There are still a great many people who think that a male witch is called a warlock. It is even given as the definition in most dictionaries. While this word has been associated with male witches for a long time, it is a derogatory term which most of them find offensive. The word in Old English means oath breaker or traitor.
It is thought that using the word in regards to witches began in the middle ages as the Christian church saw witches as being traitors to the church…that they had broken an oath to serve God. The Christian church, especially in those days, saw witches as being the ultimate betrayers of God, even that they were in league with the devil himself.
There are additional meanings for the word, most of them not nice. In the world of modern witchcraft, the word warlock also means oath breaker. It is said to be a word which is used to describe a witch who has been expelled from the coven for breaking an oath. No matter which way you slice it, it is a word with negative connotations.
In the grand scheme of things, it really doesn’t matter where the word originated and to whom it originally referred. Somewhere along the way, it became associated with a male who practices witchcraft and became widely accepted despite the negative meaning and implications. So, what is a male with called, you might ask? Just as his female counterpart is, a male witch is simply called a witch.
To see artwork which goes with this work, click here to go to the blog of Evangeline who I am collaborating with for this year’s A to Z!