Hello and welcome to WiccaNow. I’ve been writing a lot about herbs and plants recently, like this post about witch’s gardens and one about herbs for love and herbs for self love. I’ve also been sharing some of my favourite rituals and spells, check out my home protection spell and a ritual to ease anxiety. While writing these, I realised that I’ve failed to talk about a rather important topic. Today I want to talk about all the different types of witches so that you can start figuring out what type of witch you are. Are you ready to dive in?
Don’t feel like you have to pigeonhole yourself into being just one type of witch. It’s perfectly ok to identify with multiple different types of witches and to change your mind if you have identified with something in the past but no longer feel the same way. Life is like that. Our opinions and ideas change regularly and it would be pretty unfair to ourselves to feel we have to commit to something completely and stay that way forever.
I, for example, am a solitary witch who identifies with eclectic witchcraft, as well as kitchen and green witchcraft and a little bit hedgewitchery too. As confusing as this might seem, I go by the motto a dear family member of mine loves, “let your joy be unconfined.”
Side note: When I talk about a witch, I am referring to both male and female practitioners. The term “Witch” is often linked only to the female but this is actually incorrect and a witch can be both male and female.
I’ve ordered the different types of witches below alphabetically. Every type of witch is equal and no witch is better than the other!
20 Different Types of Witches
Type of Witch #1 Alexandrian Witch
Alexandrian Witchcraft was created by Alex Sanders and his wife Maxine Sanders in the 1960s. The Sanders based a lot of their ideas on Gerald Gardeners’ teachings but chose to also incorporate ceremonial magic and Qabalah which Alex Sanders had studied previously.
Alexandrian Wicca chooses to focus on the polarity of the genders, which is seen in the way that Sabbats are celebrated. Rituals will often revolve around the relationship between the Goddess and the God.
Maxine Sanders confirms the idea that Alexandrian witchcraft is more eclectic than Gardnerian Witchcraft, stating that “if it works, use it.” Personally I quite like this about this type of witchcraft as I’m also a fan of being able to pick and choose things that work for you and not being stuck in a strict structure. Alexandrian followers have more scope to do what they want and don’t have to practice ritual nudity if they don’t want to. Again, something I’m all for as I don’t believe that anyone should have to be naked if they don’t want to be.
Alexandrian Covens often meet during new or full moons and during the Sabbat festivals. In order to become an Alexandrian Witch, you have to be initiated. Only then will you be allowed to learn and participate in the rituals the coven performs. In order to be initiated into a coven, you have to have another witch willing to help you. Alexandrians believe that “only a witch can make another witch”. This is something that I don’t agree with because I’m all for being able to be a solitary practitioner and still being able to call yourself a witch.
There are 3 levels of initiation, and only a 2nd or 3rd-degree witch can initiate a new witch into the coven. In order to become a 3rd-degree witch, a fellow 3rd-degree witch would have to initiate you. 3rd-degree witches are referred to as “High Priestess” or “High Priest”. Some covens allow a pre-initiation rank so that newcomers can see if they like the coven without being bound by its rules just yet.
Type of Witch #2 Augury Witch
This type of witchcraft comes from the Ancient Romans. They used to believe strongly in the practice of Augury, which is the study of birds in order to determine the will of the gods. The Augurs in Ancient Rome would study the behaviour, flight and calls of a single bird or a group of birds in order to determine if the gods found an idea favourable or not.
An augury witch will learn how to interpret signs and omens to determine whether someone is on the right path or not. Their main role is to help and guide people who are on a spiritual quest. They act as an interpreter between the cosmic forces and the person seeking advice.
Type of Witch #3 Ceremonial Witch
A ceremonial witch believes ceremonies and rituals are the most important thing in their magical lives and believes strongly in following a strict set of rules. They will research their rituals and ceremonies meticulously and believe one wrong step might negate the whole process.
Often ceremonial witches will draw their knowledge from more scientific sources, like sacred geometry and quantum mysticism. They will worship the spiritual being that they believe most represents the energy that they wish to manifest.
Type of Witch #4 Correllian Witch
Correllian Wicca, or Correllian Nativist Tradition, was created in 1879 by Blv. Orpheis Caroline High Correll. She was an American spiritual healer, herbalist and psychic who claimed to have descended from a long line of magical families. She claimed her ancestors were the Cherokee Didanvwisgi (Indian American Medicine Men) and Scottish Traditionalist Witches.
She launched the Correll Mother Temple in Illinois on September 4th 1879 and headed this church till her death in 1940. She believed that the only way to improve the rights and legal standing of Pagans was through communication and cooperation between different offshoots of paganism. She thought the religion would only survive with united action against religious imperialism.
Correllian Wicca wasn’t accepted as an offshoot of Wicca until the 1990s. High Priestess LaVeda High-Correll had been advocating for acceptance since the 1970s. She moved the church in a direction of eclecticism and universalism, something that is now used to typify many Wiccan traditions. Correllianism puts a strong emphasis on the philosophical parts of Wicca. It is committed to publically accessible rituals.
As of 2015, the Correllian Nativist Church which is a legally incorporated church had around 150,000 members in 114 countries around the world. It is dedicated to the advancement of anyone who has Pagan or Neopagan leanings. It aims to increase awareness of the religion and increase communications between all parts of the Wiccan world.
Type of Witch #5 Cosmic Witch
A cosmic witch is a lover of astrology and astronomy. This is something that they would include in their magical practice. A cosmic witch will closely follow the movement of the planets and the moon. Spells will often be coordinated with the moon or planet cycles in order to make them as powerful as possible.
Cosmic Witchcraft is actually a broad term, encompassing anyone who uses celestial power in their magic. As such, there are many sub-categories within this type of witchcraft.
Types of Cosmic Witches
- Astrological Witch – This type of witch will work mainly with astrology and it’s symbols. The zodiac features strongly here and will be used in the witch’s magic.
- Lunar Witch – A lunar witch will work with the moon. If you use the cycles of the moon in any of your rituals you are practising lunar magic and might have an affinity to lunar witchcraft.
- Steller Witch – A stellar Witch works mostly with the stars and constellations.
- Solar Witch – A solar witch will work mainly with the sun and will use its power in his or her spells or rituals
- Planetary Witch – This type of witch will work with just one chosen planet or will work with multiple planets depending on what type of spell or ritual s/he wants to complete. Each planet is connected to a different area of magic.
Magickal Correspondences of Planets
|Mercury||Used with spells affecting intellect, learning, communication, business, logic and safe travel|
|Venus||Venus is called on for spells involving love, friendship, romance, beauty, and fertility.|
|Mars||Use Mars when casting spells relating to passion, energy, courage, strength, vitality and your drive for success.|
|Jupiter||Spells using Jupiter usually relate to things involving luck, fortune, prosperity, growth, personal development and charity.|
|Saturn||Used in spells relating to protection, revenge (not something I suggest trying, remember the Threefold Law), justice, authority, responsibility and order.|
|Uranus||Used for spells relating to weather, freedom, the breaking of boundaries, technology, innovative thinking and rebellion.|
|Neptune||Spell work involving Neptune often relates to dreams and divination, illusion, empathy and psychic work.|
|Pluto||(no longer a planet but still counts in my opinion) – Pluto is called on for things relating to death and the underworld along with spirit and shadow work, transformation, chaos and crisis.|
Type of Witch #6 Crystal Witch
A crystal witch will focus mainly on working with crystals and crystal magick. This type of witch will have a large amount of knowledge about the magickal properties of crystals and will generally include crystals in all their magickal practice. A crystal witch will use crystals for things like chakra balancing, divination, healing, meditation, crystal grids and potions.
If you want to read more about this type of witchcraft, Amythest wrote a whole post dedicated to crystal witchery.
Type of Witch #7 Dianic Witch
Dianic witches celebrate the same sabbats and ideas as Wiccans, and some Dianic witches also identify as Wicca. However, this type of witchcraft has an extremely strong focus on the feminist side of Wicca. Dianic witches will focus exclusively on the worship of The Goddess. They don’t worship one particular goddess from one particular religion. Instead, they believe that every goddess is an aspect of The Goddess and see her as the beginning of all things and the mother of all.
Dianic witches believe strongly in meditation and visualization along with spell and ritual work. They focus a lot of their magical work on healing themselves from the wounds they perceive that they have received from the patriarchy. They focus on things from a feminist standpoint and like to celebrate the female form and body.
While rituals and ideas differ from coven to coven, some Dianic witches believe that using hexes, jinxes and binding spells on people who have mishandled women doesn’t go against the Wiccan rede and actively encourage binding rapists. Many of the Dianic rituals contain a therapeutic element and are used by women who are trying to overcome trauma in their lives. They try to raise awareness for violence against women and believe that using their focus and magical intent can enact change in our society.
Some Dianic covens have developed rituals specifically to help women deal with trauma related to gender discrimination. These rituals have been proven to improve the self-perception of women taking part. Long term results were proven to be sustainable with repeated practice. These rituals worked by encouraging the women involved to take back their own power rather than being defined by their assailants’ power over them.
Many Dianic covens believe strongly in the exploration of female sexuality and are proud of their inclusion of lesbian and bisexual members. Unfortunately, some of these covens believe in lesbian separatism and exclude their transsexual sisters because they believe that being born male at birth means that you must remain male. While I’m all for exploration, I also believe in equality for everyone so excluding people who are fighting the same fight as you bothers me a little.
Type of Witch #8 Druids
While druids aren’t technically witches, they were important in the development of paganism and Wicca. Some people who practise witchcraft identify as Druids which is why I’ve included them as a type of witch.
The Druids were ancient Celtic leaders who we don’t know very much about due to the fact that they weren’t allowed to record anything about themselves. They have often been portrayed as being opposed to Christianity and as such have been painted as sorcerers. Neo-druidism takes a romanticized view of the Ancient Druids and promotes ideas of harmony and reverence for the natural world. Read more about the druids here and neo-druidism here.
Type of Witch #9 Eclectic Witch
An eclectic with is exactly the type of witch that it sounds like! This type of witch will pull their practices from various sources and religions. Nothing is off-limits and they’ll include whatever they feel like it into their magical workings. They’ll make their own rituals and spells and these might use various forms of magic from different religions and may change a lot over time.
Being an eclectic witch means that you are free to explore and find your own path in your magical life.
Type of Witch #10 Elemental Witch
An elemental witch uses the four elements (fire, water, earth and air) as the main inspiration for their magical work. They honour each element and might have a different altar dedicated to each. This type of witch will call on the elements when doing spell work and might identify with a particular element personally that they end up working with the most.
Read more about water magick here.
Type of Witch #11 Faery Witch
This form of witchcraft is relatively similar to that of an Eclectic Witch. Faery witches specifically look to form a connection with faeries and nature spirits and invite Faeries into their magical work. They may plant a faery garden to help attract faeries into their gardens. They have their own ideas about what rituals to perform and how to perform them and draw inspiration from many different sources. Because there are no real rules governing Faerie Witches, they often tend to be solitary practitioners with very individual ideas about their magical lives.
Type of Witch #12 Gardnerian Witch
Wicca is often said to have originated with Gerald Gardner. Gardner claimed for a long time that he was an initiate in the New Forest Coven, although this is still a topic for debate and may not be correct. He initiated many people into his coven, and formed new covens all over the place, initiating High Priestesses in order to lead the newly formed covens.
Gardnerian covens are normally limited to 13 people and are led by a High Priestess alongside a High Priest of her choosing. Rituals are meant to be kept a secret from non-initiates and even today many people hide that they are Wiccans. Interestingly, despite the desire of secrecy, Gardner was quite open about his involvement in this religion and was often seen in the spotlight, something he seems to have enjoyed.
Gardnerian witches are forbidden from sharing names and information of other members of their coven without express consent, something that I strongly agree with. As with Alexandrian Wicca, Gardnerian Wicca also has 3 levels of initiation. Due to the initiation rites, you aren’t technically able to call yourself a Gardnerian Witch unless you have been officially initiated by a member of a Gardnerian coven. To reach higher stages of initiation, you must follow a very structured system through which you would learn more and more about Wicca.
Gardnerian Wiccans worship a God and a Goddess, most often referred to as the Horned God and the Mother (or Triple) Goddess. The Gods are always named in rituals, however, this doesn’t always have to be the Horned God and the Mother Goddess. Other Deities can be used in their place depending on who the coven chooses to worship. Due to their belief in the Wiccan Rede and the Threefold Law, Gardnerian Witches hold themselves to high ethical standards.
Type of Witch #13 Green Witch
This type of witch bases their magical practice on nature. They will use the seasons as inspiration for their magical work and will often create their own magical tools from natural resources. They will harness the power of the elements and the natural resources around them. A green witch will try to perform all of their magical work outdoors and will probably have some sort of witch’s garden.
A green witch will form a connection with the local spirits, called the “Genius Loci”. The Genius Loci are spirits of the land and can include local trees, plants, rivers and wildlife. This actually resonates in a lot of indigenous cultures around the world. Did you know that New Zealand recently passed a law granting personship to a local river? This is because the indigenous Maori tribe in the area considered the river an ancestor ad fought to have this legally recognized. How wonderful would that be if it happened to natural resources all over the world?
A green witch will most likely keep a journal of their local wildlife and plants so that they notice the changes happening around them and can use these changes in their magical work. They will go out into nature as much as possible and normally have an ever-increasing knowledge of plants and their many uses. They will most likely have a garden or a lot of plants in the house and will often use the Green God as their deity, although this definitely isn’t a must.
Type of Witch #14 Hedge Witch
Exactly what a hedge witch is, is hard to put a finger on. It’s an eclectic practice that encompasses quite a few different elements.
The name “hedge witch” is an ode to the past when so-called “outcasts” would be forced to live beyond the boundaries of the village. These boundaries were often marked by a hedge, and just beyond this hedge, it was common to find anyone who was considered “different”. These “outcasts” often made a living as healers and survived by foraging in the hedges, forests and fields.
Often, but not always, the healers would be women, presumably ostracized for still being single or being “difficult”. Due to all their work foraging for healing plants, it became common to call these women hedge witches.
This type of witch would typically practise alone and would make every small task they completed into a small ritual. Brewing a cup of tea would become a moment of reflection and setting of magical intentions. Sweeping the floor would involve sweeping out negative energies as well as dust.
A hedgewitch would generally learn everything she knew from older family members. She would then spend her whole life learning her craft through trial and error. This is sometimes referred to as “green craft” and has taken a lot of its influences from old folk customs.
Being a hedge witch is a rapidly growing trend in the Wiccan community at the moment. Its emphasis on nature and herbal magic is appreciated by those who enjoy Wicca for its focus on the natural world.
Hedge witches often incorporate psychic work in their practice. Hedgewitch refers also to the “hedge” or veil separating the physical and the spiritual realms. Shamans are sometimes referred to as ”hedgewitches” because of their ability to communicate with spirits as well as their ability to walk in other planes.
Type of Witch #15 Hereditary Witch
A hereditary witch is someone that has been born into a family that identifies themselves as witches or has previously had ancestors who would consider themselves witches. They may have knowledge that has been passed down through generations. This might be in the form of an inherited book of shadows that they could add to as their own magical knowledge increases. A hereditary witch may have rituals that are family-specific and traditions that are only known within the family.
Claiming to be a hereditary witch is a tricky one. There are some people who say that there is no such thing as a hereditary witch because being a witch is a choice, and how can something that is a choice be passed down through blood? While I don’t believe that claiming to be a hereditary witch makes you a better or stronger witch, I think if you want to claim that title for yourself and you have a family connection to witchcraft then why not?
Where do you draw the line and say that you are a hereditary witch? Do you need one generation? Two? Five? Do you need specific traditions and rituals? A passed-down book of shadows? In my opinion, if your mother or father was a witch and shared this with you and you identify with it, you can call yourself a hereditary witch. The same goes if it was a grandmother or grandfather, or even an aunt or uncle. Say you have someone in the family who passed down knowledge and folklore and magical rituals, shouldn’t that be enough to claim the title of a hereditary witch if that’s important to you?
Type of Witch #16 Kitchen Witch
This is one of my favourite types of witchcraft. I’ve written a whole separate post on the topic, check out my guide to kitchen witchery for a more detailed explanation of what a kitchen witch is A kitchen witch can also be known as a hearth witch or a cottage witch.
A kitchen witch enjoys making everyday activities in their home into magical practice. This type of witch probably likes to incorporate magic into their cooking, for example kneading strength and courage into their bread or stirring healing energy into their soup.
A kitchen witch will try and match their magic to the food they are making or task they are completing. Imagine you have a sick friend and want to send them healing energy and love. You might not want to send them a cupcake, because in my experience that doesn’t really help you when you have the flu. Instead, you might cook them a simple broth and while you are cooking it, infuse it with healing energy and love. You might say chant over the broth while you are stirring it. You may light a candle and take a moment to focus on the healing properties of the soup and how they will help your friend recover from their illness.
A kitchen witch usually cares about the quality of the ingredients they are using and will often grow their own herbs or vegetables if they are lucky enough to have space for this. They will generally have an interest in herbs and spices and will have good knowledge about the magical properties of many foodstuffs.
Kitchen witches will work with household spirits and may worship a hearth deity such as the goddess Brigid, Frigg, Hestia or Vesta. Altars can be set up in the kitchen, although to a kitchen witch the whole house is a sacred space. Kitchen tools become a witch’s altar tools. Their wand might be a wooden spoon and their stockpot might be their cauldron. A kitchen witch will keep a book of shadows that might read as more of a cookbook, with magical recipes and ingredients.
Type of Witch #17 Secular Witch
A secular witch sees their witchcraft as an entirely different thing to their spirituality. This type of witch may be spiritual, but this spirituality absolutely doesn’t intersect with their magical practices. They may cast spells and use herbs, crystals, candles and oils but they won’t call on a deity and don’t worship a god or goddess. Essentially, there is no religious component to their witchcraft. If you believe in the power of magic, but don’t believe in a god or goddess, this is the type of witchcraft for you!
Type of Witch #18 Shamanic Witch
A shamanic witch is a witch who can reach altered states of consciousness through various means in order to engage and interact with the spirit world. Often they will enter a trance state in order to access the other realm, where they will either communicate or try to influence spirits. They will perform spiritual healings and interpret their prophetic visions for people. Shamanic Witches borrow their practices from lots of different religions and indigenous cultures. Read more about neo-shamanism here.
Type of Witch #19 Solitary Witch
This type of witch doesn’t belong to a coven and prefers to do their magical work alone. A solitary witch can be whatever they chose to be and might consider themselves a kitchen witch as well as a hedge witch combined with a little bit of planetary witch.
Solitary witches are sometimes solitary by choice, or they are unable to find a similarly minded coven in their area. Being this type of witch gives you the freedom to practice however you like. There are no rules imposed by a coven, giving you the power to incorporate whatever you want into your magical practice. You might want to combine bits of other religions or you might choose to follow a prescribed method of Wicca like being a Gardnerian Witch.
Type of Witch #20 Traditional Witch
A traditional witch takes a more historical approach to their magical life. This type of witch will study old witch lore, read whatever they can about historical witches and probably knows a lot about the witch trials. A traditionalist witch will create rituals based on things they’ve read in historical accounts and will try to reconstruct old ideas and spells.
Traditional witches often work closely with nature and might try and connect with whatever local spirits reside in the area where they live. They might look at old folklore in that area and try to commune with the spirits mentioned in those legends.
So, my fellow witches, I hope this answers some of your questions about the different type of witch you could be! The possibilities are vast and varied, take your time to figure out what works for you. Nothing is set in stone and you can always change your mind. Dip your fingers into a few witch ponds and find your calling.
Until next time,