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Defining Witchcraft, Wicca and Paganism

10 Comments

Much of the mass produced whoredom passed off under the guise of "new age" encourages the erroneous belief that the words "witch",  "Wiccan" and "pagan" are interchangeable. In reality, this is the equivalent of saying a Christian, a Jew, and a Muslim are the same thing. While witchcraft, Wicca, and paganism share many common characteristics, they are not multiple words for the same thing.  To demand otherwise is at best simply lazy thinking, and at worse an attempt to legitimize the self-serving hogwash forced on us by would-be experts in the field.

Witchcraft

Witchcraft refers to the practice of manipulating the energies of the natural world to secure a desired result. The practitioners of this craft are called witches.   Witchcraft encourages reverence of the natural world and respect and achieving balance with nature. Black witchcraft refers to the corrupting manipulation of these energies for personal gain without regard to the balance. Witchcraft was taught through an oral tradition, and individual witches, or covens of like-minded witches, often practiced their craft very differently from one another. Witchcraft does not require formal initiation into a group, and most practicing witches are informally self-trained. Experienced witches may serve as mentors to younger witches, but again such training is normally informal and intuitive.

When witches do invoke divine beings, these beings tend to be aspects of nature, as opposed to literal deities. For example, a witch is more likely to invoke the spirits in a river than a specific god of the oceans such as Neptune.

Wicca

Wicca borrows some general ideas from witchcraft, though is in fact very different. Gerald Gardener, who took his research into paganism and witchcraft and codified it into a formal written system, founded the religion than came to be called Wicca. Gardener's original vision of Wicca has since been reinterpreted by countless others, who have split off to form their own schools of Wiccan thought.  Formal initiation is required to join most Wiccan faiths, and training is rather regimented. Wiccan schools tend to have hierarchies, and many award "ranks" to followers for completing different levels of training.  While most schools outwardly acknowledge the validity of all forms of worship, the internal structures tend to require a rather literal following of doctrine in order to advance. 

Wiccans worship the god/goddess figure prevalent to their particular school, but in general view all deities as different forms of the same divine being. They are more likely to invoke specific deities to enhance their spells than nature aspects.  For example, Wiccans are more likely to invoke Ishtar than a wind spirit.

Paganism

Paganism does not deal in matters of spell crafting. Instead, it refers to the practice of worshipping gods and spirits outside the realm of Judeo-Christian mythology. Paganism holds that each god or goddess worshipped in the pantheon is a unique being. The manipulation of energies, spell casting, or divination are not part of pure pagan worship, though most pagans do observe the rituals associated with their deities' holy days.

Much of the confusion comes from the fact that the three are not mutually exclusive. Many witches are also pagans, worshipping multiple gods as well as invoking aspects of nature. Other witches embrace the idea of the universal deity with multiple forms normally associated with Wicca. Some Wiccans decide that the different deities are actually individual beings and are therefore also pagans.  So while it is possible to be both a witch and a Wiccan, one is not automatically a Wiccan because she is a witch. 

It serves a grave injustice to continue the charade that the three beliefs are the same thing. If one is to truly develop their own spiritual path, they must first understand the paths available.  Knowledge becomes twisted when it is based on a false foundation, and the only people who benefit from such continued mockeries of faith are those who seek to profit off of it.

About the author: Nicholas H. Parker is an English teacher with a huge experience. He likes using different methods of teaching such a CLIL. Besides, he writes articles at BuyEssayClub.com to share his knowledge with others. He tries to keep up with advancing technology. For example, he is highly interested in the web design sphere.



10 Responses

Jim Schott
Jim Schott

October 30, 2020

While this clears some up still very confusing on paths and following i know theres not much definitive and a lot are self taught I just wish there was more clarity to define and follow proper ways

Deborah Lindsey
Deborah Lindsey

October 22, 2020

I like too think I’m a Natural Witch! I love Nature and all animals! I was born with. Gifts that my mother also had and my youngest daughter has!

Margaret
Margaret

October 22, 2020

The world needs more clarity on this subject for sure so that there might not be so much mockery and ridicule of people who believe in this type of faith

Penny S. Sumner
Penny S. Sumner

October 22, 2020

I have enjoyed having more knowledge of the forms of Wiccan beliefs and differences. I find it’s able to include down to earth centering. The world needs healing and this is the way.

Sam
Sam

October 22, 2020

Are there such things as it helps amps and leprechauns magical beings that big heart of for many years but never seen

Debra McCray
Debra McCray

August 15, 2020

I am just starting out and am trying to get as much knowledge about all this. Finding my way in life has been nothing less than turmoil for me. I really feel this is where I belong. Thank you for such good info.

Sunnie
Sunnie

August 03, 2020

I agree somewhat with all 3, we practice all 3 identify with all 3, because combining all 3 comes closest to our Native American belief system! A nature base worship.. Blessed be!
Charmaine Scharlau
Charmaine Scharlau

June 12, 2020

Excellent info.

Jessica shoaf
Jessica shoaf

May 26, 2020

So interesting

Christine Alkire
Christine Alkire

May 26, 2020

I’m very happy with this group and finding my way has been a difficult journey.

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