No. All witches are not pagans.
Some witches are pagans.
Some pagans are witches.
Once you dip your toes into the world of spirituality, you will find an amazing mix and match of preferences, perceptions, and belief systems rooted in a deep and intense faith.
So let’s get to understanding these terms.
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What Is a Pagan?
Paganism goes back to the beginning of time.
Since literally we could talk and communicate, we have created religions.
And the definition of paganism is the belief in a god outside of the mainstream religions.
Basically, if belief in a god outside of the organized religions – Christianity, Judaism, or Muslim, or any of their offshoots – you are a pagan.
And just to be clear, those three religions, often referred to as “the big 3,” all believe in the same god.
The god of Abraham.
Followers of the big 3 believe that their god is the only god, which is what their scripture prescribes.
The Bible says, “place no other gods before me.”
They go so far as to call those of us who are not adherents of Christianity, Judaism, or the Muslim faith “infidels,” or the unfaithful.
Other gods are placed on a lower scale, ridiculed, shamed, and persecuted.
And the followers of other religions are often considered worthy of execution.
And of course, it has always been so.
Religion in many cases divides.
Christians and Pagans
Before Christianity was adopted as the primary religion of the Roman Empire, Christians were quite literally fed to the lions in the Gladiator days.
However, once Christianity was adopted, all other religions were deemed “pagan” and unworthy.
Judaism was often an exception because it was the religion from which Christianity emerged.
Remember that Jesus was a Jew in the Roman Empire, teaching tolerance, social justice, and love to all.
His betrayal by the Jews and his crucifixion by the Roman Empire made him a martyr, and his followers, followers of the Christ, became known as Christians.
But Jesus all along was just a Jewish man preaching a more open and accepting version of his own religion. He was never fighting against Judaism, merely offering a new way of looking at God.
And the Jews at the time were the pagans.
The Romans were the followers of many gods – Jupiter, Minerva, Mercury, Juno, and so on – who themselves were adapted from the Greek Empire that came before the Roman invasion.
The Greek gods are the ones we most recognize from mythology – Zeus, Hera, Apollo, Diana, Hermes, and so on.
And what makes the Greek gods a part of mythology and the god of Abraham the primary focal point of a religion?
Time. The State. The people.
Really it is that simple.
Two thousand years from now, we could very easily be talking about Christian and Jewish mythology, and how their followers were the pagans.
So paganism, really, is a matter of perception.
What Is a Witch?
The term witch is just as tricky as the word pagan.
It changes based on perception, based on time, based on the state, based on people.
When I call myself a witch I am referring to my work with Universal forces like nature and the law of attraction.
I make teas for health and wellness remedies.
I manifest my own reality.
But some people call themselves witches because they belong to a religion called Wicca, which is a very new religion designed by a small handful of people who wanted to be gatekeepers of the term witch.
Well, too bad.
And yes, there are witches who only wear black, including nails and lips, who howl at the moon (I mean, don’t knock it til you try it) and who practice blood sacrifice (gross).
There are also witches who are Christians, witches who are atheists, and witches who are pagans.
What Is a Pagan Witch?
The most common witch throughout history has been a pagan witch.
Of course, not all pagans are witches just as not all witches are pagans, but this the most likely combination of these two terms.
You see, in general, witches are practitioners of healing, of wellness, of spirituality, and they are connected to their own spirits and the spirit world in ways many people are not, and to be honest, don’t want to be.
A witch is empowered, is open minded, is self-loving, and is deeply self-aware.
These things are not easy, so it takes a lot for someone to call herself a witch.
Indeed, long ago witches established the rule of three, which was the original “first do no harm” creed.
It says that for everything you put out into the world, expect to get it back threefold.
Which is why we aim to do no harm.
Whatever energy you work with will multiply, without a doubt.
Thanks to science, we now know this to be a fact.
A pagan witch is often one who works with herbs and other plants, who is a lover of all life and who, if she eats meat, ensures the meat she consumes comes from a humane farm or ranch, or is hunted in a sustainable way.
She understands that we are all connected under one Source Energy, that the Universe has her back, and that losing touch with nature means losing touch with herself.
So, she spends a ton of time in nature, she honors the seasons and the cycles of the moon, and she practices self-care more than any other ritual.
Because she knows she cannot serve from an empty vessel.
In terms of magic?
Her magic is highly practical, and all based on her power to influence.
She knows deep down that all she has to do is believe, and she will bring it into reality.
Other Kinds of Witches
There are, of course, other kinds of witches, but they are often too rigid or too loose to be considered a pagan witch.
Religious witches, those that follow organized religions like Christianity or even Wicca, tend to be locked into unbending rites and rituals, not allowing for enough chaos.
Chaos and Order
You see, chaos is essential to magic, though it must be balanced with order.
As Jordan Peterson rightly points out, too much order will not allow for the creativity that stems from choas, but too much chaos leads to nihilism and total destruction.
The natural forces of the Universe are always working to bring the two into balance.
And a pagan witch knows this.
Religious witches, and even atheist witches, along with other people in the world, tend to forget the power of this balance.
This balance says, “everything is perfect right now and I will write my destiny as it unfolds.”
It is the perfect combination of surrender and intention.
How to Tell if Witchcraft Is Right for You
If you’ve been wondering if you might be a pagan witch, you are not alone.
And fear not, you do not have to call yourself a pagan or a witch.
I am the only one among all of my friends and colleagues who actually identifies out loud as a witch or a pagan.
These terms have too much shock value to appeal to many.
Which, of course, is why they appeal to me.
But you can be a pagan witch without calling yourself one.
The first and most important thing you can do is meditate.
The Power of Meditation
Everyone I have ever known or read who has deep spiritual insight and intense self-awareness encourages meditation.
From Eckhart Tolle to Caroline Myss, these teachers show the power of meditation when it comes to finding your path and discovering who you are meant to be in this lifetime.
When you sit for meditation, aim to sit before you do anything else in the day, find a quiet place, and just be still for 20 minutes.
I have always loved the expression that prayer is asking, and meditation is listening for the answer.
So sit in prayer at night before bed, ask for guidance, and know that, really, you are asking yourself, your intuition, your higher power.
Then, in the morning, sit for meditation.
Do a full body scan, from your crown chakra to your root chakra, open yourself up to all possibilities and potentialities, and then just clear yourself out.
When you find your mind wandering, simply bring yourself back to center without judgement.
This practice is one most people in the world are too afraid to do.
Too afraid to sit with yourself, to be alone with yourself, and potentially see your own darkness.
It can be scary.
It can make you angry.
It can make you frustrated.
Then it will set you free.
And you might find, after all, that the idea of being a pagan witch is much more appealing than you ever thought it might be.
But at least you will know yourself better, and that is the entire purpose of awakening in this lifetime after all.