Recently I decided to create an account with Quora to come up with new content ideas and reach new people. I already have a Quora account, however, I wanted to create one specifically connected to this website.
After setting up my profile, I decided to start searching recent questions in the topic of ‘witchcraft’, and stumbled upon this one:
Why has Wicca become the starter path to witchcraft?
I never really thought Wicca was the ‘starter path’, however, I did understand where OP was getting at. Wicca has felt like it was some kind of ‘starter path’ before newbies (and I say that in a totally non-judgemental way) put in the research and started to see which path they truly felt like they belonged in.
Some of them stayed Wiccan, others moved onto other paths – and that’s okay.
But first – has Wicca really become the ‘starter path’ to witchcraft?
Short answer? For the most part, yes, it has. At least, in my honest opinion, it has.
But to answer this more in-depth, first I need to explain what paganism and Wicca means.
I’ve done a bit of digging, both in actual dictionaries and some online sites, to see what exactly Wicca and Paganism means.
Here is what I’ve gathered:
The definition of Paganism is pretty much broadly defined as any religion or practice that is not Christianity, but typically is polytheistic, or believing in multiple gods/goddesses. But, in some definitions, a Pagan also meant any religion that was not the main world religions, so not just Christianity.
The term pagan, according to some websites, also loosely translated to “Country Dweller” or “Citizens”, and pretty much sounded, and I mean years ago, like it was just some discriminatory slang towards those who didn’t believe in what the other town-people believed in.
Now, I’m not a history nerd, so I don’t know. I could be way out of my depth here, but that’s pretty much what it sounded like to me.
Today, Paganism (or neo-paganism) typically celebrates nature, the Earth, and living creatures. Paganism is basically just a broad term that covers almost everything under the sun (Wiccans, druids, shamans, and so on). However, I think it’s important to state that not all Wiccans are pagans, and of course not all pagans are Wiccans.
For starters, you can be a Wiccan and a Christain, which therefore would not – technically – make you pagan.
OK, that’s kinda confusing, I’ll admit.
Which is why I feel like it’s super important to state, once again, I’m not an expert on this. I don’t have a degree in Theology, just an interest. A slight interest. Maybe more than that?
Wiccans, from what I read, is basically an umbrella term of paganism. However, once again, it seems like you can be Wiccan but also Christian. Then again, doesn’t that still make you pagan? Like I said, confusing.
Wiccanism is a belief system and way of life and is typically peaceful in nature and balanced. They may or may not believe in gods and goddesses. In fact, some Wiccans (or other religions, in general) may believe in multiple gods and goddesses, but only worship one type (or more?).
From my understanding, Wiccans typically believe in the natural law, reincarnation, karma, and the rule of three, which usually means they don’t believe in practicing magick such as Love spells or other types of witchcraft that changes someone’s will.
So, what is witchcraft? What is a witch?
Now, these are questions that are a lot easier to answer.
Witchcraft isn’t a religion. It’s simply a belief and a practice. You can be Christain practicing witchcraft. In fact, technically, the majority of Christians do practice witchcraft without realizing. In fact, the same goes for all religions.
A witch is basically a person, male or female (Yes, the term ‘witch’ is unisex) who practices witchcraft. Of course, someone could simply say they would rather not be called a Witch.
Because that’s the thing with these beliefs.
They are flexible.
You can pick and choose what you believe in. Oh, and the term for that? Eclectic. You choose what you believe in and what feels right from different religions (whether that is reincarnation, karma, the law of three, witchcraft, gods, etc).
In case you didn’t know, I am an eclectic witch, which I like to state many times on this blog because I encourage all of my readers to follow what feels right to them. I simply state what I have learned in my practice, and what I believe. You don’t have to follow my exact path.
So, we defined what paganism and Wicca mean, so let’s get back to the question.
Has Wicca really become the ‘starter path’ to Witchcraft? And what does that even mean?
Have you ever heard of certain drugs being labeled as a “gateway drug”? I used to hear this a lot more with weed (or marijuana) being labeled as a gateway drug to harder drugs. Basically, a person smoking weed is more likely to start doing harder drugs.
Personally, I think that is BS. If anything, Caffeine and Nicotine is the gateway (legal) drugs to Cocaine. But you know, whatever, right?
Wicca is kinda like that, though. It’s the first thing people read about when they search up, “is witchcraft real?” or “is magic real?”. There are so many books on Wicca out there, and at cheap prices too, that those are the first things people dive into. Anyone can write an ebook, slap in some spells, and publish on Amazon.
Not that I’m trying to discredit these ebook authors or anything, because the majority of these authors truly believe in their religion and practices and just want to share what they believe in, but I’m just saying. These kinds of books are a lot more easily accessible and have a really huge search volume.
Oh, and the amount of people that are introduced to witchcraft because they feel the need to lure their ex back into a probably terrible relationship, cast a revenge spell, or simply interfere in someone’s will instead of just solving the problem through mundane means, is a lot. They are typically desperate and looking for anything.
And I get it, casting a love spell is intriguing. Hell, I participated in one (OK, I gave my friend a love spell and it really really backfired. But I was in the room, does that count?) And I’ve learned from my mistakes that magick isn’t the answer to everything, and in fact abusing magick really isn’t a good idea.
Truth is if you are going to practice Witchcraft, do it because you have an interest in it, at the very least. Not because you like power and you can’t put on your big-girl pants (or big-boy) and solve a problem another way.
Maybe a bit, and I’m totally open to you doing you, but at the same time…magick doesn’t do all the work, anyway. (In some cases, though, it feels like it does). So even if you did a love spell on your ex, a lot of times these don’t even work because you aren’t actually willing to meet your ex-partner halfway to solve whatever issue it was that made you broke up, you are unable to communicate, or perhaps you are simply messing with fate.
Yes, it hurts to break up, but that’s just part of life.
But besides Wicca being easily accessible and “popular”, it also can sound intriguing to join a coven, and in some cases, you can’t even learn a certain path until you join the coven.
The truth is, witchcraft is fascinating, amazing, but can also seem a bit ‘boring’ compared to the way TV and movies describe witchcraft. Because of this, there’s a lot of misinformation out there on the world wide web, which is why Wicca (or “Wicca”) can seem like the starter path to witchcraft.
Oh, and I say ‘Wicca’ because most beginners have a tendency to flock towards the stuff that isn’t necessarily real (or just realistic), so they believe they are following a Wiccan path when really, it’s not exactly considered Wicca, is it?
If you confused, know that you are not alone.
This entire article – this entire answer – is filled with technicalities and not-exactly’s, so it’s not like I can really give a yes or no answer.
What do you think?
Has Wicca become the ‘starter path’ to witchcraft?