It is no surprise that with the surge of paganism and witchcraft resurfacing again after years of secrecy, that many women have been or become associated with this practice. Although the media portrays witches to be primarily women who perform witchcraft, there are also male witches who do the same. A witch does not primarily have to be a woman that practices magic; but because of centuries of stigma, indoctrination and control, men who practiced witchcraft were given different titles. They practice magic in a similar way that a female witch would practice her magic. This post will help to clarify what it means to be a witch, and how men have always been witches, just with different titles.
What is Witchcraft?
Before we can dive into how men are related to witches, first we have to understand what it means to perform witchcraft. Witchcraft is the practice of using magic and manipulating it. It is being aware of the magic that is hidden to our eyes and calling upon said magic to affect something in our life. All forms of practices and beliefs utilize witchcraft in their rituals; for instance, sometimes when Catholics attend a church service (similar to that of how covens will have meetings), they might sing in harmony in order to invoke and give praise to their god; just as how a witch will perform a similar action in order to give praise or an offering to the beings that she is working with. Since both the female witch and worshipers of structuralized religions perform these same actions, the same applies for men who participate in these actions. When men pray to their god to hope for good fortune or just to talk with their god; in this way, men are practicing witchcraft. Moving away from institutionalized faiths, let’s focus on what many men do when there is a big sports game. Most men will wear the jersey of the team they are supporting in hopes that by wearing the jersey, they are able to pass on energy that will allow the players of their team to perform better; this is yet another form of casting a spell to change the odds of something they want. Both men and women carry out rituals in some form to affect the probability of getting something or altering something in their favor.
What Kind of Male Witch Exists?
Now that the basis of witchcraft has been laid, now we focus on how male witches have been present all throughout the centuries and are still present today. Priests and clergymen are prime examples of what a male witch is.
What is a priest if not a witch that performs magic using chants, spells, and even creates concoctions in order to perform certain actions? Priests and clergymen’s faith is based on their single god and typically follows a holy book such as the Quran or the Bible. The magic they utilize is focused on faith, spells, and even enchanting. The way they use faith is by giving devotion to their god by means of mass meetings, singing hymns, finding others to join their faith, etc. The spells they cast are geared toward cleansing, purification, and blessing. The enchantments they focus on are on things that can be used for their spells such as holy water and the symbol of their religion; in Christianity and Catholicism it would be the cross.
Of course this is but one example of a type of male witch that exists in our world that uses a different title but essentially does the same thing. Other types of male witches include Rabbis, church choir singers, Imams, male Wiccans, satanists, druids, pagans, etc. Any man who dabbles in the art of magic is a witch himself.
Why are Male Witches not Called Witches?
Even though men that practice magic of some form are witches, there are reasons why they were not called witches, and that comes from years of stigma and double standards between men and women. Throughout all of history, whenever men were said to have magical or supernatural capabilities, they were referred to as holy people with a connection to the divine which gives them their power; at the same time, whenever a woman had any magical capability, they were viewed upon as heathens, heretics, and witches. The word “witch” has gone through a lot of stigma; while today the word is viewed as what it is meant to be, for all of history, the word was a derogatory term used for women that have magical powers. In these patriarchal religions, only a man could harness any kind of supernatural power, a woman claiming to do so was deemed wrong and the enemy of their faith; and thus called a witch. The reason why so many women are witches is because they have been forced into a category that symbolizes illegitimacy. This is further from the truth though, as we have stated before, any man with magic capabilities is a witch, history decided to give them different names; but ultimately, they still perform the same things that any witch does. Because women were oppressed by these norms, many women turned to witchcraft – because witchcraft provided the freedom and liberation to women that mainstream, patriarchal religions have long denied them. A lot of women connect their bodies to the moon and the lunar cycle, feeling another connection between themselves and the Earth (thus finding a proclivity towards pagan, Earth worshiping religions and traditions). Even today, women still turn to witchcraft because it breaks away from the institutionalized religions and experience true freedom.
Although men try to separate themselves from the “witches” that cast heinous and strange magic, they themselves have always been present in the world of witchcraft, and they continue to do so today. People like Gerald Gardener, Aleister Crowley, and Anton Levay are all male witches that have been part of pagan and non mainstream religions from time immemorial; but, the term “witch” gets associated with women in particular because it carries the burden of sin with it. Today that is changing as more and more men realize the true nature of being a witch. They are embracing who they are and fully diving in their witch calling. Blessed be.