Witches have been around for centuries, although the “witch influencer” on Instagram or WitchTok is something new. Whether you’re looking for advice on which crystal will completely transform your life (hi, moldavite) or a Full Moon ritual or three to try, you can probably find a witch-fluencer telling you all you need to know in a one-minute video or infographic.
But let’s get into a little bit of witch history. If we look back to ancient times, communities around the world would have had one or more wise people or healers who would have been called upon to share folk magic remedies for illness, crop protection, good weather, and sometimes—ironically—staving off the evils of witches.
Alas, by the 16th century, a Christian-led obsession with the power of the devil and the need for vigilance against sin brought these wise people under the spotlight and deemed them guilty by association. All of it was “witchcraft”! Thus began a shameful chapter of witch persecution and execution through the 16th and 17th centuries (think: the Salem witch trials).
The mid-20th century saw a positive revival of the term “witch” through the Wiccan movement in the U.S. and the UK, which spread into many feminist and “goddess consciousness” movements. Today, many people from many different spiritual traditions and cultures are reclaiming the word “witch.” Just make sure the person wants to be called a witch before you do so—it can be a very individual thing!
Witchcraft has always been innately linked to the marginalized, misunderstood, isolated, or strange. And as witchcraft has proliferated, it has become increasingly diverse, decentralized, and open to personal interpretation. In 2022, there are many, many types of witches—a quick scroll through WitchTok will show you everything from traditional rituals to a more wellness-based approach focused on affirmations. Witches are here to stay, ppl, and maybe you’re among their growing number already. But which witch are you? Here are some types of witches to learn more about.
A witch who operates as part of a wider group of witches, perhaps led by a high priestess, who combine their magical powers and skills to create stronger, bigger spells and manifest outcomes for the group and beyond. Covens focus more on ceremonial and ritualistic magic.
A witch who works alone and under their own steam rather than with a group of other witches. A solitary witch can follow one particular branch of witchcraft or a combination.
Just like the name sounds, a hereditary witch is someone who inherited their powers or their practice through their family line. Think Practical Magic.
Crystal witches are deeply connected to the vibration and power of crystals, gems, rocks, and stones, and they practice crystal magic to manifest, amplify, and attract energy. If you see auras, feel energies, love shiny things, and enjoy making grids, then you could be a crystal witch.
The stargazers! Cosmic witches are all about astrology and astronomy, and they are largely focused on the lunar energies of the Moon cycle and spells that amplify or protect against celestial events. They are clued up on star signs and birth charts, but their practice is active, not passive. They seek to change energies by using their knowledge rather than just telling you that Scorpios are secretive! If you feel drawn to the skies above and enjoy the science-y complexities of the working of the universe, you could be a cosmic witch.
These magickal workers are all about nature, healing, and nurturing. They draw their power, tools, and rituals from the earth and the great outdoors and use plant, flower, and herbal preparations as a primary source of spell ingredients and ritual content. Green witches respect nature above all else (although many other types of witches work with nature too!). If you feel drawn to the natural world, have a gift for healing and soothing, and enjoy gardening and tending to plants and herbs, you could be a green witch.
A hedge witch is very similar to a green witch but is not as solely focused on nature. A hedge witch works alone and doesn’t adhere to any strict dogma—religious, spiritual, or otherwise. Hedge witches develop their own kind of magic, focusing primarily on creating healing remedies and often working with the elements, nature, crafts, and herbalism. Everything is kept simple and basic, and all rituals are non-fussy and minimalist. If you are drawn to solitude and wish to craft your own brand of witchcraft, unique to you, then you might be a hedge witch!
Like green witches, plant witches work with plants! Their practice might focus on a connection with nature. They may study the history, traditions, and cultural associations of different plants and herbs as well as use them in rituals, potions, and spells.
Gray witches straddle the divide between “white” and “black” magic, using whatever suits the situation. They will use curses and hexes when the situation calls for it, when many witches will not go there—witchcraft typically follows an ethic of working for the highest good. Gray witches typically seek justice and the correction of unfair circumstances, redirecting ~bad~ energy to where it should have gone in the first place. They will often call on the unseen spirit presences to help them. If you are drawn to the darker arts or feel you’re fighting a greater evil in the world, maybe you’re a gray witch.
A little bit of this and a little bit of that! Eclectic witches tend to cherry-pick whatever practices, rituals, beliefs, or ideas feel natural and good to them in the moment. After all, witchcraft is a very personal and unique pursuit. If you don’t want to be tied down to any one practice or area, maybe you’re an eclectic witch. Many baby witches begin as eclectic witches, but many stay that way too!
A folk witch practices folk magic passed down through their family or through their local community. They often focus on the history and origin of a practice and may work with plants and objects that are native to their location.
Baby witches—a term you might have seen frequently used on WitchTok—are simply beginner witches. They may start out following a certain doctrine, depending on their teacher/s, and then, over time, experiment with other ones. You gotta go your own way!
As the name suggests, a kitchen witch focuses on the kitchen! They incorporate magic into cooking and baking, and they might choose herbs for their magical properties just as much as for their taste. Kitchen witches might prepare meals for specific holidays, purposes, or rituals to share with their community or coven.
A hearth witch focuses on the home and might also be a kitchen witch and/or a green witch. Hearth witchery often involves focusing on objects and rituals used around the home, like herbalism, candle magic, and ritual cleaning.
Similar to a hearth witch, a house witch focuses on making their house a magical space. Think: cooking, cleaning, and performing homey rituals. Whether you prefer to be called a hearth witch or a house witch—or both—is really up to you!
Yep, you guessed it—this witch is all about the drama of a ceremony. They focus on ceremonial magic or “high magic,” which often involves more elaborate or specific rituals than everyday magic.
Sea witches have a special connection to the ocean. They might practice water magic, use seawater in their rituals, bring seashells home for their altar, and pay special attention to the Moon (because it controls the tides, after all).
A sex witch practices sex magic! What’s sex magic? It involves working with arousal and orgasm during manifestation rituals (either partnered or solo), cultivating self-love in all forms, and working to see sexuality as a sacred thing.