The word "witch" is very powerful. For some people, it brings to mind beautiful, positive images. For others, it brings out the fear of the unknown or misunderstood.
Either way, the word "witch" is full of meaning. In fact, the word Wiccan is often used instead of witch, because it tends to have less of a negative impact. Historically, being a witch would mean secrecy and living in fear of harm. Does this mean that being a Wiccan means that you are a witch? Are they one in the same? What makes someone a witch?
Generally speaking, Wicca is a religion. It is a spiritual system of belief, like any other religion. Wicca honors the divine feminine, the Goddess. Also important, is the duality of the Goddess and God, the belief of the Threefold Law and the Wiccan Rede. A Wiccan also believes in a deep connection with the elements. Although these are many of the basic components of the Wiccan religion, there are many different traditions, with slightly different values and beliefs.
What then, is a witch?
A witch is someone who practices magic, also called witchcraft. Many Wiccans and many other pagan practitioners practice witchcraft. Spellcrafting is an integral part of their religion. For many other Wiccans, spellcrafting is simply a facet of their spirituality, and not necessary for feeling closer to the divine.
Witchcraft, involves using energy for a specific purpose. It is a very personal process that requires knowledge, emotion and a personal sense of rightness, in order to be done successfully. There are plenty of books available that have lists of spells. You can find them covering money, love, discourse and protection. These books, while not all bad, should be viewed as someone else's idea of a proper or useful spell. You can then draw ideas or formulate your own spellwork from them.
The personal touch is what makes a spell powerful. The more of your own energy you put into a spell, the better the chance of it working to your specific desire.
When do you consider yourself a witch?
You consider yourself a witch, when you feel like one. You do not announcing it, any more so than a person of another religion goes around announcing their personal spirituality. Well, we all know people who do this, but really, once they set the tone, no matter how serious they are about their beliefs, that first inappropriate outburst sets the tone, and they are not taken too seriously. Spirituality is a personal thing. It need not be carried on one's sleeve, in order to be true and right. You are who you feel you are. Learn about respecting and honoring your chosen path. You don't need a title to match how you feel inside.