Different types of witches are attracting a lot of interest from those flirting with the supernatural, so we decided to help the brave looking to venture into the unknown.
This intro does not go into excessive detail but rather gives an executive overview of the most common and interesting types of witches one can actually meet (or want to become), giving a special focus to the Toltec type of witchcraft because, in our opinion, it is the easiest one to practice as it’s predicated upon lucid dreaming, a practice which requires neither spells, nor potions, nor other hard-to-get-hands-on paraphernalia.
Some types of witches are defined by the geographic areas where they live. This is because the roots of witchcraft (and shamanism) originate in pagan and tribal rituals. Basically, a tribe, or a group of tribes living relatively close by, would develop a pantheon of gods along with an inventory of methods to communicating with them, and this inventory would become the very arsenal defining a particular type of witches. However, since (1) the gamut of things human beings are interested in (love, sex, money, power, death, immortality, and a couple more) is pretty narrow, and (2) all methods of communication with the supernatural rotate around a shift of our habitual perception of the world, the different types of witches aren’t really that different, after all.
This is good news for those who want to learn witchcraft: chances are, having mastered one of its types, you’ll get a serious head start in any other one, should you need to learn it as well.
The Toltec witch is among the most interesting types of witches largely because most of what we know about them comes from the books of Carlos Castaneda and, especially, his companion Florinda Donner who fulfilled the dream of many a gifted girl looking to turn to the path of witchcraft. Having spent most of her life as an ordinary (albeit extremely attractive) Western lady, Regine Thal literally stumbled upon the world of sorcery when she ran into Castaneda and Don Juan himself during one of their sessions out in the wild. The statistical likelihood of this encounter borders on impossibility, but those familiar with the fundamentals of magic know there could be nothing random about it: according to the Toltecs, the only real player in the Universe (Infinity) is the Spirit, and once it selects a particular person for a particular purpose it’ll create any necessary series of occurrences to facilitate the desired outcome.
The Toltec types of witches focus primarily on lucid dreaming (if you want to get closer to becoming a true witch, here is a guide on how to start having lucid dreams), healing, and stalking. The latter has nothing to do with spending hours on your crush’s Facebook page: for the Toltecs, stalking was an ingenious maneuver consisting of fixing the assemblage point on a new position, which essentially resulted in turning into a different being, human or not.
You can gather many interesting insights into the Toltec type of witches from the following book by Florinda Donner:
The Witch’s Dream: A Healer’s Way of Knowledge
Note that Donner’s book is listed under the Wicca category, which is incorrect (amazon has only two other categories for such books, Paganism and Witchcraft). We will consider the Wicca witch later, but for now, just know that Florinda Donner and her practices belong to a different type of witchcraft.
Martina Flawd: A Novel on Esoteric Love and Common Magic
D. Rudoy is another author who explores the Toltec witch. Here is how he describes her in his novel Martina Flawd:
As courageous thoughts burgeoned in my head, I saw Martina’s face, her demonic, deceitful face, framed by curly blonde hair—a detail that always made me view her as innocent. As I kept staring, spellbound by this phantom, the image grew eerie. It took me a moment to figure out what was wrong; then I realized that her eyes were no longer hers. In fact, they weren’t eyes at all but two pools of radiating light, as captivating as they were blinding. Then the image of her face began to recede, a thin cloud of golden specks shimmering around her. And when she had moved far enough for me to lose the sensation of her body heat, I realized that she was completely naked.
The eclectic witch is likely the most popular type of witches among those who learn witchcraft online. Just as her name suggests, the magic arsenal of an eclectic witch includes instruments from different types of witches; however, they don’t simply coexist but complement and enhance each other. For example, an eclectic witch can be a superb lucid dreamer who crossed the Second Gate of dreaming and is able to instantaneously travel across the Universe in her energy body, but she may rely on astrological synastry to identify an ideal sexual partner and leverage green witch’s herbal recipes to make sure his stamina is miraculous.
The key challenge eclectic witches face is best summarized by the proverb “a jack of all trades is a master of none”. With so many ingredients to choose from when assembling her own bouquet of witchcraft, an eclectic witch risks spreading herself too thin and ending up with only superficial abilities instead of developing a powerful focus that would allow establishing a reliable connection to the supernatural realm. Thus, the best advice for the eclectic witch is to realize the ending of the same proverb (“… but oftentimes better than a master of one”) and make sure the tools in her kit aren’t just varied but also sharp.
Eclectic Wicca: A Guide for the Modern Witch
Eclectic Wicca: A Guide for the Modern Witch by Mandy See is a book that could help an aspiring eclectic witch with just that. Some reviewers point out that the text could benefit from extra editing, but most agree that its depth is pleasantly surprising for an edition of this format. Just keep in mind that, by definition of eclectic, one source can’t contain all the information for this type of witchcraft.
Green Witch (aka Hedge Witch)
The green witch or hedge witch is a neo-pagan concept of a female goddess, or Mother Earth, known as Gaia. This archetypal hedge witch is believed to be an ecologically oriented being with a green body, green hair, and green eyes. Furthermore, she wears green clothing, uses green make-up on her face, and even green lipstick! Her symbolic animal is the snake.
The green types of witches believe in a balance between nature and nurture, obtain luck via rituals involving crystals, but also practice the concept of karma control through magic spells. A true hedge witch is believed to be able to rule over all green plants (such as grass and green leaves) and she uses herbal spells in her work (a practice called herbomancy). Hedge witches also use green lamps because it was believed in the Byzantine era that such lamps were blessed by St. Eleni.
The green witch celebrates her Sabbat on 2 May, which is considered a symbolic day for new beginnings, especially regarding ecology and nature. This day is celebrated as a goddess-energy imbued festival called “May Day”, but can also be celebrated around the summer solstice (21 June) or near Samhain (31 October).
The green witch in modern culture
A postmodern notion of green witchcraft has been prominently used in several Hollywood films, most notably the 1973 horror movie The Wicker Man starring Christopher Lee, as well as its 2006 remake starring Leelee Sobieski. However, prior to the original movie’s release, green magic was also notably depicted in both scenes from Jean Cocteau’s 1946 film La Belle et la Bête (Beauty and the Beast) and Robert Wise’s 1960 film adaptation of H.G. Wells’ 1898 novel The Invisible Man.
“Post-pagan” witchcraft is a modern belief system popularized by the green witch Alex Sanders in the 1960s (don’t be surprised, hedge witches can be both female and male). According to witch Vivianne Crowley (granddaughter of English occultist Aleister Crowley), hedge witches are green because the color represents life. Dorothy Morrison believed that green witches “can be male or female … green just means you’re connected with the natural world”.
The Green Witch: Your Complete Guide to the Natural Magic…
The Green Witch: Your Complete Guide to the Natural Magic of Herbs, Flowers, Essential Oils, and More (part of the Green Witch series) by Witchcraft Religion & Spirituality category. With the average customer review of 4.8 stars on over 18,000 global ratings, The Green Witch could become your ultimate guide to hedge magic if you choose that path from all the different types of witchcraft.
Hedge Witch: a Guide to Solitary Witchcraft
Hedge Witch: A Guide to Solitary Witchcraft by Rae Beth is another book shedding light on green witches. As follows from the title, the author emphasizes the solitary nature of the hedge witch’s existence. The term hedge comes from the fact that the witch lives either on the edge of the town or alone by herself, on the hedge between the ordinary and separate realities.
The Herediraty witch is not really a kind of its own: any witch can be a hereditary one, as long as supernatural abilities in her lineage are passed down from mother to daughter automatically (though, normally, the daughter will still have to follow a ritual to activate the dormant power). However, it’s about three times harder to become a hereditary witch than any other.
This has to do with the general laws of magic. Hereditary power is a nontrivial achievement even by the high standards of witchcraft, so it has to be earned by triple repetition. In other words, the grandmother, her daughter, and her granddaughter all have to carry out their geasa (specific power-beckoning actions sustained over long periods of time), one-time feats, and any other requirements necessary to obtain supernatural powers in the witchcraft tradition they belong to.
Three generations is a very long time, and there is no guarantee that even your daughter will be interested in witchcraft, so think thrice before deciding to make your grand-granddaughter the first hereditary witch in your lineage.
Understanding what geas is
If you are tempted to believe Wikipedia on witchcraft-related issues (we don’t recommend that), know that its explanation of the geas ignores the potential of its self-imposed nature, which is key. For example, if you make a vow to take a cold shower at six in the morning for forty consecutive days, that vow will become a geas. And if you actually manage to do that (precisely to the letter of the vow), the geas will be considered complete, earning you a power commensurate with its difficulty (quite a modest one in this example).
How to know if the geas is working
An excellent sign of the geas having been accepted by Power (like a bid in an auction) is unforeseen and improbable circumstances you suddenly have to resolve to keep the geas active. For example, on the thirty-fourth morning of taking a cold shower, you may discover that, for the first time ever, there is no cold water in your house. You need to be prepared for such challenges in advance (by, say, having an arrangement with your neighbors: just make sure you don’t tell them the truth about why you need it); otherwise, you’ll have to get creative on the spot to save the geas from lapsing.
Contrary to the popular belief, the kitchen witch is not a human being but a spirit (usually in Slavic and Germanic folklore) that watches over the kitchen and protects it from evil spirits, especially during holidays when sacrificial food is cooked for ritual purposes.
The kitchen witch reveals itself only under special circumstances. She may take different animal or human forms, often appearing as an old woman dressed in rags with her head covered by an iron pot or cauldron; other tales describe her as wearing wooden clogs. The kitchen witch can also appear as a ghost of a deceased grandmother or mother-in-law.
The kitchen witch is usually depicted as kind and helpful to those who approach properly her but harmful and dangerous for those who don’t treat her well. In some tales, kitchen witches can change into a cat or dog, fly like a bird, or walk through walls. They can also hide in various kitchen objects: cast iron pots and pans, wooden spoons, and even tablecloths. Some believe kitchen witches were originally house spirits who eventually became tied to the kitchen as their powers decreased.
The kitchen witch may help those who leave food for her overnight and worship her with incense or candles placed under the kitchen table while leaving some milk or cream on top. She can also make the house owners’ life miserable by causing kitchen mishaps. Kitchen witches are master tricksters who may pretend to kidnap young children for their amusement, steal objects from other houses, and scare away animals and people.
The kitchen witch was considered very important; some believed her to be the central figure giving advice on what magical actions should be performed at home, and when. Although some folk tales describe how kitchen witches can accompany a traveling person as a spirit (referred to as “witch’s soul”) or in animal form, kitchen witch usually remains tied to her home and gets upset when old utensils and furniture items are replaced with new ones.
Other types of witches
The list above includes most of the major types of witches (although it’s possible that witches belonging to some of the omitted types would argue their type is the most major); however, there are others. Here is a brief overview of some of them.
Witchcraft traditions from southern Appalachia are found today primarily in Virginia, West Virginia (mountain momma), and the Carolinas. These types of witches can trace their origins back to Africa (especially Nigeria) and are often syncretized with Native American magic. Both types have many similarities: they rely on ingredients from nature (i.e., animal parts and dead plants), make extensive use of protection items, and favor written spells over spoken ones.
Gypsy witches: types with a distinct culture whose origins have been traced back to India, possibly to the Rajasthan region. There is some debate on whether the fabled Romani gypsies actually originated from this area, but most researchers believe so due to similarities between Romani and Rajasthan types. Gypsies are best known for their gregariousness, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that gypsy witches rely on spoken spells that can be powerful enough to hypnotize a person instantly.
Hoodoo witches specialize in charms, potions, roots, and powders by way of African magical belief systems combined with Native American traditions (see above). These types of witches have African magical traditions at their core and are often dismissed by Wiccan practitioners. Do not confuse hoodoo with voodoo (the two sometimes are used interchangeably, which is also a type of African magic culture. This song by MUSE excellently captures both the essence and the mood of hoodoo:
Psychic witches can read other people’s minds, discern the past, and make correct predictions about the future. An example of the psychic witch type is a Tarot reader who can use the deck to open a passage to separate realities (Tarot-based fortune-telling is only a basic knack that does not even require magic powers). An important characteristic of a true psychic witch is that she can perform supernatural deeds without potions, spells, incantations, or other traditional witchcraft paraphernalia (although she can use them still for a more powerful effect).
Tarot for Beginners: A Guide to Psychic Tarot Reading…
While Tarot reading is only the first step toward mastering the deck’s power, Tarot for Beginners: A Guide to Psychic Tarot Reading, Real Tarot Card Meanings, and Simple Tarot Spreads (Divination for Beginners Series) is just too good a source to overlook for an aspiring witch working on her psychic abilities. With stellar customer reviews and top positions in several esoteric categories, this book is a gift that can save you a lot of time and effort.
Wicca is a nature-based pagan cult based on witchcraft and old Celtic religions started in England in the middle of the 20th century by Gerald Gardner. Most of its practitioners are polytheistic. There are many diverse beliefs under Wiccan practices, but no Wiccan bible, pope, or creed. Wiccans worship a pantheon of gods although not all Wiccans subscribe to every god within their pantheon; in fact, many Wiccans may only believe in one god.
Wiccans witches follow the basic Wiccan rede: “And it harm none, do what ye wilt“. They use spells to cast magic or bless objects. The spells can be written on paper (usually with a Wiccan circle inscribed above), carved into candles, and even tattooed on the skin. Spells are key to Wiccan witchcraft because, without them, Wiccan witches have power only over their own bodies and minds. This power, however, belongs to the gods who only grant Wiccan witches magic abilities through the spells handed down from generation to generation, typically by word of mouth.
Concluding remarks on different types of witches
While it is easy to think that witchcraft is a homogenous set of practices whose goal is either to establish a connection with the supernatural world or produce supernatural effects in ordinary reality, there are many different types of witches who often specialize in fairly narrow fields. For example, a witch that honed her dream body to the point of being able to appear in two places at the same time (this feat is described in detail in D. Rudoy’s Martina Flawd) will not necessarily be a mistress of herbal spells, and vice versa. So, if you are researching different types of witches in an attempt to figure out which one to become, no worries: you won’t have to learn all the witchcraft in the world to call yourself a witch; rather, you should pick a concentration and, much like in college, succeed in learning the parts integral to that particular path of knowledge.