This one pretty much called to me the moment I saw it:
wicca in buffy, willow was not a wiccan
No, Willow sure wasn’t. As far as I’m concerned, she was a sorcerer, because she used magic to suit her own purposes time and time again. She was addicted to breaking rules, ever since season 1. Breaking into morgues, hacking computer systems; whatever it was, Willow would do it and, what’s more, be rewarded for her criminal behaviour, or at least not be chastised by those she saw as role models and those who should have been.
End of season 2, she works the spell to get Angel’s soul back, summons up the spirit of some gypsy conjurer that takes her over – like that wouldn’t have major effect on her later. She even says as much to Buffy near the start of season three, that she was doing magic and it was getting scary and she had no one she could really talk to about it.
Truth was, Giles dropped the ball when it came to Willow. I think he was just as much to blame for what happened to her as anyone. He’d summoned demons as a younger man. He knew what the power was like, how it could corrupt, how hard it was to walk away from it. He’d rebelled against his own family in a similar way as Willow did. Giles should have been a better guide for Willow as she progressed into the magical realms.
Another person who really could have helped Willow adjust to everything magic would have been Jenny Calendar, except Angelus killed her. And combined with Buffy leaving town for the whole summer without a word to her whereabouts, Giles just couldn’t focus on the doors Willow was opening, never once told her that maybe she should have a care, think before she spells, but no. He allowed her to do everything she did because it benefited their goals to do them. Didn’t he ever worry about her and the effect this power would have on her?
Season 4 is when they really should have gotten the clue that Willow was heading down a dangerous road. That whole “Something Blue” episode where she finally realizes that the love of her life was gone? She tried to do a spell that would allow her to bypass the grief but wound up able to influence events around her instead, without realizing it. That foreshadowed all kinds of things – not just Buffy and Spike’s later relationship (and the vile reactions of everyone else), but Willow’s willingness to manipulate the world without considering the fallout ahead of time.
In season 5 we saw how she’d defend her friends against a sizable enemy – how far she was willing to go to save them. In season 6 she went even further by bringing Buffy herself back from the dead, even though the doing was darkest of the dark. Plus all that memory crap she played on Tara and their friends? All the tricks and games with Amy? Then all that damned Rack business and losing Tara just as they were getting back on track. We’d already seen how poorly she deals with loss and how she thinks about magic as the ultimate means to an end and damn the consequences.
That’s not the wiccan way at all.
An’ ye harm none, do what you will.
Willow was the exact image of a mage. That’s what I think.