There are some good Pagan stuff and meetups happening in New
The Talking Stick Moots in Auckland
The Guardian Elm Circle in Auckland
Inquisitive Witches Meetups in Auckland
The Magick Earth
festivals (now known as MEF) around the North Island
Yearly Pagan festival and regular Meetups happening in
Facebook group "Pagans of New Zealand"
Facebook group "Wicca Aotearoa"
Stratford Pagan group - For now we are an all female group.
We come together for rituals and we take turns teaching and
leading the group. Please call Sandra for more information and
the time and place of the meeting 027 2824197.
The Following is an Excerpt from PAN - the Pagan Awareness
Network of Australia
Who or What is a Pagan?
Pagan (from Latin) means ‘country dweller’
Heathen (from German) means ‘dweller on the heath’.
In the past, these words were used to refer to anyone who
followed an older set of beliefs.
Nowadays the words Pagan and Heathen have been reclaimed and are
used in a positive
way by modern-day Pagans who are of many different religious and
spiritual walks of life.
Paganism is not a singular or uniform belief system. It is a
term with a broad application
and can cover a number of different belief systems, including
Druidry, Wicca, Witchcraft,
Goddess-worship plus many others. Being Pagan means a belief in
the cycles of nature.
Paganism is often referred to as being earth based. It is
positive and life-affirming. The use
of spells or magick in Paganism reflects this healthy attitude.
A General Rule of Thumb:
Not all Pagans are Witches
Not all Pagans are Wiccan
Not all Pagans use Magick
Pagans are diversified: Pagans come from different backgrounds
and from all walks of life. Pagans are police officers, nurses,
doctors, lawyers, teachers, etc.
Paganism DOES NOT discriminate according to race, ethnicity,
moral or religious creeds, sexual orientation, etc.
Paganism IS inclusive, tolerant and non-proselytising
Introduction to Witchcraft
Witchcraft is, essentially, the use of folk magic; the use
charms, herbs, incantations, simple rituals, etc for a
particular effect such as healing or blessings.
Anthropologically speaking, Witchcraft is a near universal
phenomenon, found in every culture and throughout history. It is
not a distinct or universal religion as such. It usually exists
within a larger cultural or religious situation such as
Paganism and/or Wicca and the rituals, symbols and customs
Therefore, a modern Pagan can practice Witchcraft and be a Witch
independently of Wicca. Many Wiccans also practice Witchcraft
and are Witches, but many Wiccans also do not practice
Witchcraft nor consider themselves Witches. Wicca is a distinct
religion; it has theologies, rituals and customs of its own.
This differentiates it from other Pagan and non-Pagan belief
Wicca draws its name from an older word for ‘witch’ and
hence the common confusion between Wicca and Witchcraft. Wicca
can be traced back to the early- to mid-twentieth century and is
usually accepted as being founded by Gerald Gardner.
Claiming to be Wiccan without attempting to learn the heritage
and origins of the Wicca can often mean missing the point of it
altogether. Further, there is a risk in being unable to
adequately defend Wiccan beliefs or educate others about the
history and the heritage of Wicca. If a seeker on the Pagan path
wishes to become Wiccan, ensure that the beliefs and practices
of Wicca (and the particular tradition of Wicca) are in
alignment with what the seeker requires from a Pagan belief
Some traditional teachings of Wicca state that it takes
a year-and-a-day before initiation into Wicca can happen, so the
student will be expected to study as hard and as seriously as
they would in conversion to any other religion.
This “year-and-a-day” is not necessary for becoming a Pagan or a
If a person wants to become a Pagan or a Witch they could
perform a rite of self-dedication; a simple ceremony where they
may dedicate themselves to their chosen Deity/Deities or their
Pagan path. This ‘rite of passage’ symbolically marks their
commitment to their personal Pagan path.
Many spiritual and
occult paths have the ultimate aim of personal transformation.
Pagans, Witches and Wiccans can equally achieve personal
A practitioner of Wicca, either male or female,
is a Wiccan. A practitioner of Witchcraft, either male or
female, is a Witch. Though many Wiccans and Witches may prefer
to exclusively worship a Goddess, a God
or both, this does not necessarily imply any gender inequalities
within Paganism as both are held as sacred.
Essentially, there are 3 main categories of Witch:
• Pagan Witches, those who are not Wiccan
• Wiccans who are also Witches (however not all Wiccans consider
themselves as Witches)
• Non-Pagan Witches (which is beyond the scope of this overview.
However, as they potentially might all refer to themselves
as “Witches”, the need to understand one from another is
important for clarity and to help recognise a suitable personal
Not all Wiccans are Witches
Not all Witches are Wiccan
Not all Witches are Pagan
All Wiccans are Pagan
Not all Pagans are Wiccan
Not all Pagans are Witches
Modern Pagan witchcraft
Modern Pagan Witchcraft is a broad term, covering many different
types of beliefs and practices. Despite the varieties, it is a
positive and life-affirming path for the individual. The
definition of Witchcraft is an entirely personal one; each Witch
or collective of Witches will often have different opinions to
the next. The arts of “Witchcraft” can refer to many things,
most commonly the practice of divination, spell work, healing,
soothsaying, herbal knowledge, midwifery, and so on. Often there
is an overlap with many shamanistic practices. These are all
traditional and venerable practices and abilities.
taint on the word Witch or Witchcraft is a relic from history
and is nothing to do with modern approaches to Witchcraft
or Wicca. In a modern Paganism, Witchcraft practices could be
done to honour a particular season, for good health, for
agricultural or domestic blessings, in honour of a Deity or
ancestors, to be guided/protected by deities, or for insight
when making life changing decisions. Most Pagan Witches today
adopted Witchcraft in adulthood. Often they feel their childhood
experiences are harmonious with their adult Pagan beliefs.
However in future, it will be more and more common to find
people who are reared as Pagans, Witches or Wiccans from birth
by their parents and wider families/communities.
WICCA Wicca is
a distinct Pagan religion with many different traditions within.
It was founded in the 20th Century by Gerald Gardner, who was
inspired by the theories of Margaret Murray, notions of reviving
pre-Christian traditions, Ceremonial Magic and Freemasonry,
amongst other things. It is the most visible of the different
Pagan paths as it’s had the most exposure to the general public
through media reports, movies and popular tv shows. The two
words, Wicca and Witch, are often used interchangeably but any
representation in the media or by the entertainment industry
does not necessarily reflect everyday Wiccans or Witches.
Despite the range and difference in Wiccan traditions, Wicca can
be summarised to include some of the following (though this is
• the law of Threefold Return
• the Wiccan Rede
• a God and a Goddess
• 8 holidays of the Wheel of the Year (Sabbats)
• celebrate Full Moons (Esbats)
• create sacred space though casting a Circle
It must be remembered that not all Wiccans utilise Magick and
not all Wiccans consider themselves ‘Witches’. All Wiccans are
Pagan. In Australia and NZ, Wiccans usually cast their circles
anti-clockwise (sunwise) and celebrate the Sabbats according to
the southern seasons, but there are some who might prefer to
keep to the traditional Northern Hemisphere directions. Wicca is
often described as a modern day initiatory Mystery religion.
Many traditions may require a would-be Wiccan to be initiated
via a coven, however many Wiccans also recognise and accept
self-initiation/ self-dedication as valid entry into the path.
Traditional Wicca: Usually refers to Gardnerian or Alexandrian
Wicca. The practitioners practice Wicca as laid out by Gardner
or Saunders with little deviation.
Eclectic Wicca: Wiccans who
incorporate practices or techniques from non-Wiccan and
sometimes non-Pagan sources.