The Creation of Modern Witchcraft

The Creation of Modern Witchcraft

The Evolution of Labels

Before we can discuss how Witchcraft came to be, we need to come to a common perspective of the labels and titles used in this article.
This evolution in language is what etymology is all about. Etymology is the study of or branch of linguistics dealing with word origin and development. Where a word was created or formed and it’s development through history. Words evolve, that’s a given. Proof of this can be found in the twenty-volume Oxford English Dictionary (O.E.D.), which is known by scholars as the definitive resource for word origin and definition. A word that had definition 1 in 1492 will still hold that meaning; but it will also evolve into a new version or use of that meaning, creating definition 2. Both meanings are correct and the application of the definition of the word will depend on it’s usage in conversation or context.
When it comes to using a word as a label, we have to think about how the word was used when it originated and not just how it’s perceived today. Warlock is a good example of this. It’s origination was to define a liar, a traitor. But today many non-pagans use it as the title for a male witch. Which most witches don’t care for.
So let’s first define a common understanding of some of the labels used in the pagan community.
Old Latin (OL)
Low Latin (LL)
Latin (L)
Old English (OE)
Middle English (ME)
Modern English (E)
Classical Greek (CG)
The latin language used before 75 BC
Nonclassical Latin, esp. in the medieval period 600 – 1500 AD
Modern Latin, used since 1500 AD
Anglo-Saxon English used primarily between 400 – 1100 AD
English language used between 1100 – 1500 AD
English language used since the 1500 AD
Greek language used between 700 – 300 BC
Wicca
From LL – the Saxon wicca/wicce
1. Old English: An old Saxon noun with a masculine ending, pronounced “witch’-ah” (not “wick’-ah”). 1a. The feminine form “wicce”, pronounced “witch’-eh”.
2. Modern English: A modern label for the pagan tradition of Wicca, established by Gerald Gardner.
Witchcraft
From OE wiccecraeft, ME wicchecrafte
1. Old English: the power or practices of witches; black magik. The craft of the wise.
2. Middle English: A neopagan religious practice such as shamanism, wicca, voodoo, diabolism, diablerie, demonology, Satanism.
Pagan
From LL paganus, L pagus
1. A person who is not a Christian, Muslim, or Jew; (Any Abrahamic origin belief system)
2. Heathen: formerly, sometimes applied specifically. to a non-Christian by Christians
Neopagan
From CG neos, L paganus
1. Any group of nature based revival pagan religions.

From the old world, using wicca/wicce and witch interchangeably is correct. But in our society today; the creation of Gerald Gardner’s Wiccan tradition clouds the use of these words. In common conversation, when someone mentions Wicca they’re rarely referring to witch; and more often referring to the traditional practice of Gerald Gardner. Using these words in the old world communication creates confusion. Now while it’s technically accurate; thanks to good old Gerald, the word has evolved into something new with a stronger or more prevalent meaning.
In the old world Witchcraft was a practice, a craft of magik. Technically it’s the correct usage of the word prior to 1100-1200 AD. Today it is a label used to define a specific set of neo-pagan traditions. It’s not a new concept; it actually started during the 13th century and is thanks to the early Christian Church. But we’ll get into that later on.
Over time, the category of religions under Witchcraft has slowly returned to their own roots and stand on their own. In part due to the neopagan revivals. For instance, Satanism isn’t considered to be part of Witchcraft. They stand on their own as a pagan religion, but not related to Witchcraft. Part of the delineation comes from the attempts to revive the old pagan religions in the late 1700s.

Today’s Tarot Card for Jan. 13th is The Hanged Man

The Hanged Man

This Tarot Deck: Old English

General Meaning: Traditionally, the card known as the Hanged Man usually indicates a lack of ability to help oneself through independent action. This energy is arrested and awaiting judgment. With this card, there is no avenue for the will to regain control until the situation has passed.

This represents a good time to be philosophical, to study and meditate upon the position you find yourself in, and form resolutions for the moment you become free again. Only those who possess wisdom, patience and optimism will be able to see through limitations, including possible humiliation, to grasp the inspiring lesson one can gain from such an experience

Today’s Tarot Card for Aug. 1st is The Hanged Man

The Hanged Man

This Tarot Deck: Old English

General Meaning: Traditionally, the card known as the Hanged Man usually indicates a lack of ability to help oneself through independent action. This energy is arrested and awaiting judgment. With this card, there is no avenue for the will to regain control until the situation has passed.

This represents a good time to be philosophical, to study and meditate upon the position you find yourself in, and form resolutions for the moment you become free again. Only those who possess wisdom, patience and optimism will be able to see through limitations, including possible humiliation, to grasp the inspiring lesson one can gain from such an experience.

Today’s Tarot Card for June 22 is The Hanged Man

The Hanged Man

This Tarot Deck: Old English

General Meaning: Traditionally, the card known as the Hanged Man usually indicates a lack of ability to help oneself through independent action. This energy is arrested and awaiting judgment. With this card, there is no avenue for the will to regain control until the situation has passed.

This represents a good time to be philosophical, to study and meditate upon the position you find yourself in, and form resolutions for the moment you become free again. Only those who possess wisdom, patience and optimism will be able to see through limitations, including possible humiliation, to grasp the inspiring lesson one can gain from such an experience.