With so many beautiful variations of pagan, witchy, and earth-based spiritual paths out there it can get confusing trying to find the right path for your spirit! I remember having a pile of different books beside my bed when I first started looking into these paths, trying to soak up as much information as possible like a sponge 🙂
This post takes a look at what the practice of traditional witchcraft is. I hope it offers a wee bit of insight. Remember to always let spirit and your inner knowledge guide you as you wander your own winding path. )O(
Ps. Don’t forget to Pin this post to read it later
What is Traditional Witchcraft?
A large portion of the resources available about witchcraft in literature and online focus on the practice of witchcraft when blended with Wicca. So, when you’re first starting out into the pagan, witchy, earthy spirituality world it’s easy to come to the conclusion that all witches are Wiccan and all Wiccans are witches (I know I did at first!).
However, the concept of witchcraft isn’t exclusive to Wicca. Witchcraft can exist entirely on its own and that’s in essence, what traditional witchcraft is. Traditional witchcraft is a practice of witchcraft that isn’t Wiccan.
Wiccans who are also practising witches (not all Wiccans are witches) combine witchcraft into the spiritual structure of Wicca. On the other hand, traditional witches practise witchcraft outside of the Wiccan structure.
So what on earth does that even mean?
Traditional witchcraft is a practice. Wicca is a spiritual system.
It means that traditional witches practise witchcraft in alignment with their personal moral code and spiritual understanding as their guide, rather than following Wiccan teachings. When traditional witches practise witchcraft they won’t follow the Wiccan Rede for instance (unless spirit calls them too). So, if you were to cast a spell as a traditional witch, you probably wouldn’t feel called to say “and harm none do what ye will” which is a Wiccan teaching.
That being said it’s hard to strictly create any definition around traditional witchcraft. This is simply because there are so many different variations of it. There are quite honestly as many variations of traditional witchcraft as there are traditional witches. While some traditional witches may choose to adopt elements of Wicca into their spiritual practice, other’s practises are entirely separate from Wiccan teachings.
Some traditional witches draw on other spiritual practices, as part of their witchery. Many work with ancient pagan deities, as they feel called to. Then again, many also choose to practise the art of witchcraft as something entirely separate from a spiritual system. It is up to each witch and their inner knowledge to decide how their practice of traditional witchery will unfold.
If you’re trying to decide on which path is best for you, keep in mind that you don’t need to rush to put a name to your spirituality. Take time to let your intuition and spirit guide you. They’ll set you on the right path for you if you make the time to listen within.
My Journey to Traditional Witchery
When I first started walking this witchy path and went hunting around for information and resources I found an overwhelming amount of information on Wicca. For a few months, I wandered along the Wiccan path. However, it just didn’t quite fit who I was or with where I was headed with my spirituality. At the same time, I was deeply fascinated with witchcraft and the concept of magick.
I felt driven to put a name to my spiritual path as if that would somehow validate what my belief system was. Putting a name to my spiritual path was my way at the time of soothing my own insecurities. At the time, it offered a sense of direction as to where on earth I was heading with my spirituality. It had only been about maybe 3 to 4 months since I had left Catholicism and Christianity after years of feeling that it wasn’t quite the right path for me either. Needless to say, I was stilling feeling the whole ‘witch’ thing out.
So, I needed a name. I searched the interwebs far and wide and came across the concept of traditional witchcraft and something clicked. The idea of a magickal practice separate from Wicca’s structure just felt right.
‘When I came across traditional witchcraft, something clicked.’
For quite a while I rolled with ‘traditional witchcraft’, as the primary name for my practice. If you followed my YT channel a few years back you may remember that when I did altar tours I used to name them ‘traditional witch altars’
If you’re interested in looking at one of my traditional witch altar tours watch this vid.
Since then I mainly just stick with witch, Celtic witch, or green witch. That’s not to say my path still doesn’t fall along the lines of traditional witchcraft. It’s just a few too many words when it’s all strung in a phrase together 😀
I’m also cool with not naming my spiritual practice at all, at the end of the day I am me and I weave the magick in my soul into my daily life, and that is enough.
Literature For Traditional Witches
Traditional Witchcraft For Urban Living – Melusine Draco (Book)
Introduction to Traditional Witchcraft – Sarah Anne Lawless (Blog Post)
History books on witchcraft or mythology and plant guides for your local area are also great resources.
- Does Witchcraft Exits & Does it Really Work?
- 5 Signs You Are a Green Witch at Heart
- 10 Must Watch Witchy & Tarot YouTubers
- 7 Altar Ideas For Green Witches