This site is meant to convey information about beginning to practice Wicca that most new Wiccans need and may have difficulty finding. It also rather blatantly challenges the plethora of bad, contradictory, and false information that comes up when one does an internet search of the term “Wicca.” This site is written by a formally trained Traditional 3rd degree Wiccan High Priestess. It attempts to educate seekers on how to recognize good information, how to make educated choices, and how to think for themselves instead of just repeating stuff they find in “how-to” books on “Wicca,” which may or may not be written by qualified people or released by responsible publishers.
If you don’t have a full complement of information about studying Wicca, you are likely to do what a lot of new Wiccans do and waste a lot of your precious time, money, and effort trying to begin your Wiccan practice. And because there are a LOT of people out there who are perfectly willing to sell you stuff you don’t need and might not want if you had more information, I thought I would offer advice based on the questions I am repeatedly asked by new folks. The goal is to save you cash and stress, plus help you wade through an endless sea of inaccuracies out there about Wicca.
Learn about various Traditions of Wicca, terms, how to discern which books are often regarded as “bad books,” how to find and approach a coven or other group, how to recognize unhealthy covens/groups/teachers, where to find community, and much more.
Do you have to take my advice? Of course not! Am I infallible? Nope. Will all experienced Wiccans agree with me? No. But I do know a thing or two and can offer you food for thought as you go forward on your journey to walk in the Wiccan way (including determining when a practice is a Wiccan practice and when it’s a solitary eclectic Neo-Pagan practice). And that’s why I’m here, writing this stuff.
A list of don’ts….
I’m not going to tell you what to do, but I will tell you what I think are some poorly thought out decisions when it comes to beginning to study Wicca. After that, well, I’ll give you some advice you can take or leave….
1. DON’T buy a “Wicca altar kit” nor anything expensive from a metaphysical store.
Experienced Wiccans don’t shop at those places because they are expensive and often market unnecessary/unnecessarily expensive items to those who don’t know better. Besides, you don’t need a bunch of tools you don’t understand. That’s not how you begin. You begin by studying. More on that later. It’s not *wrong* to shop at metaphysical stores and sites, but often it is unnecessary. Just hold off on getting “altar supplies” for a minute…you will understand more about why later. Rest assured, you can get all your altar supplies cheaply when you need them, and this site will tell you how.
2. DON’T go to a bunch of “Wicca chat rooms” and ask for advice.
Wicca chat rooms are notoriously full of people who don’t know the first flippin’ thing about Wicca. Those of us who know about it are out there practicing it and teaching it, not hanging out in chat rooms. Sure, you might luck out and find somebody on one of those sites who knows what they are talking about, but it’s not super likely that you will get high quality information from a chat room, and depending on how new you really are, would you know the difference?
3. DON’T read Cunningham and decide you now know all about Wicca.
For that matter, don’t read any one author, or any two authors and then decide you’ve got this Wicca thing down. That is not how you learn this religion. And Cunningham is Wicca kindergarten lite. Seriously. Read him if you like, but don’t think his books tell all (or even anything close to all) of what Wicca is about. Read lots of authors and talk with lots of people.
4. DON’T purchase expensive “magickal inks” and “magickal Wicca oils” on the web.
You don’t need them and if you did need them you could make them.
5. DON’T buy “spell books.”
First of all, Wicca isn’t about spells and there are no “Wiccan spells.” Wicca is a religion and spell craft is spell craft. If you want to learn spell craft, you spend months to years learning to gather, focus, and release energy for intention. You learn to meditate, visualize, move Life Force Energy, and study magical techniques. If you need to read spells like cookie recipes, you aren’t spell casting, you’re play-acting.
6. DON’T pay for Wicca instruction except if you know you want to study with an on-line school and you’ve checked them out thoroughly.
Qualified Wiccan teachers don’t usually charge for in person instruction. And many online “Wicca schools” are run by people who are not qualified at all. I’ve read through a lot of them and most just charge you to teach you the material that is available in all the “Wicca 101” books out there. Still, there are *some* quality on-line schools. Just be aware that lots of teachers don’t charge at all.
7. DON’T go on the web and randomly ask for teachers or covens.
Learn first how to recognize a qualified teacher and a healthy coven. Learn the difference between a coven, a grove, and a study group. If you can’t list off 5 things that identify a qualified teacher and a healthy coven, you don’t even know what you don’t know. Wait.
8. DON’T change how you dress because you think all Wiccans dress a certain way.
Wicca is not a fashion statement. It’s a religion.
9. DON’T go out and buy an expensive “Book of Shadows” if you are a newbie.
A BoS is for people who have a Wiccan Tradition to record and you’re new so you don’t have one. Use cheap spiral notebooks or loose leaf three ring binders as your ritual journals for at least a year and then you will actually have material to put into a BoS. Some BoS’s cost like $300. Don’t fall for it unless you can afford it and really, really want one. More on how to keep a BoS later too. These days, lots of us have a “flashdrives of shadows,” so think hard about how you want to keep your information. A lot can be said for storing Craft information electronically.
10. DON’T spend an arm and a leg on “ritual jewelry” unless you can afford it and really want it.
You don’t NEED a pentagram necklace to be Wiccan, nor do you need circlets, moonstone “power rings” or any other crap like that. I am a High Priestess with a coven and have never owned a pentagram necklace.