Wicca Vs. WitchcraftIn today's society, many people seem to think that the terms Wicca and Witchcraft are one and the same. This could not be further from the truth. There are some fundamental differences that should not be ignored.
First of all, Wicca is a relatively new religion, started by a man named Gerald Gardner. Witchcraft has been practiced for many centuries, primarily by women.
Wicca teaches that in order for there to be "balance," one must appeal to both the male and female aspects of deity, the God and the Goddess. The God should always be called into the ritual circle first in order to provide protection for the Goddess. For this same reason, the God is released from the ritual last. In Witchcraft, the emphasis is on the Goddess. Witches do not believe that it is necessary to work with a male aspect of divinity, as all life comes through the female. There are enough religions that teach male dominance and female servitude. Witches do not feel the need to subscribe to such nonsense.
Wicca teaches an amended version of the Christian "golden rule." The Wiccan Rede states, " 'An it harm none, do what you will." Wiccans are afraid of karmic repercussions if they do something that could be viewed as even remotely harmful. They subscribe to a belief in a "threefold law," where everything you do, positive or negative, will come back to you times three. Witches do not concern themselves with such drivel. A true Witch understands that she is responsible for her own life and her own actions. She is willing to accept the consequences for anything she does and does not have to worry that her actions may get her in trouble on some karmic level.
Wicca is like Christianity in many ways. The only real differences lie in actual ritual practice and the acceptance of a female deity. Both religions have a "Do what the majority feels is morally acceptable, lest you suffer punishment from a greater power." Both religions also spend a lot of time making their services or rituals as elaborate as possible. They must appeal to the masses, after all. A true Witch just quietly watches the pomp and circumstance of such religions. She does not feel the need to advertise to the world that she is a Witch. She is content spending her time with her family, becoming attuned with Nature, studying herbs, and simply enjoying her life. She knows who she is and does not need the approval of society in order to feel whole.
So, even though many Wiccans like to use the word "Witch" when referring to themselves, they are merely straddling the fence between true Witchcraft and other more socially acceptable religions.