Re: Wicca or Pagen By: NOVUMPACEM / Novice Jan 19, 2012
Post # 6
Pagan is word that comes to us form the Latin words paganus. This was a term used by many Christians to slander the old faiths of Europe. Now and days we use it to refer to any non Judeo Christian (anything other than Islam Judaism and Christianity) faith. Because this term was originally an insult many people who follow one of the original forms of paganism most notably Hellenic Polytheism Religio Romana and Asatru find this term to be insulting. Their arguments in that their faiths are European where as Christianity is a Middle Eastern import.
Wicca is a spiritual path that started in the 1950's with Gerald Gardner. Because Wicca is non Judeo Christian it is a pagan path.
However it is important to remember that every Wiccan is pagan but not every pagan is Wiccan.
Re: Wicca or Pagen By: Brysing Moderator / Adept Jan 20, 2012
Post # 7
Many words have lost their original meaning over the centuries. The Romans in England referred to the "farming" community as Pagan. "Country people",bumpkins,uneducated,peasants.
Heathen merely meant a person who lives on the Heath (Moorland). They usually kept pigs, and did not "till" the land. These were also looked upon by the Romans as "Un-sophisticated",dim-witted.
With the rise of Christianity both words were corrupted to mean "non believers, idolaters, Godless".
Those meanings still exist today. Such is the power of the Catholic Church. It was they who started to use those words to condemn.
Re: Wicca or Pagen By: NOVUMPACEM / Novice Jan 20, 2012
Post # 8
Eh I would not say that the Christians changed the meaning of paganus. Any modern Latin dictionary will tell you it still means countrymen. The Christians saw all pagan faiths as misguided and ignorant like we view the stereotypical rednecks in America. That meaning of paganus has and always will be the same. The English definition used specifically during theological discussion like the one now is any faith that is non Judeo Christian.
Novum one other clarafication as well, Wicca did not start with Gerald Gardner. Though Gardner did highly publicize it, he did not create it. Wicca has existed long before Gardner's birth, and Gardner only accounts for one tradition of Wicca. As the main or most widely known traditions are:
Alexandrian (Alex and Maxine Sanders)
Algard (Mary Neswick)
American Celtic (Jessica Bell)
Australian (Lady Tamara Von Forslun)
Church of Y Tylwyth Teg (Bill Wheeler [Welsh Tradition] )
Circle (Selena Fox)
Deboran (Claudia Haldane [Eclectic Wicca] )
Dianic (Ann Forfreedom)
Frost's (Gavin and Yvonne Frost)
Gardnerian (Dr. Gerald Gardner and Doreen Valiente)
Georgian (George E. Patterson)
Nova-Wicca (Nimue and Duncan)
PectiWita (Aidan Breac [Scottish Solitary] )
Seax-Wica (Raymond and Rosemary Buckland ~ Raymond being the one credited for bringing Wicca to the United States)
Thessalonian (Monte Plaisance)
As you can clearly see Wicca as a whole comes in many traditions and types. The main distinction between Wicca and other Pagan paths is Wicca's coined phrase "harm none".
However Pagan is clearly defined as a practitioner of any non-Christian, non-Muslim, non-Jewish religion. Whereas Wiccan is but one branch under Pagan.
Re: Wicca or Pagen By: Brysing Moderator / Adept Jan 21, 2012
Post # 10
I did not say Christians changed the meaning of the word paganus. I said the Catholic Church used the words Pagan and Heathen as being "Godless". The Catholic Church taught that all and every religion except Christianity was "Godless". ie Pagan, Heathen, idolatry, devil worship.