The Big Pagan Umbrella Covers Witchcraft Too, Whether You Like It Or Not

The Big Pagan Umbrella Covers Witchcraft Too, Whether You Like It Or Not August 12, 2019
pagan umbrella witches
Photo CCO Pixabay 

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.


The dreaded gate! Photo CC0 Public Domain

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.

~ Align with Starlight Witch ~

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About Astrea
Astrea is the author of Intuitive Witchcraft: How To Use Intuition To Elevate Your Craft (Llewellyn Worldwide). She also leads the fire dancing group Aurora Fire and stirs up magic for the Blessed Be Box, the service that ships a "ritual in a box" with all vegan and cruelty-free items. You can read more about the author here.
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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • kenofken

    Witchcraft may or may not belong on a Pagan blog, depending mostly on whether the practitioners of a given tradition of witchcraft identify as Pagan. There are traditions of magick within Abrahamic faiths, but that fact does not make them Pagan. Nor does the simple fact of falling outside of the Jude-Christian-Islamic spectrum. A great many indigenous and non-Western forms of witchcraft exist, and few, if any, of them would care to be identified as part of Anglo-American neo-Pagan tradition. That doesn’t mean they should never be written about on a Pagan blog, but they’re not under our “umbrella” and nor should we try to force it to fit.

    • YuOfOwari22

      But the comments aren’t from their perspective? They are from the perspective of commenters who don’t want “witchcraft” posts to be in a Pagan feed. If the poster themselves doesn’t tag the post as Pagan, then there isn’t an issue. I believe this blog is talking about witchcraft posts tagged to go into a Pagan-related feed, which are then receiving flack from commenters about it being improperly tagged. So, if the OP felt it should be tagged and shared to the Pagan community, and the commenters are the ones who want the “two” topics divided, that is the issue. A person posting about a type of witchcraft in a non-Pagan info feed of their own volition would not even be included in this equation. It is the attempt to separate from people who themselves feel are part of our community that is the problem.

  • Brent Dannells

    I identify myself as being more of a Druid (I recently joined OBOD), but I have several books by Starhawk on my shelves, as well Raymond Buckland’s “Wicca for One” and Doreen Valiente’s “Rebirth of Witchcraft.” I am puzzled by people who consider Witchcraft not Pagan. The word Pagan came from the Latin word for rural dwellers, and was used by Christians starting in the 4th century, because people in the “boondocks” were more likely to follow the “Old Ways.” Whatever your take on how much Gerald Gardner actually drew from the “Old Ways” in his revival of witchcraft, he was at the forefront of the Neo-Pagan revival. Leaving o witchcraft out of the Pagan umbrella, would be like a Christian Ecumenical Council leaving out the Episcopalians. They even include Unitarians!

  • JenniWest

    Even among the most traditionally accepting, tolerant and inclusive humans on earth, I guess we simply cannot resist some primal caveman need to divide, label and separate ourselves and EXclude. I’m a little tired of being labeled by others in the practice/craft. Or being told where I belong or don’t belong. Please stop. Get it together.

  • DarkNJuju

    I am sorry I am not Russian NOR am I a bot. I am a witch who has no connection to the pagan community nor do I feel a true need to go from worshiping a blonde hair blue eyed Jesus to a European Lord and Lady. I know. True people use the word witch as a label but it is actual a verb. It is a set of practices that certain people in a community do to become closer to the spirits of that community. It could be closer to the gods, goddesses and even ancestors but Witch is a title for a craft person who gets closer to the cultural spirits of that community. To see people talking about the main European ideas of the pagan belief system knowing I am not part of ANY of that let me know that you are still very close to the Christian church. A lot closer than you think.

    • Astrea Taylor

      Sorry, DarnNJuju, I meant no harm with my post. I too rebel against the European ‘Lord and Lady,’ and Wicca, and I certainly do not like Christianity, and never have. I understand that not all witches identify as Pagan. My post was meant to defend witches against the Pagan people who are trying to kick them out of the community.

      • Thank you but they cant evict you from the house you built. You too are a witch as I tell people it is a craft like any other you have to practice in order to be good. Then pass your knowledge to others.