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Thread: Atheist Paganism equated to just being called a 'witch'?

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    bibliophibian volcaniclastic's Avatar
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    Atheist Paganism equated to just being called a 'witch'?

    There's a post on r/occult (reddit) that asks about what kind of paths people follow. I answered with 'atheist pagan' and somebody said something that kinda bothered me.

    Do you equate being an atheist pagan (or secular humanist, or naturalist pagan, or humanist pagan) to be 'just a witch'? I was a little offended by the remark, which suggested it was just easier to call myself a witch, but I disagree.

    Because I'm not a witch.

    What do you think?
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    Re: Atheist Paganism equated to just being called a 'witch'?

    If you only work magic, I would say you are a witch, but if you do not work magic, or it is not your main practice, than atheist pagan is what you are if that is how you define yourself. Then again, even if you do practice magic and don't consider yourself a witch, than, simply, you are not a witch and that responder is rather presumptuous. Not to mention that pagan and witch, and even atheist, are such widespread terms with several different meanings to the individuals who claim those titles. Hell, I've been talking to an atheist magician/occultist and psionist on another forum that doesn't believe in energy bodies and that sort of thing... I didn't think that was possible!

    Long story short, you are what you are and what you define yourself as through your own beliefs and practices. That's what I think.

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    Re: Atheist Paganism equated to just being called a 'witch'?

    Hell, I'm a Shamanic pagan; I do some energy work and I don't call myself a witch. I *personally* think that the term witch applies to certain specific groups. Pagan of any sort does not automatically equal "witch" in my book. Especially Atheist Pagan. I'd consider the source/group and take it with a Grain of salt. I tried to communicate with the "pagan" people on Gaia Online once. Once. Big mistake. Reddit, albeit a different demographic, ranks up there among troll haven and I wouldn't go there myself looking for meaningful discussion. But I'm also very biased. I like PF over any other place. :P
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    Re: Atheist Paganism equated to just being called a 'witch'?

    No.
    I've dealt with spellcasters that don't acknowledge gods and don't take up the title witch and I've met atheists that adopt elements of pagan philosophy withput much in the way of craftwork.Combining both of those groups and several more theistic groups under the single banner of witch doesn't seem useful to me.
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    Re: Atheist Paganism equated to just being called a 'witch'?

    Yeah, okay. See, that's what I thought too, but I wasn't sure if I was the only person who had that view point. The argument brought up was that I was 'misleading' people by saying I was pagan because it automatically implies polytheism, and therefore, atheist paganism is an oxymoron.

    I thought the dude was an oxy-moron, personally, but I thought I'd have a double-check just in case I was the one in the wrong. Heaven forbid a pagan use the wrong terminology!

    Quote Originally Posted by Juniper View Post
    Hell, I'm a Shamanic pagan; I do some energy work and I don't call myself a witch. I *personally* think that the term witch applies to certain specific groups. Pagan of any sort does not automatically equal "witch" in my book. Especially Atheist Pagan. I'd consider the source/group and take it with a Grain of salt. I tried to communicate with the "pagan" people on Gaia Online once. Once. Big mistake. Reddit, albeit a different demographic, ranks up there among troll haven and I wouldn't go there myself looking for meaningful discussion. But I'm also very biased. I like PF over any other place. :P
    I agree. I'm not on the pagan subreddits for their meaningful discussion. I usually just comment once in a while to help a fellow out. PF is the only pagan forum for meeeee!
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    Re: Atheist Paganism equated to just being called a 'witch'?

    Quote Originally Posted by volcaniclastic View Post
    Yeah, okay. See, that's what I thought too, but I wasn't sure if I was the only person who had that view point. The argument brought up was that I was 'misleading' people by saying I was pagan because it automatically implies polytheism, and therefore, atheist paganism is an oxymoron.

    I thought the dude was an oxy-moron, personally, but I thought I'd have a double-check just in case I was the one in the wrong. Heaven forbid a pagan use the wrong terminology!
    Oxymoron always reminds me of Renaissance Man.



    Quote Originally Posted by volcaniclastic View Post
    I agree. I'm not on the pagan subreddits for their meaningful discussion. I usually just comment once in a while to help a fellow out. PF is the only pagan forum for meeeee!
    Woot woot!!!
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    Re: Atheist Paganism equated to just being called a 'witch'?

    Out of curiosity, what do you mean when you define yourself as an 'atheistic pagan'? It sounds to me like you mean that you follow the ideals/interests/lifestyles that would generally be considered pagan, but don't believe the deities involved? Or possibly believe, but don't worship them?

    As for the 'witch' thing, I don't think it fits at all. To me, the label of Witch isn't a spiritual or cultural one, but a title designated to those who's magical or other occult practices conforms to a particular category.

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    Re: Atheist Paganism equated to just being called a 'witch'?

    Atheist pagan most certainly does not mean "witch". If you practice some form of magick, you are a witch, and I certainly don't see that as fundamental to being an atheistic pagan. Whoever said that probably didn't know what they were talking about.

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    Nope, a witch is someone that practices witchcraft and self-identifies as a witch. There most certainly is a subset of Paganism that is atheistic, humanistic, naturalistic, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aeran View Post
    Out of curiosity, what do you mean when you define yourself as an 'atheistic pagan'? It sounds to me like you mean that you follow the ideals/interests/lifestyles that would generally be considered pagan, but don't believe the deities involved? Or possibly believe, but don't worship them?
    Not speaking for V here, but for a number of people, this would be an accurate summary.
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    Re: Atheist Paganism equated to just being called a 'witch'?

    I have never heard of an atheist pagan, so I wouldn't have called you a witch, if it's any comfort. I would have just said, "huh? how can you be an atheist pagan?"

    It only makes sense to me if you're "pagan" in the sense of "not of the abrahamic religions".

    I'm sure it might make sense to me if explained, but my first reaction would be "huh?" not "omg, ur a witch and you better call yourself one!" lol.

    I don't know how it's anyone else's business what you call yourself, though.

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