Across cultures and throughout history, wise women and medicine men have been casting their spells and crafting their magick. And now more than ever we’re seeing a resurgence of men and women going back to their roots to find mysticism they can weave into their modern lives. But what is witchcraft, and what makes a witch? Are witches only women? Is there really such a thing as a white or black magick? We asked the experts and tackled the hardest questions so you don’t have to. Ahead, your official guide.
What is witchcraft?
Witchcraft is defined as “the practice of and belief in magical skills and abilities that are able to be exercised individually by designated social groups or by persons with the necessary esoteric secret knowledge.” Although this definition is helpful, what actually is magick? To put it simply, magick is manipulating energy for the desired outcome. Aleister Crowley, one of the most famous occultists of all time, defines magick as “the science and art of causing change to occur in conformity with the will.” Crowley is the reason magick is spelled with a "k," to distinguish it from sleight of hand magic, like that of a stage magician. Witchcraft is the practice of using different elements and correspondences that are available (crystals, candles, cards, etc.) to cause a specific change or outcome to occur in alignment with the desire of an individual or group of individuals.