Witch – Pagan – Wiccan: What is the difference??

When I tell people that I am a witch, it comes with a lot of immediate assumptions and preconceived notions. A lot of times they are confused when I also say that I attend church every Sunday and I do not have a patron Goddess. This is all because there is generally a great deal of confusion and intermixing with what a witch really is. 

I am here to tell you today that Witches do not have to be Wiccan’s and Pagans do not have to be witches. These are all separate terms that sometimes get mixed up and cause a lot of confusion in the metaphysical and new age community (and to the general public as well).

Witch

I am a witch and this is a term I have talked about a number of times (Here and Here). As I have stated previously on this blog, the term witch merely means an individual who manipulates energy. 

Being a witch does not mean you practice any certain religion. There are Christian witches out there just as there are Buddhist witches and Jewish witches. I would even hazard to say that some of the “miracles” that Jesus is said to preform would categorize him as a witch as well. I know – crazy!

Pagan

Paganism is a term that originally was used to describe individuals who worship more than one god – those that were polytheistic. There are many different types of paganism and this terms is so broad that it was used generally in bygone years to describe individuals who did not practice the main religion of the region. This can cause much confusion when religions that you would describe as “popular” now were once considered “pagan” in centuries past. 

Wiccan

Wicca is a religion. There are many different sects and beliefs that tend to fall under this broad category and this adds to some of the confusion. Labeling them all Wiccan in themselves may be an overgeneralization as is, but it helps to categorize them.

In general, Wiccan’s tend to believe in the duality of Goddess/God energy and this is where you may find individuals who have specific deities that they worship. But, there are also certain sects that do not celebrate any masculine deities and instead are strictly feminine (Dianic Wicca). 

Now, to get you a little confused here – most Wiccan’s are also considered pagans and witches. But not all pagans or witches are Wiccan’s. Do you feel like you are do a 3rd grade word problem here?

Let’s break this down. 

Wiccan’s are generally considered Pagans because they worship more than one god figure. 

Wiccan’s are also considered witches because they manipulate energy and practice witchcraft in many of their rituals. 

Does this make sense? I hope to alleviate some of the confusion surrounding these terms!

Are you a Witch? A Pagan? A Wiccan? Or all three??

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