13 Types of Toxic Witches: How To Recognize and Deal With Them

13 Types of Toxic Witches: How To Recognize and Deal With Them July 24, 2018

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if toxic people, including witches, had big scary eyes that gave them away? Too often they hide their toxicity with charm or desperation. Here’s my list of thirteen types of toxic witches (also applies to Pagans and Regular Humans) with tips for identifying and dealing with them. I’ve added a stone for each type to boost your coping strategies.  There are lists of healthy and unhealthy boundaries to help you better know your own and that of others because toxicity leaks into our lives when our own boundaries are weak. 


Sometimes you’ve got to love people from very far away even when you know that they are hurting. Then there are those who have to be blocked on social media as an act of self preservation. Not only does this happen in the Witch World, but it’s more likely to since we are often the last resort of the wounded after they’ve been rejected by everyone else. For those of us firmly rooted here, it’s useful to be able to identify the various categories of toxic witches. I’ve added some tips on how to manage them as well, including helpful stones.

Before getting into the typologies, I’ll begin with my general approach: all of these types are typically wounded individuals who are seeking healing. Even if they don’t know it. That doesn’t mean I put up with their behavior, nor should you.

General Tips for Dealing With All Types of Toxic Witches (And Pagans and Regular Humans)

  • Know your own boundaries. See my lists of healthy and unhealthy ones at the end of this post. Explore them and reinforce them daily.
  • Be compassionate and empathetic. If this is a struggle for you, see the previous tip. Being kind to toxic people doesn’t mean putting up with their harmful ways, but it does require us to consider whether they are just having a bad day, are hungry or maybe aren’t great with words. Pausing to reflect before categorizing someone as toxic is a sure sign that you aren’t.
  • Be forgiving…to a point. My general rule is: treat me badly once, shame on you. Twice? That’s on me. If you let someone treat you poorly, they aren’t going to stop no matter how much you care. Again, refer to my point about boundaries.
  • If someone is harming you, insulting you or “love bombing” you (see below), enforce those boundaries. Walk away. Hit the block button. Self-compassion comes first.
  • We all can get trapped in toxicity. That’s because we have all been wounded and have shadow selves. The Witches’ Journey is about healing these aspects and growth. Stagnation is a sure sign of toxicity.
  • A touch of humor is often helpful in dealing with toxic people. However, they can be very damaging. I’ve included some healing and dealing resources at the end of this article.

Now, onto the list of the 13 Types of Toxic Witches. I’ve tried to rank them in order from least toxic to most. Individual experience may vary.

#13 The Drive By Witch

Their toxicity is spread from person to person like pink eye. Annoying, but usually easily cured. They land in your life, very keen to learn and get to know you. The minute you violate their idealized notion of who you are or demonstrate that you can’t magically cure all their problems. *POOF* they vanish. Often will say things like, “you are such a disappointment” if they have an unhealthy dose of the P-A Witch, too (see below). The Drive By often has another type of toxicity, but you may not get a chance to figure out what it is.

How to deal with a Drive By Witch: You may be quite dizzy after an encounter with one. Ground yourself. Know that you did nothing wrong. Be ready for them to drive by again when the next person disappoints them.

Stone: Malachite to ground and protect against another encounter.

#12 The Pseudo Witch

This is not a newbie. Nope. This is someone who poses as a witch in order to learn the mysteries of our ways for their own gain. All that they want is the magic(k). They don’t want to learn the techniques and practices, just get to the part where they manifest a million bucks. You’ll know they because they ask questions like, “so how do you know your spells work?” They’ll also be interested in prosperity magic(k) first and foremost, although they can be just as fixated on sex magic(k). Whatever their obsession, an over activated root chakra is the cause.

How to deal with a Pseudo Witch: Tell them nothing. Ignoring them usually gets rid of them. If they start to cause trouble, then you’re probably dealing with an additional form of toxicity. This is often the case. See below.

Stone: Tiger’s Eye will show you their true nature.

#11 The Nose Blind Witch

Also known as The Self Obsessed Witch. Can’t see past the end of their own nose. Everything is about them. Practices a very selfish form of witchcraft that never involves helping others (unless something is in it for them). Often narcissists, they have an exceptionally low level of self-esteem. They keep focusing on themselves as a misguided attempt at seeking validation from others. These witches are often also love bombers, gaslighters and gurus (see below).

How to deal with a Nose Blind Witch: Not very dangerous unless they have an additional toxicity, but can be super annoying. If you want to have a balanced conversation where your ideas and feelings count, avoid them.

Stone: Carry a chunk of sea salt to protect you from their more harmful attributes and to reverse the conversation so you actually can get a word in edgewise. If they are super annoying, throw the salt at them.

#10 The Fragile Witch

Everything triggers them, including the title of this article so they aren’t reading it. These are wounded witches that haven’t yet found the healing they so desperately need. I have loads of compassion for them. However, their tendency to overreact to everything makes them excessively difficult to be around. Unfortunately, this reduces the likelihood that they’ll find the support they want. Caught up in a vicious circle.

How to deal with a Fragile Witch: Honestly, show them compassion. If they exhaust yours, explain to them *kindly* why you are distancing yourself. They may actually listen. If they don’t, back up slowly sending them healing vibes.

Stone: Make them an energy grid of amethyst, pink quartz and onyx. 

# 9 The Martyr Witch

The Martyr thinks that they are being undeservedly persecuted. Everything that happens to them is interpreted as an intentional act of harm. Thinks that there are spirits conspiring against them all the time. Never stops to consider that bad things happen to everyone. Doesn’t understand that painful experiences are an opportunity to grow. Often weeps quietly while hanging on their self-imposed cross. The martyr is often desperate, but rarely asks for money outright. Expects you to know they deserve your time, expertise and cash. When you don’t come through, they get to feel martyred even more. Which is exactly how they like it.

How to deal with a Martyr Witch: if you know this witch well, ask them to consider if there is an alternative explanation to whatever horrible thing has happened to them this time or if there is a lesson in it. Since insight is not their thing, they probably will only think that you are out to get them. You can say you tried. If this is a casual acquaintance, ignore them as best you can. Trying to comfort them usually only leads to more inappropriate self disclosure.

Stone: Black obsidian to absorb their negativity.

#8 The Psychotic Witch

In the Witch World, we appreciate a high level of eccentricity. However, those who are Psychotic Witches are dialed into an entirely different dimension. You’ll know them because their speech patterns are a bit off, but not like someone who isn’t good with words or speaking a second language. Sometimes they’ll make a comment (or entire discussion) that is apropos of nothing. Doesn’t maintain eye contact. Twitchy. Favorite topic: conspiracy theories.

How to deal with a Psychotic Witch: First, make sure they are taking their medication. Psychotic Witches often think they are all better and stop their anti-psychotics. Sometimes they do recover, but if they report that Zeus is in the bathroom again…inquire about their pharmaceuticals. There is a difference between a hallucination and a mystical experience. It can be a fine line. Introspection is often the boundary. If you’ve got a Psychotic Witch in your life, keep an eye on them and do your research. Sometimes they can become violent.

Stone: Fluorite to help you figure out what is going on.

# 7 The Zombie Witch

Going through the motions like a zombie. Has no spark or passion. Probably doesn’t even believe in witchcraft. Maybe they do deep inside, but they sure aren’t acting like it. Someone suffering from depression or other significant health problems can appear to be a Zombie Witch so it’s best to ensure that this isn’t what’s going on before reaching a conclusion. They are ill and need your support. Here’s the thing: hang around a Zombie Witch and they will eat your passion. They can’t stand to be near someone who is vibrant and truly magical.

How to deal with a Zombie Witch: Some zombies simply need a nudge or a kick to get them out of their rut, so try this a couple of times before giving up on them. Shield. Shield. Shield. If their pessimistic ways continue to pick off pieces of you, consider letting them go.

Stone: Red jasper to encourage your own growth. 

#6 The Tinkerbell Witch

Causes trouble and self-absorbed. Double-double toxic trouble. Gossip is their preferred form of magic(k). They love to stir the pot and serve you their tasty toxic morsels full of lies and hearsay. They always have to be in the midst of a crisis, often of their own creation but not directly involving them. Watch Peter Pan to understand this type better.

How to deal with a Tinkerbell Witch: These pixies are often double dipping in the toxicity pool. A special magical skill they possess is the ability to make you act like them. If you are having conversations that are mostly malicious about other people, then perhaps the witch you are talking to is a Tinkerbell. Attempt to steer your interactions in healthier directions a few times. If it doesn’t work, consider limiting your contact with them. They are highlighting everyone else’s weaknesses to deflect from their own.

Stone: Opal to activate your self respect so you don’t start being a Tinkerbell.

#5 The Exploding Witch

Prone to disproportionate emotional outbursts including fits of rage, flinging insults and stomping off in a huff. Everything that you say is a personal attack, but instead of the long suffering martyr who quietly sulks, they take it out on you or anyone else who gets in their path. Upsets everyone within firing range and then wonders why no one likes them. If you say something such a witch doesn’t care for they’ll respond by calling you things like “stupid” or “ignorant.” The Exploders are a variation on The Fragile Witch.

How to deal with an Exploding Witch: The thing with The Exploding Witch is that they usually show up, make a mess and then leave. Not much to deal with except to clean up after them. They live to hurt others, so you may need some time to heal after a run-in with one. If one sticks around, explain the basics of common courtesy to them. If they explode again cut them out of your life or force them into anger management training. Sometimes, witches (like all people) just blow up because they lack caffeine or are stressed. Give these ones a second chance.

Stone: Amethyst to help you heal and stand in your power.

#4 The Passive Aggressive Witch

“Whatever you think is best.” That’s the motto of the P-A Witch, but said with a certain tone that says they actually completely disagree. Like the Martyr, the Passive-Aggressive Witch thinks the world has treated them unfairly, but they are simmering with barely concealed rage *unlike that straightforward Exploding Witch*.

How to deal with a Passive Aggressive Witch: P-A Witches can be exceptionally tricky to deal with, especially if they are also skilled at love bombing and gaslighting (below). Without these added toxic ingredients, the P-A Witch gives us a headache. With them…see below. Call the Passive Aggressive Witch on their foolishness. Ask them yes or no questions. Give them exactly what they don’t want: to be taken at their word. Their hidden meanings and ulterior motives aren’t your business.

Stone: Blue agate to help you clearly communicate with them.

#3 The Guru Witch

Guru Witches want you to blindly follow them. Everything they say is to be believed without question. Their way is the only way.  Sometimes also exploders. And gaslighters and love bombers (see below). Guru Witches are often begging their supporters for money. Guru’s often are constantly reminding you of how wonderful they are. This is entirely different from healthy self-promotion where an expert witch shares their experiences and qualifications appropriately.

How to deal with a Guru Witch: I don’t recommend trying to. I urge you to consider the thought leaders and teachers you currently work with to evaluate whether or not they are a Guru Witch. A sure sign: no clearly stated code of ethics. Not everyone states these publicly, so ask. If you don’t like the answer, go elsewhere.

Stone: Smoky quartz to protect and reveal them as they truly are.

# 2 The Love Bombing Witch

“You are the most talented witch I’ve ever met! The Gods have brought you to me!” Sound familiar? Then you may have already encounted the Love Bombing Witch. Their enthusiastic over-the-top praise never ends…until it does. Then they accuse you of all manner of malicious acts. You know why? Because you failed to live up to their ridiculous expectations. Can’t tell if you are being love bombed? Refer to the lists of healthy and unhealthy boundaries below.

How to deal with a Love Bombing Witch:  I’m not sure if you can maintain a relationship with a love bomber. This is sometimes just poor boundaries but others it’s a specific type of gaslighting. I don’t think it’s worth the risk of staying around long enough to figure this out. If you are intent on doing so, do not believe anything they say. Yes, you are amazing. No, you are not that amazing.

Stone: Pink Quartz to feel real love.

#1 The Gaslighting Witch

Dealing with a psychopath is bad enough. Add magic to their toxic tool kit and you’re in for a rough ride. Psychopaths have lots of skills to manipulate others, but I think their best one is convincing us that it is all our fault. Known as gaslighting, this horrible technique is the hallmark of psychopathy. You will be so confused that you may forget your own name.

How to deal with a Gaslighting Witch: GET ALL THE WAY AWAY FROM THEM NOW.

Stone: Throw all your stones at them and run. I’m being serious.

That’s my list of The Thirteen Types of Toxic Witches. I’m sure I’ve missed some, let me know your thoughts.

The Best Way to Deal With The Toxic 13: Understanding Boundaries

The best way to deal with any of the Toxic 13 listed above is by understanding boundaries, both your own and those of others. I’m including the two tables below that I use as teaching tools in my witchcraft courses to help you better understand the difference between healthy and unhealthy ones. Registration for my course on Modern Hekatean Witchcraft is currently open, so if you are into The Dark Mother and personal development through witchery (including boundary witchery) you can learn more here.

Join Open Circle for our coven and courses.



About Cyndi
Cyndi Brannen is a witch and spiritual teacher living the coastal life in rural Nova Scotia. She is a trained energetic healer, psychic and herbalist. Merging together her training in shamanism, Tarot, past life work, meditation and her twenty year career as a psychologist, she teaches and writes about better living through witchcraft. She founded Open Circle about a decade ago which now offers online courses, including The Sacred Seven: A Course in Applied Modern Witchcraft. She has written the forthcoming Keeping Her Keys: An Introduction to Hekate’s Modern Witchcraft. Hekate’s Modern Witchcraft: The First Key is a year-and-a-day course that will start November 1. More info at keepingherkeys.com You can read more about the author here.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Richard Wachenheim

    Thanks for the article. I am dealing with a possible toxic situation (the other person may think I am toxic, but I want to clear that up) and the guidelines from the charts will be helpful.

  • Heron Michelle

    Brilliant article. Very reasonable and compassionate, while maintaining healthy boundaries. But my favorite part: ” How to deal with a Gaslighting Witch: GET ALL THE WAY AWAY FROM THEM NOW. Stone: Throw all your stones at them and run. I’m being serious.” lolz

  • Thanks!!

  • My favorite part as well!!!

  • Boundaries are something I have always struggled with, so that list is very helpful. It is a shame that toxic people don’t come with obvious markings.

  • Susy Crandall

    There’s thirteen different kinds?? Dayum, that’s a fucking coven. 😉 Can we just make them hang out with each other?

  • Patrick Fitzpatrick

    How very on point! Thanks for the amazing article, it’s clear you’ve experienced Ye Olde Rodeo before hehe.

  • UntamedWish

    Insightful & compassionate! I found myself looking more in the mirror than at those around me – as terrible as it sounds, I have been most of those toxic women at various points my life. My hope is that by being able to so clearly see and own each of them that maybe now they only exist in parts of me that have healed and grown. Without having worked extremely hard (and continuing to work to maintain) on my boundaries, all those versions of me would still be running the show AND I would have many more toxic people in my life – a VERY unhealthy combination for anyone, least of all for someone who is a practitioner.

  • Kyllein MacKellerann “

    Old saying that works: “Know Thyself” If you can manage this (and it can be damnably hard to do) you can resist the toxic Witches successfully. Personally, I have made a chant that I recite every morning as I get out of bed: “Oh Wah – Tah See – Lee Gu – Sai Am.”* I repeat it fast and own it. Then I get on with my day, repeating it now and then when I feel tempted to feel important. It’s worked for decades and has kept me from doing some truly foolish things. What I have, I have. What I don’t have – is Legion. And that’s okay, because I’m still learning.
    * repeat this chant ten times fast and you will gain great personal enlightenment. ; – }

  • Carla Jean

    Haven’t heard that rhyme since I was a small child. Still makes me laugh (humor is sooo important)! Thank you for the fun memory.

  • I have been many of those toxic witches, too. Insight is what is making us not one these days!

  • Hahaha…Yes, I was thinking of a Toxic Coven.

  • Anon Ymous

    I would also recommend giving a gift of amethyst to the Exploding Witch for self-control.

  • Amazing article. I loved the stone recommendations, especially #1’s. I really respect the fact that you were balanced and rational about the different causes for the more “minor” ones, and how to approach it depending on your friendship level.

  • Paula Burgess Ford

    What most strikes me in your piece is the 1st inclination to support a toxic witch – compassion + knowing your own boundaries (thank you for those) seems to identify & either help or distance toxic witches. I love the mamix to support, but take no shit. I did not grow up in a witchy family, but my mom did teach us early in life that “you teach people how to treat you” based on what you accept and allow from them.

  • Spirit

    Great categories! Love the way you mixed humor and seriousness in your suggestions. Thank you.

    Another category that I would add is The Cosplay Witch.
    These are the people who are actually witch wannabes who think you can become a witch by dressing up like a TV witch, wearing a pentacle, creating an altar, wearing scary makeup, and renaming themselves with a special “witchy” name. You know the kind, you can spot the names.

    Generally, they are relatively harmless, although if you hang around with them you may lose the respect of real witches.
    They may go through the motions of spell-casting, but they don’t have the magical energy to make things work.

    What I do when I run into them is to smile and walk away. No defensive action is necessary.
    The worst part is that because they are so visible, they attract followers who believe that’s how to become a witch.

  • Spirit

    I thought the number quite appropriate!

  • Adala

    Great information. Loved the article. I have encountered many of these witches. I’m particularly disturbed by the number of Guru witches that are out there. They truly believe they are the ones who have all the answers and will not even discuss others philosophies. The sad thing is they develop followings that don’t think for themselves and accept the Guru’s thought forms that are thrown at them, without question.
    I believe your writing is very important to the Pagan community.

  • alan kempster

    I”m a bit of a witch anyway,love those girls

  • I like it.

  • Excellent tip.

  • Thenabump

    I absolutely love this article….yes, witches can be toxic too. We are not immune to the mundane personalities.