Uncovering the true meaning of Warlock and Witch:

There is often too much argument over terms such as Warlock (and Witch for that matter), all based on written sources that had truly little understanding of the origins of the terms, and often basing their information on third party sources and ignoring the obvious. Warlock is the male equivalent to the female witch. This is the bottom line for any other arguments many try and postulate or present and usually spit out only what someone took up which was written by Catholic monks and Catholic Academics. Dont be fooled because the Catholic Church established all the universities in the first place.

The etymology is even more poorly handled. Warlock comes from two words, waer = Word as in Truth and Honor and Lac = bound. In other words the original meaning is one who is a Warlock, “Honorable, Faithful, Loyal, Truthful,” and devoted to their tradition and their word. Its opposite is waer = Honor/Word and loka (looka) = breaker as rendered Warloka, Unfaithful, Disloyal, a Liar, one who breaks their word. A Waerlac and a Waerloka are very much two different though similar sounding terms. In later times as language became over simplified in English, the two got mingled together and Warlock came to be reinvented as a traitor to modern Christian religion (as any pagan was setup as being) and was written in error as Waerlac and Waerloka as interchangeable renditions. It is no accident that Loki/Loka is also a name of a trickster in European Norse-Germanic pagan religion whose name was originally Loga or Logi or Logu or Lagu meaning life but again Loki and Loga were rendered as interchangeable in error. In Pagan cultures Warlocks had more or less their own religious respnsibilities but they were powerful and helpful. For an example, a man being “warlocked" as in the feminine “Bewitched” was thought to be magically immune to wounds inflicted by certain weapons, especially that of iron, and considered under the term “waer-lucked” as in being particularly lucky and avoiding being harmed where he should have at least been injured. Lastly the term also applies as a usage of old that was expressed as "to bar against hostile invasion". So in this sense a “warlocked nation” was one which it was protected (by Warlocks) against invasion, by a foreign power and not as in being embroiled in a war inside its territory. Warlocks were protectors. The other factor is Warlocks and Witches presided over weddings. The terms also related to the Warlock included such as an officiator in a Wedding as it survives in the word and meaning of Wedlock. This comes again from a combination of the word “Wedd” meaning "Oath/Promise" and again Lac, meaning to Bind. So to be “Wed-locked” means to be “Oath Bound” pertaining to Marriage. It is “Wed” and not “Waer” means Oath, or Promise. Wednesdaeg, is the origin of the name for the day of the week Wednesday and is not a God of Fury name but is more to the meaning in Old English and Middle English “Wedden’s Day, or Wedding Day. Wode is another example of misrepresentation as it is falsely claimed that it means “Fury,” and “Violence,” when the fact is Wod or Wode means literally “Wood.” A Wodloka would then be “Wood Breaker” and this can be applied to such as an Axe, and would also be remembered in the term for a “Woodsman,” or as we would now call a “Lumberjack,” or even a bolt of lightning that strikes and splits and breaks wood, such as the Mighty Ac, now modern “Oak”, as we would have the word Wodlogu as a combination of Wood and Life. Many say then that Logu or Loga means ”Breaker,” but it is Loka or Loki that has this meaning, and Wodloga has the same concept as Life Wood or Living Wood as a reference to a Forest. In addition most Warlocks of old were associated with living just outside of the main society in the “forests” and also at times were called “Woodsmen” but not as in the sense of a “lumberjack” but more of “those who dwell in the forests and making their or homes in caves within the forests."

Witch also comes from a similar disregard of facts. Witch before standardized English was developed was also spelled Wicht from Old English wiht and cognate with other Germanic words such as Dutch wicht, “a little girl child,” German Wicht, “a maiden,” and the reason why Witch is always connected with the female counterpart to the warlock is because ultimately the word means “girl” or young woman in both Old Dutch, Middle German and Old as well as Middle English and even Early French. Yet many would ignorantly apply such as unrelated terms when the spelling and phonetics betrays the truth saying it is cognate ONLY with vettr, Wettr, waihts, and weg which again are different words entirely, the first related to land spirits, called wight and sounds like “White,” and “Wits,” which inspired the concept of Witan from which evolved into Wicce, as in similar sound “W-ice,” Wicce, (which did mean female magic user as sorceress) wikken, wicken, wikkjaz, a woman's craft, Wiccana in the feminine, Wiccan, in the Maculine, and Wicca becoming generic for the practice. Those who claim Witch was a generic term for both genders ignore these facts that it was only later applied in error as in the case a "Witch Doctor" who was not a Witch, but one who sought to expose and ultimately kill a witch, and it is also to be noted that it is the same as the Norse “Seid Craft” and any man “Practicing Seid Crafts” was considered being “womanly,” as in Unmanly, as it was simply the “Woman’s Craft.” And this did include Midwifery and Folk Medicine, and at times would include prescriptions to help with illness through seeking either a natural cause, or a spiritual one and act accordingly to solve the troubles as one would then call a “Medicine Woman.” Hell call it the Mom factor. However “Warrior Craft” could be considered both a magical and martial arts practice of Men, and for a woman practicing this form of magic would be regarded by some as being ”unwomanly.” Warlocks and Witches though were a bit more progressively minded though and had no trouble exchanging and sharing information, and growing wiser for it. It was much later the “Holy Craft” or “halicræft,” which also had the connections with the meanings of “that which must be preserved whole or intact, that cannot be transgressed or violated," as a source of “health, happiness, and good luck.” This is found among many Old English writings where a letter s either moved and relocated, or dropped entirely until a standardized form was established and the Latinized alphabet also was then standardized to 26 letters. Some would say the idea is unrelated, which shows how clearly ignorant and blind to the obvious that they truly are. Before such terms as to the so called mystical and magical arts were all heaped under the generic term Witchcraft, it could be called simply “The Craft” and would be just as much Warlock Craft, and Witch Craft, since the word Craft came from O.E. “cræft” and it meant then “power, physical strength, might, skill, and even virtues.” It also expanded to include the concepts of personal achievement and mental prowess of one’s developed “skill, art, science, talent, trade, handicraft, and calling.”

It also came to include, funny enough, in M.E. or Middle English, a small boat around the 1600’s but it is also not till the 1600 that the infamous line "thou shall not suffer a witch to live" was intentionally put their out of the context when it was originally Thou shalt not allow a poisoner to live."

Such was a reference as “craft” in general, when applied to warlocks and witches and their “craft,” to be a reference to their developed powers and abilities across the board. Another problem is all too often, failing to recognize such followed the “same underlying spiritual paths”  and the moronic view of “Warlock Bad, Witch Good.” This is completely ludicrous and those who continue to promote this mentality are “Ignorant.”

Clearly with the oldest roots it’s the specific sacred path of women as a witch and the counterpart is that of the Warlock in the same “Holy Craft.” Most would proclaim such are not related to the English word witch, but it also shows such have failed to go deeper look at things in the correct light and the often subtle connections and ignoring more the blatant ones from the sources, and only because of later applied mythology related to fairy lore, but this connection to fairy lore should also be a snack in the face of those that fail to recognize that warlocks and witches were always seen as intimately connected with such things, and in itself an example of a disconnect or gloss over of the facts.

Fairies and Witches are shown to partake in circle dances, for fairies it called a Fairy ring and tied to the origin of so called rings of mushrooms and even related fungus causing these types of crop circles in origin. In the center there is often a warlock that represents a spirit or god or is considered to be one. Both are said to have come out at night to perform their magical dances under the light of the moon far off in the mountains and woods and even caves removed from common society.

Witch, just as a Warlock, ultimately is the final spelling after standardized English; since as in the case with Witch it was only a matter of the relocation of the “T” from wicht to the resulting “witch,” and a Witch is a woman of the Halicraeft as a Warlock is a Wizard of the Halicaeft. The additional factors are that not only do they embrace and often embody the more sacred perception of such, it also is used to distinguish such from the rampant ignorance of those who proclaim such fallacies and fables that were originated for the simple purpose to discredit, demonize, and destroy others.

As to what it came to mean in other related areas be aware that such confused terms were used and taught such false meanings ignorantly.

  • Warlock: Male practitioner of a pagan religion and craft.
  • Witch: Female practitioner of a pagan religion and craft.
  • Witch Doctor: Male or Female Exposers and hunters and killers of warlocks and witches. 


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This should be a nice start.

This is a bunch of misconstrued nonsense by someone that really wants to use the label 'warlock' and refuses to accept its true meaning and origin.
Lets leave this to the linguistic experts shall we? Oxford dictionary gives us:
Old English wǣrloga 'traitor, scoundrel, monster', also 'the Devil', from wǣr 'covenant' + an element related to lēogan 'belie, deny.' Also "lac" in OE means to play as in a sport or strive/strife...

TL;DR, Shoulda been a blog

I'm betting you must be new to the whole "warlock" thing, because its usually the novices who are this..."passionate" (for lack of a better word)...about their labels, listing the reason they're not this or that and that we MUST accept this new definition, despite all of us already seeing this drivel over and over and over and over again from the same kinds of people and, having been around the block already a few times have already done the research. It's not unlike new "Witches" and "Wiccans" posting over and over and over and over that we're not "devil worshipers" and the "narsty Christianses" are stealing all our stuff to convert us, etc. 

FYI: Prevent posting redundancy, use the search feature. Like Spooky said, there are already a number of "Warlocks aren't this" posts. 

This is OP is from 2012

Ya, I realize that now. I REALLLYY gotta start looking at the year before posting. For some reason resurrections are happening. 

well a male witch like myself is still a witch

This is not about any type of subculture. I consider myself to be a male witch, and I am extremely proud of the term. To me it means someone who helps others.

Thank You. Robert RD Brooks.


Much like the term Wicca which btw is pronounced 'Witcha' in Old English comes from the root term "Wicce" (Witche) and means "to bend," or "to shape" NOT "The Wise" or "Wise Ones" that has been continuously circulated around the Metaphysical Community by many misinformed Wiccans and Neo-Pagans for years, the word Warlock has befallen the same gross misrepresentation.

In fact for Wicca besides being used as a Gender term between Male and Female Witches in some of the older Craft Covens before it became commonly used to refer to the Craft itself by Gardner, Sanders, and Wicca today......what is not mentioned often enough is that it derives from a root of the word Wicked of which dose NOT mean Evil as the Webster's Dictionary and the common use of the word today...just like 'Sinister' was originally Latin for Left or 'Left Handed'.....but in fact meant Bent or Crooked and thus the term 'To Bend' as in 'Bending the Powers that be to one's Will' the Traditional Witch (or Warlock...YES! I said Warlock) was trained to be able to do!

Contrary to current popular belief, it does NOT mean an "Oath-Breaker" in "Scottish" as again many Neo-Pagans and Wiccan's love to tell you (which they get from the Old English and later Colonial Wytch Hunter's jargon) but in fact it is a derivative from the High German word "Ward-lokkur" (BTW...W is pronounced V in german) meaning "Spell-Caster" for Enchanter or Sorcerer, much the same as the German word "Hexen" which just means "Wytch" or the Old English "Wizard!" It is generally applied to a "Male Wytch" who practices some form of Magick usually in the Nature of Conjuration or Sorcery....thus, the reason for it's application as a definition for the Male gendered Witch in "Pop Culture" society today!

As "RuneWolf" says in his article "Warlock: The Other 'W-Word" of which ECHOS my own feelings on the matter...

"Matthew Sandow speculates that what we think of as Witchcraft might originally have involved both Male and Female Mysteries, and that much of what we think of as "Wicca" today descends predominantly from the Female Mysteries. The Male Mysteries, on the other hand, would have had more to do with hunting and warfare, and that the "War" in "Warlock" refers to just that - the Way of the Warrior and the arts of "battle-magic," as exemplified by the ulfhednar and berserkers. This only further enthralls me, as I consider myself to practice a "Warrior" Tradition of the Craft, and have long felt the need for a specific term for "Warrior Witch." Given the possible history of the word, "Warlock" seems to fit that bill quite nicely!

"Warlock" also has a somewhat darker connotation than the now-popular definition of "Witch," and that applies to me as well. The whole issue of what constitutes "Dark Paganism" has been addressed by better writers than I, and whilst I won't rehash any of it here, if you tend to dismiss Dark Paganism as an aberration, I suggest that you do a little research. After all, that's one of the first suggestions we make to Christians who try to inflict their stereotypes and misconceptions on us.

And finally, I have to admit to a little rebelliousness in choosing to be known as a Warlock. In many ways it's just my way of saying, "Go ahead - tell me I can't." My personal definition of "Warlock" could be summed up as "Male Witch - With Attitude." It has its own, in-your-face kind of mystique that I find endearing.

Many years ago, my teacher gave me some good advice, and that was to use anything in the practice of my Craft that helped me to "feel Witchier." Ironically, "Warlock" does that for me." ---RuneWolf.

If you wish to learn more about the term "Warlock", take the time and click on the following links below and read the articles:

'Warlocks' by Lady Abigail,

'Warlocks' by Matthew Sandow.

Flags, Flax, Fodder, & Frig, May the Blessing, the Curse, & Cunning Be!

~Warlock Magister Rev. Monsieur HexSyn~

Thank you for clearing up this for me. i knew i was a warlock but others tried to tell me different. I am a WARLOCK! I have been for years. This information is what I needed. Now I can progress to a new level. 


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