Witchcraft allows for people to self-determine their spirituality and also to change their minds throughout the journey. What works for you at one stage of your life might not work later on, or you might find something new which resonates more than what you started out with. There’s no right and wrong way to go about it, so don’t feel the need to categorise yourself or to feel stuck on a path which no longer serves you.
The type of witchcraft you practice will also determine which tools you need. For example, a kitchen witch will have a mortar and pestle as well as a sacred knife and a sacred wooden spoon inscribed with sigils or runes to infuse their cooking with magic, but a green witch will have a special trowel and a sickle or scythe for their craft.
Overarching all types of witchcraft is whether the practice is Solitary or in a Coven. You can choose to be a witch on your own and just in private, or you can join a group and the larger community of witches.
If you do choose to join a coven, it is important to note that a healthy coven should be difficult to get into and easy to leave (pretty much the reverse of a cult, which is easy to get into and impossible to leave like Scientology). The coven should spend time assessing you to make sure you’re not bat-shit crazy and you should do the same thing.
Discernment is important because you’re opening yourself up energetically with other people and all the energy they’re bringing in.
I also want to say that witchcraft is entirely inclusive of gender, race and sexuality. You don’t have to fit into a particular demographic in order to choose this path for yourself.
Let’s have a look at the range of witchcraft available:
Under the banner of Wicca is actually two different off-shoots from the original founders of the religion. Whichever one you choose to follow, this path is the most strict version of witchcraft and follows specific set rules and practices. You will either need to read up on it or join a teaching coven to learn more.
This is a practice which is handed down through families from generation to generation. If you have a lineage of witches, you will need to learn this from either your parents or grandparents. Sometimes, it can be part of a tribal tradition and involve a process of initiation.
A lot of mixed race witchcraft can incorporate ancestral practices such as voodoo or strega which originated in specific parts of the world and are part of culture.
This is a mix-and-match-your-own style of witchcraft. You get to cherry-pick from all the various types of witchcraft out there and collate your own version of practice which works for you. This style can also be in a state of flux, subject to tweaks, refinement and adaptation. It’s very flexible.
This is a practice centred on the natural world of plants predominantly, but animals also. It involved spending a lot of time in nature, talking to trees, grounding and growing plants.
Green witches tend to incorporate herbal medicine into their practice.
A kitchen witch is someone who focuses their magic on nurturing the body, home and family. They infuse magic into their cooking and do a lot of cleansing in their house which is considered their sacred space.
A cottage witch is a combination of Green and Kitchen which is a more holistic form of kitchen witchery where it closes the loop on living naturally. They grow their own herbs and vegetables in order to use them for cleansing and cooking in the home, then compost the scraps back into the garden.
Not to be confused with the Little Mermaid, sea witches are connected to the ocean tides, lunar cycles and salt water and sea shells. They usually also have animal guides which are aquatic such as dolphins and their rituals usually take place at the beach.
This is a Goddess-centred practice where the masculine energy is ignored and only the feminine energy is incorporated. This is usually the realm of very active feminists. Based on the Roman goddess Diana.
Focusing on the four elements of earth, air, fire and water, this practice draws upon those particular energies and the spirits associated with them.
The hedge tradition started when witchcraft was heavily persecuted in Europe and particularly England and Ireland. Teaching witchcraft was done behind the hedge-rows so that nobody could see them.
However, it can also refer to a practice where the witch straddles the liminal space between physical reality and the Otherworld of the astral plane or fairies.
A cosmic witch is someone who studies astrology and the movement of the planets and stars in order to work their magic.
On top of that it can also refer to the Star-Seed groups and witches who encounter aliens.
This is the witchcraft for athiests category because it doesn’t include any deities, just energy, intention and will.
This is one which a friend of mine informed me about and it centres on environmental activism and the global community. Their website can provide more information if you’re interested; reclaiming.org
It’s important to recognise that this is a path people can choose to follow. Whether you judge it as good or bad, this is the realm of shadow and some witches occasionally dabble or focus their craft in this direction.
This involves necromancy, hexing, curses and demons.
A word of warning about this last category: some people choose this path because of the power-trip. Just remember that witchcraft holds you responsible for every action you undertake and energy can come back to you if you put it out there. Also, it may seem like a bad-ass thing to do to summon a demon, but they’re ridiculously easy to summon. They will wonder in if you leave the door open and if you strike a deal with one, be sure that they’re getting all the perks and none of the price. You’ll be paying it later. Also, getting rid of them is much more difficult than inviting them in and you could get stuck with a demon hovering over your life.
Be careful with your energy, use discernment and understand what you’re doing before you do it.