statement. It does not mean "harm none", rather, it states that if an action does not harm, you can go ahead and do it. It does not say what action to take if something does harm. Additionally, "rede" means advice, and this rede is not a law or a rule of any kind.

Many witches, usually Wicca-flavoured, do follow some interpretation of the rede. Many others have absolutely no use for it.

I want to be a witch! Where should I start?

Well, reading, I suppose. It's my general answer when people ask me where to start. There are a lot of inaccurate books (as with Paganism), but the more you read the better you'll be able to spot the good books from the bad. I also recommend meditation, as it's very helpful in focusing your mind, clearing your mind of stray thoughts and helping you to sense and manipulate both your own energies and those around you. Some books have helpful exercises, including visualisation and raising energy.

Also try to work out what it is about witchcraft that interests you. If you're interested because you want to call yourself a witch, or you want to use it to get something you want, it's probably to your benefit to just keep on walking. Witchcraft involves a lot of work, and if you're here for a quick fix, you're not going to get one. If you're here because you think witchcraft is cool, I'm not going to send you away. Witchcraft is cool. Although probably not in the ways you're thinking. It's also difficult, and life-changing, and encompassing. Your life will change if you become a witch. Probably in a bunch of subtle ways as much as any big ones.

Do spells really work?

Yep. Not in any way you could objectively and empirically test, but sure, they work.

Are there secret magic words you have to say?

Not really. Spells involve raising energy and then directing it to your goal. I like to say a spell is energy, focus and will. Everything else is just trappings - bits and pieces you use to help you do one of those things. For this reason it's best to write a spell yourself, because other people's spells will be geared specifically to their own understandings and minds.

Why do some people spell magic with a K?

Because they're knobheads. Or they're Crowley. (Those things are not mutually exclusive.)

Aleister Crowley invented the "magick" spelling for his Thelema. It actually implies something quite specific, and involves Crowley's concept of Will with a capital W. The K was added for numerological reasons and it's quite tied into his own personal magical and religious tradition. There's really no reason to add the K if you're not a Thelemite or if you aren't massively into numerology.

In general practise, the better an author (or publisher), the less likely they are to use the spelling "magick". Unless, you know, they're Crowley. Sure there are exceptions, and I'd never suggest you put down a book just because of the way they spell "magic", but it's certainly very annoying to see that K all over the place.