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BAD WITCHES, NOT WICCANS

Often times when I mention that I’m a witch, people automatically assume that I’m Wiccan.

I am not.

I had a very eclectic occult upbringing thanks to my father (a man who never met a cult he didn’t like, except maybe Scientologists and Mormons) so I have abundant childhood memories of hanging out with Wiccans who wore truly awful pink velour dresses, lived lives of general disarray including a lot of pungent cat-piss smell, and said “Blessed Be” and “Goddess Bless” at every cringe-inducing opportunity to store clerks and mailmen.

So at a visceral level, I do not like to be associated with Wicca.  It registers in my mind as “dorky stuff that my dad likes.” At a more sophisticated level, I have an appreciation of Wicca – I certainly learned a lot from reading all that Raymond Buckland and Gerald Gardner as a teen (thanks Dad, Happy Yule to you, too!). But I still don’t fully jive with it.

I went through a period in my early twenties of trying to distance myself from the occult altogether. A part of me wanted to be “normal” so I joined a Presbyterian church and tried to hang. It didn’t really stick. The witch in me kept coming out.

My ongoing interest in sex and magical manifestation and imaginative ritual made me kind of a weirdo amongst those nice Presbyterians, even though I really enjoyed their candlelight prayer services and have a great appreciation for Jesus’ brand of freaky shamanism.

So I’ve given in to the fact that I’m a witch. And nowadays, I’m interested in what witchiness and wizardliness is, apart from any specific set of traditions or rituals. I sense that it’s something inherent in a person, an imaginative and psychic (i.e., “of the psyche” or soul-related) and very often intensely sexual quality of magic, mystery, and power that’s present no matter what the person’s beliefs or style.

There’s some very witchy fundamentalist Christians and Muslims out there in the world, for example. All of this is just to say that yeah – this is a magazine for Bad Witches, not Wiccans. If you’re Wiccan, that’s cool, you can be a Bad Witch and a Wiccan at the same time – probably.

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  • Show Comments (9)

  • Roberta

    My view of wiccans exactly…but if you post it anywhere you set loose a storm!

  • Sharrow

    It depends on what you mean by Wiccans.
    But even then those who are BTW in the USA seem to be a lot more moralistic & intent on being “acceptable” then those in the UK & Ireland. ymmv

  • Carley

    I quite like this post. Not that I have anything against Wicca. I grew up Christian but was always drawn to magick and the occult. I am still drawn to it. But growing up Christian I was very sheltered and of course the occult was viewed as nothing but evil, but I practiced and messed around with the supernatural anyways. It wasn’t until I was around 14 or so that I learned about Wicca and that there was religion that accepted the things I believe in so I switched over for a bit. I really like a religion that allows you to be so eclectic. But I don’t classify myself as Wiccan, even though it’s easier to say when people ask what my religion is or what my tattoo means (I have an occult/Wicca tattoo made up of a bunch of symbols). Instead I came up with my own term and refer to myself as a Spiritual Occultist. I think it’s pretty straightforward, but it does seem to confuse people.

  • Elizabeth Federico

    I read both articles. I’m both…but I guess “Harm None” is really just damage control, because no matter what you do, sometimes you are just screwed when it comes to someBODY getting hurt. Well written…I enjoyed the articles, to be sure.

  • mojo

    Good article. I also do not like being associated with wiccans. It’s beyond annoying when someone finds out you’re a witch and the first thing they assume is “you’re wiccan”….NOOOOO. I for one do not consider a wiccan to be a witch just because they are practicing Wicca. I could understand if they were practicing witchcraft along with that, but not just because. No witch I know considers a wiccan to be a sister/brother witch and we will not refer to them as such. Ever. Wiccans are not the spokesman for the witch community but they sure put themselves out like they are. We don’t all follow the three fold law or believe or fear karma in the least. These are only a drop in the bucket of why I am one of the most anti-wiccan people you will ever meet.

  • Christine

    Thanks for the article.I can identify.As long as I can remember,I have always known I was a witch. No one spoke of such things back then. When Wicca became more acceptable and available, I tried to fit in with it. It just didnt sit well with me. It wasnt me at all. I felt like I was back in Sunday school.Totally out of place. I finally have come to the conclusion that I am just me .I am a witch.I was born this way.I do not need a coven or flowery rituals to do my magic.I am magic.I am a witch.And proud of it!

  • Aurora

    I am a witch a priestess and Wiccan. I am also fed up with all this blagging of wiccans. I do not practice flowery rituals and am not tied by fear of karma biting me on the arse 3 times if I do bad. The wiccans I know and have worked with over the last 2 decades are.none of these things either. We are serious students of the craft. You don’t have to practice the same type of craft as I do, and i respect that but do not insult my path. Remember It wasn’t that long ago when all followers of the old religion were put down by mainstream religions. So why are we doing it to ourselves now? FYI im freaking bad ass!

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