Witches are a part of folklore, mythology and history. They are usually portrayed as being evil beings who practice magic and use it for their own purposes.
In modern Wicca, we tend to think of all witches as the same, but there are different types of witches that have been documented throughout history.
This article will go through the types from myth to very much real and practicing today. Then it will help you understand which type you are. You may also be interested in the various types of Wiccan magic.
What are the Different Types of Witches?
For simplicity, here is a list of the various witch types:
- Traditional witch
- Kitchen witch
- Sea witch
- Hedge witch
- Elemental witch
- Green witch
- Ceremonial witch
- Hereditary witch
- Cosmic Witch
- Secular witch
- Solitary witch
- Eclectic witch
In European folklore, the only known witch type was the broom riding witch. They were considered evil and spreading mischief with their magic. They were also sought out and punished for crimes they did not commit. We’ve come a long way since then.
A traditional witch is one like me. We follow the general principles of Wicca and celebrate the Wiccan Wheel of the Year ceremonies. We don’t particularly identify as any of the other specialized forms of witchcraft listed in throughout this article.
Instead, we are drawn to different types depending on our mood or purpose.
Traditional witches are sometimes called folk witches.
A folk witch is someone who practices the folk magic of his or her ancestors or the people in the surrounding region. They frequently adopt a historical approach, employing magical methods and ideas that predate Wicca, and they may have access to a plethora of material on centuries-old spells, charms, talismans, and herbal brews.
A kitchen witch is a type of witch that tends to focus on natural ingredients and food as their spells.
Kitchen witches are witches that work in the kitchen. They are usually solitary practitioners, but they may also be part of a coven. Kitchen witches use natural ingredients and food as their spells and potions.
They are mostly domestic, loving, and like making their house a genuinely wonderful and holy atmosphere. Kitchen witches like cooking, brewing, and using herbs, which they often acquire from their own gardens.
Check out this article on Making Incense from Kitchen Scraps.
Sea witches are a rare type of witch that have the ability to communicate with sea creatures and the elements. They can use this power to do good and bad things.
Sea witches are always connected to the ocean, so they are usually found near large bodies of water or in coastal towns. They can also be found in rivers or lakes if they live near them, but it is not as common for them to live inland.
Some sea witches have a special connection with one specific animal, like dolphins or whales, but others have more of an affinity for all sea life and can communicate with anything that lives in the water.
If you are a hedge witch, you will have a natural inclination to be drawn to the natural world and all of its mysteries. You are an intuitive person who is on the lookout for the unknown and the unseen. You have an affinity for all things that grow in nature, such as herbs and plants.
Hedge witches are people who practice witchcraft in an earth-based tradition. They typically do not use tools or spells, but instead work with their intuition to help others with their problems.
Hedge witches deal with plants and Earth magic in addition to astral projection. But it is their capacity to traverse the “hedge,” or the divide between this world and the astral realm, that distinguishes them as a hedge witch.
The most common type of witch is an elemental witch. They practice magic that revolves around one of four elements: air, earth, fire or water.
Each element may have its own altar in the hands of an elemental witch. Elemental witches invoke the elements while casting magick and performing invocations and rituals, and they may even have a personal element with which they identify and strive to discover.
You can find more information from my article: Elemental Magic for Beginners.
There are many types of witches, with different colors and practices. The colors that they use are often indicative of their type. The most common colors are black, white, red, and green. Witches who practice in green magic are called “green witches” or “nature witches” because they work closely with the earth and nature.
Green witches believe that there is a balance between man and the Earth; they believe in living in harmony with nature rather than conquering it. This is why many people associate them with the color green – because it symbolizes growth and fertility.
They may have their own herb garden, but they also research their surroundings and perform with native plants. Plants/greenery are used by green witches in their spells and magic, as well as in their food and homes.
Ceremonial witches follow a variety of rituals and ceremonies as their highest calling. Ceremonial magic is woven into almost every aspect of their activity.
They’re including a ritual or ceremony into whatever they’re casting or trying to achieve. Ceremonial witches frequently invoke specific creatures and spiritual entities to help them with their spells.
They usually plan their magick according to the Wheel of the Year so that they can directly express their spells as part of these Wiccan holidays.
A witch who was born into the craft through a coven or parents is known as a hereditary witch. It is a part of their genealogy and/or family.
Their magic and practice have been passed down down the years, however they may use their own methods in addition to or instead of their family.
There is, however, still an option. Hereditary witches must be born into witchcraft, however you will not be a hereditary witch if you do not want to perform witchcraft.
Cosmic witches are modern witches who include elements and celestial energies from the cosmos and astrology into their practice. These witches, sometimes known as “Star Witches,” frequently monitor the planets and star alignments, basing their charms and rituals on the various placements.
Secular witches still employ crystals, herbs, oils, and candles in their rituals, but they don’t associate their work with spirituality. Secular witches don’t worship any gods or higher beings, and their practice is completely secular.
They don’t believe in the power of energy or that their work contains energy. This isn’t to suggest that a non-spiritual witch can’t be spiritual; it’s just that their job isn’t. The two are completely distinct.
I actually identified as a secular witch for most of my life. You can be a secular witch and become a different type later on or vice-versa.
Solitary witches can be any sort of witch, although they prefer to work alone rather than in a coven. This might be through choice or because they have yet to form a working group. They don’t require a coven as much as a newer witch since they recall and understand the craft.
Solitary witchcraft was popularized by in the famous book Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner by Scott Cunningham.
Eclectic witchcraft is a catch-all phrase for witchcraft practices that don’t fit well into any one category, generally because they include magical ideas and practices from several places.
Even though some eclectic witches take the label NeoWiccan, there are many non-Wiccan eclectic witches that use elements from other magical traditions that appeal with them.
Eclectic witches may combine primary records, information gleaned from the internet, knowledge gained from a class, and their own personal experience to create a singular, practical manner of executing rituals and spells.
The term eclectic is often used to identify a modified magical tradition from its original form, or to distinguish an uninitiated individual performing their own version of otherwise oathbound material.
What is Your Witch Type?
There are many different types of witches and they all have their own unique style. It is not important to know which type you want to be before you start practicing witchcraft.
There are as many witch types as there are practicing Wiccans. I’ve left off many variants that you may identify with, for example a Celtic witch is a folk witch that identifies with and practices the Celtic folk traditions.
Each witch has their own way of working and what they specialize in, so it is important to know which one fits your personality best.
Here is a simple guide to figure it out for yourself:
- Choosing directly
The easy way to figure this out is to just experiment with whatever type sounds interesting. You can practice as if you are fully whichever type you picked.
After a month or so, you should be able to tell if it was a good fit. Maybe you picked kitchen witch, but you found that all the magick you wanted to do was of elemental type.
This would tell me that kitchen witch was not a good fit for your magick style, and you should then try out elemental witch.
After a few months, it should become clearer which type suits you.
If you’ve been practicing Wicca for any amount of time, then you will have accumulated a lot of experiences. Take some time to sit alone and really reflect on how it has gone.
Do you always seem to make time for full moon ceremonies and Imbolc festivals while finding other aspects of magick dull? This tells me you identify strongly with ceremonial magick.
Do you never seem to get around to these ceremonies but you keep building your own incense out of your herb garden in your kitchen that you’ve specifically designed to help your magick? Maybe you are a green witch or kitchen witch.
Deep reflection after some time with actual experience practicing the craft will help you figure it out.
3. Choosing Directly
There’s also nothing wrong with choosing a witch type directly. Does the idea of elemental magic excite you? Then just choose to be an elemental witch.
The longer you practice as a certain type, the more natural it will feel, the deeper you will connect with it, and the better you will get at it.