Witchcraft is one of the most famous branches of magic and is often considered a very powerful branch as well, but how does it actually compare to other forms of magic?
There are a large number of other magical branches around the world and they each have subtly different beliefs.
In this article, we will discuss these other branches of magic and compare their similarities and differences to witchcraft.
Obeah is a branch of sorcery from Central and West Africa, often associated with mysticism. Contrary to what some people believe, Obeah and its practices are not evil or dangerous. As with witchcraft, it can apply to the practicing of both white magic and black magic. It is similar to the art of Voodoo and has received several mentions in popular culture, notably as the power possessed by the female lead Solitaire in the James Bond film Live and Let Die.
It shares many characteristics with witchcraft, including the fact that it is traditionally connected to bringing luck and healing power. However, in a different way to witchcraft, Obeah is intrinsically linked to dark magic as the term can be used to mean a physical object used for black magic. This is a bad connotation that detracts from the image of Obeah.
Santeria is a religion that originated in the Caribbean. It has a traditional belief system, taking part in many primitive, yet still effective rituals such as animal sacrifice and sacred drumming in order to achieve their ends. Practitioners and followers of Santeria have been reported to also take part in exorcisms to rid bodies of evil spirits.
Santeria is largely different from witchcraft and Wicca as it is not inherently conjoined with magic in the eyes of most people. It is usually connected with its controversial views on exorcisms and animal sacrifice as opposed to actual rituals and spells.
Also, Santeria is associated with great controversy as to their views on animals and also the psychological damage their exorcisms can cause, whereas these days, witchcraft is mostly controversy free.
Voodoo is an underground kind of religion, often associated with the iconic black magic image of sticking pins into dolls to cause pain. There are branches of voodoo all over the world, notably in Africa, Haiti and Louisiana, USA.
It is similar to witchcraft in that they use herbs and other magical objects in their spells and rituals and voodoo is also split between black and white magic.
They differ from Wicca in that they sometimes use effigies (the aforementioned dolls) for their spells, although these are often for good reasons and not the sadistic disciplines that popular culture conveys.
Moon Magic is very similar to Wicca, but it focuses entirely on the moon to draw its energy, instead of opening up to other sources of energy. Practitioners always develop their spells around the phases of the moon and this allows them to plan ahead in a way that witches sometimes can’t.
Egyptian Witchcraft (Heka)
Heka is a branch of magic practised first by the Ancient Egyptians. Heka is the Egyptian word for magic and it involves activating the power of the soul in order to influence their gods for their own purposes. This is the main difference between Heka and Wicca as the latter gains its energy from celestial bodies as opposed to gods.
As with witchcraft, the emphasis was mostly on self-beneficial spells as opposed to those which hurt others and they are also similar as there is an emphasis on accurate rituals.
So, we can see here that there are many similarities between witchcraft and the other different types of magic. However, there are also differences and these are what open up a range of possible paths for magical enthusiasts to follow, based on their personal and religious views.