Return to Cauldron Home Page

Please donate now to pay our monthly server fees:
Donate to The Cauldron
[More Info]

Community Menu
Community Home

Message Board
Board Home
Board Rules
Board Extras:

CauldronMUX [Client]
Sister Forums:
   Asatru Lore


Site Info & Rules
Site Archives
Volunteers Needed
Advertise Here

Pagan Supplies
Buy Pagan Books
Buy Pagan Supplies

Books & Media
Books Home
Games Home
Music: Free | Pagan
Online Books
Pagan Book Browser
   Academic Books
   Divination Decks
   Fiction Books
   Pagan Books
   Speculative Books
   DVD & Videotape
Submit Review

Pagan Features
Article Library
Chat Log Index
File Library
Pagan Holidays
Pagan Primer
Pagan Rituals
Pagan Supplies
Pagan Youth
Spell Grimoire [Blog]
Web Resources

Pagan Living
Cauldron Cookbook
Take Political Action

Back Issues

Other Features
Greeting Cards
Syndicated Articles
World News/Opinion

Cheap Web Hosting
Doxy's Bazaar
Witchcraft Course

Old Indexes
Article Index
Webcrafting Index

Network Sites
Cauldron and Candle
Cauldron's Grimoire
RetroRoleplaying: The Blog
Software Gadgets
The Terran Empire

Site Search
Entire Web
The Cauldron

Member - Pagan Forum Alliance
Charter Member

Get Firefox! While this web site is designed to work in all major browsers, we recommend Firefox.

This site hosted on
a Linode VPS
Formerly hosted by

Why Use Dreamhost?

Site copyright
© 1998-2009
by Randall

Home > Pagan Primer > Common Questions About Paganism Search

Common Questions
About Paganism

by Sasha

If you are just discovering paganism, the wealth of information may seem overwhelming. I have compiled a list of questions that are often heard from newcomers. These are broad questions that can be hard to answer with specific information tailored to each individual. Hopefully, this FAQ will give you information you can use to narrow down your search.

Question: Where do I start?

This is a near-universal question. I recommend a little introspection. Are you looking for a religion (consisting of worship of deities) or are you interested in a magical craft? While some pagan religions blend the two, many do not. Pagan religions range from reconstructionist to eclectic. Many practice witchcraft or ceremonial magic without religious overtones. Where do your interests lie?

Becoming familiar with the lingo of paganism and the definitions of often-used terms is important. You will discover that definitions vary (and often result in heated arguments). As you are starting out, learning to differentiate between pagan, Wiccan, and witch is important. Which leads us to the next question. . .

Question: What is the difference between a pagan, Wiccan, and witch?

Contrary to the opinion of some popular authors, the terms are not synonymous. Paganism is often used as an umbrella term to describe pagan religions. Wicca is but one of these religions. Reconstructionist religions (Hellenismos, Asatru, Kemeticism, etc.) are another kind. Wicca and recon religions have very little in common with each other as religious practices. Still other types of pagan religions exist, such as Gywddon, Feri, Discordianism, and Satanism.

Wicca is one practice of religious witchcraft. (Dianic paganism is often considered another.) While all Wiccans are witches, not all witches are Wiccans (or even pagan). Witchcraft can be practiced in conjunction with any compatible religion, or as a practice unto itself.

Question: Do all pagans follow the rede?

No. Each religion has its own system of ethics, many of which are antithetical to "harming none." Also, Wiccans themselves disagree as to the meaning and importance of the rede. Many note that "harm none" is a shortened version that does not faithfully encompass the whole poem's meaning. There is a wealth of articles on the web that provide more information.

Question: How can I find a coven or group to practice with?

The first stop for finding someone in your area is to visit The Witches' Voice. Their directory is the most complete one on the web, especially for Wicca. However, many people are not listed in the directory. If you live in a rural area, it may be difficult to find someone to practice with. If you do find someone, he or she may not have the same beliefs or practices that you do.

Patience is a virtue in finding a coven or group. It may mean networking or searching for a long time to find the group that you fit with. It may be best to remain solitary rather than becoming part of a group that does not meet your needs, or, even worse, is unethical.

Question: The coven I found says I'm too young. Now what?

Many covens and groups have an age requirement due to legal fears. Some have the limit because they feel that an underage person does not have enough maturity to practice with them. Whatever the reason, don't be discouraged: the religion will still exist when you are older.

Many of our members have excellent ideas for how you can begin your training while still underage. Sana's page, "An Open Letter to Young Seekers", is pertinent for aspiring Wiccans, although some of her advice applies to other religions as well. Ready mythology and history, learn languages. Being well-read will give you an excellent foundation for future pagan studies (and it doesn't hurt for other aspects of your life, either!).

Question: What are your beliefs in deity?

A. There are many kinds of belief. Some believe in the gods as archetypes. Others believe that gods have many facets and that all gods are really one. Still others believe that each god is a separate and distinct entity. These are just three types of belief. Others include monotheism, pantheism, and henotheism.

Exploring how you see deity may help you in your search to find the religion that best fits you. For example, reconstructionists tend to be overwhelmingly hard polytheists.

Question: How do I determine which god(dess) to worship?

A. There are many ways to connect with deity. On the historical level, a first step includes reading the myths associated with those gods that you are interested in. Read modern takes on myths and talk with people who worship those gods today. This may be difficult if you are interested in a culture with few written records or have been called by a deity whose name you don't know. Praying to that deity and honoring him or her will help you develop a relationship with that deity.

Many will tell you that you don't choose which deity to worship; the deity will choose you. Don't feel disappointed if this doesn't happen right away (or ever). Some pagans don't ever get called by a particular deity.

Keep in mind that you might not end up worshipping the deity (or pantheon) that you initially chose. This is a common occurrence as well.

Top | Home | Message Board | Site Info & Rules | Report Site Problems
Thanks to Cauldron Sponsors
(Sponsor The Cauldron!)

Cheap Web Hosting Report | Pagan & Magick Supplies
Witchcraft Course
Download Hundreds of Magic Spells