Secular witchcraft is a rising star in the witchcraft scene but it’s also one that is heavily misunderstood.
As a secular witch, I practice a style of witchcraft that is separate from my spirituality. The word separate is absolutely key. What this means that I may have spiritual or religious beliefs but they do not touch upon my witchcraft. The witchcraft practice and the spiritual/religious practice are not used in conjunction. They’re two separate things in my life, just like how your witchcraft may not touch your work life or family life.
It’s important to note the separation rather than the absence of spiritual connection. Much of the misconception is centered around this confusion. On the surface, absence and separation may appear to be the same thing but they’re not. If you combine oil and water in a glass, they separate but not disappear. Or you might think of your spirituality as a box and a separate box holds your witchcraft. Just because they’re apart doesn’t mean they don’t exist.
For example, as said I’m a secular witch but I’m also a hard polytheist that’s loosely tied to one god on a family level and another on a personal level (and maybe a third merely because the other two are around). I never use those deities in my witchcraft. They’re simply not a part of it. I don’t need or want them involved in the witchcraft portion of my life
Witchcraft itself is the art, science, and skill of a witch. Witchcraft is not and cannot be inherently secular. This is another misconception that has been made. By saying that witchcraft is inherently secular denies the existence of spiritually connected paths and systems. It denies witchcraft religions such as Wicca. It denies the idea that magic can be pulled, derived, or invoked through sacred or divine means. It denies quite a lot of historical magical practices too. So let’s cut the crap now – your practice may personally be inherently or originally secular but witchcraft as a whole cannot be.
The tricky part with secularism is where to draw the line between spirituality and secularism. What portions of your life count as witchcraft? What acts are religious to you? How to separate them will entirely depend on you. Secularism requires an ability to separate intimate parts of your life and for some people that’s difficult or undesirable.
For me, my witchcraft is spell casting and manipulating the world with magic. That’s how I define my personal practice. My spirituality is more of convoluted and difficult to describe but it doesn’t include using magic or spells to change things. Spirit walking and divination are separate skills from either of these two. While I do use spirits in both my spirituality and my witchcraft I don’t enact a spell while doing a spiritual ritual at the same time. And divination is used in neither except for very rare occasions.
This means that I can be having a spiritual crisis and still be able to perform readings, cast spells, or deal with spirits. Or I could be feeling super disconnected to my witchcraft or spirit work but still be able to read tarot or feel spiritually connected.
It’s extremely difficult to decide what believes are secular and where to draw the line. What makes up how you view the world? How do you define magic? How do you define spirituality or religion? What things are spiritual or sacred to you? Do they hold a place in your witchcraft practice? Can you cast a spell without using divine or sacred things in it? Ask these questions and see where your answers lie.
Many witches may call themselves secular when in actuality, they’re loosely religious. That’s not the same thing. You can’t sprinkle religion on top of secularism – it breaks the secularism, by definition.
Similarly, you can be an atheist and be a witch. Again, that belief of atheism should still be separate from witchcraft in order to be defined as secular witchcraft. Otherwise it’s simply atheistic witchcraft.
Many secular witches try the secular thing and eventually go away from it. Or they come to secularism from a religious or atheistic place. Which is perfectly normal. Our practices grow and change as to match how we as people grow and change. If your practices doesn’t suit the person you are or want to be, then it’s probably not anything more than a hindrance.
Secularism witchcraft isn’t for everyone and that’s perfectly normal. There’s no singular one size fits all for witchcraft. It’s perfectly OK to try secularism witchcraft and say “Nope! Not for me!” To each their own.