Let’s talk about the different types of witches there are. Which type are you or do you associate with more than one? When I first began learning about the different types of witches, I didn’t find everything I was looking for. I created this article and the FREE Book of Shadows pages below to have a reference guide when talking and learning about which path is right for you. There are many more paths however these touch on the most common.
Alexandrian – Influenced by Gardner and his tradition, Alexandrian Wicca uses a degree system and has ties to ceremonial magic systems. This is a tradition which focuses on the polarity between the genders, and rites and ceremonies often dedicate equal time to the God and the Goddess. Although members are initiated, there is no laity; every individual is a priest or priestess.
Augury – 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. It is important to note that augury witches are not “fortune tellers”, as their gifts are of prophecy and not divination.
Ceremonial – Rituals are held in high esteem. They might have a Book of Shadows always handy, and they might also draw on their knowledge of more scientific approaches, such as sacred mathematics and quantum mysticism. They may use a combination of disciplines drawn from the Old Ways, but will often employ more scientific precisions such as sacred mathematics and quantum mysticism as well.
Correllian – The Correllian Nativist Tradition is a well-known tradition of witchcraft today. Originally a family hereditary tradition, members of the Correllian tradition opened their teachings up to the public a few decades ago.
Cottage- A variation of Kitchen Witches. witch whose magickal practice focuses mainly on the home, similar to a Kitchen Witch but with less of a specific food/kitchen focus and more of a general home focus such as cleaning, cooking, or any hobbies.
Dianic – The most feminist of all Wiccan movements, the Cult of Diana focuses primarily on the worship of the Goddess. Dianic has been embraced by many women trying to find an alternative to oppressive, patriarchal religion.
Elemental – Magick that is worked 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.
Water – Specifically centered on the element of Water; water scrying, collecting sea/storm/snow/river/spring water, swimming/bath spells, and other water-related actives. They also use symbols associated with water.
Earth – Specifically centered on the element of Earth; grounding exercises, rock/soil collecting, strong appreciation of the natural world, creating and using symbols associated with earth.
Air – Specifically centered on the element of Air; working with wind, using air-related tools (such as the wand), creating and using symbols associated with air.
Fire – Specifically centered on the element of Fire; Using anything fire-related (bonfires, candles, burning objects) in most spellwork, creating and using symbols associated with fire.
Eclectic – Witches who don’t follow a certain religion or practice. They may follow more than a single tradition and they can utilize different paths, cultures and traditions. Eclectic Witches pick and choose from many different traditions and creates a personalized form of witchcraft that meets their individual needs and abilities.
Garden – Gardening can be a meditative practice and it also helps us get in touch with the cycles of the Earth. Kitchen Witches, Green Witches, Hedge Witches and followers of Earth Based Spirituality.
Gardnerian – You can only become a Gardnerian Witch by initiation – you cannot initiate yourself. When Gerald Gardner founded Wicca in the 1950s, he set the wheels turning for countless other traditions to form. Many of today’s Wiccan covens can trace their origins back to Gardner, but the Gardnerians path itself remains initiatory and oathbound.
Green – Utilizing earth, plants, trees, rocks, crystals, herbs and flowers in herbal and natural magick. Green Witches are often skilled herbalists and may enjoy gardening and wildcrafting as part of their practice. Some Green Witches choose to also work with the fey.
Hedge – Also known as an astral title, a type of magick that is oriented around more spiritual work; astral travel/projection, lucid dreaming, spirit-work, healing, and out-of-body experiences are all practices included in this magick. The word hedge refers to boundary separating the our world from the Otherworld. It is shamanic and seidh in nature, but with some stark differences to separate the three. Seidh involves communication with the spirit by a group of people using an oracular. Most Hedge Witches are both solitary and eclectic in their practice.
Hereditary – Also known as a Family Tradition Witch. You can only be a Hereditary Witch if you are born into a family where the members practice witchcraft, and have passed the practice down from generation to generation. Of course, if you’re born into such a family, you still have the freedom of choice. You can only become a Hereditary Witch if you consciously accept the practice – no one can force it on you.
Kitchen – Magick that is worked specifically through “kitchen craft” such as herbal mixtures, brewing, baking, and cooking, and honors many aspects of the natural world: including herbs, crystals, fey, and the elements.
Sea – A type of magick derived from materials and ideas involving the oceanic world. Sea/Ocean magick can be worked using seashells and bones, sea weed, beach sand, driftwood, ocean water, etc. and a sea witch might draw their energy from that of the sea. Sea Witches focus on Moon lore, the tides, and weather magicks by combining one’s energy with the energy of the weather.
Secular – While a Secular Witch may use tools such as crystals, herbs and stones in their practices, they do not recognize them as divine or spiritual.
Shaman – Someone who can reach altered states of consciousness by engaging in certain shamanistic practices. When a Shaman enters a trance state, they have access to the spirit realm, and they can communicate with and sometimes even influence both benevolent and malevolent spirits. They can channel their messages, as well as performing divination and healing.
Solitary – A Solitary Witch does not belong to a set practice, group or organization. Legend has it that these witches have practiced their craft over many lifetimes, and upon reaching puberty their knowledge is re-awakened. They begin to remember their craft and therefore don’t need the help of a group or organization to perform their magick rites.