Home Discussion Forum Why do people think Wicca and Paganism are the same?

Why do people think Wicca and Paganism are the same?

Prior to 500BC (roughly) pretty much all religion was Pagan. Around 500BC all over the world there was a major shift from poly- to monotheism, the “world’s N great religions” came from this time, and many of the leaders of major religions came from this period, such as Confucius, Lao Tsu, Buddha, several high prophets of Judaism, and more. So after 500BC many areas of the world became non-Pagan or mixed.
Few current Pagans realize that in their beliefs they may be more New Age than Pagan, and this includes many Wiccans. New Age, at one time termed “the Perennial Philosophy” starts with Plato, then Plotinus and the Neo-Platonist, mixed with Gnosticism, Hermeticism, and the Mystery Religions, with a great debt to Advaita Vedanta Hinduism both early and later, was passed down through the Templars and various heretic groups, the Freemasons, Rosicrucians, Theosophy, to the Golden Dawn and the High Magickal traditions, until it formed much of Wicca through Gardner.


  1. because wicca is a form of paganism
    and because the definition of pagan has shifted to mean pretty much an earth-based religion.

  2. What is your name, with such a question surely Lady Di -Di is not your name, you can not be that silly to put a ladies name with a mans face. I suggest if you are a man put your name or your nickname, if you a female then put a ladies pick with your name or nickname. Then I may answer your question. Or better still maybe you wish to be reported???

  3. Maria, that is the default avatar because she hasn’t picked one yet. I don’t think a lot of people use their real names on
    Y!A either. And what exactly are you going to report her for, not following your beliefs.
    Thanks for the lesson. I never assumed they were the same, but I learned some stuff from your question. I find never making judgements about a religion I have never read up on saves me from looking like an idiot.

  4. Well, perhaps because Wicca is a subset of Pagranism (do we really need a capital letter on that?), and people tend to get confused about anything which is not their own group.
    And why do you say “more New Age than Pagan,” when there’s no reason to assume those two are separate? I suppose some very liberal Christians consider themselves New Age, but most Christians sneer at the term. (I’m afraid I consider it pretty trivial, myself.)
    You have shown off a good bit of knowledge here, which is often a dangerous thing. But have you thought about the fact that you are in the area where there is maximum re-interpretation, personal slants, and disagreements on almost every issue, especially the exact history of any particular group. For one thing, almost everything of a pagan nature (and most people use “pagan” to mean anything not judeo-christian, or at least anything polytheist) has been secret for centuries, due to persecution.
    So while I would agree that Wicca is rather more specific than pagan, I can’t see that we have anything to gain by pursuing a “purist” attitude toward any of these terms. Certainly there are groups that are quite exclusive, and you will be in big trouble if you define yourself as a Freemason, for example, when you have not been accepted by the leaders. Generally, however, people can call themselves whatever they believe in, and I do not require a person be formally initiated to call herself or himself a witch. The term “Wicca” just means “treating witchcraft as a religion” to enough people that we can leave Gardnerians out of it, or call them Gardnarian (which spelling do you prefer?) Witches, if you like.
    You know the old joke about how many Gardnarians it takes to change a light bulb? [That’s a third degree secret.]

  5. Plato, Arisotoltle, The Gnostic Gospels, Masonic teachings,
    Buddah,Kant, Rand, Emerson, Thoreau. A little Celtic tradition, Druidic remnants, Scotish family traditions and parlor games, trow in my Brother Luther who at least taught me I could seek God directly.
    I am Lutheran convert to Wicca. These elements blend well for me to seek the One in Beauty, Knowledge, and with the five elements. There are many guides; both ancient and modern. The truth is found in our collective soul not individual prophecy.
    I am also a member of a York Rite Templar family. It is all considered Pagan if you use Rome’s definition of anything that Peter’s seat said was of the Devil or Pagan it was. It really is just a derogatory term the Church used to supress individuality and stamp them with a mind control religion.
    I prefer Wicca and it is Pagan by that definition. I’ll edit and find websters answer for you and post it soon.

  6. mainly because of what paganism has come to mean, that would be earth based religions. its like saying baptists are christians and just lumping it all in with the methodists and lutherians and ect… its not all the same, but pagan has become a blanket term, much like christian. the “what are you?” is now, with just about any religion, almost a prerequisite to the “oh…what branch exactly?” question. that seems to be the only way to find out what is really a personal matter about most people….and my actual answer to your question is…the people who think that are the ones who know nothing about it, and if they actualy say it are the ones who have no intention of learning anything about it.

  7. Because often people don’t have an education, it’s sad but most of the time people are ignorant and they don’t try to find out things before they begin to speak on the topics.

  8. Wicca is a Neo-Pagan religion. There’s still some proper pagan religions around, but the majority are reconstructionist ones.

  9. In the media,and for the general public Wicca has become a generalized term to describe almost anything that isn’t a monotheistic faith.
    It’s ignorance and most of the people who push that propaganda are not willing to listen to anything but what their church is telling them they can listen to.
    Try to take it all with a grain of salt and if someone is willing to listen to the difference please let them know.
    Blessed Be

  10. Wicca is a Pagan religion as opposed to monotheistic religion. It is not the only one but it is one of them. There is nothing to debate.

  11. Wicca is the most visible & identifiable portion of the NeoPagan movement. So, with the same sloppy thinking that characterizes most peoples’ impressions of religions, most people identify them as one and the same.
    As a Wiccan, I consider myself part of a purely contemporary movement inspired by ancient Paganism – – but not a direct continuation of it. And frankly, I find it more exciting to be part of the chaotic newness and growth.

  12. Ahh you’re confuing the jardon here. Looking for a more accademic approach you need to know the Accademic jargon.
    Bonewits:’ POV probably the best for this level.
    Point 1. Contemporty expression of Paganism is more accurately “Neo-Pagan” or “Neopagan”. Recognising the moden expression, the modern milliu.
    Point 2. The ancient spirituality NOW recognised as Pagan is more Paleo-Paganism (www.neopagan.net/PaganDefs.html, http://www.stonedragonpress.com/wicca_201/druids_00.html there’s a ton out there…)
    Point 3. Wicca is ONE of themore popular expressions of MODERN Paganism. It does NOT represent the whole modern pagan movement.
    Hope that’s some help.


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