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?
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.
Recommended books (Free download):
Denise Zimmermann - Complete Idiots Guide To Wicca And Witchcraft
Dr Leo Martello - Weird Ways Of Witchcraft
Basil Crouch - The Darkside Of The Moon A Complete Course In Magic And Witchcraft