W is for … the W word

A to ZThe W word…yes, but what is it?

There is still a lot of discussion in the witchy community about what we should call our male counterparts. Well, sorry, there is some discussion on what us girls should be called too. So let’s look at the options.

Wiccan – a follower of Wicca the earth-based, Goddess-centred religion that is the most widely known of the Neo-pagan groups.

Witch – a magic user. Many males prefer to be called witches too.

Warlock – in my book (both literally in Shaman’s Drum and figuratively as in – my opinion) this is a pejorative word. It means a person who has broken their vows, untrustworthy and usually slung out of the group. An outcast, a renegade, a rotter or one who has gone over to the Dark Side.


Wizard – (snigger) Yes, I’m sorry but ever since Sir Terry Pratchett’s incompetent Unseen Academy and the staff thereof, I cannot take this word seriously. I know that some practitioners of High Magick (that bloody K again!) like it but to me it smacks of the pompous and silly titles that members of secret societies bestow on each other. I’m sorry but Grand High Purple Octopus doesn’t do it for me. Harry Potter hasn’t helped either because now I can only see wizards as being 13-year-olds with gowns and brimless pointy hats. 

Courtesy of Warner Brothers

The whole question is made more complex by the oft-quoted fact that all Wiccans are Witches but not all Witches are Wiccans, meaning that some of us are witches but don’t follow that path. So it can be a social gaffe to automatically assume that the magic-user you are addressing is a Goddess follower. There we go again – magic-user…that smacks of Dungeons and Dragons, doesn’t it?

Titles are a nightmare. As an ordained High Priestess, people were supposed to address me as Lady Raven, or My Lady and, as you can imagine, that just made me laugh. If we were supposed to be following in the footsteps of our magical ancestors, the wise women and cunning men of old, how many of them would have been pretentious enough to give themselves those kinds of airs and graces?

So, you ask, if you are so damn knowledgeable, Missus, what do you call yourself, then? Simple answer? Otter… just that, fun-loving, fish-eating, cuddly Otter (but with very sharp teeth)!

Just lil' ole me!
Just lil’ ole me!

32 thoughts on “W is for … the W word

  1. Ailsa- I’ve loved many films/ books with otters in them, but never thought of them as witches or whatevers. 🙂

  2. I immediately thought of Wizard with the W but then I am writing a fantasy fiction serial called just that ^_^ What’s in a title eh? It conjures up a visual, sometimes not the correct one – love Otter though that does conjure a happy fun loving creature.

  3. Thank you all so much for commenting. I have been Otter for a long time now. The name sought me out and not the other way around as Otter is not one of my totem animals. That’s exactly the thing isn’t it – words mean different things to different people and I know some who think Warlock is just a male witch. Good job we have free choice!

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