A Witch is one who practices magic, particularly the sort of magic associated with spells and charms and various folk magic.

In the modern first world, the word witch describes anyone who practices this sort of magick, whether for helpful or harmful purposes. In fact, there is some dispute among the general community of witches as to whether anyone who practices harmful magick has the right to call him or herself a witch at all. However, historically and in many third world communities, the term "witch" specifically implies someone who practices harmful magic whether or not they also practice helpful magic. Someone who practices helpful magic, usually in the form of undoing a curse or a hex brought about by a witch, would be known by a different term. Cunning wo/man, Juju wo/man, witch doctor, or Hexenmeister are some examples.

The word witch is possibly descended from the proto-Germanic *wikjô "waker of the dead", in turn descended from the proto-Indo-European *weik- "to choose, sacrifice".

Followers of the religion Wicca also refer to themselves as Witches. The term Wicca derived from the old English wiċċe (female) or wicca (male) which referred to a sort of cunning man or cunning woman who was skilled at undoing the effects of harmful magick, the words wicca and witch are etymologically connected but not synonymous.


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