Witch or Wiccan: Which are you?
Aine talks about witchcraft, Wicca and the differences thereof in her experienced opinion on the most recent Witch's Circle. That is one of the troubles with this form of Paganism... it varies depending on who you ask. That very fact is one reason I chose this path, but it does make one or the other difficult to pinpoint exactly what either is. But I will give my opinions in the form of answering the questions she list on the post, to be found here.
Are you a witch or Wiccan?
I consider myself a witch. Most of the books I physically own are on Wicca, yes. But some of the information contained therein is exactly why I don't think I'm Wiccan. I don't believe in some of the same traditions that any of the major groups of Wiccans follow.
Do you belong to a group/coven or are you solitary?
I'm solitary, although I do practice some magic with Twinny (as seen on Samhain.)
Do you abide by the Rede or any other Rule in your practice?
I think the Rede is a bit too optimistic for any living thing to truly abide by. It's a nice thought to be sure. But if I get a job, I'm harming those who didn't get it and they might need it more than I do. I believe in not trying to harm people intentionally. I do eat meat, so animals will be killed for my consumption, but that is nature. I do try to buy things that are humanely treated though. I believe in doing one's best to try and better the world, and I don't consider it my place to punish people who aren't under my authority (should I have children/employees.)
Does your belief system include a deity/deities?
Sort of. It's been an ongoing process of mine to find a God/Gods that resonate with who I am. I'm speaking of the masculine specifically here. There are many Goddesses I identify with, which makes it hard to choose one to be my patron. But at the same time, it's difficult for me to work with an abstract idea that is 'the feminine' or 'the masculine'. I do like to work with a God and Goddess that would be helpful to my specific magical needs at the time. Like using Athena for wisdom and Hestia for home issues. I don't worship these deities. I respect them and see them in myself and others. They are a part of what makes up everything, just as I am. I just ask for their help and guidance once in a while and thank them for it after.
Does your path include magical practice?
Yes. Orange candles with rosemary oil help me write!
How do you celebrate the Sabbats?
I'm too new at this for there to be a tradition per se. I've been trying to attune myself to nature and celebrate what it has to offer at that given time. I've noticed that actual rituals that are listed in the books I have don't work well for me. I feel really uncomfortable doing them. I'm more of a 'let's go out and do something to celebrate, not sit at an altar and pray.' I don't tend to do magic that way either. I'll ask for assistance and say a short blessing. That's about it.
"All Wiccans are Witches, but not all Witches are Wiccans." Do you agree?
I suppose it depends on what the person wants to be called. I'm sure there are Wiccans who don't want to be called witches, but that do magic. But if doing magic makes you a witch... then they would technically be one. I do agree that not all witches are Wiccans. A lot of them aren't.
Do you believe that Witchcraft is a religion?
It can be. It can be a huge spiritual journey or a simple matter of doing spells. Some people are okay with being a "Christian Witch" which I think is a Christian doing magic. So for that person, Witchcraft isn't a religion. But for some people (like me) it is a spiritual connection with nature, the divine feminine and the divine masculine.