The Difference Between Witchcraft and Wishcraft

The Difference Between Witchcraft and Wishcraft May 27, 2019

There’s a big difference between wishing for something to happen and witching for it to happen.  An example of wishcraft is someone who calls themselves a witch and desires change, but doesn’t do much about it.  Many wishcrafters do nothing at all, while others do low-impact activities such as meditation, making their energy resonate at a higher frequency, and doing manifestation work, like treasure maps.  In other words, witch-light.

wishcraft witchcraft difference article for pagan witches wiccans
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Wishcraft is something I know a lot about, having grown up in a new age church.  I saw how people can “be the change they wish to see in the world,” all while performing the complete opposite actions.  I saw how someone can create a vision board, gluing inspiring photos to posterboard and writing down energized words, all the while not sending out those resumes, not exercising, and not making connections outside of their home.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with wishcraft if that’s what you want.  It’s a hel of a lot more enlightened compared to doing nothing!  Wishcrafters often make great things happen compared to doing nothing at all.  They can become more enlightened, attract some good things, and manifest some of what they desire.

But if you’re going to call yourself a witch, why not do the real witchy work?

It’s okay if we have different definitions about what witchcraft is.  My own intuitive witchcraft path is different from nearly everyone else’s, and it works for me.  The differences are something I honor and respect.

wishcraft or witchcraft pagan witch article bellatrix lestrange by Eryne! on Flickr CC2.0
Bellatrix Lestrange by Eryne! on Flickr CC2.0

However, there’s a vast divide between people who think and talk about witchcraft and those who actually do it.  I’m not the first to advocate the use of “witch” as a verb, and I certainly won’t be the last.  It’s a conversation that needs to happen because a lot of people don’t know how to start having regular practice or ritual, or why they should.

Here’s why: because it’s the next step, and it’s even better than you can imagine.

Consider the person with no magical practice or rituals.  They merely walk outside their back door, stand under a star, and make a wish before dumping the recycling into the bin and returning to their regularly scheduled programming.  This is wishcraft.

Then, consider the person who ritually cleansed themselves, made the journey to a sacred place both internally and externally, and sat beneath the same star.  This person may have prepared something to give to the spirits of the land or the gods, or perhaps they’ll work their magic in that moment, under the starlight.  Maybe they’ll light a bay leaf, invoke a spirit or a god, say a few words, and listen for a response.  This is an example of witchcraft.

wishcraft or witchcraft pagan witch article wonder by Eryne! on Flickr CC2.0
Wonder by Eryne! on Flickr CC2.0

I’m not saying that all of our magical work has to take hours of preparation and involve laborious work, but something should happen besides the mere act of making a wish or doing light energy work.  Otherwise, how do the gods and spirits know we’re serious?  Taking action separates us from the new agers, the people only into surface witch aesthetics, and the people into wishcraft.

Don’t just be the change you wish to see in the world.  Do the work too.  Witches make it happen through sheer will, magical actions, and drawing assistance from the otherworlds.

In other words, don’t just dream it.

Do it.  Be it.  Work it.  Witch it.

~ Align with Starlight Witch ~

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About Astrea
Astrea is the author of Intuitive Witchcraft: How To Use Intuition To Elevate Your Craft (Llewellyn Worldwide). She also leads the fire dancing group Aurora Fire and stirs up magic for the Blessed Be Box, the service that ships a "ritual in a box" with all vegan and cruelty-free items. You can read more about the author here.
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