A wiccan is a follower of the Neo-Pagan nature-based modern Wicca. In Old English wicca meant “A wizard, soothsayer, sorcerer, magician”. The word has long been out of use. Its modern English descendant is the word witch. Other disputed derivations are from the Old English roots wic, ‘to bend’, or wit, ‘wisdom’. Modern wicca is often called the “Craft of the Wise”, alluding to the latter derivation.
Gerald Gardner is credited with re-introducing the word ‘Wicca’ into the English language, although he himself used the spelling ‘Wica’ in his published work of 1954. The spelling ‘Wicca’ is now used almost exclusively, (Seax-Wica being the only major use of the four-letter spelling).
Though sometimes used interchangeably, Wicca and witchcraft are not the same thing. Most, but not all, Wiccans consider Wicca to be a form of witchcraft, however Wicca has a distinct set of beliefs, ritual system and organisational structure that distinguish it from other forms of witchcraft. Similarly, most Wiccans and witches consider themselves to be Pagans, but many Pagans are neither Wiccans nor witches.