on Dec 16, 2016
In my many years within the Pagan Community, I have often heard that the term "Witch" is genderless; that a man or a woman can be properly called such. This always struck me as odd, but I didn't argue it. However after some digging into word origins and their nature, I no longer feel this is the proper term.
To start with, we have the origins of the word witch. It comes from the Old English wicca (m) and wicce (f). This particularly struck me as odd, in that a religion that is predominantly feminine takes name from the masculine form of the word.
So the origin has both male and female forms. Why not the following word of "witch"?
For this, I found a word. But first let us look at the words "widow" and "widower". These come from the Slavic words "vdova" and "vdovets" respectively. As with "widow", the suffix of "er" (or "ets") is added, depending on the root word.
Similarly, the Slavic word for witch is "ved'ma". The male form of this is "ved'mak", which translates as "Witcher". And in Slavic folklore, this is just what witchers were; male witches.
We often see terms for male practitioners of witchcraft as "magicians" or "wizards." "Warlock" is out because that technically means "oath-breaker." Wizard - contrary to popular culture - is more relevant to Druidry, and magician is properly a practitioner of Ceremonial Magic.
So what should we call a simple male witch? As with a widower to a widow, a witcher.