Thursday, June 2, 2011

Paganism = Umbrella word

Here's a re-post from December 9th 2009, on a topic that I know some people are confused about. These days it's usually one of the first things I clarify when people ask about Paganism.

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Anne, over at TGAB, was recently asked "So. What do you Wiccans do at Christmas?" Realize, she's not Wiccan. However, the guy asking the question knew that she is Pagan, and jumped to the conclusion that that means she's Wiccan. (Her post is here, if you want to see it.) Reading her post made me decide to finally write about a certain topic.

I think that most of my followers are Pagan, and as such already know what I'm about to say. But I also know that some of my followers are not Pagan, and as such I wanted to clarify some things. And if all of my followers already know what I'm about to say, then I guess this post is pointless. lol So here goes...

Paganism is not a single religion. Rather, Pagan is an umbrella term which covers many different religions and spiritualities, which are sometimes very different from each other. Wicca is just one of these religions, and it's the one that everyone has heard about.

I sometimes describe it this way: You know how there are many different sects of Christianity? You have Lutheran, Baptist, Catholicism, Presbyterian...the list goes on and on. Well, Paganism is a little like that. Except we sometimes have even less in common with each other than the different forms of Christianity have with each other, which I guess is really saying something when I stop to compare the differences between the different forms of Christianity. lol

Anyways, I just wanted to clarify that little detail, that Wiccan and Pagan are not synonyms (hey, I learned to spell a new word!).

ps. Darned spellchecker! First it didn't think that "Wiccan" was a word, and now it doesn't like the plural "Wiccans" either!!! Darned darned darned spellchecker...

2 comments:

Kayla said...

I encounter the Wiccan slip a lot. Mostly it is due to the fact that I wear a pentacle more regularly than I do a tree of life, awen or triskele (not that people would recognize the latter two anyway), but when I tell people "I'm a Pagan", they tend to respond, "so you're Wiccan?", and I have to explain the distinction. I actually consider myself specifically a Druid-Witch, but I try to keep it simple for the general public.

Sarita Rucker said...

lol Yeah, if you start using fancy words most people will look at you blankly. I've also had people assuming that I'm Wiccan because of my pent.

I've also had two or three people mistake my pent for a Star of David...and the other day I had to explain to my dad that a Star of David and a pent have a different number of points.