Wicca V's Celts/Druids

Dudes after dating a new woman she informed me she was wiccan … great i thought. A try hard wanna be who feels she needs to be different by clinging to a loose group.

Anyway i did a little research, apart from a few “spells and laws” it appears very much like todays neo-paganism is a direct rip of of the old Druidic ways.

Yes yes - the christian church stole most of the stuff too - but i was wondering if there is a Wiccan or some one who can advise on the distinct difference between celtic druidism and neo paganism ?

oppps … can you move this to the questiosn forum … sorry.

Hardly anything is known about celtic druidism.
I too would like to know, where this ‘religion’ has suddenly sprung from.
What is Wicca actually based on, apart from Buffy?

From my understand - Wicca - is a perversion of the old earth mother religions - with little to no real differences, exception the fashion and “power” that comes along with it.

Also - The wicca "faith ? " seems to derive its history from questionable sources … like a school pf paranas needed information they adopt information without ever questioning it.

I honestly believe the wiccans are nice people and would never hurt anyone - but i am highly skeptical about tags associated with it.

20, female, NY, Wiccan

What …is it like a fashion statment ?


As opposed to a try hard wannabe who feels she needs to be like everyone else a join and mainstream religion? I do admit that I find modern day paganism to be rather silly at times. On the other hand you can’t get much more silly then believing your sins will be washed away by confessing them to some man on earth who communicates with some invisible man in the sky. Don’t even get me started on the symbolic cannibalism involved in drinking the blood and eating the body of your savior. That’s some wacky stuff. I will do my darndest not to step on anyone’s toes here.


I don’t know, saying it is a direct rip off implies that there’s some solid connection between modern pagans and the various religious beliefs in pre-Christian Western Europe. There isn’t any.

On another note I certainly wouldn’t trust any pagan or druid website for factual information. I’m sure there are some with good information but I’ve seen to many of them that think stonehenge was built by the druids, that pyramids were built by aliens, and that “their people” were oppressed during the Burning Times.


trader_of_shots, I have friends who are Wiccans who are also former Fundamentalist Christians. They consider Wicca to be every bit their faith, and no more a pose or a fashion statement than they did their earlier Christianity. It is certainly not a “perversion of the old earth mother religions” (emphasis mine). Since I’m not a Wiccan, I’ll let someone with more information explain its origins.

Yes, I suspect some people use Wicca as a fashion statement. Then again, I suspect some Christians (not any who post on this board as Christians, BTW), use Christianity as a fashion statement and/or country club.


As with druidism, hardly anything is known about those religions but some names of gods/godesses. No rituals or lithurgy of some sorts have survived, to my knowledge.
How can there be a difference with something unknown?

'Scuse me, Mr. Pot. There’s a negative-albedo object on line 2 calling you black.

Most modern neo-pagan ritual is derived from attempts to reconstruct the pre-Christian religion(s) of Western Europe made in the 19th and 20th centuries. These were based on archaeological evidence, surviving historical documents, and a fair amount of personal interpretation and revelation.

Some neo-pagans claim they follow a tradition which is continuous with the pre-Christian pagans; their explanation is that their religion did not die out, but went underground, passing its beliefs along through oral tradition and limited, highly secret, written documents. I’ve never seen any actual proof of this (and some of the claims made have been flatly unbelievable; one neo-pagan wrote to the Radio Times to claim that there was a written Wiccan tradition going back 25,000 years, or about 17-18,000 years longer than any of the rest of us have had written language.)

Of course, the (probable) recent origins of the Wiccan religion have no bearing on its spiritual validity… I’d like to think that Christianity was no less valid in, say, 200 CE than it is today.

Courtesy of Uncle Cecil -


I sometimes call myself “Wiccan”.

I have no illusions about there being a direct correspondence between my spiritual worldview and that of prechristian Europe, but in practice witch-burnings and the condemning of people as witches and so forth had more to do with attacking departures from orthodoxy regardless of content than with the specifics of what the ‘witches’ believed. (The sincere accusations at any rate; certainly people were accused of and burned as witches for more mundane and cynical reasons. I am including waves of Protestants burning Catholics as witches and Catholics burning Protestants as witches among the sincere ones although even here it was used sometimes just to rip off their land)

The few tatters thought to be remnants of ancient Wicca (the Reade, the sanctity of nature as God) fit with what I believe, but the whole business of being a heretic in an ongoing conflict between nondogmatic unscripted spirituality and canned institutional orthodoxies fits even more so.

In the long run, I use “Wicca/Wiccan” because it is shorter and simpler than saying “I am not an atheist or an agnostic, really, I have beliefs and understandings that are spiritual and cover the same territory addressed by the theologies of major religions, but mine is not yours or any of these others that you have heard about, and may be antithetically opposed to a lot of what you believe” while having much the same effect.

So - wicca is a “faith” based on various source but mainly “pre christian” old earth religions focusing on nature.

I surpose there are devisions amongst the wiccans also ? ( catholic/JW/Mornon/Islamic)

Thanks for the link APB.
It confirmed what I suspected. It’s a fad.
Or to put it more mildly a place where all the people can conglomerate, that don’t believe their traditional religion anymore but still believe there is ‘something’. Give it some legitimacy.

There’s indeed enough wackyness in the Judeo-Chisto-Muslim religion. Why introduce even more, in this case, wiccyness.

Given that Wicca can legitimately chart its orgin back to the turn of the 20th century, and nature-based occultism goes even further, I would hardly call it a fad.

I would be very reluctant to refer to anything that people believe in with all their hearts, souls, and minds as a “fad”, no matter how recent in origin. (Yes, anecdotally, I have met devout Pagans. No, I am not one myself)

Neo-paganism addresses some critical questions facing Western monotheism. For example: [ul][li]What is the place of a woman in spiritual? []What is man and the divine’s relationship to nature? []Why did we dump the ancient gods althogether anyway? Some of them were pretty cool. Dogma? We don’t need no steeenking dogma?[/ul][/li]
As for why, well, why not? As a spirituality goes, it’s no more goofy (except for those sects that try to affect physical change in the world via supernatural means, to the the exclusion of more probable ones, but that’s not what we’re talking about) than most other religions. They aren’t harming themselves or others. At least they aren’t Scientologists.

t-o-s: Due to the lack of concrete dogma or a monolythic hierarchy, one could rightly say there are as many divisions within Neo-Pagansism as their are Pagans. There are also several formal sects of varying philosophy. For example, Asatru is the modern worship of the Norse pantheon. Wiccans tend towards a more universalized Goddess figure, often (but not always) paired with a God figure.

‘Hey dude, it may be completely silly and I only made it up yesterday night but it’s what I BELIEEEEEVE.’

Oh, sorry, it’s a BELIEF. Sorry I laughed at you then.
No gotta respect peoples beliefs.
Have to go now, Pink Unicorn needs more hay.

Buffy - heard of it, but have never seen it, and I had heard of Wicca a long time before hearing of this Buffy television thing.

[qoute]Anyway i did a little research, apart from a few “spells and laws” it appears very much like todays neo-paganism is a direct rip of of the old Druidic ways. [/qoute]

As a druid, I can tell you that you are completely wrong. Wicca is a nature religion as is druidism. Wicca basically takes holidays in beliefs on the natural cycles with special attention to harvests and the full moon. Most of the Wiccans I know have a basic belief similar to Taoism where everything has an equal and opposite. Most wiccans I know personally believe that the gods they worship are quite literal. Wicca as a religion began in the early 1900’s by Gardner and Alexander. I believe that Crowley had some things to do with it as well (I believe he is on the Alexandrian side) but his other works usurped his Wiccan base.

Druidry on the other hand is also a nature religion. However, druidic beliefs can be explained with science, (ie, since the universe is “god” and knowable science will only take time to learn the “answers”). Druidic belief is very animistic, ie, everything has a soul even inanimate objects. The collective of souls in the universe make up divine beings. There is no god just archetypes used to teach lessons through parables, fables, and myths. There is no polarity, everything is a shade of grey. Druidry is significantly older; however, the most recent incarnation began in the late 1800’s. Druidry always had a large emphasis on higher education and works against superstition.

There are a few similarities but they are typically fairly superficial. Both are revisionist religions and based on nature. The basic beliefs are different (animism vs polarity). However, Wicca is an encompassing religion. You can find Egyptian based Wicca, Nordic Based Wicca (Asatru is completely different), Chinese based Wicca, even Super Hero based Wicca (don’t ask, those folks seem really flakey although the religion itself seems pretty cohesive). The druidic philosophy isn’t really rigid since it is so encompassing, it just doesn’t lead to a lot of outer influence like Wicca can.

Perhaps before you make some wild assumptions you should go check out Witchvox and run through their links. They have links to OBOD which is probably the oldest of the druidic orders and too many Wiccan links and articles to count.

Another Wiccan chiming in here. I’m rushed for school but let me suggest two books:

  1. “Drawing Down the Moon” by Margot Adler. Very respectable work with good material about why people practice Wicca.

  2. “Triumph of the Moon” by Ronald Hutton. This is an excellent text for understand the history of Wicca. Hutton’s a very well respected author/historian.

Both of these books are considered well-researched text by scholars and many in the Neo-Pagan community.

More later, when I have the time.

Well, Trader_of_shots, maybe you could try not starting a post with a Shot_across_the_bow. You might get more constructive answers

Regardless of where Wicca or Celtic traditions come from or how they evolved they exist and a great many people who follow these paths are every bit as serious about them as any other religion.

These paths are not unique in having less than perfect origins. Take a look at Scientology or even Methodism or Luthernism. Read a little of the writings by and about the founders of these paths. The founding of Wicca start to sound pretty good.

Very little of Wicca is Celtic. The people who are credited with creating Wicca drew mostly from the Mediteranian for their sources. A great deal of Wicca is based on ancient Grecco/Roman traditions with a little Egyptian and Tutonic thrown in for good measure.

The Celtic Path is based on a northern European tradition. It is true that we know very little of the day to day activities of the Celtic peoples. One major reason for this is that the Celts had a tradition of NOT writing down anything they deemed important. What we do know is the basis for the Reconstructionist Celtic religions. There are actually several good sources for starting to understand the Celtic world as it existed before the Romanization of Europe. Among these are the Celtic myths that survive in Ireland, Scotland and Wales and the Brehan law in Ireland. All of these sources have their roots in pre-Christian times (according to many experts, cites on request) despite the Chritianizing of several as they are passed down to us.

So to sum up. Wicca is a modern religion based on a group of ancient beliefs and practices first combined into a system by its authors. Celtic Reconstructionism is a mordern religion based on the attempt to devine the systems used by the ancient Celts through the study of ancient writings, archeology and the use of personal intuition.

Either you’re an OA or a EOT. Either way, you’re being O.
Sides, belief in the essential order of the universe is as subjective as beleif in Jesus, Jim Jones, or Pan. Since the Wiccans aren’t lobbying to get the Threefold rule taught in physics class, give 'em a break.

OA=Obnoxious Atheist.
EOT=Extremely Obnoxious Theist.