Can anyone help me understand the similarities of paganism,wicca & witchcraft to Native American religions?

Question by Sister Spirit Wolf Missy: Can anyone help me understand the similarities of paganism,wicca & witchcraft to Native American religions?
Just a curious Christian Cherokee Indian studying religions that fascinate me.
Not here to judge anyone. Or preach. just willing to learn.

Best answer:

Answer by John
They believe in something real,but give it human like characteristics.

Give your answer to this question below!


  1. Paganism was basically the European counterpart, the native tribal religions of another continent.

    Like with Native American tribes, the beliefs/myths/practices vary among them. Also like Native American tribes, they were mostly oral traditions and nearly wiped out, either by decimation or conversion/adaption. What they do have in common is a reverence for the Earth and all things in it, and a spiritual believe that there is something beyond the physical realm (a higher power, a soul, a connection between all things, etc).

    Witchcraft is simply the practice of magic, mainly “low” or “nature” magic, like folk magic or herbalism/healing, or divination.

    Wicca is a modern religion (circa 1940s) that is a reinvention/reconstruction of Northern European Pagan religions, mixed with Witchcraft, influenced more by ceremonial (or “high”) magic, Freemasonry, some Eastern philosophies, etc. It is something of a patchwork.

  2. I have been studying Paganism and Wicca for a few weeks, doing a lot of reading, basically, Paganism is like Christianity in a sense, not the religion, but in a way that it is a “grouping”. Wicca, is to Paganism, as Catholic is to Christianity. There are many different ways to go in Paganism. I would say, to learn more, read books. There is so much to Paganism and its sub-groups. Too much to go into detail. I would recommend not really listening to what others have to say, but rather, read books, its really the only way to inform yourself and decipher the information you want!

  3. Hi,
    My grandmother was a full blooded Seminole Native American. She taught me many of the Native ways during her life and I have a great respect for her and the Native path. I used to have a Native website up and had partially answered this type of question. I hope that it helps.

    This entry on my old site discussed Shamans which are often confused as Witchdoctors or their practices as Wiccan. It is all a bit long, but if you truly want to learn this was on my Native site.

    From my former site: DreamCatchers
    The two articles to follow teach many good and true aspects of Shamanism, however, following “the ways of Shamanism” and being a Shaman are not always understood or meant the same.

    Shamans are spiritual beings in human form with the power to heal, work with Earth energies and ‘see’ visions, among many other things. One does not “up and decide” to become a Shaman by learning the ways of the earth energies, healing, herbology, taking vision quests, staying a “real” native sweat lodge, or any other aspect of the Native culture.

    Being a Shaman is not in the study of natural healing and wholeness, nor in it’s “practice.” I have clarified on this site when it was started that the New Age practices and others belief systems, such as Wicca, are not the Natvie American belief system, which has existed longer than there are records of man on the earth. It is a spiritual heritage that is passed through bloodlines and taught from the ancients and the elders to those who are chosen and are younger. It is, to me, what maintains all of earth’s balance in the physial world that we see and know with our five senses.

    The power of the Shaman is not in a book with formulas and rituals that can be read and memorized and performed repeatedly so that after a few years one can “become” a shaman. Learning to follow the ways of Shamanism brings wisdom and healing to any who will study and learn that path as they say.However, I do include this article to help us all learn more, but there are times we have to read things and sort through them for the balanced truth. Here are the articles.

    Entry 1:
    Who is John Joseph

    John Joseph, a shaman with the Chinook tribe of the lower Columbia River, and a nurse practitioner in Washington State, helps Viet Nam veterans suffering from post traumatic stress syndrome, with the purification ceremony: “They have lost their spirituality, and this is a good way to help them find it. The lodge is a safe haven. No one can hurt them. Intrusive thoughts, the anxieties of the day, and the problems of living with post traumatic stress are left outside the door. They are able to speak about things that hurt them during the war and about things that hurt them when they came home. They are able to speak about the triggers that interfere with their lives today, even though it is 20 years later. They’re able to speak, cry, yell, regurgitate harmful emotions, and put them in the fire.

    Joseph says that that true healing comes from being able to express oneself in a safe environment: “Everything said in the lodge remains there. Nothing is repeated outside of it. This gives a person a real opportunity to cleanse the heart, and to place things into the fire.” He adds that the healing is amplified by being in the presence of the heated stones: “There is stone medicine, Inyan medicine; the sizzling and popping from the water on the stones actually gives a spirit direction. There’s wonderful healing in that.”

    “Many vets tell me that they feel considerably better for some period of time after they leave the lodge. Often they will come back and ask, ‘When are we going to do another lodge? I am absolutely stressed to the max.’ We do four, five, or six a year, sometimes more, depending on the number of requests.

    “Once they start to get their spirituality back, their physical appearance changes. They start to keep their hair. They become neater in the way they dress. Their thought patterns become more cohesive, without constant intrusions. They can even think straight, in many cases. Sometimes children tell me that their dads sleep for two days after a sweat lodge, when they only slept two hours before. So, there’s a wonderful release, and a wonderful return of cohesiveness to their lives, after the purification lodge.”

    Entry 2: How Does The Shaman Heal?

    By Susan Keiraleyn, Ph.D.

    The spiritual healing methods of shamanism are now receiving increased and significant attention in our culture as a result of the widespread search by many for effective, efficient, and non-invasive assistance in healing and personal growth. Because shamanic healing affects the energy field of a person, it may be appropriate in a wide variety of circumstances and can be used for problems throughout the lifespan – even during and after death.

    To better understand how the shaman heals it is important to understand some of the fundamental concepts of what shamanism is. Some people mistakenly bel