In trying to think of just one thing I think people should know about Paganism, and witchcraft I have actually come up with several. Most I have most likely talked about before. Some I will mention here for the first time and chances are I won’t speak of them again.
- Witchcraft and Wicca are not the same thing.
Unless you happen to be an initiate in British Traditional Witchcraft, which is actually also Wiccan. For everyone else though. Wicca is a religion. Witchcraft is a magical practice separate from religion. Some Wiccans are also witches. Not all witches are Wiccan.
2. Not all Pagans are Wiccan either.
It helps here to think of Pagan as being an umbrella term. While all Wiccans are Pagan, not all Pagans are Wiccan.In the same way that all Methodists are Christian, but not all Christians are Methodist.
3. Not every Pagan follows the Wiccan Rede.
Remember that above – not every Pagan is Wiccan? Well, then it goes to follow that not every Pagan will be adhering to the Wiccan Rede.
You can find all sorts of fancy poetry mixes of the Rede, but it all boils down to one short phrase – Do as you will, but harm none.
Now, having said this, most Pagans do adhere to a personal code of ethics that includes the idea of not causing unnecessary harm to another.
4. I don’t believe in Hell, or any other place of damnation that I may go to after death
It does no good to threaten me with a one way trip to Hell if I don’t find my way back to whoever. It is meaningless to me.
5. I also don’t believe in demons, devils, or fallen angels.
Like threatening me with Hell, threatening me with talk of being tempted by evil or accusing me of worshipping Satan will also be meaningless. These are all constructs of the Abrahamic religions, and I do not follow any of these. Just because it is true for you, doesn’t mean it must be true for me.
6. Just because I am willing to talk to you of my religion, does not mean I want to convert you.
Just because something is true for me, doesn’t mean it must be true for you. It is my belief that people must find their own way with regards to religion, whether they choose to follow a religion or choose not to follow a religion. Those people who are led to becoming Pagan will do so with or without my help. But I have no vested interest in converting anyone, don’t get brownie points with my Patron Gods for proselytising.
I won’t try to convert anyone. All I ask is the same courtesy in return.
7. Modern neo-Paganism is only about 100 years old.
For the most part, anyone living in North America or most of Europe claiming to follow a Pagan religion that has been continuing in an unbroken chain for longer than 100 years is full of shit.
And if they claim their tradition has continued for longer than 100 years completely unchanged? They’re doubly full of shit.
For reasons unknown there is this idea that someone longevity bestows authenticity upon a religion. Utter and complete nonsense. Paganism as a religion of less than 100 years duration is just as valid a religion as those which have been practised for 1500 years, 2000 years, 2500 years, 6000 years, or longer.
8. There is no officially appointed King (or Queen) of the Witches.
There have been a few who have claimed this title for themselves over the years. You can often find them giving interviews about Loch Nessie for the tabloid press. For the most part, these people are called “nutters” by others in the Pagan community. That’s being polite. When being less polite, they’re generally said to have their heads shoved up their own arse.
No one in the Pagan community takes these fools seriously, except perhaps for their own followers.
Now it’s your turn.
What’s something you wish others could know about your Pagan practise?