Which Witch is which?
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Which Witch is which?

by Kim

Hi Ken,

A distrubing thing happened on another pagan site that I want you opinion on. To make a long story short, there was a discussion post stating that only people who completed the initiation rites of British Traditional Wicca (Gardnerian/Alexanderian or their offshoots)are Wiccan---that anyone who is self taught is not Wiccan, but pagan.

Their arguement is that if a self taught pagan calls themself a Wiccan it cheapens the inititary rites that members of BTW Wiccans must go through to be called Wiccan. Not to mention, that since Gardner supposedly coined the phrase Wicca that unless you are of that tradition you in essence are not Wiccan.

Of course, this was upsetting to those of us who are solitary and self taught as we feel that our committment (we're not talking about Fluffy Bunnies) to our religious studies, the Goddess, our craft, etc is just as serious and real as a BTW initiate.

I understand their stance on this, they are trying to protect their tradition, however, calling it the only way smacks of "traditional" mainstream religion (my way or no way) is, in my opinion, destructive to the pagan, especially, Wiccan community.


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Oct 08, 2015
Education NEW
by: Anonymous

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Jan 27, 2010
which witch is which
by: Kim

Thanks for the replies and encouragement. I do feel Wiccan, but Witch feels right too, so I will be both :-). Thanks again.


Jan 24, 2010
which Witch
by: Harry McAlister

You are what you are. Let no one tell you different. The name is not protected copyrighted,or patented. How you worship, perform magick, commune is your affair. You go girl.

Jan 24, 2010
by: Amethyst

Having taught Inclusive Wicca for some time which is an eclectic tradition and not BTW, Gardnerian or Alexandrian I have been confronted with these types of discussions many times over the years.
I fully appreciate the beauty and mystery of BTW, Gardnerian and Alexandrain (Heck I was originally taught in the Alexandrain tradition) but I still find this eletist approach insulting and was exactly why I developed the tradition of Inclusive Wicca via oak and Mistletoe.
I very much respect the BTW philosophy that protects thier trad but some of these traditionalists still insiste on "the only way" comment and this riles me intensely.
There are as many ways to commit to a Wiccan path as there are Wiccans and as long as I don't label myself a BTW, an Alexandrian or Gardnerian, and profess my eclectism, my path is as valid as any other. As eclectis we should be proud to call ourselves Wiccan!

Jan 24, 2010
Are you Wiccan or Witch?
by: Ken

Hi Kim,

What you have described is not new. 20 years ago, they said that anyone who learned from only a book, and self Initiated, wasn't really Wiccan. Only a properly elevated Priest or Priestess could Initiate a real Wiccan.

I had the chance to talk to Kala Trobe, who has written several books, and her definition is that a Wiccan is anyone who follows the teachings of Gerald Gardner.

Personally, I don't call myself Wiccan, though if others refer to me as Wiccan I usually don't worry about correcting them. I am a Witch, I practice Witch Craft (The Craft of Witches).

There are several reasons why I don't think of myself as Wiccan, but the main reason is that I realized long ago that Priests and Priestesses don't Initiate people, the Gods do.

If the British Traditionals want to keep their term pure, that's fine. I can hang out with them, and enjoy their company, and earn their respect just as I do with the Norse Kin I know.

Wiccan is just a word. I means nothing more than what people attribute to it. It has been watered down. Every Fluff Bunny and their Sister call themselves Wiccan, but really, does it matter what others think?

Call yourself what you will. Live up to your full potential. Take responsibility for what you do. Live your Craft, whatever you choose to call it.

If you do these things, what you call yourself doesn't matter. People will look up to, and respect you for what you do, not what you call yourself.

If this information was valuable to you, why not buy me a cup of coffee?

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