There are many types of traditions and witchcraft and Shamans out there I thought it might be best to have them all here in one list. Everyone is different in the way they practice paganism as well as how they teach, thing is we tend to pull from each tradition that which calls to us. I myself pull from many traditions as not one thing calls to me so I can be considered eclectic even though my primary focus is on Shamanic witchcraft I tend to pull what I need from others if it makes those I’m practising with more comfortable. I can be very intense in my beliefs but I’m incredibly open minded when it comes to it.
So here’s a list of the types of Witchcraft as well as the types of Shamans, Each has pro’s and con’s so look at each carefully and if you feel drawn to one type then I recommend that you research that kind of path before you adopt it for your own.
Types of Witchcraft
Alexandrian – This tradition was begun in the 1960s by Alex Sanders. Alex Sanders lived in England. He used what are known to be slightly changed Gardnarian traditions and calls himself the “King” of Witches. Covens involve both men and women.
British Traditional – This is, according to Silver RavenWolf a “mix of Celtic and Gardnarian beliefs.” Covens involve both men and women. One can study a course and receive a degree in British Traditional Witchcraft.
Celtic Wicca – Celtic Wicca focuses mainly on Celtic and Druidic gods and goddesses (along with a few other Anglo-Saxon pantheon). The rituals are formed after Gardnerian traditions with a stronger emphasis on nature. Celtic Wicca also puts much emphasis on working with elementals and nature spirits such as fairies and gnomes. Gods and Goddesses are usually called “The Ancient Ones.”
Caledonii – This was once know as the Hecatine Tradition. Traditional Scottish Witchcraft.
Ceremonial Witchcraft- This tradition is very exacting in its ritual. All rituals are usually followed by the book, to the letter and with much ceremony. Little emphasis is put on nature. This tradition may incorporate some Egyptian magic. Quabbalistic magic is often used in ceremonial witchcraft.
Dianic – Dianic can incorporate nearly any magical traditions, but emphasis is placed on the Goddess only with little or no mention of the God. Known as the “feminist” types of witchcraft.
Druidic- Neo-Druids are polytheistic worshippers of Mother Earth. Very little is known today about ancient Druidism and there are many gaps in the writings that have been found. Modern Druids practice their religion in areas where nature has been preserved – usually wooded areas. Druidic ritual often employs sacrifices to the Mother Goddess. These sacrifices often include grain, sometimes meat. These ritual sacrifices are often accompanied by a verse not unlike the following:”Earth Mother, giver of life we return to you a measure of the bounty you have provided may you be enriched and your wild things be preserved.”
Eclectic- An eclectic witch mixes many different traditions together to suit their tastes and will not follow any one particular tradition. Whatever seems to work best for them is what is used, regardless of which magical practice it comes from. This is one of the most popular types of witches found today.
Gardnerairian- Gardnerairian witchcraft was begun in England and is Wiccan in nature. It was formed by Gerald Gardner in the 1950s. Gerald Gardner was the first to publicize witchcraft in an effort to preserve the “old ways.”
Hereditary Witch- A hereditary witch is a witch who is born into a witch family and brought up learning about witchcraft. Many witches claim to be hereditary witches when in fact, they are not. You must be brought up in a family of witches to be a hereditary witch.
Kitchen Witch- A kitchen witch is one who practices magic having to deal with the home and practical life. Kitchen witches use many spells involving cooking, herbs, and creating magic through crafts. A kitchen witch is very much like a hedge witch.
Pictish- Pictish witchcraft is nature-based with little emphasis on religion, Gods, or Goddesses. It is much like Celtic witchcraft, only the traditions are Scottish. Pictish witches perform solitary and rarely, if ever work in groups or covens.
Pow-Wow- Here is a term I rarely hear when referring to witchcraft. This tradition is based on old German magic. Today, it is considered a system of faith healing and can be applied to most any religion.
Seax-Wicca- This tradition was begun in 1973 by Raymond Buckland. Buckland and works on Saxon principles of religion and magic.
Shaman- It is arguable as to whether shamanism is or is not witchcraft. I include this here because shamanism is a form of Paganism. Shamanism puts no emphasis on religion or on pantheon. Shamans work completely with nature: rocks, trees, animals, rivers, etc. Shamans know the Earth and their bodies and minds well and train many long years to become adept at astral travel and healing.
Solitary- Solitary witches can be practitioners of nearly any magical system. A solitary works alone and does not join a group or coven. Often, solitaries choose to mix different systems, much like an eclectic witch. Solitaries can also form their own religious beliefs as they are not bound by the rules of a coven.
Strega- This type of witchcraft is said to have been started by a woman named Aradia in Italy in 1353. Aradia is known in some traditions as the “Goddess of Witches.”
Teutonic- A Nordic tradition of witchcraft that includes beliefs and practices from many cultures including Swedish, Dutch, and Icelandic.
Wicca- Probably the most popular form of witchcraft. Wicca is highly religious in nature and has a good balance between religion/ceremonial magic and nature. Wiccans believe in a God and Goddess who are equal in all things, although some may lean more toward the Dianic form of Wicca, worshipping only the Goddess or lowering the God to an “assistant” status. Wiccans commonly form covens and rarely work alone.
Types of Shamans
The first type of shaman is the Healer.
Healers journey to the upper or lower worlds to seek help to heal a sick person. The Healer also uses remedies based upon natural plants and herbs. Salves, poultices, ointments, teas are made from the leaves, berries, and roots of specific vegetation. Some are short-term and others take a longer period of time to be effective. An example of a short term remedy is bearberry for diarrhea and Echinacea for the immune system. Warning: Do not attempt to use these without consultation with a shaman or other medical personnel.
The second type of shaman is the Soul Retriever.
The Soul Retriever journeys to the other world to gather up a soul and return it to its source. Often, the shaman will have a spirit helper or guide for this undertaking. A person may have had his or her soul stolen by an evil spirit or hoodoo. A loved one who does not wish to let that person go may keep part of a soul. For example, a mother may keep part of her child’s soul who has passed on.
The third type of shaman is the Spiritual Healer.
In today’s world psychologists or psychiatrists deal with emotional aspects of one’s life. The Spiritual Healer does the same thing. He or she deals with anger, frustration, jealously, hate, prejudice, or self-defamation. Herbals as well as music is part of the treatment. The patient may be put in a modified hypnotic state. The shaman may go into a trance. During the trance state, he or she may remove entities from the suffering person. The Spiritual Healer generally requires several sessions with a patient.
The fourth type of shaman is the Messenger.
The Messenger brings information back from the non-ordinary world to the world commonly called the real world. His or her messages may deal with immediate events or predict those to come at some point in the future. Such messages guide or direct the individual. In past years, the messages dealt with the hunt, good crops or if a tribe should move to a new area.
An individual shaman may fulfill these four types or any combination of them. Whatever the role, they all rely on the spirit world.
For more information contact me here
~ The Wyrding Wytch