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Can I Be a Buddhist Witch (or Wiccan)?

Essentially, to be a Buddhist witch (or a Buddhist Wiccan) means that you embrace the core principles of each religion and practices.

Maybe you’ve been seeking your true self and discovering what religion aligns most with your true beliefs and most authentic self. Or maybe you’re just curious. For many, they don’t need to choose a religion in order to embrace spirituality, but for many others, they want to be a part of a community of like-minded people.

But is this really possible to be both Buddhist and a witch or Wiccan? Don’t these religions clash?

The answer is that they do clash, but in far fewer ways that you would think. So let’s examine Wicca and Buddhism and the ways that they overlap, and the ways that they clash, and how you can use them both simultaneously for a unique and exquisitely feminine religious experience.

(For purposes of this article, I will use Wicca and witchcraft interchangeably. However, I acknowledge that these are not inherently the same thing.)

Buddhist witch meditating on some rocks wearing boho attire


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Principles of Buddhism

In Buddhism, the Eightfold Path is the path to enlightenment. It was taught by Buddha to his students and these eight principles are often referred to as “right,” “skillful,” or “wise.”

This is the last of the four noble truths in Buddhism, all related to suffering and the release of suffering in this world.

Buddhist woman meditating double exposure with sunset

Noble Eightfold Path

1. Right View

In this step, a person knows the truth and understands how reality and suffering are different, yet entwined. This is the action of understanding.

2. Right Intention

Basically, this means to do no harm. We need to be knowledgeable about how our actions have the potential to cause suffering in others, and we resolve not to cause suffering.

3. Right Speech

Right speech is seen as speaking without lying, manipulating, abusing, or dividing others. We use our speech for compassion.

4. Right Action

Right action aligns with many of the ten commandments in Judaism and Christianity. No stealing, killing, or engaging in sexual misconduct including any type of non-consensual sexual act, incest, and adultery.

5. Right Livelihood

In this step, livelihood refers to making a living, doing business, and engaging in social activities with honesty and dignity.

6. Right Effort

As it implies, effort means that you are always taking action toward a true and honest life, and not becoming complacent.

7. Right Mindfulness

Being mindful of your body, feelings, and thoughts is right mindfulness.

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8. Right Concentration

Right concentration refers to the practice of meditation.


Karma is another principle that we see appear in Buddhism. According to Buddhist scholar Walpola Rahula,

The theory of karma is the theory of cause and effect, of action and reaction; it is a natural law, which has nothing to do with the idea of justice or reward and punishment.

The results of our karma (actions) are the effects of living either “skillfully” (within the Eightfold path) or “unskillfully” (not within the Eightfold path).


Compassion is another principle that gets more than a few mentions in Buddhism. There are many ways to be compassionate toward others, and as Buddhists, we offer compassion readily to anyone. Compassion may not always seem warm and loving, but it often is “loving kindness”.

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Women in Buddhism

In many sects of Buddhisms, women are not allowed to be leaders. This is a direct product of the patriarchal world we live in, and you can see it in many other religions, including Islam and Christianity.

But like many other religions, most areas of Buddhism are accepting and embracing toward women in leadership positions. (Check out this compilation of articles by Lion’s Roar about Women in Buddhism.)

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Principles of Wicca and Witchcraft

Pentagram in a grimoire Wiccan journal

Wicca is a nature-based religion, often referred to as pagan, meaning that it is polytheistic and worships natural deities.

The Wiccan Rede

A long poem that outlines the morality of the Wiccan faith, the Wiccan Rede has been simplified down to this single line: An it harm none, do what ye will.

Basically, this is the golden rule. Do harm to none.

Rule of Three

Another simple principle within Wicca is the version of karma. This one says that whatever you put out into the world will return to you threefold.

In other words, if you seek to do good with your actions, good will return to you times three. If you go against the Wiccan Rede and do harm, that harm will return to you threefold.


Meditation is another practice regularly used in the Wiccan religion.

Meditation is one of the basic tenets of Wicca, in order to be effective in magickal work, you will need to learn to enter a state of deep relaxation, a place of calm and balance to align yourself with the natural forces around you.

Other Principles

In following nature and natural laws, Wiccans or witches plan rituals based on moon phases and other occurrences in nature. There is often use of symbols like the pentagram or the triple Goddess. Most Wiccans recognize the Mother Goddess and a horned God.

Women in Wicca

Wicca is recognized as a typically feminine religion, however, there are plenty of male Wiccans and witches. Wicca started in the early twentieth century as a revival of pagan traditions, and it was popularized by a man, Gerald Gardner, in England in the 1950s.

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Where Buddhism and Wicca Overlap

Altar or shrine with crystals. Buddhism and wiccan overlap in many places, including meditating, use of crystals, and respecting our earth

In wanting to see if it’s possible to be a Buddhist witch, we want to look at what is similar between the two. I can plainly see five principles that overlap in these religions. There may be more, but these are what stick out most to me:

  1. the golden rule
  2. meditation
  3. compassion
  4. karma
  5. vegetarianism

One of the first things you might notice is the use of the golden rule: do harm to none. (Or in many circles: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”)

This rule is paramount in both religions as it is in many religions around the world.

Meditation is also common between both religions in order to declutter the mind and calm our senses to be the most effective in our lives.

Another overlap you might notice is the practice of compassion. Both Buddhism and Wicca make an effort to utilize compassion and empathy as part of the journey. In Wicca, it’s not as prominent, but here you can find an excellent blog post about compassion in the witch’s journey.

Karma is another place where Buddhism and Wicca have similar mindsets. Their ideas of karma might differ slightly, but the idea that the energy we put out into the world has effects that return to us is common between both.

Buddhists are vegetarian by nature because of the value they place on all life. You find that many Wiccans and witches are vegetarian or vegan as well because it helps them connect to Mother Earth and preserve the wellness of ecosystems that surround us. To both Buddhists and Wiccans, all life is sacred.

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54 Buddhist Affirmations

Where Buddhism and Wicca Clash

Two witches in the moonlight

There are two primary ways in which Buddhism and Wicca do not line up: 1) worship of gods or goddesses and 2) the occult.

Gods and Goddesses

As a Wiccan or witch, you might decide to reach out to work with certain gods or goddesses (or let them come to you.)

In this way, Wicca, being a type of pagan religion, is polytheistic, meaning that it incorporates many different deities.

Buddhism, on the other hand, is a nontheistic religion, meaning that it does not worship or incorporate any deities at all.

This conflict depends on your personal views of gods and goddesses. Many people who practice Wicca view these deities as spirits or energies, rather than someone to be worshiped.

The Occult

Another of the primary ways that witchcraft clashes with Buddhism is in the use of the supernatural. In Buddhism, fortune telling, astrology, dwelling on the future, or trying to evoke certain outcomes are not “right livelihood”.

In this manner, you might find that Buddhism clashes more with “witchcraft” than it does with Wicca. (A person can be a Wiccan without practicing witchcraft.)

Personally, I do not use Tarot cards to try to “predict” the future. Rather, they are a tool to help me discern my own truth and feelings on a subject and give myself direction for the most compassionate action I can take.

Similarly, any Wiccan rituals or spells that a person participates in could easily be re-dubbed “setting intentions”.

As a Buddhist witch, these conflicts might be more or less important depending on your own personal beliefs.

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How I Use Buddhism and Wicca for a Fulfilling Life

Personally for me, I like to say that I practice both Buddhism and Wicca. I don’t necessarily brand or label myself as a Buddhist witch.

But here’s what I like to practice:

1. Meditation

Meditation, as outlined above, is essential to both Wicca and Buddhism. I typically practice Buddhist seated meditation that I learned at a Plum Village online retreat, but sometimes I will do a more Wicca-based guided meditation.

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2. Loving-kindness and compassion

Again, this is integral to both religions. I like to try to understand people, and practice active listening and unconditional love as much as I can.

3. 4 Noble Truths (including the Eightfold Path)

One piece of Buddhism that I believe in is the 4 Noble Truths. The last Truth is the Eightfold Path, which is the path to enlightenment. I like to learn as much as I can about these and apply them to my daily life.

4. Tarot cards

While tarot might be questionable to the Buddhist faith, as a woman I find that it connects me to my ancestors and roots, to my feminine intuition. As someone who practices Buddhism, I’m looking to unearth my suffering, particularly generational trauma that I’ve suffered.

This suffering is very much connected to being a woman in a patriarchal world. Tarot allows me to get back in touch with that side of me. I also do not practice in a way that tries to “predict the future”, but rather allows me to follow my own truth and instincts.

Or try oracle cards.

Conclusion: Yes, it’s possible to be a Buddhist witch!

I believe that it is absolutely up to an individual to choose the aspects of whatever religions or beliefs ring true for them.

For me, Buddhism and Wicca align in really powerful ways that help me tap into rational thought (masculine), compassion and heart (neutral), and my instincts/gut (feminine).

I’m sure that many strict Buddhists would say that there are too many differences with Wicca or witchcraft. But when you look at the true principles, it is absolutely possible to practice both while being true to each religion.

Another last consideration to take is that Wicca is a religion that encompasses widely differing practices. While most of the principles remain the same, the rituals and ways a witch practices are completely up to him or her. This gives you a lot of freedom to incorporate Buddhism into your Wicca practice.

Are you a Buddhist Wiccan or witch?!

Drop me a comment below and tell me your story!

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Being a Buddhist witch. How these two religions are similar (Pinterest Image)

Carol Moore in Delaware

Sunday 22nd of October 2023

I call myself a "student of consciousness" and investigate many paths as I constantly re-create my own. Last night after a seminar on Wicca I was wondering how one could be a more "go with the flow" Buddhist or Taoist as opposed to using Wiccan's meditations and rituals to effect an outcome in the physical world. So I was very happy to see you write this: "In Buddhism, fortune telling, astrology, dwelling on the future, or trying to evoke certain outcomes are not “right livelihood”."

I got involved with the Wiccan local seminars because through mere wishing/fantasizing I ended up creating situations with people with very negative aspects that were driving me nuts. I knew Wiccans - and/or witches - did visualize with clear intentionality and even had rituals. So I had to explore. In the class I even realized by putting certain items haphazardly in a basket together and laughing at the naughtiness, I accidentally had helped create a very traumatic situation with another person who the universe forced me to deal with. (A new neighbor.)

I haven't seen quite the same level of intentionality in other practices as in Wicca/craft. But I haven't see them all forms of prayer and visualization. However, having a pure outlook on life as Buddhists do attempt to do should help nullify the negativity that may happen when you visualize something that might not necessarily be "for the good of all, according to free well". A very handy "word of power" when visualizing.

Thanks for your good work.


Sunday 8th of October 2023

I liked to read you article but I find it misleading at times. You mention early on that you use witchcraft and Wicca synonymously and that it's actually incorrect. But what you lack to mention is that there are many forms of Buddhism depending on the Buddhist school but also the country the form of Buddhism is practiced / comes from. Buddhism in Japan mixed with Shinto and therefore incorporates deities, nature ghosts and gods. Shamans and fortune telling in Korea are also part of the Buddhist tradition there. Not all Buddhists are vegetarians either. Just look at Vietnam where more than half of the population is Buddhist and still their cuisine is full of pork, chicken and beef. Zen Buddhism clashes a lot with witchcraft as the witch is a seeker of knowledge and personal growth, whereas the Zen Buddhist renounces the idea of "self". The afterlife believes also clash massively. Wiccans have Summerland, where souls go to relax before deciding for THEMSELVES to be reincarnated, much like choosing a new path for your Sim in the video game Sims. "What do I want to experience next and who do I want to play with?". For a Buddhist the idea of constantly being reincarnated "for fun" is pure horror.


Sunday 1st of October 2023

I am a Japanese Buddhist. And I hope to be a wiccan.

In Japan, I could not find reports about Buddhist Witch. So I am glad to meet to this page and comrades!

I have a probrem. I want to join a coven of Buddhist Witch in Japan. But I couldn't find it, and it might not exist.

Sorry for my poor English. I hope you can still understand what I'm trying to say.

Ysee Gaudel-Eisel

Tuesday 8th of August 2023

Interesting enough I am a Buddhist : Tibetan Buddhist and I work with deities as one of my practice, it was very surprising to read that we do not practice with deities but we do : many of them and we also use a divinatory tool a Mo …!!!! And I practice Witchcraft as well and belong to a coven…!!!! My altar is not as elaborate as my shrine where all my buddhas and deities are represented and with sacral water, feather and shells and stones …!!!!!

Dawn Elizabeth

Wednesday 9th of August 2023

Thank you Ysee! I definitely need to clarify this in the article, as I have in other articles I've written where I specify Western Buddhism. I study under the Plum Village tradition which has been broken down to the foundational tenets without a lot of the Eastern rituals, deities, and dogma.


Sunday 23rd of July 2023

I just need to add one more small teeny thing. Wiccan doesn't mean Witch. Wicca is a religion in itself... In your article it almost seems like you're using the words like they mean the same thing. I might be wrong here, just mentioning it. :)

Dawn Elizabeth

Sunday 23rd of July 2023

You're absolutely right, Nat! If you check at the beginning of the article, I write: "For purposes of this article, I will use Wicca and witchcraft interchangeably. However, I acknowledge that these are not inherently the same thing."

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