Home Discussion Forum What is the difference between a witch a wiccan and a pagan?

What is the difference between a witch a wiccan and a pagan?

What is the difference between a witch, a wiccan, and a pagan?
I think I have a general idea but could someone maybe explain it to me in depth so I can understand?
Ive been told that you dont have to be a pagan or a wiccan to practice witchcraft and that you dont have to practice witchcraft if you are a pagan or a wiccan…
Anyways, someone please help me understand the differences.
Thank you so much!


  1. Witches usually have a negative connotation as using “powers” for evil. Mainly, their fictional. Wiccan are people who use nature to help them. Way back, they were thought to be witches because they used herbs to help cure ailments. Witches was coined after the old misconception about Wiccans.
    I’m not sure about Pagans.

  2. A pagan is a follower of a polytheistic faith; the modern pagan faiths are often called “neopagan” and include things like Wicca and Asatru.
    A Wiccan is a follower of a specific neopagan faith which follows a basic ritual format established by Gerald Gardner in the 1950’s (with lots of modification since then – it’s a very adaptable faith). Most Wiccans call themselves “witches”.
    Not all witches are Wiccans, though – people who follow the arts of herbal magic, kitchen magic, and other folklore magics can also call themselves witches.
    Does this help?

  3. witch= someone who practices witchcraft
    wiccan = a follower of the Wicca religion
    pagan = blanket term covers many paths within paganism
    Not all Wiccans are witches, not all witches are Wiccans.

  4. paganism is a broad term to identify pre-christian (often) polytheistic religions. all wiccans are pagans, but not all pagans are wiccan. wicca is a nature-based pollytheistic religion bound by the wiccan rede, and they perform rituals, sometimes witchcraft, but often more formal. witchcraft is not a religion, it’s mainly spells, herbalism, etc.and witches aren’t necessarily wiccan, or pagan, but they can be… they can also be part of any religion (i’ve know catholic witches)

  5. Witch — anyone who uses magic, either ceremonial or as part of their religion to alter the outcome in their favor
    Wiccan — someone who follows the religion Wicca, and honors the god & goddess aspect of the divine and nature, may or may not use magic
    Pagan — general term used to define most religions that honor more than one god/goddess; all wiccans are pagan, but not all pagans are wiccan

  6. First a Generalisation, the Overall Spirituality of Neo-Paganism (life affirming “Old World” Indigenous Spiritualities) and Wicca is ONE of the many faiths covered by this label.
    Those attracted to this Path are usually strongly independent personalities and the personal preference to which label they use is just as independent. So usage of “Witch”, “Pagan” & “Wiccan” come down to personal choice. For example, not all “Witches” (within the Neo-pagan context) are Wiccans, not all Wiccans feel conformable with the “Witch” label. While others prefer a generic “pagan” label to describe their Spirituality.
    This recognises that “Witch” has many other definitions depending on the context in which it is used.

  7. I think it has been covered pretty well, but I thought I’d put my two cents in. As noted above, all Wiccans and witches are pagans, but not all pagans are Wiccans or witches.
    Paganism is generally linked with polytheism. However, Hindus, for instance, are typically not considered as pagan. The term usually applies to a non-standard religious practice.
    Wicca was founded in the 1950s by Gerald Gardner. It borrows different things from ancient pagan religions, and then combines them with a few bits and pieces of the Golden Dawn tradition — stripping away the Christian overtones of the latter. More recently, Wicca has become even less distinct, and the title may be accurately claimed by pretty much any sort of magical practitioner (or a nature worshipper who may not practice magic) who acknowledges a goddess and is not overtly demonic. Wiccans usually have some kind of prohibition about using magic to do harm to others.
    The term “witchcraft” can sometimes be differentiated from Wicca insofar as it is usually connected with specific pagan folk-magic traditions. A given tradition within witchcraft may resemble a separate witchcraft tradition, but the two will probably not be interchangeable. Many of these folk-witch traditions are much more open to the possibility of using magic to do harm to others. Appalachian witchcraft, for instance, specifically does not acknowledge the karmic “law of threes” found in Wicca.
    So is Wicca a valid witchcraft tradition? My argument is that in some cases it could be — to the extent that it adheres to a specific set of witchcraft practices or tenets.


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