Wicca - An alternate and often preferred, name for the religion of neo-pagan witchcraft. Many witches prefer to call themselves Wiccans rather than witches and say they practice wicca, rather than witchcraft because the words do not carry the negative stereotypes attached to witch and witchcraft. The terms Wicca and Wiccan distinguish practitioners of Neo-pagan witchcraft from practitioners of folk Magic and Other forms of witchcraft. they signify an organized religion with a set of beliefs, tenets, laws, ethics, holy days and rituals.
Some Wiccans believe that Wicca is derived from the Old English terms "Wita" which means "Councilor" or "Wis" Which means "Wise". In fact, Wicca is Old English for "Witch" as is the Old English term "Wicce". Wiccian means "To Work Sorcery" and "To Be-Witch". Still another Old English term "Wican" Means "To Bend". In the sense that Witches use magic to Influence events, Wicca and Wiccan Therefore appropriate terms.
By: Lark Moderator / Knowledgeable Aug 29, 2012
Post # 3
I will point out that not all modern Witches are Wiccans. Many follow a somewhat different way of practice that may or may not include the religious practices seen in Wicca. Some Witches would be highly insulted if referred to as "Wiccan".
Wicca, is of course, far more than simply the practice of magic or witchcraft. It is a very specific religious practice which happens to include the practice of witchcraft in its belief system. Wiccans did no choose the title of "Wicca" to because it was more acceptable than "Witch". Gardner chose the term "of the Wica" to refer to the practitioners of the religion into which he was initiated. The religion which the Wica follow is actually only referred to as "the Old Religion", but it has been popularized under the title of Wicca.
One addition on the source of the word "Wicca". In Old English/Anglo-Saxon "Wicce" was a female witch while "Wicca" was a male witch