Good question, I'm glad you asked!
Too many folks have the wrong idea about what paganism is, what a witch is, and who/how we worship.
Paganism is an ancient path devoted to Nature- the Spirit in each of us and in everything around us.
The simple fact is that witches and pagans are often just like your average any-folks-next-door. They have families, bills, go shopping, do laundry, work, read, and love- just like a lot of other people.
They have an eye on the Mother Earth and all her bounty. They believe in the natural order of things, and that we are all intended to live in harmony with one another.
They believe in the cycles- of the moon phases and tides, of the year and of life- birth, death, and everything in between- and that these are simply mirrors of the greater cycles of the Earth.
They believe that doing something good for yourself or someone else comes back to you- but so does doing something bad! Some faiths call this "Karma".
They believe that harming another living being is a terrible thing- and they avoid it out of good conscience, not simply because they are told that some Hugely Awesome and Omnipotent being will strike them down for it in the end.
They believe that each person is responsible for their own actions and thoughts- and therefore must take care to direct themselves accordingly. Ultimately, there is no one else to blame when we make a mistake but ourselves.
They have holy-days and not-so-holy-days. They do not limit their worship to a particular day of the week. Their holy-days are mainly at the ancient Solstices and Equinoxes, and a few other days interspersed throughout the year, depending on the path of the practioner.
They do not limit their deity to one small aspect of the Universe. They see God/Goddess in all things- as duality, with many faces, or complete in one whole/unified being. Some are more prone to honor the Goddess aspect, others feel more at-home with a God- but they are actually all aspects of the same thing, The Divine Spirit. Most practitioners have names for their particular aspect of deity.
For the most part, they believe in the equality of the sexes (again, depending on the practioner). They believe that women and men are an equally divine expression of the Godd/ess' essence, and that our bodies are intended to be pleasing to ourselves and each other.
They certainly do not worship the Devil, or even believe in him. Satan is actually a Christian construct- it would be a little hard for us pagans to worship a deity from a religion we don't even take part in. That would be somewhat akin to a Shinto priest worshipping Shakti. Ridiculous notion, huh?
They believe that everyone has the right to determine who and how they wish to worship, and would really like it if others would see it the same way as well.
© Copyright Indigo 1997