From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Witchcraft (from Old English wiccecræft "sorcery, necromancy"), in various historical, anthropological, religious and mythological contexts, is the use of certain kinds of alleged supernatural or magical powers. A witch (from Old English masculine wicca is a practitioner of witchcraft. While mythological witches are often supernatural creatures, historically many people have been accused of witchcraft, or have claimed to be witches. Witchcraft still exists in a number of belief systems, and indeed there are many today who self-identify with the term "witch".
While the term "witchcraft" can have positive or negative connotations depending on cultural context (for instance, in post-Christian European cultures it has historically been associated with evil and the Devil), most contemporary people who self-identify as witches see it as beneficent and morally positive.
The majority of people identified as practitioners of witchcraft in history were women. Likewise, in myth the stereotype is female. The term witch is typically feminine, masculine equivalents include wizard, sorcerer, warlock and magician.