Wicca and Paganism
April 27, 2007 8:23pm CST
Is Wicca a Part of Paganism? What are the differences? What are the similarities? Can you throw anything but abrahamic religions under Paganism? I have also read sometimes in some good discussions here about "Eclectic Paganism", what is this one also?
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
28 Apr 07
Wicca is one of many religions that fall under the category of paganism. It is probably the best-known one as well. Wicca is actually a new religion based off concepts from many older religions. There are a few different people who are considered to be important in the founding of Wicca and the diverse paths different types of Wicca have taken, and many of them originally worked together to start Wicca and then split into different sects later. The main thing that most people know about Wicca is the "Wiccan Rede" which is most commonly stated as "An it harm none, do what ye will". It's kind of supposed to sum up Wiccan ethics, and what it means is that you can do anything as long as you aren't causing harm. That sounds like a really "free" way to live, but when you think about it, not causing harm is a very difficult thing to do sometimes. Since I'm neither Wiccan nor eclectic, maybe I should let others have a say now. =p
28 Apr 07
Very well said..:-) The only thing that I would add to that is that Wicca was kind of reborn in the 20th century through efforts of occultist,poets,folklorists and people like Dion Fortune and Gerald Gardner.Today Wicca has grown from those roots.Eclectic simply means that the person isn't very orthodox in their practice of wicca.
30 Apr 07
Are you calling into question the antiquity of "wicca" OR witchcraft? Witchcraft dates back to the Stone Age.Then there is ancient Greece and Rome to consider and records of witch-burnings in Europe.The last witch-burning in the U.K took place in Scotland June 1722.
28 Apr 07
Wicca is part of Paganism. Paganism itself is an umbrella term for a variety of religions and spiritualities, based on an honouring of the forces of nature and/or the spirits of the ancestors. Wicca falls under this umbrella. Wicca itself is a modern tradition, dating back to about the 1940s, which vame to wider public awareness following the repeal of the Witchcraft Act in 1951. Gardner, it's creator, did make a few claims that it was older, but there is no evidence for the existance of Dorothy Clutterbucks Coven, and there are a lot of influences clearly if that time in the rites and traditions of Wicca. Wicca is an initiatory tradition, a lot like Freemasonry, and while a lot of the rituals are now easily availiable, there are parts which have retained their oathbound status. in more recent times some publishers have been using Wicca as a term interchangeble with Witchcraft, while in fact the terms describe two very different practices. I'm all for people taking on the rites associated with Wicca, the festivals, and so on. but to take the name associated with that tradition without having had the training and the initiation seems a bit disrespectful to me. why so keen to have a different tradition but give it the same name. why not give it a name of it's own.
• United States
30 Apr 07
The text book defintion of paganism is one who is not Christian, Muslim or Jew, and especially adherent of a polytheistic religion, be it one of the modern era or antiquity. So yes, as everyone before me has mentioned, wicca would definetly be considered a pagan religion.
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