There are many different types of witches, occultists, Wiccans and pagan practitioners. In fact a big draw for people into the world of the occult is how freeing it is. While religions like Christianity, Islam and Buddhism have sects of their own, there is usually a strict rigidity to their practices that feels limiting. Witchcraft, paganism and Wicca offer liberation from a lot of things – the rigidity and shame that often stem from growing up steeped in conventional or Abrahamic religions, as well as the sexism that is inherently limiting women in most of the world’s conventional religions. Religion and belief systems have always been powerful, either believed to be means of salvation and peace, or simply influential to the culture and politics around them. Witchcraft (which does not have to be religious to begin with) is liberating because it allows us to discover tools already present all around us – the Earth, plants, herbs, flowers, water, fire, air, and all other living things including ourselves. With witchcraft, one does not need a Bible, a preacher, a priest, all the tools are right there – just waiting to be discovered and utilized by the practitioner. All the power, then, exists in the practitioner and not the external sources around her.
But that said, because of the openness of witchcraft and the practitioners, there are many divisions or sects of witchcraft as well. Kitchen witch, green witch, sea witch, dark witch, faery witch, goth witch – I am certain you have heard of at least some of these. And it is truly great that such diverse traditions and magickal practices exist because they are beneficial to a wide array of people. But a common concern for a new witch or practitioner is simply, what type of witch am I? Where do I fit in? How do I know?