This article is from the Wicca FAQ, by email@example.com (Rain of Teleport) with numerous contributions by others.
"Wicca" is the name of a contemporary Neo-Pagan religion, largely
promulgated and popularized by the efforts of a retired British civil
servant named Gerald Gardner. In the last few decades, Wicca has spread
in part due to its popularity among feminists and others seeking a more
woman-positive, earth-based religion. Like most Neo-Pagan spiritualities,
Wicca worships the sacred as immanent in nature, drawing much of its
inspiration from the non-Christian and pre-Christian religions of Europe.
"Neo-Pagan" simply means "new pagan" (derived from the Latin _paganus_ ,
"country-dweller") and hearkens back to times before the spread of today's
major monotheistic (one god) religions. A good general rule is that most
Wiccans are Neo-Pagans but not all Pagans are Wiccans. Please consult
alt.pagan or the alt.pagan FAQ for more general information on Neo-Paganism.