In Catholicism, females are relegated to a position of submission to males. In neo-paganism, most frequently, they are of equal, and, in some beliefs, of greater standing than males. They may be full clergy. They may seek out the divine without having to go through another, and they may be full participants in every aspect of their own spiritual journey. No well trained Wiccan will risk the karmic debt of carelessly casting negative spells upon another, and even should one in their immaturity do so, there is no greater risk there than there would be in any other form of PRAYER for a negative end. That is what 'magical' spells and rituals are, properly speaking, another form of prayer, and the only difference between that and a Catholic's mass or rosary, etc, is the form of the ritual and the ingredients used. Wiccans do not perform blood sacrifices, are indeed often concerned with the environment, and, in the case of those I have known the majority were of a vasty spiritual bent, simply practicing another form of belief, and overwhelmingly a positive, and empowering one. One of the greatest things about neo-paganism earlier on was that it was generally non-dogmatic and decentralized, and that the believers did not proselytize. The same can certainly not be said for the Catholic patriarchy. I started out a Catholic. I was classically trained as a Wiccan, toward the end of being clergy, and spent over a decade after my year and a day of training that included meeting with some of the better known names and contributors to the writings on the subject. I actually drifted away from Wicca itself only because I felt that portions of it at least were becoming dogmatic, and even commercialized, where books and lecture circuits were being run and published more to profit than to benefit the beliefs of the adherents. It was still an overwhelmingly positive experience, from which I learned a great deal, and experienced some genuine wonders. In all the time I was practicing, I never cast a single negative ritual against another, though we did do circles to help to heal the earth, and were more aware of ways in which we might protect and benefit the world around us because of that. The first principle of Wicca is part of the Rede, and that is that as it harms none, do as ye will. Some faiths cannot tolerate that others might simply go about their lives, harming none, and living freely. Magic is no more an abomination within such a belief than any other prayer, and the automatic assumption that such prayers will be somehow inferior, or baneful, is frankly the height of arrogance and condecension. The assumption that Neo-Paganism is primarily populated by dabbling little girls is likewise. Nor is seeking strength and freedom of belief just another form of rebellion, and nor is it easy when so many make such crass assumptions. The former Wiccan upon whom the Vatican is depending obviously missed these points entirely.
-Currently a Buddhist-