Wicca Question and Answers
We have a large number of people who are interested in learning about Wicca from what I have seen by the number of other forms in the Religion & Spirituality forum section. So, in attempt to better organize the questions and answers I will be working to consolidate the information in a single place for easier reference. I will also do my best to have any questions asked in this form answered and added to the list below. I will do my best to answer questions and my sister has agreed to help me with regards to questions that focus more on coven life, she is a priestess in training for a Dianic coven. Everyone one is, of course, welcomed to ask questions and answers them. I will compile everything and post it the reserved sections below.
Question And Answers Section
Is there a difference between pagan and Wiccan? if so what is it?
(Asked by StarDolphin)
The simple answer to your question is yes. In the sense that pagan/paganism is a catch-all term to describe many ideologies and religions that are not Abrahamic in their origins. Originally, the term was more simplified, it referred to someone from the countryside or other rural areas. However, it evolved after the majority of the city-dwelling Roman populist converted to Christianity to be derogatory in nature. Basically, at the time to be pagan or practice paganism one was to be thought a stupid rural peasant. This is largely a result of Roman cities and large towns adopting Christianity while more rural areas held on to their own traditions.
The more complicated answer is sort of.
Paganism is an extremely large term and often an inaccurate one. While yes, most Wiccan’s do consider themselves pagan not all do. Wicca as a religion bases itself largely on older shamanistic traditions despite being relativity young compared to other religions. This means that various traditions have arisen since the days of Gerald Gardner, the man considered the father of modern Wicca. So, to a degree, it depends on the person.
To me personally, I do not consider myself a pagan, I consider myself a heathen. Some think the words heathen and pagan are intertangle but they are not. Before becoming Wiccan, I was a heathen who followed Ásatrú, one of the modern interpretations of the old Norse faith. Most who follow Ásatrú or others forms of the Troth, the blanket term for the various forms of Northern European Heathenry, call themselves heathens. I suppose you could say it is more about specifying oneself, a pagan is a rural townsperson who was no Christian while a heathen was a barbaric northern foreigner. Also, from what I have seen not many people who do not follow a form of the Troth considers themselves heathens. And just to be clear I may be Wiccan and align my views with them most often but I still follow the Troth.
Heather Meadowsweet's answer (My priestess in training sister)
Paganism is a spirituality, Wicca is an organized religion.
Simplest way to explain Wicca is that if paganism were to have an organized religion, that would be it. Wicca is an umbrella covering numerous religious traditions, similar to how the term Christianity covers Catholic, Baptist, Lutheran, etc
There are people who follow the religion but don't call themselves Wiccan because they hate Gardner.