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Wiccan vs Pagan


 

After doing much research and study, I thought that I had some answers. But then I was asked this question, "What is the difference between Wiccan and Pagan?" I must admit, at first I found it hard to describe. So I did a little more research, and looked for definitions. And this is what I found:

Blessed Be!

 

Dictionary Definitions ~ Wicca

First entry found for Wicca.

Main Entry: Wic·ca
Pronunciation: 'wi-k&
Function: noun
Etymology: probably from Old English wicca wizard -- more at WITCH
Date: 1959
: a religion influenced by pre-Christian beliefs and practices of western Europe that affirms the existence of supernatural power (as magic) and of both male and female deities who inhere in nature, and that emphasizes ritual observance of seasonal and life cycles - Wiccan /'wi-k&n/ adjective or noun

Second entry found for Wicca.

SYLLABICATION: Wic·ca
NOUN: 1. A polytheistic Neo-Pagan nature religion inspired by various pre-Christian western European beliefs, whose central deity is a mother goddess and which includes the use of herbal magic and benign witchcraft.
2. A group or community of believers or followers of this religion.
ETYMOLOGY: Old English wicca, necromancer. See witch.

Third entry found for Wicca.

SYLLABICATION: Wi·tch
NOUN:
1. A woman claiming or popularly believed to possess magical powers and practice sorcery.
2. A believer or follower of Wicca; a Wiccan.
3. A hag.
4. A woman considered to be spiteful or overbearing.
5. Informal A woman or girl considered bewitching.
6. One particularly skilled or competent at one's craft: "A witch of a writer, [she] is capable of developing an intensity that verges on ferocity" (Peter S. Prescott).
VERB:
Inflected forms: witched, witch·ing, witch·es
TRANSITIVE VERB:
1. To work or cast a spell on; bewitch.
2. To cause, bring, or effect by witchcraft.
INTRANSITIVE VERB:
To use a divining rod to find underground water or minerals; dowse.
ETYMOLOGY:
Middle English wicche, from Old English wicce, witch, and wicca, wizard, sorcerer.

Dictionary Definitions ~ Pagan

First entry found for Pagan.

Main Entry: pa·gan
Pronunciation: 'pA-g&n
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Late Latin paganus, from Latin, country dweller, from pagus country district; akin to Latin pangere to fix
Date: 14th century
1 : HEATHEN 1; especially : a follower of a polytheistic religion (as in ancient Rome)
2 : one who has little or no religion and who delights in sensual pleasures and material goods : an irreligious or hedonistic person.
- pagan adjective
pa·gan·ish /-g&-nish/ adjective

Second entry found for Pagan.

Main Entry: pa·gan·ism
Pronunciation: 'pA-g&-"ni-z&m
Function: noun Date: 15th century
1 a : pagan beliefs or practices b : a pagan religion
2 : the quality or state of being a pagan

Third entry found for Pagan.

PREISTESS:
NOUN: A woman who presides over religious rites, especially in pagan religions

My Thoughts

We after much consideration I have come up with this.

Wicca is a nature-based religion, close in the ideology to Native American and Shamanistic Traditions. The Knowledge of Wicca comes from the movement of the sun, moon, and stars, and the cycles of each season. Wiccans practice to align themselves with the natural forces of life. Wiccans honour and celebrate the female energy known as the Goddess in the form of Her Triple reflection of Maiden, Mother and Crone. And Her consort, the masculine energy known as the God, Hunter, Horned God, which completes the total being of the Divine Source. Wiccans recognise the innate presence of divinity in the natural world, each individual and the cycle of the seasons.

Paganism is the belief in a religion other than that of any Book Religions, which in Christian terms equates with the lack of religion or as they refer, heathenism. Christians tend to clump all nature-based religions into one, which is inadequate as the actually vary greatly in beliefs and practices. I believe that a Pagan is an individual who accepts the principles of, paganism.

To summarise:
Wiccans and Pagans are very closely related in their beliefs and practices, yet unique in their methods, interpretations and rites. Paganism is a context used to house all Nature-based religions, whereas Wicca is a branch off that same tree.

Blessed Be!