What is the Difference Between Witchcraft and Shamanism?

It is my belief that in many ancient cultures, the practices that we associate with Witchcraft and Shamanism were two parts of a whole.

Shamanism (or Neo-Shamanism) practices can be described as Upper and Lower World practices. The shamanic practitioner creates sacred space. Then they use a drum or other form of repetitive rhythm to go on a journey to other planes of existence, gaining direct healing and/or insight from their family of Spirits of Kindness. Fully trained shamanic healers use healing methods including soul retrieval, power animal retrieval, energetic extraction and compassionate depossession. It is unheard of to do any of this work without the help of known spiritual allies, who are actually doing all the work.

Witchcraft (or Neo-Paganism) practices can be described as Middle World practices. The witch – or mage – creates sacred space, invokes the spiritual resources she or he needs and does energetic alchemy, transforming something from one form to another. Spellcraft, releasing, rites of passage and such. Other Middleworld practices include moon magic, herbalism, flower essence healing and creating talismans.

People who study Witchcraft may not have the luxury of direct conversations with known, tried and true spiritual allies. If they do, the communication arrives through vision or divination, but often the receiver of the information is not aware of who is sending the information.

People who are trained in shamanism may or may not be trained in reading the Wyrd, or web of existence from the Middle World. They may not be trained in spellcraft or rites.

And yes, there is great overlap in these modern practices, but that is the core of what you find when you go looking for training.

The Raven Light Mystery School offers the whole lasagna.