Existing currently is a common misconception about the religious association of the practicing Witch. It is frequently thought that the terms Wiccan, Pagan, and Witch are interchangeable and inter-related.
This is not necessarily true. And this type of thinking limits the reach of Witchcraft as an energetically driven practice.
Just let the witch wander, why don’t ya…
It is important to note that witches and the Craft can be found in every facet of religion, whether it be Christianity, Wicca, Paganism, Atheism, or any of the variety in between.
Let’s start by defining the religions of Wicca and Paganism and then enter with the gross concept of Witchcraft.
Paganism is typically a polytheistic practice with nature-focused reverence. It is not necessarily considered a religion of sorts in the sense that the term or label did not enter the history books until it was used in derogatory fashion to demonize on behalf of the new religion, Christianity.
Thus now a pagan is considered a broad, encompassing term that refers to all those who practice traditions of the Olde Ways and do not consider themselves of Christian, Jewish, or Muslim faith.
Paganism has also been labeled as a lust-driven, simplistic heathen practice; and although some cultures may have indulged in such rituals, it is not the case with all Pagan traditions.
Wicca can be loosely defined as a new religious practice that many believe stem from the elder-branching tree of Paganism. Wicca has many different branches itself and can be classified as monotheistic, pantheistic, or Goddess-centric.
Much reverence is placed on the Divine Spirit (Mother Goddess and/or the Horned God) that permeates all of life/nature. Ritualistic practice usually focuses on the Sabbat days, which are comprised of the Equinoxes, Solstices, and pivotal turning points for seasonal harvest and change.
On the other hand, witchcraft is a very ancient and ever-enduring concept. Its underlying framework stems from the belief in magick, a current that ripples throughout all of space and time. Through this extremely vast, conductive, and flexible energy belt, witchcraft focuses on the manipulation of this magick to produce a desirable effect on the physical plane.
Witches consciously oscillate between the physical and energetic layers in order to hasten their desired outcomes. Though religious practitioners can definitely participate in the Craft, a witch need not be religious to be efficient or effective in their art.
Furthermore it is beneficial to be cognizant of labels and the subsequent meanings that carry much weight and history with them. Witches can be from many walks of life with highly varied backgrounds. And though the term witch carries a negative connotation thanks to its long and butchered history, the art of witchcraft is not something that should be demonized or degraded because of the lack of apparent religious association.
“Never ASSUME, because when you ASSUME,
you make an ASS of U and ME.”