Right. Lemme pluck this thorn out my foot. I work magic, but I am not a witch. I do not identify as a witch, and to tell me I’m a witch because I work magic is to ignore my autonomy and slander me.
I believe in Christ, that is, I believe he is a divinity. But I am not a Christian. I do not identify as a Christian, and in many ways I am hostile to the Christian faith. (I’m hostile to all monotheistic faiths, really. Equal opportunity blasphemer.) To tell me that I’m a Christian because I recognize the existence of Christ is to ignore my autonomy and slander me.
There is an initiation to become Christian. An initiation to become Wiccan. An initiation to become a mambo. An initiation to the magic societies. For those, there are requirements to be met that are defined and immovable.
There is no requirement to be a witch.
There is no council or body of work that holds absolute judgment on the title or definition of witch. What is forbidden witchcraft in one country is daily good practices in another.
No council, no defining tome, no common practices, no universal markers, no teachers with accepted degrees. (Wicca does not define all witchcraft. Just Wiccan-craft.) No cross cultural means of drawing the line in the sand.
Just individual lines for individual people.
If some person, never having worked magic before, decides they are going to start by those means available to them, and call themselves a witch for it, then they are a witch.
If some person, having practiced magic for decades but never had exposure to any European or American books and such, wish to identify themselves as a witch, then they are a witch.
Formal education has nothing to do with it. Formal initiation has nothing to do with it. A witch is not a mambo, a ceremonial magician, a cunning person, a bishop, or a member of a religion. (Though any of those can be a witch, if they choose to be.)
A witch is not defined by their tools, their gender, their skills, their ability, their clothes, or their religious beliefs, if any.
A witch is defined by the answer to the question: “Are you a witch?” No one has the right to answer that question for them. No one has the right to argue their answer. How effective a witch they are is irrelevant.
A witch self-identifies themselves. We may raise an eyebrow at some of those that identify as a witch, but our skepticism is on our plate to eat.
How to be a witch: Identify as a witch.