What Is Witchcraft?
Witchcraft is a transformative, life-affirming, spiritual and magickal way of being. It is also a lifestyle. Working with the energies of the mysterious, intuitive facet of the Divine and the natural world, is Witchcraft at its core. But mostly, Witchcraft is about power–not over others, but over yourself. To wield your innate power so you are in control of your life is really what the Craft is all about.
What Are ALL Paths Of Witchcraft About, Whether Eclectic Or Another?
Witchcraft is a highly empowering practice that engenders personal change, spiritual evolution and connection with Source (unless you are a secular Witch). Witchcraft is all about freedom, liberty and personal sovereignty; it is about you being fearlessly you, and aligned with your Divine Blueprint and Life Purpose.
Across the globe and throughout time, Witches have always been the:
Witches know their lives have meaning and purpose and have certain lessons and obligations to fulfill in this incarnation. Spiritual Witches know their Earthly journey is for the progression of their eternal spirit.
- healers, diviners, fortune-tellers and soothsayers
- magick-makers that direct energy and create change
- midwives and psychopomps who lovingly welcome new life into the world, and when it’s time, gently usher it home
- children of the Earth and the Divine who are in service to the planet, to others and to themselves
Is Wicca Eclectic Witchcraft?
Witchcraft is often confused with Wicca [respectfully], the Pagan religion that practices Witchcraft. While many Witches are Wiccan, and most Wiccans do identify as Witches, Wicca is a hierarchical, structured religion. It has its own rules and methods that practitioners follow and implement.
Each denomination of Wicca reveres specific deities that their members venerate. Wiccans who practice within the framework of a coven will undergo initiations and have degrees to attain. Wicca is the perfect path for some and can be highly rewarding. However, not all who aspire to be a Witch have the desire to do so within the construct of an organized religion.
Solitary Wiccans are free to choose any deity or pantheon to venerate. They do not attain degrees, nor have a role within a coven’s hierarchical structure. They do, however, follow the tenets of the religion.
Eclectic Witches do not. They choose their own gods and goddesses to venerate and be in relationship with. Some Eclectic Witches, such as myself, venerate none at all. Rather, we focus on the Divine as a whole, and work with various energies in nature. These energies can be earth energies, cosmic energies, or both.
There are many beautiful and relevant elements in Wicca, and the Eclectic Witch is free to incorporate any parts that resonate with them into their practice.Eclectic Witchcraft And Deity
In Eclectic Witchcraft, a Witch doesn’t have to worship any gods and goddesses. If they do, the they are free to work with any deity or pantheon they intuitively resonate with. Multiple deities from various pantheons are sometimes part of the Eclectic Witch’s practice. Witches work with gods and goddesses to venerate and to obtain assistance from. Deities, however, are not static, and may not permanently remain in one’s practice. They may change over time as the individual Witch evolves, and as needs arise. Witches venerate gods and goddesses equally. Neither is greater than the other. Many believe that deities (gods and goddesses) are actual beings, and are front and center in their Witchcraft practice.
Some Witches believe that any given deity is not an actual being, but a singular energetic resonance of the Divine. Examples of these energies include invoking the energies of Venus to aid you in love, friendship or money matters. Or Mercury, to aid you in all matters relating to communication. These archetypal energies are but a fragment of the infinite sum of Creation–the Divine, Universal Source Energy that the Witch invokes in their spiritual and magickal practices. Think of the Divine as a diamond. Each facet resonates a particular energy and is associated with a particular god or goddess. Some Witches work with a combination of energetic resonances and personification of them, and refer to Divine archetypal energies as specific deities.
Witches use the term ‘Divine’ interchangeably with the terms ‘Universe’, ‘Source Energy’, ‘Source’ and more. When Abrahamic/non-pagan religions speak of ‘God’ (deity), this is the energy they are referring to, but do not realize it.
Some Witches are secular though, meaning they do not practice their Craft from a spiritual standpoint. Rather, their focus is solely its magickal aspect. Here at The Magickal Path, I practice and teach Witchcraft as both a spiritual and magickal practice.What About Magick And Eclectic Witchcraft?
“Magick is the art and science of manipulating energy to create change.”
Magick is the harnessing of natural forces combined with the power of your Will–and it is very real. It is very powerful, however it is not the ‘magic’ the film industry depicts. While having a small ‘Harry Potter’ moment is not impossible, you will learn that a spell takes time to manifest. Always, the success of any spell depends upon many variables such as unconscious shadows, your vibrational frequency, mundane pathways and more.
Energy in any magick spell is neutral; it is neither good, nor evil. The intention of any spell, whether its is for good or to harm, is born of the person casting the casting. In part, it is because of the Witches who curse, hex and manipulate the free will of others, that Witchcraft still suffers such prejudice. This is because people fear those who could do them harm in this way.
In Eclectic Witchcraft, all methods and modes of spellcasting are utilized, and those used are dependent on the aim of a particular spell. There is a lot to learn about magick and spell casting; finding the right teacher is crucial to your magickal success. They should be one you absolutely trust and that aligns with your own beliefs about how to use magick. The person who teaches you magick should also have a lot of experience with Witchcraft and spellcasting, and that has your best interest at heart.What Is Malefica?
(Aka Black Or Baneful Magick)
Malefica is a form of magick that uses dark energies to curse, hex or manipulate the free will of another. It is an optional practice in any type of Witchcraft, including Eclectic. In all paths of Witchcraft, it’s up to the individual Witch to choose whether or not malefica will be part of their magickal practice.
When we do magick, we are not only using our own energy, but are also tapping into either the benevolent energy of Creation/Source/the Divine etc, or the darker energies that exist in the Universe. The energies we summon are always the ones that embody the goal of our spell. So, if we are casting for good things, we are tapping into the positive, life-affirming energies of Creation. If we are performing malefica, we are tapping into the dark energies of the Universe. This is highly NOT recommended despite what anyone might have done to us, or what we may desperately desire.
Malefica is not to be confused with casting for protection, as in banishing or binding, aka gray magick. It is perfectly ok to protect yourself from harm.
In the end, when we cast a baneful spell we ultimately harm ourselves and our souls energetically and spiritually, and will only attract more darkness to ourselves by way of problematic people and circumstances–or worse. The Witch who hexes creates a never-ending cycle of attracting negativity, bad luck, bad people and bad things into their life.
Not sure if a spell is malefic? Ask yourself, “Would I want someone doing this to me?” No? Then don’t do it to someone else! When casting a spell, allow the Golden Rule to be your moral compass. The Witch who practices a ‘healthy shade of gray’ magick, meaning casting only for benefic outcomes and protection, is one who will experience a life that is filled with positive manifestations, peace and happiness. At The Magickal Path, the teachers and I only work with students who wish to practice in the gray to white end of the magickal spectrum. What ANY Kind Of Witchcraft IS NOT!
Contrary to popular cultural beliefs as portrayed in media and many religions, Witches who practice any type of Witchcraft, including Eclectic, are NOT evil-doers who are in league with the Devil, seeking to harm, maim and wreak havoc in the name of their Dark Lord. Nothing could be further from the truth!!
As history clearly illustrates, the widely known historical figure portraying the ‘Evil Witch’ is false. Individuals accused of being Witches in previous centuries were actually healers, midwives, elderly widows, and other ostracized individuals. Fear, jealousy, envy, hatred, and desire for power over these innocent people were at the root of the accusations.
Often times, these individuals were just scapegoats that a superstitious and deeply fearful population needed to blame their misfortunes on. These innocent men, and mostly women, died in the most brutal of ways, all in the name of “God”.
Ignorance is a dangerous thing, and those who have practiced the path of the peaceful, healing and light-bearing Witch have felt this threat in some way. The applies in history, and even today.
For most Witches (those who are on a spiritual path and that do not practice malefica), the path of the Eclectic Witch is a pure one wherein spiritual enlightenment, connection to the Divine, and improving one’s life through the manipulation of energy (magick), are the ultimate motives for this practice. There is absolutely nothing evil about that!
Why Modern Societies Believe Witchcraft Is Evil, And The Suppression Of The Feminine Divine
Witchcraft is a spiritual practice that relies upon agency with the Divine Feminine–the mysterious and intuitive facet of Source. Walking this path empowers women to think for themselves, create their own realities, and to be their unique, authentic selves. Witchcraft remains considered evil because men in power fear losing control over the societal beliefs and practices that benefit them.
There is no room within the strict dogma of the patriarchal religions for anything other than veneration of a singular, all-powerful (and likely vengeful) male deity. The idea of having an equal feminine counterpart is intolerable because it threatens male sovereignty, power, and ultimately, control over women.
It is this ‘forbidding of the feminine’ that trickles down into the very fabric of every culture, and deep into our psyches, making for the masculine (men) to be dominant, and the feminine (women) to be less than, never equal to, and ultimately subjugated on some level.
Independent, powerful women have been scorned for millenia. Patriarchal religions have systematically perpetuated the suppression of the feminine in every aspect to retain control over the masses.The Malefic Witch
As far as the malefic Witch is concerned, as discussed above, they do exist. The patriarchal religions have made the malefic Witch the model by which all Witches operate. They are considered evil and dangerous. All Witches are maligned in this way, and are therefore cast to the fringes of society. However, practicing malefica pales in comparison to the atrocities committed throughout the centuries by many of today’s mainstream religions and their followers.
Evil is committed by religions and governments around the world even today. It can be witnessed through nationalism, religious zealotry, bigotry, violence of every kind, and misogyny. Subjugation, oppression and hatred is rampant. Just turn on the news. The world is filled with people trying to change or control others. When those who are put upon resist, they are brutalized, slaughtered or both. Know that there is not one instance in history where individuals practicing true Witchcraft have ever behaved in this manner. Also, a Witch will never try to convert anyone to practice Witchcraft by force or through guile. A Witch seeks their path. They never proselytize. Witchcraft is a calling inspired by the divinity of the soul.
The bottom line is, anyone can do evil, try to coerce, and do harm. Anyone. Singling out Witchcraft as evil is just another prejudice in our world and an attempt to strong-arm individuals to comply with standards, norms, beliefs and gender roles they do not wish to. Further, for those who believe in a monotheistic God and in Hell as punishment for sinning and non-belief, the ideals of Witchcraft are most frightening and fuel hate, fear and intolerance toward the individuals who walk this path.
The Male Witch (No, They Are Not Warlocks)
Males who walk the path of the Witch do not feel threatened by feminine power and energy. These men understand that male and female power is equal, and that there is no need or reason for dominance. They know that dominance is born of ego and fear, and choose not to operate from this low energy.
The idea of men embracing their feminine side–the intuitive and magickal part of themselves–is not the norm or considered ‘acceptable’. Despite this, the male Witch bravely and soulfully walks this path and ultimately comes to abide in his authentic self in ways that patriarchal culture does not allow. Modern male Witches are the world’s spiritual pioneers.So, What Is Eclectic Witchcraft?
“Eclectic Witchcraft is a carefully curated compilation of time-honored, globally-referenced magickal, spiritual and occult practices that have great meaning and resonance to the individual Witch.”
~ Fiona Duncan
There are no rules in the way you practice Eclectic Witchcraft, only guidelines to help you find and develop the practices that resonate with you on a soul level. That is because this is YOUR journey, no one else’s. In Eclectic Witchcraft, YOU create your own bespoke spiritual and magickal path.
There is no dogma or hierarchy in Eclectic Witchcraft. That is because there is always more than one way to do things. In Eclectic Witchcraft, every Witch is their own High Priest or Priestess. There is no need for a ‘middleman’ to tell you how to do things.
To be an Eclectic Witch means you wield your power to create the life of your dreams. It means you discover your Divine Blueprint and live out your soul’s purpose.
Positive, energy-driven, life-affirming spiritual and magickal practices are the underpinning of the Eclectic path. Although Eclectic Witches are free to practice any form of magick they desire, ranging from black to white, most choose the path that does no harm.
Ultimately, freedom is the operative word in Eclectic Witchcraft. It has no set practice or tradition, yet is by no means a hodgepodge of practices. Aspects of any spiritual and magickal practices that resonate with the Witch are what make each Witch’s Eclectic practice unique.
Eclectic Witchcraft is accepting of all in regard to race, background, sexual orientation or identity.
Every Eclectic Witch’s practice is singularly their own, which in my opinion, is as it should be! Creating a magickal and spiritual practice uniquely suited to just you, is the heart and soul of Eclectic Witchcraft.
Fiona Duncan is the Creatrix and Headmistress of The Magickal Path School of Witchcraft.
She works 1-1 with her students in her WAY OF THE WITCH: Witchcraft 101 Year and Day Training & Coaching Program in Eclectic Witchcraft, and is honored to be their guide as they claim their power and transform their lives.