Many beginner witches seem confused about this topic, asking “What type of witch am I?”, then receiving many different responses as we’ve covered in the forum before. For example: Nine types of witches and even 100 types of witches.
But these “Types of witches” articles are always arbitrary and in many cases straight-up nonsense. So I decided to go to the sources — in this case the academically reviewed study Drawing Down the Moon. To learn more about it, find my summary of the book here.
How many types of Witches are there?
In this 6-minute-long video, I describe the main 3 types of witches you should know about:
The 3 No-Nonsense Types of Witches
1. Classical Witch
Also known as “Cunning folk”, these are the witches commonly referred today as “Green Witch” or “Kitchen Witch”. They practice Low Magic (or folk Magic), i.e. spellwork related to agriculture and the land.
Their beliefs and superstitions come from farming the fields and being around nature. They draw power from Nature and use anything found within the environment, without complex rituals or sacred texts.
Classical Witches can be considered indigenous shamans from Europe, healers and early forms of medicine men and women. They used their Magic chants and potions for healing, for protection, and all purposes, sometimes good and sometimes bad.
2. Gothic Witch ⸸
Also known as “diabolic witches”, this is the stereotypical witch that we see in movies and TV.
Isaac Bonewits describes Gothic Witchcraft as a fiction invented by the Church, a reversed version of Roman Catholicism, including pacts with the devil, the devouring of babies, and other pieces of propaganda used during the Inquisition.
The belief in this type of “satanic witchcraft” ⛧ was made easier to spread by the early printing press and the first books, such as the Malleus Maleficarum (Hammer of the Witches) written on the topic of evil witchcraft. But also the plagues and the need to find a scapegoat for all the wars and misery in Europe around this time contributed to this stereotype.
3. Neopagan Witch ⛥
A hybrid of the Classical witch with some Folklore and modern mythology. These are the most eclectic witches as they combine elements from different witchcraft traditions.
The myth claims that there was an Old Religion, an underground society of indigenous European shamans and witches, and these ancient pagans survived Christianization by secretly keeping their religion intact. This has been refuted by historians and became part of the mythology of Neopaganism.
Neopagans are politheistic, they mix high magic and low magic. A Neopagan Witch believes in diversity, tolerance, and worships the Earth and Nature through honoring the cycles of the Sun and the Moon above all.
Examples of Neopagan Witches:
- Goddess movement
- New Age Syncretism and Eco-Paganism
- LGBTQ+ Paganism
- Wiccan branches (Dianic, Stregheria, Faery, etc)
Learn more about Neopaganism in my post: The Difference between Wiccan and Neopagan Witches
Summary: 3 Types of Witches in History
I hope this makes sense and clarifies the whole “What type of Witch am I?” topic!
However, I don’t feel that these labels are really important. What do you think?