I’m always surprised when people don’t understand that witchcraft IS under the big pagan umbrella.
“What does this post about witchcraft have to do with paganism?”
“More witch posts? Write about something pagan again!”
“I thought this was Patheos Pagan, not Patheos Witchcraft.”
These quotes from the Patheos Pagan facebook page aren’t exact, but they’re the sentiments I see on a very regular basis. I especially see them on posts like mine and others that have an energetic and/or witchcraft vibe to them. And guess what? I decided to write yet another witchcraft post about it.
The word “pagan” is defined as someone or something that not JudeoChristian or one of the other major world religions. We generally think of Druids, Hellenism, Asatru, Voodoo, Wicca, and other non-JudeoChristian religions when we hear this. According to the definition, witchcraft also meets the criteria of paganism the majority of the time.
Some people think of paganism as a huge umbrella, with several types of polytheists, pantheists, duotheists, and other outsiders beneath it, however they identify. That means that everything outside of the umbrella of paganism is Judeo-Christian.
Witches are definitely under the pagan umbrella.
Of course, not all witches identify as pagan, but that’s beside the point. Unless they’re participating in one of the world’s main religions, they’re pagan by definition, if not by identification. (People have a right to identify however they like, but that doesn’t change what they are on a large scale, which is “not Judeo-Christian.”)
All of this should be common sense logic, but I see comments nearly every day about how “witchcraft is not paganism.” I’ve never met one of these people in real life — they’re the commenters on the Patheos Pagan blog posts. I’m actually not even sure if they’re real people or if they’re Russian bots who are trying to divide the pagan community.
To say “witchcraft isn’t pagan” is another form of gatekeeping, which we’ve already established is tacky. There’s no one person who speaks for all of pagandom. We’re all in this together, and we should start acting like it.
But if anyone still feels this strongly about this issue, I invite them to write an article for the Agora, the central hub for Patheos Pagan articles. It can be anonymous. I’m actually curious about why anyone would think that excluding witchcraft from a pagan blog is a good idea.
In any case, I hope this is an issue that we can put to rest. We don’t all have to get along, but we’re stronger together.