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May 23rd, 2006

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12:45 pm - Pagan Terms
This was written by coz_mcfool on another forum I am on UK Pagan and I thought it was brilliant and summed it all up well. Coz also maintains a good forum Fool's paradox that you may wish to look at. (I know these aren't Australian based sites)

pagan - someone outside of the Abrahamic faiths

Pagan - someone who practices Paganism

Paganism - an umbrella term covering a wide variety of spiritual, philosophical and faith based paths based on, reconstructed from or inspired by the pre-Christian faiths evident particularly in, but not restricted to, the Western world. Any path that identifies with the Pagan umbrella.

Neopaganism - strictly the correct term for Paganism: Paganism in the modern world

Neopagan - someone who follows a Neopagan path:usually abreviated to Pagan

Witch - someone who practices witchcraft. As witchcraft is not strictly religion specific it does not always fall under the Pagan umbrella, though witches are usually accepted as Pagans. Note the term witch does not always have the same meaning in other cultures. Witch may also be a title used by some followers of Wicca

Witchcraft - a set of skills that include but are not limited to; herblore, animal-lore, human psychology, woodlore, magic, animal and human husbandry, astronomy, meteorology, divination (all forms), local history, mythology, alchemy (including how to make perfect meringues); other skills may be included and some excluded. Witchcraft is by and by faith independent but can also incorporate religion as part of its structure and thus ceases to be faith independent.Note witchcraft as defined here is strictly the Western definition, other cultures have other definition that may not correspond.

Hedgewitch - a witch that usually works alone but primarily practices witchcraft and incorporates aspects of shamanism; a witch who walks both sides of the 'hedge'

Wiccan - a follower of Wicca usually taken to be a member of a British Traditional coven and thus able to trace lineage back to Gardner

Wiccan (American Tradition) - a follower of Wicca as published in a variety of books. May belong to a coven that may even have lineage, though it will not trace its line back to Gardner

Solitary Wiccan -
1) a British Tradition Wiccan who has left their coven and now works alone.
2) American Tradition Wiccan who is most likley book learnt

wiccan - derogatory spelling describing someone who follows American Traditional Wicca. Note it seems pointless to use a small w as only Granny Weatherwax would be able to make the difference noticable in speach.

Druid - follower of one of the reconstructed or re-originated belief systems based on the Celtic Druids. Note some druids are little more than a fraternity and are not a religious movement

Shaman - someone who using trancework is able to journey to other realms retrieving information and souls for the betterment of the people under their stewardship. Technically only those from the Tungusk tribes in Siberia are called shamans, though due to humanity's inability to differentiate this term is now applied across the board, even when other terms may be available in the native language

Heathen - a follower of the Northern paths; an umbrella term that covers Asatru, Odinism and all other related Pagan paths.

Eclectic - someone who follows a path forged from their own experience and woven from aspects and skills learnt from other paths. Not someone who cherry picks from other faiths, but someone who does their homework.

Fluffy/Fluff bun/Fluffy Bunny -
1) someone who is new to their path and has yet to grasp all the finer points, a newbie
2) Someone who has developed a pathological blindness to the darker bloodier side of Nature and Paganism. AKA Whitelighter

The Old Ways - any practise harking back to before the onset of Christianity - Wicca in whatever tradition is not included in this description due to it harking back only aroun 60 years

The Craft - often used by Wiccans to describe Wicca. May also be used to describe witchcraft but note the two are not the same

reconstructionist - a path that is reconstructed from what is historically known and extrapolated; someone who follows such a path

Satanist - a follower of one of the many variations of Satanism

Satanism - an umbrella term covering a variety of paths that can be described as worshipping Satan either as a deity, a force or a philosophy. May self identify with Paganism but not usually accepted as covered by the Pagan umbrella. Best seen as a dark reflection of Christianity.

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