WOTC Extra (b) – What does Wicca have to do with magic?

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What does Wicca have to do with magic?


Once again, it depends on who you ask, and for Wiccans who don’t practice magic of any kind, the answer is probably “nothing.” However many, many Wiccans do include magic in their practice, to the point that the two are combined in many Wiccan books and resources— including this very guide!

Most Witches will refer to their practice of magic as Witchcraft, but may use either term. And of course, the word “magic” is also a bit tricky, as it has its own set of meanings.

“Ceremonial magic” is older than Wicca and was an original influence for what would eventually become Wicca, but it’s actually a practice in its own right—in other words, not part of the religion. This ceremonial magic has several differences from the magic practiced by Witches. Ceremonial magic was derived from occult traditions through secret societies like the Freemasons and the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn , and is often quite elaborately ritualized. The term “high magic” is sometimes used to distinguish it from Witchcraft, which is called “folk magic” or even “low magic” by many of its practitioners. Some who practice ceremonial magic may identify as Pagans but are not Wiccans or Witches. Some simply identify as magicians.

What some call “practical magic” is a kind of ceremonial magic aimed at achieving common life improvements, such as healing physical or emotional ills, attracting love, and improving one’s finances. Some Wiccans see this form of magic as non-spiritual and distinct from Wicca, but others blend the two by performing magic in alignment with their deities and for the good of all , rather than just for their own personal gain.

Wicca for Beginners: A Guide to Wiccan Beliefs, Rituals, Magic, and Witchcraft (Wicca Books Book 1)

Lisa Chamberlain

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WOTC Extra(a) – What’s the difference between Wicca and Witchcraft?

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What’s the difference between Wicca and Witchcraft?


Wiccans who don’t identify as Witches don’t use the term “Witchcraft” in association with their practice of Wicca— they don’t use magic, and they draw a distinction between Wicca as a spiritual practice and individual relationship with the divine, and witchcraft as a practice that is not necessarily spiritual. However, many Wiccans do blend magic into their practice to varying degrees, and may use “magic” as an interchangeable term with “Witchcraft” (often shortened to “the Craft”) in association with Wicca.

In fact, some Witches who practice Witchcraft don’t identify as Wiccan at all.

Wicca for Beginners: A Guide to Wiccan Beliefs, Rituals, Magic, and Witchcraft (Wicca Books Book 1)

Lisa Chamberlain

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Let’s Talk Witch – What’s the difference between a Witch and a Wiccan?

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What’s the difference between a Witch and a Wiccan?



Depending on who you ask, there’s a big difference, or there’s not much (if any) difference. In terms of language, the words “witch” and “wicca” are related, as “wicca” was the Old English word that later became “witch.”

However, among Wiccans the relationship between the two words is less black-and-white—there are Witches who identify as Wiccans, Witches who don’t, and Witches who don’t have a preference. There are also Wiccans who don’t identify as Witches.

The varied uses of these words can be seen throughout contemporary writing about Wicca and Witchcraft. In addition to the name of the religion, some authors use “Wicca” as a singular word in place of “Witch,” but most use “Wicca” as a plural term, meaning that several (or all) Wiccans can be collectively called “the Wicca.”

Finally, while the words “Wicca” and “Wiccan” tend to be capitalized— especially in reference to the religion and its members— but there seem to be no hard and fast rules regarding whether to capitalize the words “Witch” and “Witchcraft” or leave them in lower case.

Some followers of Wiccan traditions who don’t adopt the name “Wicca” as a personal identifier feel no need to identify with a capital “W” for “Witch” or “Witchcraft.” Others feel that capitalization of these terms is important in distinguishing Wicca as an official religion and establishing a cultural respect for it as such. In the spirit of respect for those who feel strongly about recognizing Wicca as a religion, this guide capitalizes all four terms.

Wicca for Beginners: A Guide to Wiccan Beliefs, Rituals, Magic, and Witchcraft (Wicca Books Book 1)

Lisa Chamberlain

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WOTC Extra (c) – Personal Emotional Responsibility

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Personal Emotional Responsibility


The topic of emotional responsibility fits in perfectly with our discussion of what we hear versus what a person meant and how that affects group dynamics. While we all have expectations regarding various social circumstances, the choice of how we interpret a person’s words and actions is nearly always wholly our own. Say Person A declines an offer to go to a movie with you. We could interpret that as meaning they’re busy, or we could interpret it as avoidance or anger. If we interpret this person’s reaction as the latter, how does that in turn affect our self-image and our future interactions with that individual? The way you answer this last question reveals whether or not you’ve embraced personal emotional responsibility.

As children, we need someone to provide comfort and affirmation. As we mature, however, we need to learn how to do this for ourselves as well. This typically starts to occur when a person reaches the point in development where he or she no longer blames external forces for the state of their life, or the entirety of their feelings. While it’s recognized that no one exists in a vacuum and that externals certainly count for some of what we experience, this understanding is balanced with an acceptance of personal culpability.

The next developmental step, self-honesty, is hard for a lot of people. Here, the individual accepts their own feelings and begins to try to unravel their source, whether it’s fear, excitement, worry, anger, zeal, or whatever. Now rather than simply give themselves over to the emotion, that feeling’s considered more critically and truthfully, no hiding, no suppression, but an honest experience of feeling within the sacred self. As a result, this is typically when an individual finds one or two other people with whom they can share those real feelings in trustfulness. This sharing leads to emotional responsibility and openness.

There is a time and place for all things, including our feelings. Randomly venting any emotion can have great or terrible results. Yet, the willingness to be open outweighs the dangers of suppressing the true, sacred self. Eventually, the expression of these emotions will find the right venue in which to play themselves out freely, without guilt or regret. This also helps the individual internalize the lesson of that honestly expressed emotion. For example, repressed anger rarely heals; it just accumulates. If we instead speak the truth of our feelings, we then open the door to release the negative and build the positive. Making time for both feelings and healing is very important in the trust-love-will tripod. This doesn’t mean being aggressive; it simply means respecting your own emotions as you would the emotions of any other sacred being. This is part of being God/dess.

A Witch’s 10 Commandments: Magickal Guidelines for Everyday Life

Marian Singer

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WOTC Extra(b) – Trust, Love, and Will: A Difficult Trinity

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Trust, Love, and Will: A Difficult Trinity

In talking about love and will, it’s nearly impossible to not also ponder trust and its role in our lives. Most individuals begin by thinking the best of others, even if we can’t quite quantify what that “best” truly is. Likewise, most people want to be trusted and try to gain trust by saying what we mean, and following through in our actions. Trust is the core of meaningful relationships, including those in our community. But what exactly is trust?

Depending on the situation, trust may be a social coping mechanism. In fact, trust seems to be expected in some situations, and if a person refuses, they’re given a negative label. Here, guilt is used to control or conform trust. I do not think that’s what we intend when we say “perfect trust.” Take a coven that requires you to do something that goes against your personal ethical code to remain a part. This plays upon people’s insecurities; it’s manipulative, plain and simple, and certainly doesn’t honor the inner God/ dess-self.

In other instances, trust reflects innocence or naiveté, perhaps because the individual is uninformed or immature. In this case, the trust may be impulsive or risky because no thought as to future consequences ever enters into that person’s mind (such as getting married after only knowing someone a very short time). This commonly happens among the novices of the Craft who jump into situations because of overenthusiasm, even though they may realize they’re not really ready for that step. This hardly seems like what we’re trying to attain through perfect trust. We who have walked the path for a while should gently advise novices that there’s no hurry in making important personal and spiritual choices. Give them options, ideas to consider, help them pause and truly think.

Trust is a good virtue, one we should strive for. Socially, however, trust comes into play in situations where we as yet have no foundation for confidence. For example, when you meet someone for the first time, you can’t really predict behavior or how interactions will go (other than perhaps by an anticipated reaction based the group with whom you associate that person). In either case, it’s just wishful thinking until experience dictates otherwise. Consequently, trust implies giving, risking, and bonding. What happens, however, when the giving is one way, when the risk results in pain, or when the bond is betrayed? Do we simply say, “It’s all good”? The answer should be no, but in my opinion among Neo-Pagans as a whole, there appears to be too much willingness to turn a blind eye toward, accept, and even enable hurtful behavior.

A Witch’s 10 Commandments: Magickal Guidelines for Everyday Life

Marian Singer

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Let’s Talk Witch(a) – Love Versus Will

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Love Versus Will


Before breaking down this expression further, let’s give pause to the question of whether love should be “under” will. The word “under” means:

A state of being overwhelmed or burdened by

Inferiority or subordination

The current subject (“under discussion”)

Attested to (such as “under one’s own hand)

Represented by (under a coat of arms, under a flag)

Point by point, first love does not seem to be “overwhelmed” by will. If anything, love often overcomes common sense without much effort. It’s possible, however, for love to be “burdened” by will. For example, sometimes, we fall in love with an ideal, or a group, only to discover later that one, the other, or both, simply aren’t realistic or healthy. It is in this moment of awareness that love may give way to will; we must make a choice, even if it’s painful.

Point two: Inferioritythis has a lot of negative to it. Neither love nor reason nor will are better or worse than the other except in how they are applied. Again, we come back to our actions and how they reflect our ideals and ethics. Some might say that love makes a person weak; being able to love (in all its forms), especially in the long-haul, however, takes great strength. Nonetheless, emotion alone is not enough to see a person through the most difficult times. Reason is a valuable companion in our struggles, one that helps us measure what we feel against what is real or possible!

What about subordination? This would indicate ranking or superiority, a concept that thus far seems lacking substantiation. Reason has given us much, but so has love in all its forms. To say one ranks higher than the other, in terms of human acclaim, would be very difficult to prove, let alone substantiate.

How about love “under discussion?” Now, this has potential, because when it comes to love we certainly do talk about it. In fact we talk about it a lot. We talk to our friends, our families. We read books and columns for the lovelorn. We watch informational programs about what makes for healthy relationships. We inwardly mull over what we feel or do not feel. Discourse with others and with ourselves (as within, so without) is important, but ultimately it’s the inner discussion (thou art God/dess) that’s most likely to win out, especially among a vision-driven group of Neo-Pagans.

Personally, I also have a favorable reaction to the idea of love being “attested to” by will. This supports the idea that love is a mindful choice. This could effectively work hand-in-hand with the next point, “representation.” We choose to love, then we represent that love by our decisions and the actions and words that follow.

A Witch’s 10 Commandments: Magickal Guidelines for Everyday Life

Marian Singer

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Let’s Talk Witch – Love is the Law, Love Under Will

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Love Is the Law,

Love Under Will


Love and trust are rarely perfect. We are humans with limitations and failings, yet we strive for this perfection. Thus, we come to the point of discussing the importance of love and will, and that often-elusive heart-head balance necessary for walking a positive magickal path successfully.

There’s balance in our path. The empowered seeker keeps his or her eyes on the horizon but knows well the way he or she walks. If we look too far forward, we’re likely to stumble over the stone lying just before our feet. If we look down all the time, we may take the wrong fork in the road and miss our goals altogether. In short, there is a place, and indeed a need, for both reason and intuition in our practices.

A Witch’s 10 Commandments: Magickal Guidelines for Everyday Life

Marian Singer

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Native American Comments & Graphics




One of the most common requests that we receive is from people who want to perform “revenge spells” for self defense. Unfortunately (or fortunately) the term “revenge spell” is an oxymoron. Most people think of revenge when they feel they have been wronged… and are feeling very negative! That’s why a magic spell won’t work in this case… because negativity and magic are mutually exclusive.

To understand why this is so, you need to understand why magic is so magical. Magic is really nothing more than the Operating Laws of the Universe working as they should. Unfortunately, most people operate under the Law of Accident, which is on a level lower than the Operating Laws of the Universe. Magic can’t operate at the level of the Law of Accident— it’s too low. When a person who normally lives at the Law of Accident becomes positive enough to raise their energy to the next level, what seems like magic happens! It’s really just the Operating Laws of the Universe, but it appears to be magic.

All of this is a long-winded explanation of why revenge spells don’t often work. Self defense spells, when done with a cool head and positive energy, do work. But if you wait until you feel downright negative before you start looking at magic, forget it. You have to be positive and upright (virtuous) in your self defense for magic to work.

Learn How to Do Witchcraft Rituals and Spells with Your Bare Hands
Alan G. Joel

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