What is Modern Witchcraft? That’s an interesting question. Once we define “Modern Witchcraft” we automatically imply the existence of “Old Witchcraft” or, in this case, “Traditional Witchcraft”. For many people, the word ‘witch’ gives the idea of a hag on a broomstick or a crone with a cauldron preparing some evil potions and brews to curse and hex people. This couldn’t be further from the truth!
In this post, I’m going to introduce you to modern witchcraft, that is, witchcraft in the present day. I’ll also compare it to the traditional witchcraft from the past. As a bonus, I’ll present the 3 paths to follow as a modern Witch. You can also find some other resources about Witchcraft and Spells here on my website.
What is Modern Witchcraft? – An introduction
Witchcraft has come a long way since its inception many ages ago. Today, there is a resurgence in the popularity of witchcraft, particularly among young people. But what is Modern Witchcraft, and how is it different from traditional witchcraft?
Modern Witchcraft can be defined as a revival and reinterpretation of the historical practice of witchcraft. It is a spiritual practice that is based on nature worship, the honoring of the divine feminine, and the practice of magic – also spelled as magick. It’s also a way to reconnect with all the natural elements on Earth. In other words, Modern Witchcraft mixes some of the old traditions with new, modern, and contemporary features.
One of the main differences between Modern Witchcraft and traditional witchcraft is that Modern Witches tend to be more eclectic in their beliefs and practices. Most Modern Witches feel free to mix different spiritual techniques in their craft such as Reiki, Draconian Magick, Yoruba and the Orishas, and Deities from different pantheons such as Greek, Hindu, and Egyptian. With the rise of Wicca in the 1950s, Modern Witches also tend to look back to Celtic and Druid beliefs. This leads to celebrating the so-called “Wheel of the Year and the 8 Sabbats“, which are special holidays throughout the modern calendar.
On the other hand, traditional witchcraft practices were “tied” to the places and regions where the witches lived. Knowledge was spread through songs and storytelling, so universal practices or “global techniques” were not available everywhere – of course!
Another difference is that Modern Witches tend to focus more on personal growth and development, rather than on using their powers to help (or harm) others. Modern Witchcraft can be seen as an intrapersonal activity in this sense. They believe that we all have the ability to connect with our own magical power and that we can use this power for good.
If you’re interested in learning more about Modern Witchcraft, there are plenty of articles here on my website in the Spells and Witchcraft category as well as on other websites out there. And if you’re feeling called to explore this path further, there are also many witch groups and covens that offer free knowledge and support. However, I highly suggest you start walking your path by yourself, and then – only if you feel the need – you may join a group or coven.
Modern Witchcraft vs Traditional Witchcraft
Modern witchcraft is very different from traditional witchcraft in a number of ways. One of the biggest differences is that modern witches tend to focus more on personal growth and development, rather than doing this plus selling services and spells for others. There are many accounts that suggest witches used to charge for spells and, as you may know, people usually asked them to harm others. Although this is still a common practice, modern witchcraft tends to be more self-centered than that.
Another big difference is that modern witches tend to be very open about their beliefs and practices, whereas traditional witches often kept their beliefs and practices secret. This is because many modern witches see their craft as a form of self-expression and empowerment. Traditional witches, mainly those during medieval times, HAD to hide their beliefs and practices not to be killed.
These are the main ideas that answer the “what is modern witchcraft” question.
How Modern Witchcraft has changed throughout time?
Modern Witchcraft has come a long way since its early days. Traditional Witchcraft was often seen as an evil practice, mainly in Christian Europe. It was something that was practiced in secret, for fear of retribution from the authorities. Modern Witchcraft, on the other hand, is much more open and accepted by society. While there are still some who practice it in secret, many now openly identify as Witches.
Sadly, there are still some countries that persecute people accused of witchcraft – as if it was a crime.
There are many different types of Modern Witchcraft, but they all share things in common. You can become a Natural Witch, or maybe an Eclectic Witch. You may follow some specific doctrine such as Wicca or maybe Thelema. You can become one with nature and follow a Pagan path. Or, you can simply call yourself a Witch.
You’re free today.
What it means to be a Modern Witch
Being a witch today means being free. In many different ways. You become free from old habits, limiting beliefs, and fear. I wrote more about this in my article “Why being a Witch?”.
Being a modern witch means harnessing your own personal power to manifest your desires. It is a way to connect with your intuition and higher self to create positive change in your life. Then, only after changing your own life, you can become the inspiration for others to do the same.
The three paths of Modern Witch practice
Modern Witchcraft is not limited to any one particular path or belief system. There are three main paths that witches practice today: the Wiccan path, the eclectic witch path, and the traditional witch path.
Whilst there are more paths, I’ll briefly write about these 3 popular ones:
- Wicca: Wicca is a religion that is based on the worship of nature and the elements. Wiccans believe in the divine feminine (The Goddess) and the Divine masculine (the Horned God), and they follow the Wheel of the Year. As a religion, Wicca has rules/laws to be followed;
- Eclectic witchcraft: Eclectic witches are those who do not necessarily follow one specific path, but instead pick and choose what works best for them from a variety of traditions (this also includes some Wiccan ones, such as worshipping the Goddess and different Goddesses, the Horned God and different Gods, and the Sabbats of the Wheel of the Year for example);
- Traditional witchcraft: Traditional witches tend to be more solitary in their practice, and they often focus on herbalism and spell work. Their knowledge usually comes from their own family and past generations.
So, did you get the answer to “What is modern Witchcraft”? I do hope so. As you can see, there are some key differences between the modern variation and the traditional one, but in the end, they are all related to the power we have inside ourselves and the way we awake and use it.
You may also be interested in reading how to become a witch in 3 steps. I wrote this simple guide some time ago and it can really help those who are starting on this path.