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  • Writer's pictureBryan Stafford

The term, "Warlock"

Updated: Feb 16

Submitted question covered in this blog:

"Being a male witch, doesn't that make you a Warlock?"

Thank you for this question. With the rise of relevance of male witches in modern practices of witchery, there also seems to be an external encouragement to separate the genders within witchcraft.

In Wicca, as in nature, gender has a balance.

As mentioned in this previous blog entry:

The term "witch" is actually gender neutral and is used by both men and women who identify as a practitioner of witchcraft. Many mistake the term "Warlock" as a male witch term. However it is not and actually originates from Christian beliefs, not Wiccan or witchcraft. Either a man or a women can be a witch.

The term "Warlock" was originally used to describe a man or women who betrayed their oath of baptism. Hanse, the meaning of the word warlock to be: "Oath Breaker". This was a term used by Catholics to determine the weakening of ones' bond to their oath of a baptism ritual. It is my understanding that the term originally began to be used in Ireland as a description for either a man or a women who fit the circumstances. However, over time and across other countries, for some reason, the term merged to mainly include men.

A Catholic baptism is a first sacrament, meaning the beginning of an initiation process into that particular faith. It is like making a promise to follow that specific religion and that particular belief system and is usually performed on one who is under the age of six. Those who have been baptized and then swear themselves to another religion without first renouncing their Catholic roots, was considered a "Warlock" in the eyes of many from the Catholic church.

Now a days this term is used in attempt to be reclaimed by male practitioners from many backgrounds and is becoming more widely used in modern practices. I believe that this is in part due to an attempt to step away from some of the common misconception about witches. Especially misunderstandings that witches can only be old women, and not men.

Coming into balance and understanding with your own gender is so important as a practitioner of magick! Understanding both your masculine side as well as your feminine side together, and the traits and aspects that come from each (no matter how you identify yourself) can be extremely empowering!

A man's awareness of his femininity does not determine his sexual orientation. And, contrary to common societal belief, also does not make him any less of a man. In fact, I would argue that he is MORE THAN a man than most! Understanding ourselves, our true selves as human beings is the only ways in which we can relate to and connect with the different aspects of our human nature. The same can be said for empowered women who are in touch with their masculinity. Balance is key.

There are so many different opinions on this topic and this topic does cause some controversy within online communities. I would like to quickly point out that the above is from my own perspective and may not reflect others' beliefs or practices.

Thank you for reading my blog. It is in hopes that this is helpful and is clearly written. If I can clarify anything here, please do not hesitate to ask. Submitted questions are always appreciated.

Many blessings.

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