The difference between Wicca and Witchcraft
The difference between Wicca and witchcraft is that Wicca is a religion while witchcraft is a skill. These terms are often interchanged when referring to Wiccas. The confusion in the differences between Wicca and witchcraft is the belief that Wiccas are witches. A witch is an individual. Wicca is a religion. A Wicca is a witch that may or may not use the skill of witchcraft. While a Wicca can practice the skill of witchcraft, it is not required. A follower of Wicca honors their gods and goddesses, celebrate the cycle of the earth and moon, and explore means to greater spirituality. Neither of these religious rights requires witchcraft to attain.
The celebration of the moon cycle can be experienced without the use of witchcraft. Members of a Wicca clan arrive, recite, share the sacredness of the cycle, and then depart. Witchcraft was not used in this celebration. A solitary Wicca is able to chant in the quiet of their home, arrive at a spiritual place with the divine and not use witchcraft.
If during the moon celebration herbs, amulets, fire or incense were used, then witchcraft is introduced into the right. The celebration would be defined as a group Wicca right using the skill of witchcraft. If the solitary Wicca used candles, incense or amulets the right would be defined as a solitary Wicca right using the skill of witchcraft.
Witchcraft is the projection of a supernatural result from a set of skills. Casting spells, healing, divination or contacting the spirit world are examples of witchcraft. Some would argue that lighting a candle in simple prayer is witchcraft because the result would be a supernatural event; a deity answered the prayer.
While some Wiccas proclaim they do not practice witchcraft, the skill can enrich their journey toward deeper spirituality. Spring equinox, self-initiation, Beltane, Yule-women/men is a few examples of rituals that use tangible objects in the method of the ritual. The acceptance that these rituals are in fact using the skill of witchcraft lies in the definition itself. Some believe that witchcraft is only involved in casting spells. While this is one component of witchcraft, the subtle practices of performing rituals are an act of witchcraft.
The skill of witchcraft is honed through experience while the Wicca religion is set. The doctrines and deities are absolute, unchanging. But, when the skill of witchcraft is developed, the color of candles, placement in the room for greatest effect, length of spell recitation, these are all examples of the learning process as it pertains to witchcraft.
Wicca and witchcraft continue to stir much debate. The greatest misconception is that the terms are interchangeable. The premise is Wicca is the same as witchcraft. The other debate is the definition of witchcraft as it pertains to the Wicca religion. A Wicca who does not cast a spell may believe they are not practicing witchcraft when they honor their religion. Another Wicca may view witchcraft in broader terms and they welcome the skill as a critical part of their religion. Regardless of the semantics between Wicca and witchcraft, there is no debate that witchcraft is a skill of doing and Wicca is the state of being. You do witchcraft; you are Wicca.