A Witch by Any Other Name
Photo by joana joana
On this site, you’ll often see us use certain terms interchangeably –Witch, Wiccan, and Pagan, for example–based on staff members’ personal belief systems,
Many Witches are not Wiccan and will adamantly tell you so. Some groups of Witches do not believe in Goddess worship, and others worship only a Goddess. Some follow karmic law instead of a Wiccan Rede. Some Witches believe in using magick in service to Deity while others believe in harnessing the power of Deity through ritual to meet their own destinies.
He’d grown up in a Baptist church with five hundred people in the congregation every Sunday. Since converting to Wicca, he’d found religion to be an intensely personal matter. So personal, in fact, that he refused to answer any paperwork that asked his religious preference. He could easily write in Wicca or Pagan or Neo-pagan or Celtic or Earth Religion or something similar and all would be accurate for his spirituality, and yet, categorizing his relationship with Deity seemed…small and offensive.
2. Both. Hence, you may have heard the term Witch wars. (see )
3. It would take a whole book to answer that one.
But okay, let’s put it in a different light. Let’s say you grew up in the First Baptist Church–as many current Pagans, including the author above, did–except you’re still a member of the First Baptist Church and adhere to that particular belief system. The Baptists fall under the Protestant and Christian umbrellas.
Someone asks you what religion you are and you answer, “Christian.” Or you might answer “Baptist,” especially if you live in a small town where you assume everyone else is a Christian and you’re talking to a known Methodist, who is also a Christian but believes in christening instead of baptizing, much to your chagrin as a Baptist.
You’ve been asked to attend a prayer service over at the Holiness Baptist Church, but you don’t feel comfortable there because they speak in tongues and sing without piano accompaniment–and you can’t carry a tune in a bucket.
You and a female friend have also been invited to attend a small Baptist church down the street, but they don’t allow women to wear short sleeve dresses or show their ankles–even though it’s 98 degrees outside and rising.
You could attend services at the Freewill Baptist Church across town, but gee, they believe in holding hands while they pray and you never know if a stranger washed his hands before leaving the bathroom.
The same with Pagans. The same with most religions where the members are active participants in their spirituality.
And whether it’s called Paganism or Witchcraft or Wicca, it’s no more a cult than that little band of Baptists who meet every Wednesday morning before work for a quick prayer service and a bagel.
We recommend for a look at different types of Pagans, including Witches, Druids, Eclectic Wiccans, Wiccan covens, followers of the Left-Hand Path, and Neo-pagans.
[Oh, and one more thing: a male Witch is called a Witch. A warlock is an “oath breaker” and you’ll likely insult a male Witch if you forget.]