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Question What is the difference between Paganism/Wicca? (Posted by: Anonymous )

Jaleesa Lewis Answered by: Jaleesa Lewis, an
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The difference between Paganism/Wicca is Paganism is an umbrella term. Paganism is used to describe any religions outside of Christianity, Judaism, or Judeo-Christian. Wicca is a form of Paganism, meaning it is a religion that falls under it.

Paganism describes a number of religions, such as: Wicca, Taoism, Satanism, Buddhism, Sikhism, etc. Wicca is just one particular religion that falls under this umbrella term. Wicca is derived from the word, "witchcraft". Because the word "witchcraft", has so much negativity attached to it, because of Christianity and the Bible, the name "Wicca", was created to describe the religion of witchcraft.

There is a common misconception that all Pagans are witches, and that all Pagans are Wiccans. This is not true. As stated above, Wicca is just a religion, that falls under the term of Paganism. It is not the same. Not all Pagans are witches, and not all Pagans are Wiccans. There are some similarities in both Paganism and Wicca. For example, the symbol of Paganism and Wicca in particular, is the pentacle. The pentacle is a symbol for the five element: fire, water, earth, air and spirit.

In Satanism, the inverted pentacle is utilized. Satanism, though many Wiccans will disagree with this, is a form of Paganism. Wiccans do not believe in Satan, Lucifer, or the devil as he is often called in Christian religions. They believe that he is simply a Christian entity. However, Satanism is Paganism, and Luciferian is a form of Satanism, so therefore Satan, Lucifer, and the devil, is found in Paganism, though he is not found in Wicca.

Paganism actually came years before Christianity. Wicca did not. Wicca is a more modern form of Paganism.

The term "Pagan" actually means "country dweller". The term "Wicca" means "witchcraft."

A person who considers themselves a Pagan, usually is polytheistic. Polytheistic means one believes in more than one deity, whether that is a god or a goddess. In Wicca, some believe in a just a God, some believe in just a Goddess, and some believe in both. There are even some who believe in a number of gods and/or goddesses. So, Paganism and Wicca is one in the same, yet different.

So let us review: To consider oneself a Pagan, you do not have to be a Wiccan. That is the major difference between Paganism/Wicca. If you are any religion outside of Christianity, Judaism, or Judeo-Christian, you are a Pagan. If you follow the religion of Wicca, then you are a Wiccan. That is the major difference.

Paganism does not have a founder. Wicca does. The founder of Wicca is Gerald Gardner. There are many Sabbats and Esbats that are celebrated in Wicca. Most people believe that these holidays are only celebrated in Wicca. This is inaccurate. These holidays, Sabbats, and Esbats are Pagan holidays. The Christians stole these holidays from the Pagans, in order to convert Pagans to Christianity.

In Paganism, you do not have to practice witchcraft. In Wicca, witchcraft is usually practiced, because Wicca is the religion of witchcraft. That is another major difference between Paganism/Wicca.

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Thank you for this, My mom, daughter and I are Wiccan and my mom asked the difference, it was hard to explain but this made it simple! By Sheryl on 13-12-12 at 01:51am
simple answer, repeated a variety of ways..made me feel good about my current understanding and broadened my horizons! By Sherry on 06-02-13 at 06:23pm
Wicca is not witchcraft, they are two completley different things. Witchcraft is not a religion. Some Wiccans are witches, but not all are. Wicca was introduced in the 1950s by Gerald Gardner, who had been a member of a coven for several years. Wiccans worship 'the all' or a male and female polar deity. By Anonymous on 08-04-13 at 08:34pm
"Paganism describes a number of religions, such as: Wicca, Taoism, Satanism, Buddhism, Sikhism, etc" Two things... - Buddhist and Sikhs do not worship the earth God and Goddess, therefore not a Pagan religion. - The devil is purely a Christian belief and not Pagan, Satanism does not come under the name 'Pagan'. All Pagans believe that the divine is found in nature, there are different branches of Paganism, Wicca being only one. By Anonymous on 12-05-13 at 03:23pm
Satanism when referring to the 'non-religion' as laid out and codified by Anton Szandor LaVey, is not a Pagan religion. Nor is it Luciferianism. LaVeyan satanists, do not believe in Lucifer or a devil, citing these 'creations' as christian heresies, dreamt up as part of the 'stick' method required to go hand in hand with the 'carrot' approach of trying to entice people into Christianity. When the promise of eternal life didn't sway enough folk into switching over to Christianity, there needed to be a counter-point, to push them into feeling scared, so that they would want to convert. Thus the term Satan/Satanist/Satanism was coined (exact details as to whether the term originated from the ancient Hebrew term 'Shaitan' that referred to/translates as 'he who questions' or 'he who opposes' is unconfirmed, but ties in perfectly with the Christianity's timeline of mass conversion: in order to get people on board with this proposed 'God' an opponent allegedly fighting to corrupt and pervert one's mortal soul, becomes an essential fighting tool. Enter 'Satan' Christianity's heretical invention, misinterpreted and used by leaders the world over to gain power over others.) During the time the Roman Empire finally capitulated and allowed Christianity to take over as the religious status quo, Satan was considered the perfect mortal opponent and woven into biblical text along with just the right amount of corresponding gospels (making sure of course to hide/destroy any of the other potential gospels which were just too weird for the great unwashed to swallow, on top of all the other crap - read the Gnostic Gospel of St Thomas if you're ever looking for some amusing reading material!) Fast forward a couple of millennia and whilst there have been some self-declared devil-worshipping 'Satanists' they are merely idiots complying with a Christian heresy and not a satanist in its truest form. A true LaVeyan satanist does not believe in the devil. Just as they do not believe in a god. They can't worship that which they don't believe in, ergo true satanists do not worship the devil. Anyone wanting to gain a truer understanding of satanism, in its atheistic, moral and intellectual form should check out The Satanic Bible, written by Anton Szandor LaVey and see what being a satanist, truly entails. By bad_girl_bex on 04-06-13 at 06:57pm
My mother considered herself a witch but not Wiccan. She seemed to feel Gardner was too narrow in his approach to The Work. Unfortunately she died in '99 so I can't ask her to elaborate but I know she was a solo practitioner who employed everyday objects. She had great reverence for the earth and all religions, I often teased her about being more Christian than most Christians in her non-judgment. She felt that was the real basis of witchcraft, non-judgment, protection, positive work and to harm none. By Elizabeth's daughter on 12-06-13 at 12:14am
Satanism isn't Paganism, just to point out. Paganism is the umbrella term for polytheistic beliefs, and Satanism is a belief in one God (Satan). Satanism, if anything, is linked closer to Christianity if anything, as Satan is a character from the Bable and is therefore part of that 'mythology'. By Anaiya on 18-06-13 at 09:18am
Many have said that satanism is not pagan, but in some forms it is. There are many different types of satanism including the one that was started by Anton Levey in the 60's, Luciferian, and theistic. The one started by Levey is more of an atheistic approach at things. Not Pagan. But theistic believes in the actual being labeled "Satan" by many or sometimes "Enki" or "Lucifer". Theistic Satanism can be even further divided, such as the order of nine angels, joy of Satan ect. But all of them still believe in more than one deity which would classify them as Pagan. Some believe these gods have higher or lower "ranks" and some believe they have certain powers to assist humans in daily life. Some try to call upon them. But the point is that in theistic, there are many. By Anonymous on 01-07-13 at 04:41pm
Wicca actually means "Craft of the Wise" not witchcraft in its direct form. By Anonymous on 09-09-13 at 04:08pm
Yay! Finally a clear explanation I can understand! Thank you for making the differences clear to me :) By Jenicka on 17-10-13 at 10:16pm
Wicca is a dogma. Paganism is not. Witchcraft utilizes energies from the earth and/or universe in the course of her work. A pagan simply walks in unity with the earth. By Anonymous on 30-12-13 at 11:06am
paganism and wicca are not the same,wiccans have a different belief system.wiccans are beholden to the wiccan rede where as pagans do not live by that.the saying you were meaning is 'not all pagans are wiccan and not all witches are wiccan'.I am a pagan witch. By fiona on 18-02-14 at 06:28pm
wicca actually means "wise" not witchcraft. By Anonymous on 01-03-14 at 08:46am
thank you for your help and the other comments cleared other things up too :) im thinking of becoming Wiccan so im studding it and this question kept popping up, again thank you By Anonymous on 22-04-14 at 11:52am
Many who self-identify as pagans do not consider themselves as worshipping gods or goddesses; rather they may identify the philosophical idea of natural processes. Many pagans of my acquaintance will have some sort of celebration at major seasons (midsummer, midwinter for example) without invoking any spirits either by name or inference. By Anonymous on 14-06-14 at 12:02am
Hi, writing something on pagan and or wiccan rituals such as hand fasting, naming ceremonies etc would have helped me. The origin of the rites of passage etc. By Brendon on 26-06-14 at 01:47am
Thank you for clarifying a few things for me on this matter. I am a Pagan Witch, but not a Wiccan. I was born and raised Pagan ie: loving the earth, recognizing all Godds and Goddesses, non organized religion, just a way of life, paralleling Native American traditions, along with spells and energy work. By Heather on 01-11-14 at 06:07pm
This certainly cleared up a lot of questions I had concerning the differences between Wicca, witches, pagans etc. Some of the responses helped as well. Thank you! By Anonymous on 20-11-14 at 10:29am
Well.... My personal take on it is Wicca is bull, and I get irritated being mixed in with them when I say I'm pagan. As is most new age philosophy, I think even the medieval Christian philosophers (i.e Augustine) made more sense. But anyway, Paganism, as a term describes anything un-Christian. Therefore Satanism IS paganism people. And no, I'm not a satanist trying to justify my own terminology, Satanism is bull too imho. I think the point has to be made that there are many different forms OF satanism. LaVeyan, which.. Imo isn't a 'religion' in the sense of Christiansity (yes... it's a religion in the sense of a group of people with shared beliefs, blah, blah, blah). Theistic Satanism, which can have many forms - Luciferianism, which, I wouldn't term as Pagan, as it comes purely from the Bible and Satanist literature. Some theistic satanists = crazy devil worshippers, obviously. Others, such as Spiritual Satanists belief in one true 'being' or, Satan. Others believe that Satan exists, and that he and his demons were the ones worshipped by all Pagans, arguing that ancient Egyptian beliefs were purely Satanic. I think the last one has too many problems historically and anthropologically, as I asked one of these believers to explain why religions had unrelated deities, why there are different religions, neanderthal religion, etc. He simply said Chinese whispers - a bit optimistic trying to explain all the factors away like that. Others believe Satan is the positive character in the Bible, and that because God is.. 'winning', the books are all written from his viewpoint. There's many more, however, but I'm bored. By Anonymous on 29-11-14 at 03:09pm
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