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Where are the Witches?

Posted by on in Studies Blogs

Where are the "Witches" on Witches & Pagans dot com?  I see Pagans of all kinds, Heathen, Norse, Greek, Celtic, but where are the witches? The Gardnerians, the Alexandrians, the Feri?  Reclaiming? Dianics, even?  Anybody out there?  Are there any pagans out there who AREN'T priesthood? 

I'm not priestesshood; my path is too divulgent for that. Is there anyone else out there like me, who is searching for their path somewhere between Wiccan and Pagan?   

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Amarfa is the web handle of Candice Larrivee, who has been studying the occult, wicca, and paganism for 17 years and counting.  She has been a musician since age 5, studying first guitar, then accordion for 10 years, placing 2nd in her division in the 1995 ATARI/ATAM New England Regional Competition,  and has been studying voice for 9. She will be earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music with Concentration in Voice from Rhode Island College in the 2012-2013 academic year.  She has directed small early music ensembles, performed publicly, and starred in local theatre works, particularly the World Premiere of Nightsong, a musical theatre piece with direction and book by Jon Brennan and music by Kari Tieger and Kevin Campbell, as well as composing a musical of her own and writing music in her spare time.
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Comments

  • Niamh
    Niamh Friday, 16 August 2013

    Green Witch here.

  • Katherine Johnson
    Katherine Johnson Friday, 16 August 2013

    Non-Wiccan witch here, too. Elemental Hedgewitch is what I call myself.

  • Angel Schmeer
    Angel Schmeer Friday, 16 August 2013

    I am a 20 year Draconic Witch. Merry Meet. I am a 10th Generational witch as well. I was born with the gifts and taught to use them.

  • Cece Bercier
    Cece Bercier Friday, 16 August 2013

    I too count myself as a witch..... eclectic solitary....I have been practicing and learning for 22 years now....and definately don't count myself as Wiccan

  • Joseph Bloch
    Joseph Bloch Friday, 16 August 2013

    So when you say "where are the witches?" you really mean "where are the Wiccans?"

    Because, as the flood of comments should indicate, "witch" and "Wiccan" are not synonymous. One could legitimately translate the Old Norse term seiðr or the modern Norwegian trolldom as "witchcraft", in which case I would need to raise my hand. There are plenty of Pagan and Heathen "witches", depending on how you define the term.

    I'm also not clergy, but I am a Heathen, and it can legitimately be said that every Heathen is his own clergy, if need be.

  • Lee Pike
    Lee Pike Friday, 16 August 2013

    I'm a witch, and even a little Wiccan-flavoured while I'm at it.

  • Vayne Konstantine
    Vayne Konstantine Friday, 16 August 2013

    I'm a Celtic Witch/Wiccan, with other twists in there as well ;3

  • Sable Aradia
    Sable Aradia Friday, 16 August 2013

    Witch and Wiccan here. My definitions are laid out in a rant I wrote, "Which Witch is Witch?" on my personal blog. You can find it on my website on the Blog page, under "Rants." BB all!

  • Tracci S
    Tracci S Friday, 16 August 2013

    Solitary, Mother-Loving,Dirt Worshiping, Kitchen Witch here!

  • Valerie Jones
    Valerie Jones Saturday, 17 August 2013

    Merry Meet!

  • Brigid Barner
    Brigid Barner Friday, 16 August 2013

    What an awesome selection of Witches! The diversity and degrees of belief is wondrous and underlays the richness of our community. I am grateful to be a part of it, however small.
    May your paths bring you to your deepest joy.
    )O(
    Brigid

  • Candi
    Candi Friday, 16 August 2013

    Neat! I'm happy that so many people commented, so I created a little statistic:

    Out of a total of 27 self-identifying statements, I found that:

    1. 85% of respondents identified themselves as a Witch
    2. 14% of respondents had a primary id other than Witch
    (2 gave"non-wiccan" as an identifier, the other two were animist and shaman)
    3. 40% of respondents identified as "non-wiccan" or "no specific tradition"
    4. 18% of respondents identified as "Wiccan" or a variant of "Wiccan-leaning"
    5. 7.4% of respondents identified as "bones and blood"
    6. 7.4% of respondents identified with the Norse path as well as "Witch"
    7. 3.7% (per category) of respondents identified as "Witch and Wiccan," "Draconic," "Garden," "Green," "Solitary," "Warrior," "Reclaiming," "Kitchen Witch," "Primordialist," "Eclectic Solitary," and "Additional Twists."

  • Cherie Price
    Cherie Price Saturday, 17 August 2013

    I hate labels, I feel like they put me in a box. That said, I guess I fall pretty fairly under the Pagan label, and generic Witch as well. If I'm talking with non-Pagan folk, I tell them I'm Wiccan, because they can wrap their mind around that word. A lie, yeah. But it's easier than trying to explain the whole of my beliefs and practices, which can be pretty eclectic.

  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven Saturday, 17 August 2013

    Dear Candi,

    Well, *that* was fun. I distinguish "Witch" from "Wiccan" rather distinctly, and there's a reason why the magazine (and by reference, the page) is called "Witches&Pagans" not "Wiccans and Pagans." I personally identify as a Witch, but I am not Wiccan, though I did start out that way. I define "Wiccan" as a specific denomination of Paganism, which is derived from Gardner's work. I define "Witch" as a magickal worker, and in my personal belief, a "magick-user" can be Wiccan, or any other kind of Pagan. Heck, there's plenty of Christian Witches out there, but I've never met a Christian Wiccan. Anyway, that's my nickel.

  • Sable Aradia
    Sable Aradia Monday, 19 August 2013

    Hello Anne! Yeah, that's basically what I said in my rant on my blog, except that a) I think that more "general eclectic Pagans" are actually "Wiccans" than they care to admit, because Wicca is a religious belief with certain characteristics that has strongly influenced a lot of the community; just as I believe most "spiritualists" are actually "Christians" because their spiritual belief tends to involve Christ and Heaven and Hell and so forth (though of course you can be a spiritualist and hold any religious belief; Ray Buckland is a spiritualist Wiccan); and b) I have known Wiccans who do *not* practice magick (though they do believe in its existence) so by the definition of "Witches" as "magick-users" (a definition I agree with) they are *not* "Witches"! I realize the first part of that is likely to be contentious, with both eclectic Pagans telling me I'm full of myself and some BTW types telling me that you can't be a Wiccan without initiation, and I think that represents a desire to distance themselves from each other rather than an acceptance of difference. I am sure the Catholics did not consider the Lutherans to be Christians either when the 95 Theses were posted, but they are, and the modern world recognizes that. But that is me, and I personally have no issue with whatever label you choose to call yourself by as long as I understand what you mean by it. Even the non-magickal Wiccan types are still "Pagans," so the magazine's name is equally inclusive; which, of course, is the goal. No one could ever accuse W&P of being otherwise!

  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven Saturday, 17 August 2013

    Oh, I should also have said that, in my definition, all "Wiccans" are "Witches" so they are explicitly welcome on the site and in the magazine, it's just that the category of "Witches" includes many folks who are not "Wiccan."

  • Candi
    Candi Saturday, 17 August 2013

    Hi Joseph!

    I got exactly the kind of response I was looking for, and a little bit more.
    I know someone, who like you, practices seidhr, and to them, it's a shamanic practice.

    Hm. Maybe I should post a question about shamans; are they different from witches? Or are witches just female shamans?

  • Joseph Bloch
    Joseph Bloch Saturday, 17 August 2013

    I would say that witches and shamans are very different. For one thing the term "shaman" has been so broadly applied to cultures and practices to which it should not be applied as to make it meaningless. Shamanism, per se, refers to a very specific set of practices in a very specific culture. By broadly labeling anything to do with soul-work as "shamanism" (and I'm not saying that's what you're doing - just making a general observation), we diminish the significance of those to whom is does, legitimately, belong.

    I would also point out that witches aren't always females. Ahem.

  • Tim Doran
    Tim Doran Saturday, 17 August 2013

    In answer to your question as to whether Witches are just Female Shamns I would say no. I have met Female Shamans who identified as Shamans. On the Path of Shamanism that I follow it is more about focus and will than stylized ritual. I know not all Shamans are like myself though. I would have to say Wtiches are Shamans are similar but not the same.

  • Heather Knetzger
    Heather Knetzger Saturday, 17 August 2013

    Green Witch here!

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