Episode 125: Do you label your witchcraft? || The Help and Harm of Witchcraft Labels



Hello and welcome back. Come join me, Megan, and sit for a spell ’round the cauldron as we talk about witchcraft, polytheism, and the intersection of magic and mundane. Today’s podcast episode is one that I have had on my list of ideas for a little bit and it’s actually one that I’ve done a video on before, but maybe not quite like this. I don’t remember, it’s been a while. But today I’m going to talk about labels within witchcraft, how they can be helpful, how they can hurt you, and some of the different labels that you might see within any sort of Witchcraft space, especially here online.

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So first thing’s first, I am recording outside right now and you might hear some background noise. I am close to some roads and different things like that so I mean, it can’t be helped. But trust me, outside right now is a lot quieter than it is inside because everybody’s home — but it’s okay. It’s okay! So let me get my notes here and we can get started. We are talking about labels in witchcraft today and, you know, labels are something that we see in most online spaces. I’m a green witch. I’m a kitchen witch. I’m a cottage witch. I am a forest witch. I am a hedge witch. You know, labels are everywhere and you know, they they serve a purpose. Generally they serve a purpose.

A lot of the times online when you see them in like hashtags and different things like that, I think that the purpose for that is just for the algorithm and because people are going to be searching those hashtags and it’s a way to get found. But personally, labels can be helpful and they can help you define your practice and your interests and your specialties and different things like that. I don’t personally give myself any sort of label because I do a lot of different things and I don’t find labels to be helpful within my own witchcraft practice.

So at their core, labels within witchcraft are generally going to be something that one person gives to themself — gives to themselves — so that other people and themselves know how they identify, what their sort of special interests are within witchcraft, what the main chunk of their practice is, and this really helps the individual get more specific within their studies and different things like that. But it also helps the people around them know what that person is interested in. So if I were to go up to you and say like “hi, my name is Megan and I am a crystal witch,” you could probably assume that a majority of my practice or a majority of my interests revolve around crystals and minerals. The same thing can be said for kitchen witchcraft. If someone came up to me and said “hi, my name is Jessica and I’m a kitchen witch,” then I would assume that the majority of their witchcraft practice involves the kitchen in one form or another, whether that be cooking meals or baking or — I would take it a little further and maybe go with like tending the hearth and taking care of the family and different things like that.

I just realized this episode’s probably going to be super short. I don’t know how much I have to say on this topic.

Anyway, so when it comes to good uses for labels I think of it as like finding your social community, finding your group of people that you mesh with, and sometimes it can be an identity that we take on whether for good or for bad. For example, even outside of witchcraft I have many different labels that I give to myself. I am a woman. I am a mother. I am a partner. I am a daughter. I am a friend. I’m an artist. I am a writer. I am a swimmer. I am a fiber artist. I mean all of these different things are labels and they describe me in one way or another. I am a woman. I identify as a woman. I am a cisgender woman. I am a mother. I have a child. I’m a partner. I have a fiance. I’m a daughter, obviously I have parents. You know? Then the labels like fiber artist and writer — those describe things that I do and things that I’m interested in. I crochet and I write crochet patterns and I create things out of yarn and different fibers. It’s one of my interests, one of my hobbies, and one of my passions.

I’m also a writer. I write different articles and blog posts and I get paid to write for other people. This is something that I enjoy doing — usually [Laughter] but these are different labels that I give to myself or that have been given to me outside of witchcraft. So if you correlate them together — I think that’s a good way to describe it — the purpose of a label within witchcraft is similar to the labels that you give to yourself or that are given to you outside of witchcraft. They help you identify yourself among a group of people. They help you find people that have similar interests to you. They help you narrow down your interests. If you are a witch but you’re not interested in herbs, then you probably wouldn’t call yourself a green witch because you don’t care about herbs and you don’t grow a garden. But on the other hand, maybe you’re really interested in spirit flight and astral projection and traveling to the Otherworld and different planes of existence. So then maybe you would give yourself the title of hedge witch because that’s a majority of your practice.

And I have seen people use many different labels at once to describe themselves and the different types of witchcraft that they’re interested in. Like someone is a green hedge cottage kitchen sometimes crystal witch… Which is a mouthful — but I mean, when we talk about these things — I guess I should mention that the majority of the time that you’re going to see these labels or hear these labels talked about is in an online space where we sort of need to identify ourselves. Generally, it’s going to be in like your Instagram bio or it’s going to be like based on the type of content that you post. Maybe you are a green witch and you only want to post about your garden or the herbs that you use and how to grow things and how to use them in your practice, different plant allies and plant spirits that you might work with, that’s another sort of reason why people might give themselves a label within witchcraft is to help them narrow down the content that they post online and find other people to post similar content. 

And in that same vein, it’s kind of a double-edged sword — something on my face — because while labels can help you narrow down like your niche, the content that you want to post online, I find that it can be hurtful as well, especially if you’re like… If you have a podcast or a YouTube channel or something and you’re trying to grow; that if someone comes to your channel or your Instagram account — we’ll use Instagram for example — if someone comes to your Instagram account and they see you post nothing but green witchcraft, herbs and your garden and things like that, but you want to branch out and you want to post more about other things that you’re interested in and you start posting about crystals or spirit flight, there are going to be people that don’t want that. There are going to be people who only followed you because of what you posted about, herbs in your garden. And so I sometimes feel like the labels that we give to ourselves or have given to ourselves in these online spaces can be constrictive and this is where I’m getting into sort of the negative side of giving labels. Sorry there’s a plane. Oh that’s a helicopter. I’ll just take a drink of my coffee [helicopter noises] what was I talking about? Niching down posting your content…

And then okay, so outside of posting content online, a label can become an identity that it’s really hard to break out of and so you might find yourself carrying this label with you and saying like I am a green witch, and then in a few years find yourself interested in something else. But you might feel stuck with that title because that’s what you’ve been calling yourself. And sometimes it can be really hard to switch the like… Your identity and how you view yourself. And some people might not struggle with this and that’s totally fine. I personally struggle with labeling myself and not taking those labels on as an identity, and that’s just a personal struggle of mine, but on the community aspect of it, you know, we can — when we give ourselves these labels and we only talk to people that have the same sort of interests or — is somebody really using a freaking leaf blower right? Now hopefully you can’t hear it that bad. If you can, I apologize. — so when it comes to community and labels, when we stick with people that have the same interests or similar interests or similar thought processes and patterns and ways of thinking, we run the risk of boxing ourselves in personally but also within a community, and you run the risk of creating an echo chamber where everyone agrees with everyone else and there are no new ideas, no new ways of thinking, and it can be difficult to uh… I’m losing my train of thought. 

It can be difficult to challenge the thinking of other people when everyone tends to think the same way, if that makes sense. So you know, if there’s any sort of disagreements it can be more difficult to speak about those things when you’ve created an echo chamber or joined an echo chamber where everybody thinks the same and believes the same and talks about the same things. Something else that I struggle with when it comes to labels is the lack of cohesive definitions because, like green witchcraft could mean one thing to me but something entirely different to somebody else. And this is because these labels are community created. We create these labels and we give them definitions and meanings. There is no one book or no one like Holy Scripture of labels within witchcraft that has the definitions of every single one and what they entail. So I could say I’m a green witch, but what I mean by being a green witch is being eco-friendly and eco-conscious, using the things that I have around me, and not purchasing from big box stores and being green in the terms of environmentalism and eco-friendly living. Whereas somebody else’s definition of a green witch could be that they garden a lot and they have like hundreds of herbs at their disposal that they have bought or that they have grown themselves.

So while these labels can help us define our practices for ourselves, when we get into community, if not everybody’s on the same page it can create discourse and arguments and disagreements or confusion because people are looking for one thing but they find something else. And I’ve never really been one to like to label the things that I do anyway outside of like the many hats that I wear as a person because I tend to take those things on and they become part of my identity. And as I’ve said in a different video, I don’t know if that video has gone live by the time this is being posted or not but it is the hashtag more than a witch video questionnaire type thing that I did on YouTube. If I’ve already posted it I’ll leave a link in the description and in the show notes… But what was I talking about? But yeah, I tend to take those things on as my identity because of my mental health and I do mirror a lot and I do a lot of masking and I have struggled lately with my mental health and trying to figure those things out, like the lack of focus and concentration is one thing.

And I have recently been semi-diagnosed with ADHD — nothing official and my psych is… We’re doing something… But those labels, like they stick to me and they become who I am. And so one thing that I know that I’m — one thing that I’m conscious about of myself is not giving myself too many labels because then when those things change, because they indefinitely or they definitely will over time as I grow and change and learn more about myself and my beliefs and my practices, I don’t feel stuck to it and I don’t feel like I have to struggle to let that label go. One thing that I have personally struggled with lately as far as labels go is the label of Irish paganism. The label is being an Irish pagan — for reference, anybody watching this that doesn’t know, that doesn’t refer to where I’m from just the deities that I connect with. I am not an Irish person. I am an American, a US-onian, if you will. But leaving that label behind and just focusing on being a polytheist at this point, or a pagan at this point, because I am having more and more experiences outside of Irish deities, even outside of Celtic deities.

My interests have sort of expanded and they are growing and changing. So I held on to the label of Irish paganism for a while but here lately I’m finding myself broadening that label a little bit and going for more of just Celtic paganism, outside of just Ireland specifically. And who knows? Over time that may even broaden even more to just paganism or polytheism, I don’t know. But I have to let those labels go in order to allow myself to grow, and that’s another thing that I have issues with with labels is we get so stuck in these labels being who we are and what we’re interested in that when it comes time for us to grow and when our interests and things have sort of shifted, we don’t know where to go next because we’ve been so focused and we’ve had tunnel vision on this one aspect of ourselves and our practice that everything else is just sort of there, right? And when you niche down so far, you can kind of lose yourself and lose your footing in where to go next when you’re ready for the next step, no matter what the next step is.

All right, so it’s starting to get progressively more noisy outside as more people are out and about, and I guess it’s a lawn day for everybody so we’re going to go ahead and wrap up this episode here really quick. I just want to give some examples of labels that you might see and what I think they mean. So you have like eclectic witch. An Eclectic Witch is somebody, in my opinion, that sort of takes from a bunch of different paths and creates their own. They may have an interest in one thing one day and then they don’t care about it in like two weeks and it just doesn’t work for them anymore. But an Eclectic witch I think is one that will gather and do a bunch of different things. If I had to give myself a witchcraft label, this would be it because I do a bunch of different things on any given day. The next one that I have written down is kitchen witch. I talked about being a kitchen witch already. For me, that is somebody that does most of their witchcraft in the kitchen — baking, cooking, tending to the house, hearth, and home, different things like that. Then there are people who are water witches who do most of their witchcraft and most of their practice revolves around working with water and swimming and sacred waters and different things like that. Then you’ve got crystal witches. I’ve seen this hashtag on Instagram so many times because people love crystals, love crystals — but a crystal witch in my opinion is one that works primarily with crystals and minerals and the Earth.

Then like a green witch. I talked about green witch already. A green witch — generally like the broad definition of a green witch in my opinion is someone that works with herbs and, excuse me, and has a garden and generally does most of their work outside, or works with the energy of the Earth in their practice. And the last one that I have written down is hedge witch. And a hedge witch for me is someone that does a lot of spirit flight and travels to the other world on a regular basis and does a lot of their work in spirit with their Fetch and their familiar.

So that is it for today’s episode. I’m sorry that it was a bit short. I was hoping I would have a bit more time to record outside before it started to get noisy, but I think that I said everything that I originally planned on saying. If I left anything out I’ll just make a whole new video and podcast about it in the future. If you want to check out my older video that I did about witchcraft labels and what they kind of mean I will leave a link to that in the description and in the show notes. If you’re looking for a community, don’t forget to join me over on Discord. The link for that is in the description, in the show notes. Also if you’d like to help support the channel and the podcasts and everything that I do ‘Round the Cauldron, feel free to join me and become a cauldron collector for as little as two dollars a month. You get first access to everything that I create, usually, and then I also have a member’s only forum where you can come and ask questions, hang out, chat, and it’s more private and close-knit and things like that. I think that’s it! I don’t have a tarot card for the month this month because I’m outside and I forgot my tarot cards and I’m not gonna go get them. So yeah, and with that I will see you and talk to you next time. Bye!


Do you label your witchcraft practice? Maybe you’re a green witch, or a cottage witch, or a kitchen witch?

In today’s episode, I give my perspective and opinion on the different ways labels can help and harm your witchcraft practice. As always, this episode is simply one witch’s thoughts! I don’t personally label my witchcraft, though I have labeled my polytheistic practice. Don’t forget that labels are community created and arbitrary — they only matter if they matter to you!

If you’d prefer a transcript, you can find this and past transcripts here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1ATnoPoTD51xY6A46ay0F5moVxki-1X28?usp=sharing

Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland by T. Crofton Crocker: https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/39752
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving: https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/41

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