|Posted on November 12, 2010 at 11:17 AM|
Paganism is a very very broad subject. All Wiccans are pagans but not all pagans are wiccans. The word pagan comes from old Europe meaning 'country dweller'. It is used to describe those of a polytheistic religion. Think of paganism as a big umbrella and that wiccan/witchcraft, druids, shamans, necromancers, magicians, sages, hindus (though not all hindu consider themselves pagan because of certain ties to how pagans are viewed), and others. However, usually people will commit to one of the religions mentioned before.
Wicca translates into 'wise one' They are nature based and believe in helping others and themselves. Wiccans believe in the male (God) and female (Goddess) energies. They can use what is called Magick (with a k to separate the magic that is a stage illusion to the magick that works with energy). Magick is used to make things happen in the universe with the help of certain energies (the 4 elements, a certain god or goddess, etc). You can compare magick to prayer that other religions use. The different gods and goddesses are like tapping into a specific energy like Catholics have with saints and angels. You may pray to St. Anthony to help find lost things just like a wiccan can pray to athena for wisdom.
Wiccans have the Wiccan Reed which is like the 10 commandments. See our "Ghost Hunting 101" page for more information.
A lot of the pagan religions really follow the part 'an ye harm none, do what ye will'. They say it differently but they believe that as long as your intention is not to harm anyone, you have the ability to do what you will. We also don't curse or hex people like Hollywood portrays. Basically because we reap what we sow and karma will come back to you 3 times as strong.
Check out this site (http://www.wicca.com/celtic/wicca/wicca.htm) to learn more about Wiccan and other related topics.