Does the word ‘witch’ imply spellwork?

by grayfable:

I have seen the word ‘witch’ in neopagan use referring to practitioners that use a mix of spirituality and craft (spellwork); but it is also sometimes taken to mean primarily one or the other. Do you take the word to imply one more heavily, both equally, or something else altogether? If you distinguish between spell-based and non-spell-based practice, what vocabulary do you use to communicate the difference?
Although I know that ‘witch’ has several uses, I am asking only about the current uses of the word in neopaganism.

Answer by Megami of Nekro
I don’t tell the difference between the two through words. I may like Japan a lot, but I’m not going to differentiate between two things that seem similar. (they have two seperate “to be”s… one for living things, one for not)

I’m Pagan, though. 🙂 I’m not offended if called a Witch. Wiccan, though, sends me flyin’. I’m not Wiccan. 😀 It’s all preference.


  • I use the word witch to refer to someone who practices a natural form of magic. I do this because I have encountered witches who are offended when someone refers to them as Wiccan.

    There are also those who practice Neo-Pagan religions who don’t practice magic. They too, often get irritated when someone calls them a witch.

    To me it just makes sense to keep the words separate in order to avoid confusion.

  • There are many different definitions of the word. I will give you a link. Also, not all Neo pagans or pagans or Wiccans consider themselves Witches. But most do. Many Pagans are simply scholarly. They don’t involve themselves in rituals becasue homage to the Gods can be done in diferent ways and doesn’t have to involve any form of magick.

  • There are no witches, ghosts, goblins, etc..no spells, no gods, no UFOs, no crop circles, no after life, no reincarnation, no preexistence of the soul, no souls for that matter, no angels, no demons and no devil. It is all bullshit.

  • Witch is commonly used to refer to somebody who is either a woman who uses magic, who is an old hag, or somebody that is good at a particular craft.

  • not necessarily. not all “witches” or “wiccans” practice magick. for some it may just be about the beliefs, perhaps prayers, holidays, etc. but not necessarily any magickal practices.

    i hear witch and i can’t help but instinctively think a practicioner, but i know it’s not necessarily true. as for vocabulary to communicate the difference, i haven’t really had to so i haven’t really thought about it. i suppose i would call them a non magick practicing wiccan or witch.

  • The word “witch” can be used to describe any practitioner of the religion known as Wicca. “Witchcraft” is simply the practical side of Wicca, and not all Wiccans practice witchcraft.

  • A “witch” can also be someone (usu. a lady) who manipulates rules to server her own purpose, or someone who acts very cruel.

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