Wicca vs. Pagan

All things wiccan...
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runewulf
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Post by runewulf » Tue Aug 15, 2006 8:03 am

Specific answer incoming:

Pagan == Polytheistic (country dweller, believer in old, non-metro religion).

Wiccan is a type of pagan. A "denomination" or "sect" of paganism.

So, While Wiccans are Pagans, not all Pagans are Wiccans.

And honestly, if you widen your research, you'll see that they don't ALL practice the same. Not even all wiccans practice the same. However, because wiccans are pagans, you will find similarities, sometimes huge ones, between the practices of various groups... however, this does not make them the same by any stretch of the imagination.

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Post by Windwalker » Tue Aug 29, 2006 10:24 pm

A person can appear to be something, but when you dig deeper you find that it's not as simple as it seems.

I'll use myself as an example. I started out by studying Wicca. Quite a few of my main beliefs are Wiccan.... for example, I celebrate all eight Sabbats, I believe in reincarnation, I believe in the Lord and Lady. But most of my other beliefs are not Wiccan: I don't follow the Law of Three (I prefer the Return of Energy, if anything). I don't work skyclad. I don't use ritual or circles in spells. I don't follow the Wiccan Rede. I believe that each and every god is a deity in their own right, and not just a facet of the Lord or Lady (I realise that some Wiccans may hold that belief as well).

I know there are some Wiccans who don't feel that solitary Wiccans, or those who have never been in a coven or initiated or taught, are not Wiccans at all. There are others who share only a couple of Wiccan beliefs and still think of themselves as Wiccan. Personally I think the Wiccan Rede and the Law of Three are two of the main Wiccan flags.

Again, as all Wiccans are Pagans, some just call themselves Pagan in order to save some explanation. As I think I've gotten distracted since I started writing this post and completely lost my train of thought, I'll stop here before I confuse myself and others.

Blessed Be!

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Post by Crazy Healer Lady » Thu Aug 31, 2006 6:30 am

As I think I've gotten distracted since I started writing this post and completely lost my train of thought, I'll stop here before I confuse myself and others.
Wow, you fit in very well here ;)
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Post by runewulf » Thu Aug 31, 2006 11:12 am

Windwalker wrote: I'll use myself as an example. I started out by studying Wicca. Quite a few of my main beliefs are Wiccan.... for example, I celebrate all eight Sabbats, I believe in reincarnation, I believe in the Lord and Lady. But most of my other beliefs are not Wiccan: I don't follow the Law of Three (I prefer the Return of Energy, if anything). I don't work skyclad. I don't use ritual or circles in spells. I don't follow the Wiccan Rede.


I think something I would have to add is that like the Nordic paths (which I follow pretty strongly, Norse and Celtic) and most Shamanic paths, I "Honor" my gods/dieties/spirits/ancestors/etc... I don't worship (sometimes spelled whoreship to differentiate)... My relationship with divinity is close and I respect and honor them, but it is more along the lines of big brother/sister-aunt/uncle-good friend/guide-grand father/mother whome I recognize for their power/wisdom/experience/etc... not someone I bow down before and accept as being all powerful/all knowing/ whatever, cause their not... gods know that the gods make mistakes too ;) all you gotta do is read a little or listen to the old tales to learn that little tidbit.

I can agree with a lot of that... although you don't want to get me started about my thoughts and beliefs and possibilities on dieity in general and dieties on the broader view... this post would become a book and this conference call I'm on is only supposed to last another 25 minutes :lol: and seriously, that kind of thing works better in an interactive discussion... that way everyone is clear and there aren't misunderstandings and what not.

As far as forgetting the original point, gods know we can ramble on and cover multiple things around here sometimes, or shoot right off the posted topic and onto another one, heh heh, that's about par for the course here at the Library.

And speakin of ramblin, I seem to be doin so, so I'm off...

Yep, wiccans are pagans, pagans aren't necessarilly wiccans though, kinda like wiccans can be called witches, but not all witches can be accurately called wiccans.

Now say that 20 times fast :)

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Post by Windwalker » Sat Sep 02, 2006 1:07 am

runewulf wrote: I think something I would have to add is that like the Nordic paths (which I follow pretty strongly, Norse and Celtic) and most Shamanic paths, I "Honor" my gods/dieties/spirits/ancestors/etc...
Honour is a good word. It was probably the one I was looking for but it was late and I gave up midway through the search and just went with believe.

I like the way pagan gods can be fallible... and you can't read stories such as Hephaestos catching Aphrodite dallying with Ares and think they're not. But that's kinda what I love about them. They make mistakes too.

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Post by Willow » Mon Sep 04, 2006 11:22 am

Yep, wiccans are pagans, pagans aren't necessarilly wiccans though, kinda like wiccans can be called witches, but not all witches can be accurately called wiccans.
:lol: Can I quote you on that to my students Rune? 8-)
Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.
Dr. Seuss (1904 - 1991)

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Post by runewulf » Wed Sep 06, 2006 12:47 pm

Feel free Willow... gods know I've used it often enough over the years ~ chuckles ~ Especially when talking about different paths and different kinds of "witches" and "shamans" and "magicians", not to mention all the various magico-religo paths and mysticisms out there.

It's like, while I have a fair amount in common with Wiccans and will answer to "Witch", I am not really a Wiccan. And while I am a Shaman, I have also studied and continue to study many other paths, often just out of general curiosity (hermetica is a good example, because I don't connect with it from a practicle point of view, so don't practice it, but still find it interesting), but I don't allow those studies to pull me away from my shamanic roots and beliefs.

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Re: Wicca vs. Pagan

Post by Jet » Sat Jan 17, 2009 3:05 am

Hello-

In my mind there is a huge difference between pagans and and the Wiccan faith. Of course paganism is an over arching term used to describe various spiritual/nature beliefs and one could say wicca is loosely a part of ( albeit generalised term).

Firstly in some states and territories Wicca is now recognized as a religion and no longer is it illegal to practice this faith.
But the most fundamental and outstanding difference is that wicca has a dogma and the various arms of the craft have doctrine-
A witch ( aside from a hedge witches i guess) is initiated into a specific 'tradition' or system- the linage of which can be traced from initiators all they way down the line. So one may be of the Gardenarian tradition for example.

Anyone can be a pagan it is free and permissive and one can make up ritual etc as they go along- 'Free love and brown rice'.
Wicca has many rules, laws,etiquette, standards and requirements.
I would say most people prefer to be pagans so they are free of the dogma associated with a specific tradition.

Anyhow my opinion- hope this helps. Jet.

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Re: Wicca vs. Pagan

Post by Dark Waters » Mon Jan 19, 2009 7:01 am

Unfortunately Jet,

You are right in saying that "Pagan" is a catch-all term. It can cover anyone not associated with the Big 5 "Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddahist and Hinduism" but generally refers to those who believe in multiple Gods and the directed forces of nature. In my own mind though I tend to seperate Pagan and Wiccan as Spirit-Based and Earth/Nature-Based.

There are nearly as many forms of Wicca as there are of Christianity. Not all "schools" of thought require initiation, as there are many solitary practitioners out there, some by choice, others because there simply aren't that many others around. But some traditions say these SPs aren't really Wiccan, others accept them cautiously. You can do a search for Wiccan "churches" and see the variety.

Also like any religion, we have our nutbags and cultists. While doing my own exploration of faiths as I was coming to this path, I found several Wicccan references in the bookstores that went along the lines that to be accepted, the initiate had to be inducted by a male and female priest/priestess, or by a elder Witch of the opposite gender in a sexual ceremony, some of which were basically glorified S&M parties. Most of the other rituals in there werer pretty much the same. I stayed away from those references.

The key part of Wicca is that it is a natural religion, so you should feel forced into anything you feel is un-natural. SImply my opinion as well.
I'm living in the Shadows and the Night,
Wrapped in warm darkness, safe and sure.
My Path shines by the Moon's fragile light,
It frees my Mind and keeps my Heart pure.

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Re: Wicca vs. Pagan

Post by runewulf » Mon Jan 19, 2009 12:52 pm

Dark Waters wrote:that to be accepted, the initiate had to be inducted by a male and female priest/priestess, or by a elder Witch of the opposite gender in a sexual ceremony, some of which were basically glorified S&M parties. Most of the other rituals in there werer pretty much the same.
First things first, there's nothing wrong with BDSM is that's what you happen to be in to. That said, you're right in so far that there were some definite BDSM-like items in some of the older traditions of wicca. Now, having to say that, you've got t remember that when Wicca became a formalized religion, it was started by Gerald Gardner who was, in essence, a horny old man who had been involved in a LOT of kink. Some of his branch offs were quite similar. You also have to recall that a lot of the beginnings of wicca came from other forms of mysticism, which pulled a fair amount of ceremonial magicks in, which included things like flagellation and things like submission/binding before the group/divinity, etc.

Personally, I say go with what works for you as an individual or group, or it's not going to work for you long term. As long as the foundations are there, and solid, you will be just as effective a witch/pagan/shaman/vitki/brujo/mambo/etc. as someone who sticks to a hard-core tradition. That being said, you can't skimp on the foundation, the core is what makes it functional. But diety, be it Lord and Lady, Gods above and Below, Ancestors, Totems or what have you, are not going to ignore you or find you less worthy because you don't take a cat of nine tails to your back or want to get funky with a priest/priestess/elder.

Nuff said, back to work overload for me. Miles Beannachta all.
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Re: Wicca vs. Pagan

Post by Dark Waters » Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:57 pm

Oh I have no problem per se with sexuality in the craft, nor with those whose motto may be - "Stick and Stones may break my bones; but Whips and Chains excite me" in their personal lives. However the few books I glanced through before be able to recognize the authors who are more kink than craft, made it look like a requirement to be be called Wiccan, and it just ain't so.

The best thing I can suggest for anyone who is looking for avenues along the Pagan or Wiccan paths, or in fact for any religion, is to first do research, get a few different points of view, then evaluate what you are being told within your heart and soul. Listen to it and try to see if it honestly resonates as something "True" to you. If you feel forced by anything, you will probably subconciously reject it which defeats the purpose IMHO.
I'm living in the Shadows and the Night,
Wrapped in warm darkness, safe and sure.
My Path shines by the Moon's fragile light,
It frees my Mind and keeps my Heart pure.

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Re: Wicca vs. Pagan

Post by underlilith » Mon Jan 19, 2009 10:29 pm

Pagan is what i would call an "umbrella" term. Its like all the different sects of christianity. you could be christian, or you could be lutheran. Thats pretty mch the difference. Wicca is a sub-class of paganism. I am a Chaote (chaos magick/chaoism) which doesnt practice like wicca at all but i'm still a sub-class of paganism.
"What is a god but a man who weilds the power of chaos?" - Peter Carroll

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Re: Wicca vs. Pagan

Post by runewulf » Tue Jan 20, 2009 9:22 am

Agreed and agreed.. although I know many Chaotes whom aren't pagan either. Pagan actually is pretty much an umbrella term coined by the romans for rural peoples. Those peoples just happened to by polytheistic and practice nature based religions. Similarly, heathen comes from the same root group and meant "people of the heath", which were the nordic peoples and is where we get norse paganism from.

Socio-linguistic anthropology can tell us a lot of interesting things in regards to these topics, but it can be quite dry and boring to get through.

As to the above, you are correct. Anyone approaching any religion, especially a "mystical" religion should review many sources and find their footing in the areas that they are comfortable with and the areas that agree. There are a lot of books and individuals out there "teaching" stuff that is just plain wrong or often goes against some (or all) or the basic tenants of the religion or spiritual path as a whole, which is kind of sad.

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Re: Wicca vs. Pagan

Post by Ragnar » Tue Jan 27, 2009 12:43 pm

Jet wrote: Anyone can be a pagan it is free and permissive and one can make up ritual etc as they go along- 'Free love and brown rice'.
Wicca has many rules, laws,etiquette, standards and requirements.
I would say most people prefer to be pagans so they are free of the dogma associated with a specific tradition.
Rubbish.

TRUE Heathens (Pagans if youi like) indeed DO have set rituals, festivals, traditions, etc that must be stuck to.

Where the problem comes is that any 15 year old idiot wanting to scare the parents by buying a Dennis Wheatly book and a plastic skull from the five and dime, calles themselves "pagan". And the press are only to willing to have THEM on T.V and in the news papers. (My favourite hobby is chewing them up and spitting them out into brass buckets at saloon bars. (WHEN they are old enough and/or mature enough to be allowed into a saloon bar.)

Do not confuse "Pagan" with fluffy, black lipsticked, dressed in 600 lace hole DMs, and great grannys funeral frock, bunnys.

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Re: Wicca vs. Pagan

Post by runewulf » Tue Jan 27, 2009 1:04 pm

That is a good point... I didn't mean to imply that Heathens don't have their own rituals or that pagans are only fluff bunnies. However, both words were created by Romans, Heathen as People of the Heath and Pagan as rural peoples. Pagan has become a catch all term though these days that covers pretty much all non-monotheistic spirituality, though you do have some who get rather irritated about having that term used for them, specifically Heathens and some Native Americans.

And as a side note, I am quite aware of Heathens having their own rituals and beliefs... I didn't come by the name Runewulf without reason. ;)

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