Secular witches are those witches who don't include deity worship in their practice. This doesn't mean they don't have those beliefs (although they may very well be atheists), but any belief or non-belief they have is kept separate from their witchcraft practice.
What Is a Secular Witch?
Much of witchcraft is tied, in one way or another, to faith and spirituality. Whether that means that the witch has a Judeo-Christian faith, or is pagan or Wiccan, a lot of the advice for witches is based on some sort of deity worship.
Secular witches, however, don't mingle their practice with any sort of worship. They don't follow the traditions or guidelines of the more faith-based practices. Things like sabbats, the wheel of the year, prayer, invoking a deity, working with saints... these things are not part of the secular witch's path.
Instead, a secular witch forges their own path. They search out and incorporate aspects of the practice that make sense to them. In this way, no two secular paths will look alike, other than the fact that they're separated from any sort of faith-based practices.
Another benefit of this form of witchcraft is that sometimes people's faith (if they have a set of religious beliefs) can be shaken. People sometimes find themselves struggling to understand why a god or goddess would let something happen, or why prayers aren't answered. If your practice is separate from your faith, the practice will always be a good foundation for you, even during those times when you might be having a crisis of faith.
Types of Secular Witches
Secular witchcraft can be its own path, in which witches just add whatever they like, but it also combines very well with other paths, such as green witchcraft, kitchen witchery, or hedge witchcraft. Cosmic witches can also absolutely be secular.
So, you can be a secular green witch, or a secular kitchen witch. Or you could not define it at all, and just leave it at "witch," not restraining yourself to any one path.
If you do have a belief system, it just means that those beliefs are separate from your practice, that you don't invoke any gods or goddesses in doing your spells. Witches very often refer to witchcraft as a practice, and it is. A secular witch treats their witchcraft like any other practice. Think of it this way: if you're learning the guitar, you (probably) don't call on a god or goddess to guide your hands or watch over you as you learn the chords. If you knit, you probably aren't invoking a god to help you keep your stitches straight. Secular witches treat witchcraft in the same way.
Getting Started as a Secular Witch
As you'll see when you start researching, most of the information out there is geared toward witches who work with gods or goddesses, or who practice ancestor worship or something like that. The best advice for researching this path is to learn about other paths of witchcraft, and apply those parts that make sense to you.
- Learn the witchcraft basics, including how to cleanse, how to shield, how to focus your intention. You can learn how to set up an altar, but as a secular witch it isn't needed, unless you want to have one.
- Branch out from there. Learn about whatever practices interest you, whether that's green witchcraft, hedge witchery, kitchen witchcraft, or a combination of different paths.
- Start practicing. Focus your intention, try a spell or two when it feels right to you.
- Continue learning. Witchcraft in general is a practice in which you never, ever stop learning. Whether it's about magic itself or different paths, or, more often, about yourself, you'll always be learning something new once you set yourself onto this path.
A Path of Your Own
Secular witchcraft is first and foremost about the practice and about your connection as a witch to the magic and energy all around you. It will take time, as well as trial and error, to figure out what this path looks like for you, but it can be very rewarding and can provide you with a lifetime of learning about yourself as you forge your own path.