To answer some questions, perhaps...

Some definitions:

"Pagan": from Latin paganus or pagana, meaning "country-dewller or
   villager".  Now usually used to mean a follower of any one of a
   number of Earth-centered religions, or as a catch-all description
   of these religions.

"Wicca" or "Witchcraft": somewhat interchangeable words meaning one
   of the Pagan religions

"Wiccan" or "Witch": a practitioner or believer of above.


Paganism covers a broad range of Earth-centered religions, from
the aboriginal nature-based beliefs of many cultures both historic
and modern, to the recent revivals of ancient European and Middle-
Eastern religions.

Most Pagans agree in principle with a few basic premises:

 - Divinity exists, or can exist, as both female and male, in 
many forms and aspects, internal and external, and Nature is a
sacred embodiment of the divine
 - Would-be messiahs, prophets, gurus, and the like are to be
treated with skepticism, or just avoided
 - Humans are meant to lead lives of joy, love, pleasure, humour,
and diversity, and to celebrate such in themselves and others
 - Harm to oneself, others, or the planet as a whole is to be
Within these rough bounds, a broad spectrum of people can quite
legitimately call themselves Pagan while still differing greatly
in background, belief, and practices.


Wicca, or Witchcraft, is one branch of the Pagan tree, and is a
modern revival of a native religion of Old Europe.  It recognizes
a Goddess and a God who are both transcendent and inherent in
Nature.  Its celebrations reflect the turning of the seasons,
plantings and harvests, solstices, equinoxes, and moon phases,
and so on.

In Wicca, an individual's personal relationship with divinity
is held most important, and each solitary practitioner or group
is autonomous from others.  There are no holy books, or prophets,
or cast-in-iron methods of practice, though most Wiccans follow
a vague common thread of what they do and why.

The Goddess is defined and worshipped in many aspects: as the
Mother and Source of all Life; as Mother Earth; as the Maiden-
Mother-Crone Triple Goddess; as the Lady of the Beasts, and so
on.  Some Wiccans consider all Goddesses in all cultures to be
aspects of Her.  All Wiccans worship Her in some form.

The God is defined and worshipped in several aspects as well:
the Grain God embodied in the harvest; the Horned God of the
hunt; the Green Man of the woods, etc.  Many see the Goddess
and God as consort to one another; most worship Him to some
degree, and some see Him as equal to the Goddess.

Both Goddess and God have been given many different names by
many different cultures, but are most often just referred to
as Goddess and God, or Lord and Lady.

There's really only one "rule" in Wicca, most often stated as

             "As it harm none, do as ye will."

or some close variant.  One is free to do what one likes, to
the limit that one's actions do not bring harm to another, or
to oneself, or to the planet or environment.


Paganism in general, and Wicca in particular, have undergone
a major revival in the last 40 years or so, with people coming
to the religion from many different directions and with a huge
diversity of backgrounds, beliefs, and ideas.  Very few agree
absolutely with the beliefs and faiths of even their closest
Wiccan associates, as each individual finds in the religion
her or his own particular niche.

In fact, many Wiccans will likely disagree with some (maybe 
all!) of the broad statements in this article.  So be it, and
that's what the discussion group is for!

Merry meet, and merry part, and merry meet again!