This is one of the biggest misconceptions out there. While many Pagans are Wiccan, not all are. All Wiccans fall under the Pagan umbrella, but the reverse is not true. Paganism includes a long list of paths and beliefs, of which Wicca is just one.
Paganism has been around for a very long time, whereas Wicca was created in the 1950’s and is relatively new among the Pagan belief systems. Wicca follows rules and practices that are not held by followers of other Pagan systems. Like being Dianic, Asatru, Druidic, or any other type of Pagan, Wiccans have their own system and are a unique sect
Truth be told, a lot of non-Wiccan Pagans get rather upset when people think that all Pagans are Wiccan. Wicca has gotten more press than most of the other Pagan paths, but it’s not the only one. Pagans come in more types than I can possibly list. We are a hugely varied bunch.
If you’re talking to someone you think or know is Pagan, please don’t assume that they’re Wiccan. Maybe they are, maybe they’re not. Ask politely if you want to know. If we’re open enough for you to have any clue that we’re Pagan, we’re probably open enough to tell you more if you ask respectfully. You can actually learn a lot from asking, and they’ll be glad that you cared enough to want to know who and what they truly are.
*Disclaimer: I no longer practice Paganism, but I’ve left these Pagan Myths articles active because I believe they’re still valuable in helping people to understand Paganism and reduce negative stereotypes.*