Witches and witchcraft have been rising back to popularity since the mid-20th century, along with other ancient practices like seasonal living, moon rituals, and astrology. Head to social media, and you’ll find an abundance of witchey posts shared by women who have boldly reclaimed the word “witch,” and it’s about damn time. But you’ll also notice a wide range in the aesthetics, practices, and magic these women are immersing themselves in. So, what types of witches are there, how many types of witches are there, and how do you begin choosing your practice?
What is a witch?
Before we dive into the different types of witches, I want to clarify what a witch is for anyone new to witchcraft.
Because, contrary to what a lot of books and movies have suggested over the years, a witch is not a woman with a green face who cackles as she hunches over her cauldron practicing black magic and rides her broomstick around at night terrorizing innocent victims.
This is just a caricature of what a witch is that was created and popularized by evil men who feared witches and their power and wanted to stigmatize and demonize women. Sabrina the Teenage Witch was a breath of fresh air and did a fantastic job dispelling this image (thank you, Sabrina!).
A witch is an untamed, unapologetic, sovereign woman rooted in her power. She lives and works in harmony with mamma nature and the Goddess. She is connected to her inner magic and uses it to navigate, create, and manifest from the subtle realm into the physical realm. And she lives her life completely on her own terms.
A witch is a woman they could not burn.
Women worldwide are waking up to this sacred part of themselves that has been repressed and punished for centuries. We are waking up to the power running through our veins and between our legs. We are reclaiming that part of ourselves that has long been ostracized and returning to wholeness.
How did the true definition of witchcraft become twisted?
In pre-Christian times, before the witch trials and witch hysteria took hold of Europe, witches were an integral part of all communities. They were the wise women, the medicine women, the midwives, the healers. They used their vast knowledge of plants, herbs, and energy to create remedies for the sick, help women through labor, and advise on the best time to plant or harvest crops.
But around the same time Christianity started to rise as a religion, the Bible was published, along with another book called “The Hammer of The Witches.” This book was entirely about why witches are evil and how to “catch” them. And from here began the mass arresting, torturing, and murdering of women that have largely been swept under the rug ever since. The Salem witch trials were one of the most notorious historical events of this kind.
If you owned a cat, had knowledge of herbs, knew how to prevent conception, or understood the meanings of cards and could predict the future, you were labeled a witch. Essentially, any strong, independent woman was branded a witch. Millions of women were tortured and murdered by the Patriarchy (predominantly Christian men), but hardly anyone talks about it. We’re always talking about the Holocaust, but far more women were murdered during the witch hunts.
And you would think this is over now, but it’s not. Children, particularly in African culture, are still accused of witchcraft, as though it’s something evil to be punished. But don’t let this scare you into shunning your craft and your magic. This is exactly what happened centuries ago—fear was used to disconnect women from their power and exercise control over people, the land, and modern capitalist structures.
Witchcraft is accessible to everyone
The modern-day witch comes in all shapes, sizes, and guises. There are so many different types of witches and modern witchcraft at this point, and it’s perfectly okay to take and leave what you want. There are no rules here.
A woman is not less of a witch because she isn’t “traditional” and doesn’t come from a long ancestral line of witches. So whether you love popping a crystal into your bath, you regularly do oracle readings for yourself and your friends, full moon rituals are your jam, or you love combining raw ingredients from the Earth and whipping up something delicious in the kitchen, I want you to know you are just as much of a witch as any other woman.
Tools you might need
- A wand
- An athame
- A small chalice or cauldron
- A variety of herbs and flowers
- A small journal to keep track of all your rituals and spell work (also known as your book of shadows)
- Essential oils
- Inspiring images
- Handwritten notes (maybe affirmations)
- Tarot cards or oracle cards
- Crystals, stones, and gems
It’s a great idea to set up all your tools in one place. A lot of witches will have a sacred altar where they keep everything. This is where they’ll do their spell work, moon rituals, and even practice meditation or yoga. If you want to know how to create an altar, check out this article:
22 types of witches and what they do
Today, there are many different types of witches, and each group has its own beliefs and rituals. Explore each of them below and notice which ones speak to you as you read them. And remember, you don’t have to be confined to one type of witchcraft. Pick and choose what you want from all of these.
1. Traditional witch (or folk witch or hereditary witch)
A traditional witch will usually practice the magic of her ancestors or the people in her local community, passed down to her through the matriarchal line. And this magic has traditionally been around for many generations and pre-dates Wicca. Traditional witches might have access to ancient knowledge on spells, herbs, and charms, as well as the local land they reside in and the old customs of the region.
A traditional witch is dedicated to learning and practicing the old ways of witchcraft but may combine these with modern tools and ideas.
2. Baby witch
A baby witch is a term for someone new to witchcraft and still finding her feet. She’s exploring and experimenting with multiple types of witchcraft, figuring out what excites her and still paving her own path.
3. Kitchen witch
You might already be a kitchen witch without realizing it! Because kitchen witchcraft is rooted in making the act of preparing a meal sacred and magical. Your stove or counter is your altar. Your tools are your fresh ingredients, herbs, spices, and utensils. And your techniques and “spells” are your recipes.
Kitchen witches are probably the most common type of modern-day witches worldwide since women still predominantly rule the kitchen in their home and take on most of the cooking duties. Although it’s very much a sexist expectation for a woman to do this work rather than a man (don’t think you have to do it because you don’t), I do believe that women are innately more natural at it, which comes from our witchey roots and connection with nature.
When you shift your perspective on food preparation and consumption, you can turn something ordinary into something extraordinary, and you and the people you’re cooking for will reap the benefits of this.
4. Green witch
Another of the popular types of witches are green witches. As you might have guessed from the name, these witches worship and respect mamma nature and draw their power (and spell ingredients) from plants, flowers, and herbs.
You might be a green witch if you love being outdoors, tending to your garden, and living seasonally.
5. Hedge witch
At first glance, a hedge witch might appear similar to the green witch and the kitchen witch. While there are similarities, a hedge witch is not entirely focused on nature, nor does she do all her magic in the kitchen.
This witch usually practices alone and is more focused on working with nature, the elements, herbs, and crafts to conjure healing remedies for the sick. She may cultivate skills, including herbal medicine and aromatherapy.
Hedge witches don’t follow any strict religious or spiritual practice and instead develop their own magic. If it’s simple and fuss-free, it’s for her.
6. Sea witch
As her name suggests, a sea witch also has a connection to the Earth, particularly the ocean. The element of water is sacred to them, and they’ll incorporate found materials like shells, sand, seawater, salt, seaweed, and driftwood into their spells and potions.
But she isn’t limited to the sea. She’ll work with the power of other vast bodies of water like rivers, streams, and lakes. Being close to water boosts sea witches’ power, so you’ll often find her home on the coast or by a lake.
7. Wiccan witch
Wicca is recognized as a modern religion based on nature and witchcraft traditions. Wiccans celebrate the cycle of life, also known as the Wheel of the Year, which comprises festivals (sabbats), including summer solstice, Yule, and Samhain. Both Doreen Valiente and Gerald Gardner were responsible for founding and popularizing Wicca. FYI: Doreen also played a crucial role in lifting the ban on witchcraft in 1951, which had been in place for over two centuries before that.
A Wiccan witch focuses less on religion and more on ritual, and the only real “rule” they have is to not harm anyone with their magic. They worship both a Goddess and God, representing the female and male aspects of our Earth. They harbor much love and respect for the Earth and their environment.
Gardenarian witches and Alexandrian witches are different branches born from Wicca.
8. Eclectic witch
Eclectic witches don’t need any persuasion when it comes to cherry-picking the practices, beliefs, and rituals they feel drawn to from all the different types of witches and witchcraft. So if you just can’t decide where you fit on this list and love the sound of everything, you’re probably an eclectic witch!
Many women who are just dipping their toes into witchcraft are eclectic witches by default because they’re experimenting with different things and figuring out what they like.
Eclectic witches will combine what they read online (such as here), historical sources, workshops and online classes, teachings, and inspiration from other witches.
9. Crystal witch
Crystal witches harness the power of, yep, you guessed it, crystals, stones, rocks, and gems. They use these in rituals and spell work to amplify energy, draw things towards them, and manifest their deepest desires. They also have a strong connection to people’s auras and can see and feel them in a big way.
If you’re attracted to sparkly objects and have an ever-growing crystal collection, you might just be a crystal witch.
10. Cosmic witch
Cosmic witches gain their power from the stars and pay attention to astrology and astronomy, including the moon cycle and her energy. She’s in the know regarding birth charts, sun signs, moon signs, and rising signs. She uses this deep knowledge to better understand herself and others and navigate life.
11. Lunar witch
Like a cosmic witch (and all other types of witches), a lunar witch pays attention to Grandmamma moon. However, they are totally dedicated to working with the lunar cycle and harnessing its feminine power. They enjoy rituals at each phase of the moon cycle. They plan their life in accordance with the energy available to them at any given time.
A lunar witch will religiously track the moon cycle (and probably her menstrual cycle) and know where it is at all times. She will also look skyward each night to look for the moon, bathe in her light on the full moon, and use this light to recharge her tools.
12. Divination witch (or augury witch)
Divination witches focus on the future and use their magic, spells, and rituals to predict what’s ahead. They work with various tools and techniques, including tarot cards, oracle cards, pendulums, palm reading, and tassology (interpreting tea leaves).
Divination might be your calling if you have a particular talent for predicting future events, or the first visit you always make at a carnival is at the fortune teller’s door.
13. Gypsy witch
Gypsy witches usually come from a line of Romani Gypsies. In Romani, the word “shuvihani” translates to “wise woman” and has a similar meaning to the word “witch.”
Gypsy witches have special rites and rituals for prominent occasions, including weddings and baby blessings. They also harness the power of herbs and the art of divination in their spells.
14. Celtic witch
A Celtic witch usually stays true to Celtic myths and rituals. This type of witchcraft is rooted in pre-Christian religion and is popular with Pagans. Celtic witches typically have an eclectic practice while honoring their Celtic lineage, the Ancients, and the Earth. But they primarily focus on nature, the elements, healing, and participate in group and individual rites.
15. Elemental witch
An elemental witch bases her practice on and draws her power from the elements: Earth, water, fire, and air. Some elemental witches also believe in a fifth element, which is spirit.
She might focus on just one element or a combination of all four depending on the spell or ritual she’s doing. But to be able to call on these elements, she must first form a bond with them.
In the beginning, an elemental witch might have a special bond with one element over the others. But as her practice and knowledge deepen, she will master all the elements equally.
16. Coven witch
Next up on our list of types of witches is the coven witch. “Coven” is a word that has forever been associated with a group of witches coming together. Not just any number, but 13 of them. And as witches were branded evil, so was the number 13. But it’s actually a powerful number for us as women.
A coven witch will operate as part of a community of witches who combine their magic and power to cast stronger, more potent spells. They manifest for the whole group and each woman’s wider community. These witches love engaging in sacred ceremonies and rituals together.
17. Solitary witch
The opposite of a coven witch is a solitary witch. She prefers to work alone rather than in a group setting. She doesn’t follow any specific rules and practices her own blend of magic. A solitary witch is in complete control of her craft and makes her own rules.
18. Bruja witch
“Bruja” means “witch” in Spanish and refers to witches originating from a particular line of Hispanic healers. This branch of witchcraft continues today across North and South America. It has recently experienced a rise in popularity amongst Latina and Hispanic women, reclaiming parts of their heritage that were suppressed by the Spanish conquistadors.
Bruja witches engage in various rituals, cleansings, divination, contacting spirits, prayer, and energy work. They utilize nature in their work (particularly herbs, spices, lemons, and limes).
19. Faery witch
Faery witchcraft is another branch of modern Wicca but is inspired by and woven with Irish mythology and Celtic religion. A blend of the Wiccan witch and Celtic witch.
These witches commonly perform spells and rituals outdoors in the forest, lakes, or holy springs, drawing their power from their surroundings.
20. Shamana witch
A shamana witch is also known as a female shaman or medicine woman. She is a priestess, healer, herbalist, sorceress, and mentor. Her practice is rooted in the ancient culture of Paganism. It’s typical for her to use drumming, dancing, and plants to enter an altered state of consciousness when performing rituals and ceremonies.
She is also devoted to serving her community with her craft through spells, rituals, initiations, counseling, herbalism, and healing.
21. Hearth witch (or cottage witch)
“Hearth” is an old word for the heart and soul of a person’s home. A hearth witch devotes her practice to making a house a home. She combines the beliefs and practices of both a green witch and kitchen witch but primarily directs her energy indoors and in various ways other than just cooking.
It’s typical to find this witch making candles or bars of soap, crocheting a blanket, creating a wreath out of foraged twigs and leaves, and continually working to make her home a special, sacred space.
22. Dianic witch
Dianic witches are a strictly all-female coven of witches who focus on worshiping the Roman Goddess Diana and the divine feminine. They focus on the Maiden, Mother, Crone triad and speak out against women’s oppression. Everything they believe and practice comes from a feminist lens.
Which witch are you?
I hope this list has given you a great foundation and intro to witchcraft, no matter who you are and where you currently are on your journey as a witch.
As for me? I don’t identify with just one of the types of witches on this list. I’m definitely an eclectic witch, but still, I don’t like to label or limit myself. I combine elements from many of these forms of witchcraft, and my practice evolves daily as I do.
Before we part, I want to reiterate that being a witch is not really about possessing magical powers, casting spells, and performing rituals. It’s more about who you are on a deep, soul level and what you choose to believe in.
Don’t take anything I say as gospel. Tap into and trust your intuition. Let it guide you as you immerse yourself in this world and reclaim the word witch.
Which types of witches on this list speak to your soul and get you excited to explore witchcraft?
Tell me all in the comments below!