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What is the difference between Paganism, Wicca, and Witchcraft?

OP- I posted this on the main page, and as a file in another group I'm part of, and I figured I would
just make it a part of the files here to since its quite useful to newbies (and some oldies). I am putting
the website AND what is said in the article/some of the comments so everyone can see it.

***This is Marietta's article along with links to her blog, websites, and article at the very bottom of
this, please support her and read her stuff its fantastic!

If the admin's don't allow I'm sorry I didn't know.


Article minus pictures:

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Reader Question: What is the difference between paganism, Wicca and Witchcraft?

Q. What is the difference between a witch, a pagan and a Wiccan? Which one of those is a

Wicca is an incredibly modern denomination of paganism originating in the 1950’s by one Gerald Gardner which. many things. but it doesn't specifically address the differences between Witchcraft. or taste from a broad and diverse range of sources. These pagans refer to themselves as eclectic pagans (Eclectic . Modern paganism becomes an umbrella term for many different paths (much like Christianity is for the many Christian faiths). blends European pagan folk traditions with 19th and 20th century occultism.deriving ideas. such as Alexandrian or Gardnerian. you typically couldn't be considered Wiccan unless you were initiated formally into a British Traditional Wiccan coven . ranging from Asatru to Wicca. Some witches are pagans. at its strictest core. beliefs and research. Wicca and witch are all completely separate terms with a variety of meanings depending on your denomination. What exactly does it mean to be 'pagan'? This is probably the most frequent question I've received. Wicca and paganism. Confused yet? Don't be! Paganism is a term for all historical pre-Christian earth-based religions. sometimes represented by classical pagan gods and goddesses. mostly referring to indigenous peoples and the classical world. To answer the question most directly. often just shorted to paganism conversationally nowadays. paganism. making it hard for . Neo-paganism or contemporary paganism.a coven that can trace its roots back to some of the first forms of Wicca. Until the 1970’s-ish (that’s a technical term there). Some aren't. Satanism to Christo-Pagans and even TechnoPagans. but not all or even most of pagans are Wiccans. so I'm surprised I haven't touched on this subject sooner! I did cover "How do I know if I'm a witch?" here. dualistic in beliefs with a God and Goddess.Q. is a modern religious movement of paths influenced by historical paganism. but I find it extremely fascinating. So I don't understand any form of witchcraft. [Source]). Some pagans are witches. Some aren't. style. Self-initiation became an important part of Wicca as the religion gained popularity but was still considered socially taboo. Some pagans pull from many different belief systems to suit their personal and spiritual needs. but not always.adjective . All Wiccans are pagans. but that gives you a generalized description to sort the differences. Paganism can be many. The truth is that there are so many different forms of paganism that it becomes hard to define just what it is. Wicca is usually.

but it can be incorporated as a component to religion if desired. We are allowed to shape our own spirituality. Witch itself is an independent term referring to the non-religious practice of the manifestation from the interconnectedness of the world a particular intent. hence why it's referred to as a Craft. It is not a religion. and thus Wicca. you can simply practice Witchcraft as it is. Wicca or Witchcraft is that there is no one book to outline the beliefs. To make it even more difficult to define. incredibly personal religions. The idea is that that we are our own spiritual mediator and that we can create our own churches by will with as many or as few people we like in as big or as small of a space as we prefer. neopaganism. Best of luck to you! ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- . The reason it's so hard to define paganism. and Witchcraft an incredibly personal practice. and thus no single book can define every person's individual views. Unlike Christianity which has the Bible. if you don't have/want a religion. These are my definitions based on my own research. in the most broad and general terms.individuals to find covens while still wanting to practice their beliefs. Or. Paganism is so incredibly diverse and covers such a wide range of topics that it would be quite literally impossible to narrow it down to just one text as the basis of all beliefs. or Judaism which has the Torah. Wicca and Witchcraft are all generally built around the individual rather than the group. but there are so many wonderful resources out there that may give you different or clearer definitions! Try checking out my personal reading list for a starting point. Use this article as a means to fuel your own research. It all depends on your personal belief system. Today. or Islam which has the Qur'an. self-initiation is generally accepted. It makes paganism.

Traditionally Pagan has been anyone that is not Judeao-Christian-Islamic. you are negating a number of religions who do not classify themselves as pagan either. Satanists who argue they don't believe in Jesus and are only into the personal power aspect are more like Objective Humanists. Satanists are not Pagan as they typically believe that Jesus was the son of God and so fall into a subset of Christians. if you chose to do magick (k to distinguish from stage magic/illusion) as a cChristian then you are not Pagan. such as Shinto and Taoism? Would you consider those pagan? Would they come to a modern pagan gathering? The list goes on. I like your article as it presents a concise and accurate view. you'll find that many Buddhist do not consider themselves pagan. no matter how pagan-esque it may seem. However. It is also much simpler to remember. Also. . not Native American) religions and most Buddhists and Hindus would not consider themselves pagan.OP. I must highly disagree with your definition of Pagan. you are simply a Christian Mystic and there are several varieties of those. It really isn't as nebulous as you present it. Both are associated with Indian (geographically Indian. What about Eastern Asian religions.Latter in the comment section this conversation was stated: Anonymous August 14. is not pagan. By accepting the Abrahamic religions' definition of pagan. This is why: The only reason paganism is traditionally is anyone who does not fall under an Abrahamic religion is purely because Abrahamic texts state that anyone who does not believe in the "one true god" is a pagan. other than that. Marietta August 21. 2015 at 3:10 PM: Thank you so much for your comment! I certainly appreciate the feedback but I also must disagree with some of what you've written here. That gives an awful lot of weight to Abrahamic texts in defining who we as pagans are. So. Only recently in the past decade or so has any change in that definition come about. 2015 at 9:56 AM: While I like your diagram and most of your article. Also. Hinduism.

your definition of Satanism negates a number of Satanist denominations and stereotypes them as into the "personal power aspect. I find that I don't necessarily disagree with it. I can only speak on a broad term since I am not a Satanist. So are their belief systems invalidated? I don't think so. Honestly. In the end. thank u so much for the info." which I think they would likely find highly offensive. it's up to the individual to decide what is right for them and no one else. I am a Pagan which believes in the Wiccan way and it is offensive to me. That is their choice to do so and I don't really believe that anyone can tell them that what they believe or where they think their beliefs lie on the spectrum is wrong. Satanism includes a variety of pagan beliefs that readily help it fall into a more pagan definition and many of their practices are based on non-Abrahamic texts. I found that I couldn't simply define paganism by what it is not because that becomes incredibly confusing. should we take your definition as the true definition. encyclopedias and other such references are going to give a variation of the definition I gave above in referring to modern paganism. non-Abrahamic religion. such as Christo-Wiccans and Satanists. 2015 at 3:48 AM: I so agree. and that mixing of influences is quite common in modern society. use this information to spur your own research! And thank you again for commenting! Unknown September 11. there are a number of neo-pagans that believe that the Christian deities exist alongside pagan deities and can be called upon in their works. that we are often put in sections with Satanism. As for Christian-influenced paganism. especially as the list of what is not pagan is particularly long. Finally. Christo-Wiccan or any other nonpagan. That's what happens when religious influences mix. the lines become blurred and I certainly stepped on the mouse trap of controversy that these two forms of religion offer. Most dictionaries.Beyond that. we are telling Non-Theistic Satanists that they should reclassify themselves. I could probably create a whole different circle for Christianity and then create an overlapping circle between Christianity and Paganism for those terms. we as a group of nature . Only a part of Satanists are Theistic Satanists that believe in Satan/Lucifer as a deity and. Also. But again. They believe in Lucifer/Satan but are not Satanists or Christians. we do not believe in Satan in any form because for us Christians are evil. Again. note the disclaimer towards the bottom of the article that references that this is my opinion on the topic and should do nothing more than fuel your own research. I know a number of Christo-Wiccans and Satanists that come to the public Liithi Lushede rituals here in Kansas City and worship as pagans.

Pagans brought it with them when they converted. 2015 at 2:39 PM: Absolutely agreed. Jesus did NOT tell his followers to kill anyone who was different. Misguided over-zealous fear-mongering humans are evil and and did horrific things falsely under the guise of Christianity. There are many humans who practice Christianity who were involved in the trials. Be careful of defining a group with just one word. many pagans willingly and happily converted to Christianity? The real reason behind many of our icons being used in Christian holidays is a simple overlapping and intermixing of traditions. That is too all-encompassing. Christians aren't "stealing" anything. My father is an ordained Deacon in the Anglican Church and he is far from evil. This article makes it clear that we can't define a group based on one characteristic so I find your comment stating Christians are evil to be hypocritical when your next sentence as well reads "harm ye none.. historically. If that is so. word or deed. however. If you look at the true definition of Christianity it would be one who follows Christ. Blessed be. That brings us back to the argument Marietta was making with regard to Buddhists and Hindus not being Christians and yet not Pagans either. Kate Moore November 8. I will not ever agree that Christians are evil. one who does not believe in God. as Marietta explained. rustic. not all Christians are evil. As for the word pagan. Christians are not evil.survivors were almost wiped out by christians and this story we will never forget but we also believe in no harm to none. It's actual origin is from the Latin "pagus" meaning country district and paganus which means villager. . etc. 2015 at 10:48 PM: While I agree that we (and some may disagree) do not believe in the devil because that is a Christian concept." Harm can come from thought. Did you know that. -Kate Moore Marietta November 9. can have several meanings even based on language derivations. It was when Christianity got a hold of the word and added the word pagan to mean heathen. Kate. Therefore.

My husband is Catholic. A part of Wicca that is totally invisible in your explanation is that the Wicca is a branch of Western Mystery Tradition with a lineage to the Golden Dawn. Wicca is the Witchcraft. Finally. Some people were a little suprised to see that people actually think this article is making things clear. The Wicca is not a branch. nothing more. I don't think he's evil.ANOTHER conversation in the comments: Anne August 25. but some other Wiccans and pagans do. then talk about how "evil" Christians are for supposedly doing the same thing. or a form of witchcraft. The structure of our tradition is based on this Hermetic tradition of magic. We're not here to judge others by their beliefs. 2015 at 4:26 AM: Hello dear Marietta. as a Wiccan. OP. Working with pagan deities or celebrating pagan festivals doesn't make you a pagan. . Also not every priest/ess of the Wicca is a paganist. I'm surprised you find it offensive that someone else believes in something you don't. strong influences from Aleister Crowley and with her roots Gnostic mysticism. nothing less. I think it was in the fifties or sixties the tradition was mentioned as Wicca (Wica) before that it was just the Witchcraft. There are several errors (imho) i would like to mention. On a Dutch facebook page about traditional Wicca someone shared this blogpost. He takes pictures for my circle's rituals. Just as going to church doesn't make you a christian and celebrating the Durga Puja doesn't make you a hindu. At first. In fact you can be just as well a christian or muslim. you may not believe in the devil/Satan/Lucifer.

****************************************************************************************************************** *********************THIS WHOLE ARTICAL AND INFORMATION IS FROM**************************** MARIETTA HER BLOG CAN BE FOUND @ https://www. there is so much written on the internet and so many books are written since the nineties. You're assuming that Margaret Murray's witch-cult hypothesis was correct when it was been completely and utterly denounced. To suggest it's older is to denounce its origins entirely.blogger. along with elements of Golden Dawn. that led Gerald Gardner to create Wicca. . With kind regards Anne Marietta November 9. but you can not initiate your self.Also the Wicca is absolute. I do understand that it's difficult to find correct information. It was this witch-cult hypothesis. or to a deity. Wicca is a modern religion stemming from the 1950s. Self-initiation doesn't exist. an initiationary tradition. You can dedicade yourself to a task. that's practical impossible! So there are no self made. but this is quite a helpful. Wishing you all the best. so maybe the information i give you can bring some new light on your study. 2015 at 2:46 PM: I pretty much stopped reading your comment when you implied that Wicca and witchcraft were the same thing. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- OPThe last argument I found rather funny. or self-initiate Wiccans. without question marks. They're not. unbiased article (I found at least) and I think it could be helpful for many new (and some old) people to Paganism and witchcraft. *********************************************CHECK HER OUT!*********************************************** ****************************************************************************************************************** I hope all of you find this helpful and the admin's okay this! Olivia Lucas .OP .com/2015/02/reader-question-what-is-difference.THIS ARTICAL AND COMMENT SECTION CAN BE FOUND @ http://www.html?m=1 HER WEB PAGE IS: http://www.mdartist.