Difference Between Pagan and Wiccan (With Table)

There are many religions and believes people follow in the world. Some of them are new. Some might be the oldest. These believe gives them their identity and teach the way of living. Most of the time, in a family, a single religion or belief is followed by all the members, but sometimes members can also have different believes and religions. Anyone can change their religion at any time in their entire life.

An example of a religion that is followed for a long time is pagan. It is a spiritual religion followed by many people all around the world. Sometimes this is confused with other religions known as Wiccan.

Pagan vs Wiccan

The difference between Pagan and Wiccan is that pagan is the main religion while Wiccan is another religion that falls under the category of pagan. Pagan has more traditions and includes worshipping of several gods, while in Wiccan, only two gods are worshipped. Pagan also includes atheists while they are not mostly included in the Wiccan. They also differ in terms of witchcraft activities, when and by whom they were introduced.

Pagan is a person following paganism, a spiritual religion. The term was introduced in the early 4th century by some Christian. This is a very broad religion that is further divided into many other religions. These religions may include worshipping one god or worshipping many gods. There are many traditions and rituals included in the religion that has to be followed by everyone. Few examples of religion that comes under pagan are Wiccan and witchcraft.

Wiccan is also a spiritual religion influenced by the pagan Gerald Gardner in the earlier 1900s, came across the word Wicca and later on introduced this religion. He was himself a follower or a member of the society of pagan. This religion only believes in worshipping two gods. This includes rituals and traditions that are mostly the same as pagan.

Comparison Table Between Pagan and Wiccan

Parameters of ComparisonPaganWiccan
ConnectionAll pagans are not WiccanWiccan is always pagan
GodsBelieve in one or many godsBelieve in two gods
IntroducedEarlierLater
WitchcraftThey don’t perform itThey mostly perform it
FounderNo such founderGERALD GARDNER

What is Pagan?

It is the word for describing the people who follow paganism. This religion believes in nature to be divine or god and worships it. This religion is comprised of many other religions. During earlier times, when paganism was new and Rome turned to Christianity, the tension between Christians and pagans began growing. But still, paganism lived on. 

Olympics were used to be a pagan ritual. It is based on pre-Christian beliefs.

People following pagan sometimes chose a specific path, to follow other religion that comes other pagan such as, Wicca, witchcraft, Druidry, Asatru, etc. while others who does not they remain pagan only.

Many of the old traditions of pagan have been reconstructed to give more importance to the original traditions and beliefs. Besides god and goddess, pagans also worship spirits that can be national heroes, as well as deceased family members. It also includes atheists as they mainly focused on worshipping nature. Anyone who is involved in any religious act, ceremony, and practice which is not Christian can be a pagan.

What is Wiccan?

This is a new religion as it was introduced hardly 50 or 60 years ago; therefore, not many people are aware of this. But this is spreading like a wind. A person cannot be a Wiccan unless he is a pagan. It is known as Wicca. Wiccan goes for the people who follow it. It is a duotheistic religion, which means they believe in the combination of two gods, a god and a goddess.

The god is called horned, and the goddess is called the mother goddess. The goddess is associated with the earth, stars, and moon, while the god is associated with forests, sun, and animals. This religion is tied with the pagan and therefore have several traditions and festivals known as Sabbats. Most of the Wiccan also follow witchcraft and perform magic with the help of natures’ powers, mainly using five elements, earth, wind, water, fire, and spirit. 

The main holidays under this religion are Beltane (Fertility. Crops), Litha (Summer Solstice), Yule (Winter Solstice), Lughnassad (Harvest), Mabon (Autumn Equinox), Imbolc (Brigid’s Day), Ostara (Spring Equinox), Samhain (Spirits and winter).

This religion has changed a lot, and some argue that the new Wiccan is nothing like the original.  

Main Differences Between Pagan and Wiccan

  1. The main difference between pagan and Wiccan, which sometimes even creates confusion, is that pagan is a broader term or main religion, and Wiccan is a part of it. Therefore, to be a Wiccan, a person needs to be a pagan first. While being a pagan, it is not necessary that the person has to be Wiccan. It is their choice.
  2. Both of them believes in gods, in pagan, different people believe in several types of gods, some might worship one god while others worship many gods, it is because there are other religions included in the pagan and sometimes atheists are also included in the pagan whereas in Wiccan people follow two gods, horned god, and mother goddess.
  3. Pagan was introduced early, there is no exact date of when it was actually introduced, but it is believed that it first came to the notice in the 4th century by some Christians, whereas Wiccan was introduced later on in the middle of the 1900s.
  4. There is no actual name of a person who introduced pagan, whereas Wiccan was first introduced by Gerald Gardner, who was a follower or a member of pagan society until he came across the word Wicca and then founded Wiccan.
  5. Both of them are also related to witchcraft, as it is included in the pagan. Most of the Wiccan performs witchcraft, whereas most of the pagans are not included in the witchcraft activities.

Conclusion

Therefore, with all the information along with the difference between Pagan and Wiccan, there won’t be any confusion between both of them. The reason behind why these get confused is their similarities, such as both of them include worshipping of gods. Both pagan and Wiccan include several objects while worshipping. These objects are known as Magikal Tools. These tools include broom, candles, the cup or chalice, wine or other fluids, etc. all of these tools are used for some specific purpose, for example, broom for sweeping negative energies and chalice to hold fluids such as pure or blessed water, etc.

Another religion related to Pagan and Wiccan is Witchcraft, in which people practice magic with their skills and abilities with nature.

References

  1. https://journals.lww.com/jhpn/fulltext/2007/09000/Spiritual_Needs_of_Wiccan,_Pagan,_and_Nature.15.aspx
  2. https://journals.equinoxpub.com/POM/article/viewFile/1333/828
  3. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=dILjHIzYrSoC&oi=fnd&pg=PA35&dq=pagan+and+wiccan&ots=SBgPsPnBWI&sig=IHkaqHPtpjp3xWjCWI0r3zVQrBk
x
2D vs 3D