Wicca & Witchcraft - Wiccan Or Witch?
What is the difference between the terms "Wicca" and "Witchcraft"? They are sometimes (often) used interchangeably but are not necessarily the same thing. The confusion comes because both practitioners of Wicca and practitioners of Witchcraft are called witches. To further complicate matters many, but not all, Wiccans practice witchcraft and vice versa.
Wicca refers to the religion; the worship of the God & Goddess (or just Goddess), and the Sabbat and Esbat rituals. Witchcraft, on the other hand, is considered a craft, and is sometimes called "The Craft." Witchcraft usually refers to the casting of spells and the practice of magic (the use of the "k" is to separate the term from stage magic).
Practicing witchcraft requires no belief in specific gods or goddesses and is a learned skill, not a spiritual path. There are also Pagan Witches, Christian Witches, Buddhist Witches, etc. who also practice witchcraft.
The distinction between Wicca and Witchcraft is not clear cut. There is a crossover between the Pagan/Neo-pagan religions and Witchcraft. However, the differences mentioned above are the general distinctions made between the two terms.
An attempt is often made to make a distinction between high magic (usually considered to be ceremonial, ritualistic magic) and low magic (usually considered to be Witchcraft, Voodoo, etc.). The history of Wicca is a much debated topic. Generally, it is believed that Wicca is a modern invention inspired by the old Pagan religions, following the thesis of Dr. Margaret Murray. There is good evidence, however, that while the ritual side of Wicca is undeniably styled after late Victorian era occultism, the spiritual side is inspired by the old Pagan faiths, with Buddhist, and Hindu influences.