Witches, warlocks, sorcerers and wizards

What's the difference between a sorcerer, a necromancer, a witch, a wizard and an enchantress? In the occult community, each term has a moderately precise meaning. Of course, these meanings shift over the years and are used differently by different people, but here is a rough guide.

A ritualist is anyone at all who casts rituals. A dabbler is someone who knows a little magick, but for whom magick is not their day job. An apprentice is a ritualist who is not yet fully trained. Calling someone a witch (if female) or warlock (if male) is derogatory and implies both a lack of knowledge and, more insultingly, a lack of wisdom; "the stupid warlock called up a demon he couldn't control" for example. Conversely, calling someone a sorcerer implies they have both depth and breadth of knowledge and is complementary. Referring to a ritualist by their speciality; as a necromancer, houngan, demonologist or seer implies competance in the same way calling them a sorcerer does, but in a narrower sense.

Magus or mage are terms used by some old school occultists to refer to any ritualist, but is also a senior rank in the Cabal of Mu and the Order of the Golden Dawn. The term priest generally refers to Catholic clergy who know only a tiny selection of church sponsored rituals, but is sometimes used by the ignorant to refer to houngans and mambos as "voodoo priests". Lastly a wizard is someone who knows one of the Words of Power and is, no doubt, a master of all kinds of rituals.

The terms wizardess and sorceress, while common in the past, are now widely regarded as outdated and sexist. Female sorcerers and wizards and simply sorcerers and wizards. Lastly, an enchantress is any woman with some means of supernatural mind control, not all of whom are ritualists. Interestingly, however, an enchanter is a male or female specialist in making magick items.

Manus Dei have their own, specialized, definition of witch as "any human, male or female, who uses supernatural powers", while some Wiccan ritualists have been attempting, with limited success, to reclaim the word as a term for any Wiccan ritualist.