Types of Traditional Witches

Augury Witch: Similar to a shaman in practice, the augury witch will help to direct those on a spiritual quest by interpreting the signs and symbols the traveler encounters. The term derives from the official Roman augurs, whose function was not to foretell the future but to discover whether or not the gods approved of a proposed course of action by interpreting signs or omen such as the appearance of animals sacred to the gods. It is important to note that augury witches are not “fortune tellers“, as their gifts are of prophecy and not divination. In the context of prophecy, in his Scottish play Shakespeare’s witches appear asaugury witches.

Ceremonial Witch: Witches who combines both the practices of witchcraft andceremonial magic, though they are more spiritually centered than most ceremonial magicians. Ceremonial witches are very exacting in the performance of ritual and their rituals are usually followed by the book, to the letter and with much ceremony. They may use a combination of various mystical disciplines drawn from the Old Ways, but will often incorporate scientific approaches such as sacred mathematics and quantum mysticism as well.  They will call upon a ecclectic band of spiritual entities, leaning towards archetypal figures representative of the energies they wish to manifest.

Eclectic Witch: An individual approach in which the witch picks and chooses from many different traditions and creates a personalized form of witchcraft that meets their individual needs and abilities. They do not follow a particular religion or tradition, but study and learn from many different systems and use what works best for them.

Elemental Witch: A witch who practices by honoring/acknowledging the 4 or all 5 elements: Water, Earth, Air, Fire, and Spirit. Commonly an Elementalist will dedicate different areas of their altars to each element, call upon them during spells and rituals, and use symbols to represent each.

Faery (Fairy) Witch: An eclectic witch who seeks to commune with faery folk and nature spirits in their magick workings. They have no organization or tradition and it has developed of its own accord through common practice. (Not to be confused with the ‘Feri Movement’ [see below] )

Green (Garden) Witch: A practitioner of of witchcraft whose focus is on the use of natural items and places. The goal of the Green Witch is upon achieving magic through communion with Mother Nature and using Her energies. A Green witch is very similar to a Kitchen/Cottage witch (see below) with the exception that the Green witch practices in the fields and forest in order to be closer to the Divine spirit. The Green witch makes his or her own tools from accessible materials from outdoors.  A Green or Garden Witch, that works primarily with floral materials and flowers in their practice is often called a Flora Witch and one who works with herbs and other plants a Herbal Witch.

Hedge Witch: Hedgecraft is a path that is somewhat shamanic in nature, as they are practitioners of an Earth-based spirituality. These are the ones who engage in spirit flight and journey into the Otherworld. They can, in this capacity, be very powerful midwives and healers. A bird of one kind or another is usually associated with the Hedge Witch, most commonly the raven and the goose. The term “hedge” signified the boundary of the village and represents the boundary that exists between this world and the spiritual realm.

Hereditary Witch: Also known as a Family Tradition Witch, it is someone who has been taught “The Old Ways ” as a tradition passed down through the generations of their family. Though you may be born into a family with the tradition, you can not be born a witch, a conscious decision and acceptance of “The Craft” is necessary to become a witch. Many witches claim to be hereditary witches when in fact, they are not. You must be brought up in a family of witches to be a hereditary witch.

Kitchen (Cottage) Witch: A practitioner of witchcraft who uses the tools at hand to work their spells and create their rituals and who deals with the practical sides of religion, magick and the Elements of the Earth. Some who hear the term “Kitchen Witch” may think it is a magickal art confined only to the kitchen or cooking, but it is much more. It is about the finding of the sacred in everyday tasks, no matter how mundane they may appear to be. An increasingly popular type of witchcraft, it is about working with the energies of nature to make the hearth and home a secure and sacred place.

Secular Witch: One who practices a secular or non-theist approach to the Craft, not connecting with deities in their rituals and magick. Secular witches believe the energy used in their magick comes from the Earth and natural world and they will use tools like plants and herbs,  crystals and stones, or other things that they do not worship as deities.

Solitary Witch (Solitaire): One who practices alone, without a family or group and without following any particular tradition. Sometimes they are among that class of natural witches whose skills have been developed in previous lifetimes. There is a legend among witches that when an individual soul has practiced “the Craft” over a period of several lifetimes, the knowledge is reawakened upon reaching puberty.

Satanic Witch: A pernicious epithet used by those who wish to demonize those practicing witchcraft. Satanic worshippers are not witches. Traditional Witches do not worship Satan as this is a Christian concept not recognized in traditional pagan beliefs. Accordingly, the labels of “white witch” and “black witch , (popularly meaning a “good witch” as one who practices white magic” and a “wicked witch” as one who practices “black magic”),  are also misnomers as Traditional Witches practice a“natural magic” drawing on the forces of Nature and they refrain from attempting to manifest any form of black magic and the drawing down of negative or demonic energies.