I have seen many people that don't fully understand what is a Pagan and Wiccan. Many don't do the research of them so they just pick Wiccan because it is the newest thing everyone is in to. I have, indeed, tried to post a lesson of this to a coven but the leader of the coven banned me and told me I cannot give that kind of lesson because it is against her believes. Hopefully this will not come again because I am tried of making others upset over my mistakes.
First of all, why choose on being either on? If you do not know yet, there are so many other titles you can chose from. I say titles, because that is the closest term about Pagan, Wicca, Witch, Green Witch, Cyber Witch, and so. But for now I will go on with the lesson.
Paganism isn't really that bad... Yes Pagans almost got washed out by Christians in the past, but that doesn't mean Paganism is bad. There has been so much false info about Pagans that it is nearly hard to find anything about them (even with the net, some of those posts are false). To me, Pagans are the old religion that worship Nature and the Elements. They don't cast very much spells but they do Rites to show Nature how much they respect them and so on. A long time ago, when I was searching who I really am in this Magickal world, I thought of myself as a Wiccan. Why? Because almost all my friends said they were, in fact all of them were. I just thought Wiccan was the only way to be a witch. It wasn't until a year later one of my friends asked me a question what is the difference between a Pagan and a Wiccan. Even tho I have been studying what I can for a year I didn't know the answer. It took me a bloody week to find the correct answer. Then I looked back and I switched out my Wiccan Title for Paganism because it is the closest to what I have been studying.
Like above, Pagans worship Nature. Gaia (Gaea) is really the only Goddess I worship because she is always there and I never forgot about her. I don't worry much about trying to Improve my life, but how I can give Gaia the respect she needs in return of all the beauty she has brought to all of us.
Wiccans are the newer religion, so hint the New Age. Gerald Gardner was the first, I believe, to create this new religion. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Wicca
I am sure that will give you more info than I can. Wicca is the up raising religion and still growing today. Even a few Christians are turning towards this religion. When I was a Wiccan back than the first thing I heard was the quote, Shall Harm None. (Might be off but you get the point). I didn't really understand why they would tell me or any other wiccan to be good. Then it made a little bit more since when they started to talk about casting spells, white vs. dark, grey magick, and so on. After a week, I noticed all Wiccans do is study about spells, maybe Gods and Goddess if they wanted, and how to make their life better.
Wicca isn't bad, it just wasn't for me because I am not very passionate on casting spells for myself. In fact I didn't find any spell that I wanted to cast or needed. Wicca isn't just about casting spells, don't get the wrong idea. Wicca has so much more than that, but when I was in it alone (online wicca friends) it was hard to follow the Sabbats and other holidays. So the only thing left was casting and studying.
Hopefully this helped getting a better understand and encourage you to search for more info on Pagans and Wiccans. I know for no doubt that I cannot give you every last detail about it, but I can give you a stepping stone for you to go on the search.
You were banned? Some people can be so narrow minded...
Well, to be Wiccan is to be Pagan, but to be a Pagan doesn't mean you must be Wiccan. And to practise magick in general, you don't have to be pagan at all.
I get annoyed when people want to enter magick and automatically connect it to Wiccan. It's not that I'm annoyed by the people, but by the Wiccans that attempt to sell their belief as if it's the only way to be a witch, or the "right" way. I try to tell as many as I can that you don't need to be a Wiccan to be a witch.
I am and never will be a Wiccan. In fact, I disagree with them entirely. I won't get into why, I'm sure many here feel the same. The only thing I like about Wicca is their political involvement in making witchcraft more accepted. But let's face it, as long as Christianity rules over the majority of Europe and the Americas, witches will never be entirely accepted in society.
Wicca makes claims of being the "old religion", but it is very new (less than one hundred years old). It has more of a Christian perspective on magick and attracts Christians to the craft or causes them to be less critical. I think this is why Wiccans and other non-wiccan magickal users butt heads quite often.
I guess, I just feel like we need to explain what being Wiccan and other titles a bit more. Yeah a lot of people on this site will get all pissed off if one or two start calling one person the wrong title, but do we every explain?
I try my best to not offend anyone, which is bloody hard, because if one person gets mad than they will not read or/and accept the lesson.
No, what I have read in Idiot's guide to Paganism, The Goddess and Gods in Wiccan is the same as the ones in Paganism. Basically what the book is saying is that Wiccan was made to revive magick (a few agree and a few will disagree on this) but changed up Paganism a bit. That is why Wiccan stands for New Religion.
Not sure if that answers your question, if not then I am dumb.