Do Pagans worship the Devil?

A big fat ‘NO’ to this one! The Devil is a Christian construct used in the Judeo-Christian religions to deter people from doing bad things. Since Paganism does not come under the banner of Judeo-Christianity, we have no concept of the Devil in our belief system, so the idea of worshipping the Devil is not even an option.

Do you fly around on broomsticks?

Nope – unfortunately, like all human beings, we lack the capacity to fly without the assistance of an aeroplane or helicopter. It would be really handy to be able to fly, however, with these rising petrol prices and it would have such a hugely beneficial impact on the environment.  Besides, you don’t think that if we could fly around on broomsticks, someone would have found out our secret and cashed in on the idea by now?

As a bit of background on how this came about, Witches may use a besom, or broom, to clear negative energy from their space (particularly their sacred space).  Traditionally it was a fertility rite for the land – women would run around their fields  with their brooms (to symbolise strength and straightness of the corn) and jump about to encourage it to grow.  But definitely no flying.

Do you eat babies?

Erm, No.  In fact, a lot of us don’t even eat meat!  Those of us who do eat meat, however, prefer a nice beef steak, chicken fillet or lamb chop – they’re a lot less gristly than those babi… I mean… heh. NEXT QUESTION!

Are Pagans, Wiccans and Witches all hippies?

Ok, you got us there, some of us might be. But Pagans, Wiccans and Witches are not hippies by default. A lot of us are office workers, police officers, doctors, lawyers… heck, some of us are even webdesigning geeks who have nothing better to do with their time but type up FAQs on Paganism! But really, the hippie movement is all a lifestyle choice, not something you buy into when you’re Pagan, Wiccan or a Witch. Oh, and the same goes for Goth culture – you can be a goth and not a Pagan; you can be a Pagan and not a goth.

Are Pagans/Wiccans/Witches all bra-burning feminists?

Nope, not even all the Dianic Wiccans are!  In fact, there are growing numbers of males in the Pagan community.  Most of us worship a Goddess as well as a God, and a lot of people find comfort and understanding in that concept. We don’t believe in one gender being better than the other (with maybe the exception of Dianic paths); we believe in equality between the sexes, and that means that women cannot be ‘so much better’ than men (as much as I think we are, but that’s my personal opinion – and I’m sticking to it!).

Hey, I thought a male witch was called a Warlock?

Well, I hope you haven’t called male witches a warlock lately, and if you have I hope you received a decent slap around the face with a candle snuffer, because the actual meaning of ‘warlock’ is ‘oath-breaker’, which isn’t going to look so hot on your magickal resume. Nope, male Wiccans are called Wiccans, and male witches are called Witches. Nice and easy to remember.

What about green skin, warty noses and pointy hats?

You are looking way too far into the stereotype – haven’t you realised that by now?  The only time when we have green skin is when we might be feeling a little nauseous, and the pointy hats, well, they went out of fashion centuries ago. As for warts, we can still have them, but they’re not always on our noses, and it’s definitely not the sign of a witch. Although, I do have a wart on my finger that’s never really gone away…

What’s with the knife? Is that for practicing sacrifice?

Knife? What knife? I told the officer there was no kn… ohhh, you mean the athame! Well, you should have said so! An athame (pronounced ath-ah-may) is a blunt, usually double edged blade used for ritual. It’s not to ever be used for harming anything or anyone (them’s the rules, people), but rather as a tool for directing energy to its required location, for example while casting circle. As for sacrifice, you obviously haven’t read my article on Magickal Ethics, because Wiccans do not believe in harming anything, at least not intentionally (face it, it would be impossible to go through life without harming anything at all!).  We are bound by karmic law, which states that anything we send out comes back. It’s a good deterrent for anyone thinking of practising human sacrifice, which went out of fashion with the pointy hats.

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