Asatru in Arizona wrote:You have to remember something: Paganism and Wicca are two separate things.
Yes and no. There is something created by Gardener that is called Wicca. I'll leave it to others to debate how much derived from older traditions and how much he and others invented. There are also alot of smaller traditions that didn't really call themselves anything that got assigned the label "wicca" and accepted it as they had "witch": useful for establishing some connection, but not unifying. They are as authentically pagan as any other group that doesn't have extremely obvious proof of being a living tradition (say--native american, Hindu, oceanic, etc: the ones that were converted late and visibly not entirely. The ones who hid less.) as opposed to a reclaimed/reinvented one. Ask a strega: some will use "wicca" as PC for witch, some use witch as PC for what they are (strega.) The word "pagan" has many uses as well: any-non-christian, non-christian-judaic-islamic, non-christian-judaic-islamic-ect(insert selected terms), polytheistic only, some polytheistic and some monotheistic....
Not everything called "wiccan" is derived from Gardner.
Remember, there never was and never will be a unifying religion known as Paganism.
Again yes and no. There was not a single religion recognized in the ancient world as being the unified faith. However, most recognized the validity of the other religions and the interchangability of the divinities. One could worship diferent divinities and still be practicing religion. Divisions weren't some are true, some are not, but were considered to be diferent ways of approaching divinity, some more respectable or more effective then others. Quite early theologians claimed that in the end these diferences were human, not actually part of the divinity/divinities. So there was a sort of spiritual unification with the human (religion) part of it having a myriad of expressions. Woden could combine with other divinities as he himself had been formed of the combination of other divinities. Mars could combine with Lugh. Isis took over much of the grecco-roman world by also being Approdite, Venus and Cyble. It was accepted that the details changed, but the Gods remained the same. The idea of it actually being monotheistic was also quite early, but not as widely written of.