How does mixing witchcraft with rituals and ceremonies of the Occult make it in any way shape or form closer to a faith or religion? Ritual and ceremonial magick has been used in many different Fraternal and Occult organizations, regardless of doctrine or belief. Like initiation rituals in Fraternal or Occult organizations, on one hand this could be regarded as our first step to becoming one with Deity, however many others see it simply as a representation of our own personal growth within the symbolic framework of whatever path we have chosen.
Isn't Wicca and modern Witchcraft essentially the same, since it stems from the same source? Admittedly I know little about the subject but I have heard many times that it is impossible to figure out what actually is traditional witchcraft because of the obvious fact that most of the testimonies given were either by religious fanatics of given under torture during the famed witchhunts.
I feel like making this distinction (between wicca being religious and witchraft being a craft) is a bit silly. Since I am not a witch I can only speak from my past experience in Hermeticism and Thelema -- I knew many thelemites at the time who whole heartedly believed in Deity and the Gods, and at the same time I knew many who did not and saw the rituals much in the same way as Asana or Yoga is seen by most westerners today. there was never a need to distinguish ourselves or make clear the difference in our beliefs.
to both parties the practices remained the same, it was only in our minds, how we saw the enactment of our practices, where diversity sprang up.
To me a path is what theological framework you would like to use in your magickal workings-- how we choose to see the results of our actions is up to the individual.
By putting all these things into a SET framework I feel like we are simply limiting ourselves. I am THIS and you are THAT. If you believe in THIS then you must believe in EVERYTHING WE ALL DO. Thats silly. you can be a wiccan and an athiest. I know a few. They believe they work with the energies inherent in all of us(and nature), yet I would, and they would consider themselves wiccan. -- you can be anything mixed with anything else. Thats what our agency is all about.