Are witches pagan? Often it’s taken for granted that they are. but is it true? Lets look at the definitions of each. Witch: 1. a person, now especially a woman, who professes or is supposed to practice magic, especially black magic or the black art; sorceress. Okay it’s a person who says they practice magic or people suppose practices sorcery.
Most people who are witches fit into one of the definitions of Pagan: 1. one of a people or community observing a polytheistic religion, as the ancient Romans and Greeks.
2. a person who is not a Christian, Jew, or Muslim.
3. an irreligious or hedonistic person.
Obviously they are not the same, the pagan definition doesn’t share any major terms with the witch definition.
And there are some religious, Christian, Jewish, or Muslim people who profess to practice magic, including malefic magic. Look, all three of the main abrahamic holy texts forbid sorcery, but they also forbid a lot of things many faithful abrahamics do anyways: Pre-marital sex, women showing their hair in services, swearing, all kinds of things. Are Christian, Jewish and Muslim people who do those things and think its okay suddenly pagan? Or are they still religious, abrahamics? There isn’t an expectation in these religions that people actually will follow the rules. It’s written right into the books in the religions ways to deal with the majority of the religionists breaking the rules constantly. So just not following every line of those holy books doesn’t make a abrahamics religionists pagan. Also lots of religionists just find ways to interpret these holy books that support their personal beliefs that these things are good to not bad. So no, on several levels witch is not synonyms with pagan. But in general most witches fit one of the definitions of pagan. So it’s an easy mistake to make.
On the other hand, Wiccans are pagan witches. Wicca is a witch cult serving a particular god and a particular goddess. That fits tightly under the polytheist definition of pagan. Since the earliest public exposure from the repeal of the witchcraft laws, Wicca has been a god and goddess witch cult. The god and goddess of Wicca are witch gods. The means to interact with them are witchcraft and magic. Wiccans profess to and are supposed to practice magic. Wicca is just new spelling of an old English or Anglo Saxon word for witch.