What’s the difference between Paganism, Wicca and Witchcraft

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What’s the difference between Paganism, Wicca and Witchcraft

Postby Dellycat » Mon Sep 26, 2011 7:25 pm

Shiaggra
Posted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 2:55 am

Question: What’s the difference between Paganism, Wicca and Witchcraft?

I met a woman who is a witch, but she says she's not Wiccan. Then there's some guy I know who says all Pagans are Wiccans. Even more confusing, this site says Wicca AND Paganism, like it's two different things. What's going on?


Answer:
Wicca is a tradition of Witchcraft that was brought to the public by Gerald Gardner in the 1950s. There is a great deal of debate among the Pagan community about whether or not Wicca is truly the same form of Witchcraft that the ancients practiced. Regardless, many people use the terms Wicca and Witchcraft interchangeably. Paganism is an umbrella term used to apply to a number of different earth-based faiths. Wicca falls under that heading, although not all Pagans are Wiccan.

The term “pagan” (derived from the Latin paganus, which translates roughly to “hick from the sticks”) was originally used to describe people who lived in rural areas. As time progressed and Christianity spread, those same country folk were often the last holdouts clinging to their old religions. Thus, “pagan” came to mean people who didn’t worship the god of Abraham.
So, in a nutshell, here's what's going on. All Wiccans are witches, but not all witches are Wiccans. All Wiccans are Pagans, but not all Pagans are Wiccans. Finally, some witches are Pagans, but some are not.
http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/faq/f/DifferencePPW.htm

Confused???? Here is an article that might help...sorry

Wicca, Witchcraft or Paganism?
Paganism is an Umbrella Term
Please bear in mind that there are dozens of different traditions that fall under the umbrella title of “Paganism”. While one group may have a certain practice, not everyone will follow the same criteria. Statements made on this site referring to Wiccans and Pagans generally refer to MOST Wiccans and Pagans, with the acknowledgement that not all practices are identical.

Not All Pagans are Wiccans
There are many Witches who are not Wiccans. Some are Pagans, but some consider themselves something else entirely.

Just to make sure everyone’s on the same page, let’s clear up one thing right off the bat: not all Pagans are Wiccans. The term “Pagan” (derived from the Latin paganus, which translates roughly to “hick from the sticks”) was originally used to describe people who lived in rural areas. As time progressed and Christianity spread, those same country folk were often the last holdouts clinging to their old religions. Thus, “Pagan” came to mean people who didn’t worship the god of Abraham.

In the 1950s, Gerald Gardner brought Wicca to the public, and many contemporary Pagans embraced the practice. Although Wicca itself was founded by Gardner, he based it upon old traditions. However, a lot of Witches and Pagans were perfectly happy to continue practicing their own spiritual path without converting to Wicca.

Therefore, “Pagan” is an umbrella term that includes many different spiritual belief systems – Wicca is just one of many.

Think of it this way:
Christian > Lutheran or Methodist or Jehovah’s Witness

Pagan > Wiccan or Asatru or Dianic or Eclectic Witchcraft

As if that wasn’t confusing enough, not all people who practice witchcraft are Wiccans, or even Pagans. There are a few witches who embrace the Christian god as well as a Wiccan goddess – the Christian Witch movement is alive and well! There are also people out there who practice Jewish mysticism, or "Jewitchery", and atheist witches who practice magic but do not follow a deity.

What About Magic?
There are a number of people who consider themselves Witches, but who are not necessarily Wiccan or even Pagan. Typically, these are people who use the term "eclectic Witch" to apply to themselves. In many cases, Witchcraft is seen as a skill set in addition to or instead of a religious. A Witch may practice magic in a manner completely separate from their spirituality; in other words, one does not have to interact with the Divine to be a Witch.

http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/wiccaandpaganismbasics/a/WWPDiffs.htm
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Re: What’s the difference between Paganism, Wicca and Witchc

Postby megsy » Tue Jan 24, 2012 5:04 pm

Or another way of explaining:

All Witches are Pagans.
All Wiccans are Pagans.
Some Witches are Wiccans.
Some Wiccans are Witches.
Some Pagans are neither Witches nor Wiccans.

Or maybe it would help to illustrate using something completely different. I choose Pies

Some Pies are made with Strawberries.
Some Pies are made with Rhubarb.
Some Pies are made with both Strawberries and Rhubarb.
Some Pies are made with neither Strawberries nor Rhubarb.
But they're all Pies.

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There is an inn, a merry old inn beneath an old grey hill, And there they brew a beer so brown that the Man in the Moon himself came down one night to drink his fill - sign under the Prancing Pony Inn - LOTR

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Re: What’s the difference between Paganism, Wicca and Witchc

Postby Jemm » Tue Jan 24, 2012 9:24 pm

I dont like rhubarb but I do like strawberries :bigwink:
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Re: What’s the difference between Paganism, Wicca and Witchc

Postby StarChilde » Tue Jan 24, 2012 10:24 pm

I consider myself to be pagan. I trained for many years in a Wiccan coven and eventually became a High Priestess of Alexandrian Wicca. I am also a witch. For some years I ran a teaching coven, and then when I tired of all the politics involved, I returned to solitary pratice. I have moved on since that time, and no longer consider myself Wiccan but I am still a witch.

I guess the best way to explain is this: Paganism is the umbrella term under which includes wicca, druidry and many other traditions. Wicca is a religion.
Witchcraft is an art/practice.

Most Wiccans use witchcraft as part of their religious practices, some don't, and some are not sure, to help them out, if they use a protective circle - they are using witchcraft.

When I say that "I am a witch", I mean it in the same way as I might say "I am a scientist" or "I am a teacher". Obviously scientists, teachers AND witches can be of any religion. However, while witchcraft doesn't discriminate, and can be practiced by people who follow any religious path, many religions actively forbid their followers to practice this art which includes divination, spellwork, healing, etc. Therefore, if you follow certain religions, you can't also practice witchcraft. Confusing isn't it.

Now, back to Wicca. There are many Wiccan traditions, including Gardnarian Wicca, Alexandrian Wicca, SEAX Wicca, Dianic Wicca, the list goes on.

Eclectic Wiccans are those who don't follow one particular tradition, but take the bits they like best from a number of different paths and put them together for their own use. In much the same way that someone can be a Christian by following the Bible, without belonging to any particular Church.

Then we move on to the fact that in some countries, wicca is considered to be the same as witchcraft, this makes the whole thing even more confusing. Now if you work along these lines, you also have Traditional witches, reconstructionist witches and hereditary witches amongst others.


Ok, any more silly questions? :)
Just because you can, doesn't mean you should!

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Re: What’s the difference between Paganism, Wicca and Witchc

Postby megsy » Wed Jan 25, 2012 6:53 am

:clap: Nice work.

I am very similar to you StarChilde, although I practised (and was initiated a High Priestess) in Seax Wiccan. I too, left the coven and became a solitaire - and for the same reasons :bigwink: far too much politics and crap that went with it. I love doing my 'own thing' now and follow my own path.

and Jemm - I'm actually alergic to strawberries, so I am going to have to stick with rhubard pie ! :histerics: (and can't say I have ever heard of a strawberry pie come to think of it !)
There is an inn, a merry old inn beneath an old grey hill, And there they brew a beer so brown that the Man in the Moon himself came down one night to drink his fill - sign under the Prancing Pony Inn - LOTR


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