History of Wicca and Paganism

Discussion of animism, early polytheism, duality in gods and goddesses, the burning times and witch hunts in Europe, Gerald Gardner and the introduction of Wicca, and several authors well-known in modern Paganism.

1 SUBCATEGORIES IN HISTORY OF WICCA AND PAGANISM

To read the rest of this article by Patti Wigington please click on this link: http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/wiccanpaganhistory/

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Practicing as a Solitary Pagan

Many contemporary Wiccans and other Pagans find that rather than joining a group, they prefer practicing as a solitary. The reasons for this as are as varied as those who walk the path – some may find that they work better by themselves, while others who wish to join a coven may be limited by geography or family and job obligations. Regardless, there are a number of things to keep in mind if you’re considering – or have already found your way to – a path as a solitary Wiccan or Pagan.

Covens vs. Solitaries

For some people, it’s hard to make the decision to practice as a solitary. For others, it’s a no-brainer. Both methods have their benefits, and you can always change your mind if you find that one isn’t working for you. Some of the advantages of practicing as a solitary Pagan include setting your own schedule, working at your own pace, and not having to deal with the dynamics of coven relationships. The downside, of course, is that you’re working alone, and at some point, you may find yourself wishing you had someone to tell you where to go and what to do next in order to expand your knowledge.

For the rest of this article by Patty Wigington please click on the following link: http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/pagantraditions/a/Practicing-As-A-Solitary-Pagan.htm

Coven Life & Group Practice

Interested in coven life or some other form of group practice? A lot of people are, so we’re going to take a few minutes this week to look at some of the unique issues you need to keep in mind when seeking out and joining an existing coven – as well as what to do if you think you want to start your own! If you prefer to stay a solitary – and many people do – don’t feel left out, because we’ll be discussing that in next Friday’s newsletter!

Benefits of Coven or Group Practice  
While it’s a good idea to never overlook the potential problems of joining a coven or group, it’s also important to recognize that there are many wonderful things you can gain by being part of one. A coven is like a second family – and unlike your real family, you get to choose who is in it with you! Let’s look at some of the reasons you might wish to find a Wiccan coven or other Pagan group to join.

For the rest of this article by Patty Wigington please click on the following link:

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Back to Basics: Getting Started – Part 5

No matter how long you’ve been following a Pagan belief system – or considering following one – it never hurts to go back to the basics occasionally. This gives us an opportunity to recharge ourselves spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. Your end goals may change over time, but whether you’ve been exploring Paganism for two weeks or two decades, it’s always a good idea to remember what drew you here in the first place. Let’s take a look at our five most popular articles for beginning Pagans.

Wicca, Witchcraft or Paganism?

Question: What’s the difference between Paganism, Wicca and Witchcraft?

A reader asks, I met a woman who is a witch, but she says she’s not Wiccan. Then there’s some guy I know who says all Pagans are Wiccans. Even more confusing, this site says Wicca AND Paganism, like it’s two different things. What’s going on?

Answer:

Wicca is a tradition of Witchcraft that was brought to the public byGerald Gardner in the 1950s.

There is a great deal of debate among the Pagan community about whether or not Wicca is truly the same form of Witchcraft that the ancients practiced. Regardless, many people use the terms Wicca and Witchcraft interchangeably.Paganism is an umbrella term used to apply to a number of different earth-based faiths. Wicca falls under that heading, although not all Pagans are Wiccan.

So, in a nutshell, here’s what’s going on. All Wiccans are witches, but not all witches are Wiccans. All Wiccans are Pagans, but not all Pagans are Wiccans. Finally, somewitches are Pagans, but some are not – and some Pagans practice witchcraft, while others choose not to.

 If you’re reading this page, chances are you’re either a Wiccan or Pagan, or you’re someone who’s interested in learning more about the modern Pagan movement. You may be a parent who’s curious about what your child is reading, or you might be someone who is unsatisfied with the spiritual path you’re on right now. Perhaps you’re seeking something more than what you’ve had in the past. You might be someone who’s practiced Wicca or Paganism for years, and who just wants to learn more.

For many people, the embracing of an earth-based spirituality is a feeling of “coming home”. Often, people say that when they first discovered Wicca, they felt like they finally fit in. For others, it’s a journey TO something new, rather than running away from something else.

For the rest of this article by Patty Wigington please click on the following link: http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/wiccaandpaganismbasics/a/WWPDiffs.htm?utm_content=20160202&utm_medium=email&utm_source=exp_nl&utm_campaign=list_paganwiccan&utm_term=list_paganwiccan

Back to Basics: Getting Started – Part 4

No matter how long you’ve been following a Pagan belief system – or considering following one – it never hurts to go back to the basics occasionally. This gives us an opportunity to recharge ourselves spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. Your end goals may change over time, but whether you’ve been exploring Paganism for two weeks or two decades, it’s always a good idea to remember what drew you here in the first place. Let’s take a look at our five most popular articles for beginning Pagans.

5 Mistakes New Pagans Make – and How To Avoid Them

For people new to Pagan spirituality, there is often a sense of elation and joy – after all, you’ve finally found that elusive sense of belonging that you’ve been looking for all this time! However, with that elation and joy sometimes comes bad decision-making rooted in enthusiasm. Here are a few common mistakes that new Pagans – and a few veterans – often make. Let’s take a look at what they are, and how you can avoid these pitfalls and traps.

Back to Basics: Getting Started – Part 3

No matter how long you’ve been following a Pagan belief system – or considering following one – it never hurts to go back to the basics occasionally. This gives us an opportunity to recharge ourselves spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. Your end goals may change over time, but whether you’ve been exploring Paganism for two weeks or two decades, it’s always a good idea to remember what drew you here in the first place. Let’s take a look at our five most popular articles for beginning Pagans.

Basic Principles and Concepts of Wicca

There’s an old saying that if you ask any ten Wiccans about their religion, you’ll get at least fifteen different answers. That’s not far from the truth, because with hundreds of thousands of Americans practicing Wicca today (and the actual numbers are unclear), there are thousands of different Wiccan groups out there. There is no one governing body over Wicca, nor is there a “Bible” that lays down a universal set of guidelines.

While specifics vary from one tradition to the next, there are actually a few ideals and beliefs common to nearly all modern Wiccan groups.

Do keep in mind that this article is primarily focused on Wiccan traditions, rather than on the principles of non-Wiccan Pagan belief systems. Not all Pagans are Wiccans, and not all Pagan traditions have the same set of principles as the core beliefs of modern Wicca.

Origins of Wicca…

For the rest of this article by Patty Wigington please click on the following link: http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/wiccaandpaganismbasics/p/Wiccan_Basics.htm?utm_content=20160202&utm_medium=email&utm_source=exp_nl&utm_campaign=list_paganwiccan&utm_term=list_paganwiccan

Back to Basics: Getting Started – Part 2

No matter how long you’ve been following a Pagan belief system – or considering following one – it never hurts to go back to the basics occasionally. This gives us an opportunity to recharge ourselves spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. Your end goals may change over time, but whether you’ve been exploring Paganism for two weeks or two decades, it’s always a good idea to remember what drew you here in the first place. Let’s take a look at our five most popular articles for beginning Pagans.

10 Facts About Paganism and Wicca

There’s a lot of information out there on Paganism, including but not limited to Wicca, in books, on the Internet, and through local groups. But how much of it is accurate? How do you learn to separate the wheat from the chaff? The fact is, there are several basic things you should understand about Wicca and other forms of Paganism before you make the decision to join a new spiritual path. Let’s eliminate some of the misconceptions and talk about actual facts… it will make your spiritual journey all the more valuable if you understand these issues from the beginning.

1.  Most Pagan Traditions Have Rules

Sure, a lot of people think that just because there’s no Grand High Pagan Council that there must be all kinds of magical carnage going on. Truth is, there are some fairly standard guidelines followed by a number of different Pagantraditions. While they vary from one group to the next, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with some of the concepts. Learn more about the rules of magic before you continue your studies. More »

For the rest of this article by Patty Wigington please click on the following link: http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/wiccaandpaganismbasics/tp/Ten_Basics.htm?utm_content=20160202&utm_medium=email&utm_source=exp_nl&utm_campaign=list_paganwiccan&utm_term=list_paganwiccan

Back to Basics: Getting Started – Part 1

No matter how long you’ve been following a Pagan belief system – or considering following one – it never hurts to go back to the basics occasionally. This gives us an opportunity to recharge ourselves spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. Your end goals may change over time, but whether you’ve been exploring Paganism for two weeks or two decades, it’s always a good idea to remember what drew you here in the first place. Let’s take a look at our five most popular articles for beginning Pagans.

Getting Started as a Pagan or Wiccan

Question: I’m interested in Wicca or some other form of Paganism – how do I get started?

Answer:

That’s a question that comes up a lot, and unfortunately it’s not a simple answer. It’s not like you can just fill out an application and get your handy membership packet. Instead, there are several things you should think about doing.

For starters, evaluate where you stand and what your goals are in studying Paganism or Wicca.

Here are some great tips from our regular readers…

For the rest of this article by Patty Wigington please click on the following link: http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/faq/f/GetStarted.htm?utm_content=20160202&utm_medium=email&utm_source=exp_nl&utm_campaign=list_paganwiccan&utm_term=list_paganwiccan