Pagan and Witch.

India
January 3, 2009 3:54am CST
Friends while going through some of the answers in our religious section, I found that some people were mentioning that they are Pagans as well as one mylotter who mentioned that she was a witch. Do these people follow a seperate religion, I would like to know more about them and their practices. I have read in the history books that the witches were burnt in Europe and early Americas, why was it done. Can anybody give me the answers.
6 people like this
14 responses
• United States
3 Jan 09
I am a witch, but not a Wiccian or a Pagan. For me Wicca and Paganism are religions and I do not choose to adhere to any religions rules or any moral, ethical rules but my own and those are for the most part pretty high. You will find as many answers and you will find people because one of the great things about witchcraft and Wicca along with most of the pagan religions is that each person follows the path that is best suited for them. Sometimes they adhere to very strict rules and policies and sometimes they only take the basics from one or more variations. The best way to learn is to ask questions and take what you learn from there.
2 people like this
@Margajoe (4720)
• Germany
3 Jan 09
Do you mean to say there are also witches, that are Christians? Thank-you. Take care.
1 person likes this
• United States
3 Jan 09
There are some who claim both but I personally don't understand how they do it because it is in directly violation of the Christian faith, but it isn't for me to judge.
2 people like this
• India
4 Jan 09
Thanks for the response mynameismine, I have already given the reasons for my interest in my earlier two answers. As a Hindu there is nothing in my religion which says I should not believe in witchcraft or anything else. There are people in big towns in India, who practice witchcraft, not openly but as a astrologer and some are called as tantriks. So many people go and get advice from them. So Muslims may not like this, but I have seen some Muslims also get the advice from the tantriks. I would like to know more about your beleifs and practices.
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@Khayam (346)
• Romania
4 Jan 09
Actually the modern term "PAGAN" has been defined by Western societies rather broadly in order to encompass all of the religions outside the Abrahamic monotheistic group of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. However, the Western perspective is tributary to the American and British conceptualizations that severelly resume paganism to several religious beliefs connected to its cultural umbrella. For instance, most North Americans reffers at "paganism" pointing out just a few denominations (Witch groups, Wicca, Neopaganism :p etc) while eliminating a myriad of polytheistic, spiritualist, animistic or shamanic religious beliefs world-wide. Although many are opened to public, some of them are mystery religions, initiatory orders, passed from initiate to initiate, like the Eleusinian Mysteries. In the case of Europe, the edict of Theodosius I in 394 that made paganism illegal in all territories of the Roman Empire, let such religions survive only in remote areas. Holly Inquisition played also an important role in destroying alternative beliefs to Christianty. Religious wars did the same in the Islamic world. According to the Abrahamic religions systems of values, Hinduism and Buddhism are considered PAGAN.
2 people like this
• India
4 Jan 09
Well I never knew that Hinduism and Budhism were considered as PAGAN.Regarding Hinduism, this might be accepted because there are lot of Hindus who worship nature as well as animals and there are several reasons behind each festival or worship. I will just mention one festival which is going to happen on January 14th and is known as 'PONGAL', Which is worship of Sun god, this is because after a bountiful harvest the farmers, say thanks to the sun god by making sweet rice and offering it to him. The next day is 'MATTU PONGAL', which means doing pooja to the cow, (Mattu means cow in our language), saying thanks to the cow, which had given the milk, as well as the dung which was used to clean the village roads as well as the the dried dung cakes which were used as fuel to burn the village oven. You might think that we still live in pre historic age, but this kind of things still happen in the villages and we all believe in this. Thanks for the response.
1 person likes this
• United States
4 Jan 09
Pagans and Witches are not the same, and Wiccan are not actually witches, some do call themselves witches, but most of them just see it as being one with the natural elements. My boyfriend's mother is a Wiccan and yes, she does practice some spells sometimes, but it is not what people think that it is. A lot of times its a lot like prayer, but in a different way.
2 people like this
@Margajoe (4720)
• Germany
3 Jan 09
Yes the witches were burnt and drowned. You know why? Because they were not witches!! Most of the time the husband just wanted another wife. Cause if these so called witches were truly witches, they would have easily survived! After they drowned the witch, they were sad. Oh my, she was not a witch, she drowned... But then it was too late! I am grateful we don't live in those days. Take care.
1 person likes this
• United States
3 Jan 09
[i]Cause if these so called witches were truly witches, they would have easily survived! [/i] OK as a witch I can tell you right now I live and breath off of oxygen. Dunk my underwater for too long and I'm going to float. Witches are human beings, we are not immortal, we don't turn ourselves into other animals. We need food, water and oxygen just like all other humans. The only difference is how we choose to deal with day to day situations and who we choose to deal with them with along with a lot of other things too numerous to list cause each person is different and what might be right for me might be wrong for someone else. But bottom line we die too. If you put is on a stake and burn us, we will die. If you put us on a quarter stretcher (not sure of real name) we will die, if you drown us, we will die, if you hang us by our necks we will die. If you impale us with nails and spikes, yep we will die.
2 people like this
@Margajoe (4720)
• Germany
3 Jan 09
Interesting. I did not think of it that way. The history books I had read when I was younger. They gave me the impression that a witch could survive. I really believed that. It would be like those magicians that let themselves get tied up and within three minutes they come out of the water. They survive. I thought this would be something like that. But then, what makes a witch? What is different from you and me? Thank-you. Take care.
1 person likes this
• United States
3 Jan 09
Story books are just that stories, made up in someones imagination. Magicians, the kind that are on stage, are story tellers too more or less, they create illusions and show you things that you want to believe to be true in a way that makes them true for you. I don't know how they do what they do but I know it is all illusions. As for me I am who I have always been. I have known from a very young age that I was a witch. For me it is not a religion, not a choice, it is who I am, who I was meant to be. Wicca is a religion, it is a choice, one I never made. There are some Wiccans/Pagans who choose to follow a path of witchcraft and learn certain things but I was never one of them. What I have, what I know is inside of me and something I have never been able to fully explain. What I don't know is taught to me, not through books, but life, living day after day. I know what I know, I do what I do and I am what and who I am. I have tried to explain it to others but I can't even fully explain it to myself some days because everyday if different and everyday is a learning experience. I never stop learning about myself and I never get tired of learning either. I take my life as it comes and do what comes naturally.
2 people like this
@Ravenladyj (22937)
• United States
3 Jan 09
As its been mentioned "Pagan" is a blanket term much like "Christianity" is...I am Pagan AND a Witch but I'm NOT Wiccan which is a more modern path..Why were Witches burned back in the day? It was basically a way for the Church to attempt to force conformity really...A control thing I guess you could say...As for practices..well in all honesty it varies from person to person really.. A couple of good places to get info would be Witchvox (I dont have the addy on hand though sorry) and http://www.religioustolerance.org/index.htm which is a great site IMO
1 person likes this
@shell94 (990)
• Canada
3 Jan 09
Thanks for that link Raen!!! I had not been there before and found it had alot of information. I agree with you that this is a great site!
2 people like this
@Margajoe (4720)
• Germany
3 Jan 09
Thanks for the links. Though I still find it hard to believe that there are real witches and such. All respect, I think on my part it is mostly jealousy of a person (me) who wants to have a happy life without worrying about my bills I have to pay. My credit cards that I have trouble paying back. So, not in a bad way jealousy, more like an egocentric way.hahaha! I have also never met a witch. Take care.
1 person likes this
• United States
4 Jan 09
Good base explanation Ravenlady. I am also Pagan and a witch, but not Wiccan. Although I do follow along their lines of "An' it harm none". Many who accused of being a witch in early America were unjustly accused. It was a way of trying to force conformity and obedience.
2 people like this
@Galena (9123)
3 Jan 09
Paganism is an umbrella term, used to describe quite a large number of different religions or spiritual paths. basically, the common factor is that they honour the creative forces of nature, either as Gods or as just nature. and/or the spirits of the ancestors. Witchcraft is the practice of Folk Magic. it is practiced mostly by Pagans, but also be followers of many other religions, or those of no religion at all. a lot of the history surrounding Witch trials has been vastly exaggerated. and as said already, they were hung. Germany and Scotland used burning, but that was mostly for heresy rather than Witchcraft. in many situations, actual practice of Witchraft would go unpunished, it was when disputes between neighbours arose that the accusation of Witchcraft would be falsely used.
1 person likes this
4 Jan 09
I would really like for you to do some more posts.
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• India
4 Jan 09
I agree with you on these points galena,it was greed which drove the people to accuse the woman as witches. Thanks for the response.
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@Galena (9123)
4 Jan 09
hehe. I talk too much already.
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@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
4 Jan 09
I always thought pagans were those who believed in many gods, like the ancient Romans, Greeks, and the Norse and the Brahmans of today. But if the person is a Wicca, they get very very angry if you mention that they are pagans, and very very angry if you mention that they are not. I know in the Bible, it says "thou shalt not suffer a witch to live' and that includes fortune tellers, mediums, etc. As for the witches burnt in Europe and those executed in early America, I heard that some were suffering from mental illness, and they were thought to be witches. Some were killed because they were too beautiful, had some land the other person wanted (trumped up charges) and some were actual denizens of Satan, and some were what you would call herbalists. I do know that some go into the woods, and worship nature, and some love animals more than people, but other than the movies, and what I heard, I do not know anything about them. Other then I do not like environmentalists who worship the creature more then the creator. Oh if a certain party whose name starts with R and ends with N, decides to copy part of what I wrote I will take that to mean bitter sarcasm and she is making fun of me. I am not feeling rather upset right now and a bit on the blue side.
• United States
4 Jan 09
If I recall correctly, the actual original line from the Bible was "thou shall not suffer a traitor to live..." but it was later changed in the King James Version. Many of the Bibles on the market today have relatively no bearing on the original, they have been changed so often so suit the needs of the government or the church itself. I could be wrong on the exact wording, but witch was in fact a later addition.
1 person likes this
@Galena (9123)
4 Jan 09
my understanding was that the original word meant poisoner. don't know for certain though. all I know is that it definitely didn't mean Witch.
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Feb 09
i'm a pagan/witch.. i have been since i was 13.. if you'd like to know more about paganism there are a bunch of websites you can look @ www.witchvox.com also try the author raymond buckland & silver ravenwolf.. : )
1 person likes this
• India
8 Feb 09
Thanks for the information mindymelena.
1 person likes this
• United States
4 Jan 09
I'm a Witch, though not Wiccan. I tend to use the term Pagan when explaining my actual religion to people, as it is an easily understood term. I'm not really Pagan though. :) The initial burning and defiling of witches actually had nothing to do with them being witches, it was an easy excuse for their subjugation of anything female or feminine. That's also where we get a lot of our terminology and regard for the feminine race. Women have always been a mystery to men, and in many cases, the first reaction to anything unknown is fear. It was a complete bastardization of the Christian religion and what it stands for. Later, it was more a case against what many believed as evil, a mass hallucination as it were. Once again though, it stemmed from fear and misguided people...many of whom were lead by the texts from earlier periods. For many, it was an opportunity to remove an obstacle to getting whatever it was they wanted. Greed has always been the highest motivation of man. You can truly see this later in the Salem witchtrials. That all started due to greed. Men who were tired of their shrew of a wife, or a woman unable to bear children, used the ready made excuse the church gave them. Divorce was not yet sanctioned, so when the easy out appeared, many took it. Land was also a source of false accusations. I could write on this topic for days, but I'll stop now. Hope this helps! :)
1 person likes this
• India
4 Jan 09
I just now read a response which mentions that Hinduism is considered as a Pagan religion, so that make me a Pagan. We worship nature and animals, and there is a significance behind every Hindu ritual and there is scientific proof also behind every festival of Hindus. We also worship ancient gods and godess. Yes as divorce was not sanctioned in those days it was easy to brand your wife as a witch and burn them. The problem is some people still do it in this age.
1 person likes this
@jambi462 (4598)
• United States
3 Jan 09
Because back in the day magic and witches and all things of that sort were considered works of the devil by most christian or catholic religions. It just shows how English people treat people that are different then their normality that they are used to.
1 person likes this
• United States
3 Jan 09
there are ignorant people everywhere. I live in the US and work in public and my co-workers know my religion and have no problem. There are still some closed minded people who think Witches are Satans play toys but you can talk until your blue in the face, and recite historical references until your blue in the face....a closed mind will stay closed.
1 person likes this
@TLChimes (4842)
• United States
29 Jan 09
Bet there were many different answers to the same question. It always works that way. Here's the thing, what I'm going to type is only MY take on it. To be Pagan means you are outside the Christian, Jewish, or other "Main" religious faiths. To be Wiccan is a religious faith that like christianity had subsets. (that can be argued but would confuse things) To be a Witch normally means you are of a nature based pagan faith. You can be Wiccan but there are rites that must be met under that faith. I am an eclectic pagan or witch. I follow a nature based faith that takes bits from other faiths and allows me to practice peacefully. The reasons "witches" were burned were for the same reason Jews were killed by Hitler. Because Humans are jerks who destroy what they don't like or don't understand. I know that's simply put but again it's just my take on it. People don't understand something, and they get scared. Or they use other peoples fear to get power and raise their own cause up.
• United States
3 Jan 09
This has been an interesting conversation. Thanks, I learned a LOT!
1 person likes this
• United States
5 May 09
A pagan is anyone who follows an earth based religion, witchcraft or Wicca (one of its many names) is a branch of paganism. Someone once told me all witches are pagan but not all pagans are witches. Take Christianity for example, there are many branches of Christianity from Baptists to Methodists, Catholics etc. Paganism is much like that in that it is an umbrella term for many different belief systems. A pagan can be a Wiccan, a Druid, a Native American Spiritualist or any number of other pagan paths. The Burning Times, the time when people were accused of and burnt as witches, was when Christians burnt those who were thought to be witches at the stake because the Bible says "Do not suffer a witch to live." Most of the time the people who were burnt as witches were not. All it took in those days was to be accused. You can be accused over anything from someone not liking you, you got the man they desired whatever. Some women were also burnt because they were intelligent. Women weren't thought of as anything more than proprety so any woman who had a mind of her own or practiced herbal medicine was automatically a witch. In America, the SAlem Witch trials are perhaps the most famous of these witch hunts. Books were even published on how to find a witch. Many of the reasons witches were hated so was because they were thought by the Christians to be in league with the devil. Though to those who practice witchcraft this is an absurd idea because they don't believe in the devil.
• India
6 May 09
Thank you for your response. As a matter of fact even now woman in remote parts of India are burnt after branding them as witches. This is mainly done with old woman or widows who have got some agriculture land or some property. The police is helpless because these kind of people live in far off remote places, and nobody knows what has happened. An interesting point, which you have mentioned, that pagan is an earth based religion. Can you let me know more about this. In our Hindu religion, which is one of the ancient religions of the world, we worship the sun, air and the sky. Some of also worship snakes and the Cow is considered as a very holy animal by us.
• United States
6 May 09
Earth based religions put the earth, the moon, the stars, even the sun as holy. They represent the Gods which created our world. Animals are also considered sacred and many of them are linked with the gods and goddesses. For instance the Egyptian goddesses Bast is linked with cats. Pagans see the magick in everything. Paganism ecompasses any and all religions who value the earth, the sun, and the moon. Another common belief is paganism is there is no Satan or Devil, or Supreme evil in the world like Satan bent on mankinds destruction. I have said it before there are a lot of religions in the world which do not have the judeo-christian concept of satan. did that help? I am trying to be thorough with a 3 yr old running around.. LoL that isn't easy!
@Tushavi (2078)
• Karachi, Pakistan
3 Jan 09
is this truth??? because we use Witch If I Say Someone Monster.