Becoming Wiccan: 7 Useful Steps to Start You on Your Path
How Do I Become Wiccan?
“Dear Sage, I have decided to become Wiccan! Now, can you please tell me—what do we believe? Who are the God and Goddess? Do we have to be vegetarian? Should I wear black clothes? Do I have to get a pentagram? I’m ordering a complete box of ritual tools from Witches-R-Us.com, and it should be here next week. Now, how do I cast spells? Thanks so much—Blessed Be!”
I get emails like this fairly often, and friends of mine who are openly Wiccan occasionally get them as well. I see similar messages on social media. I have to wonder at that point—if you know nothing about a religion, how do you decide you want to join it?
Then I recall that many Western religions we’re familiar with encourage us to convert first and sort out the details later. Wicca, being an experiential religion rather than a revealed one, can pose a problem for those who are used to being told what to believe and what to do. To help those individuals, I’ve tried to break the process down into a basic step-by-step overview. Some people think that starting off on the Wiccan path involves running out, buying tools, holding rituals, and casting spells. eventually, yes—these things will be involved. Initially, however, you should take it much slower. If you're thinking about embracing Wicca, start with these seven simple practices. Each is discussed in greater detail below.
7 Tips for Beginners Considering Wicca
- Practice Magic
Before you even think about converting to Wicca—and before you make any concrete decisions or declarations—you should spend some time studying. Sorry to report this, but if you don’t like reading or studying, you’re probably not going to like Wicca very much, and you're unlikely to get very far. Wicca is a non-dogmatic religion—rather than telling you what to believe, it puts the ball in your court and tells you to think critically. This requires knowledge. One book isn’t enough, but five or ten books is a good start. It’s generally recommended you read and study actively for at least one year and one day before making any decisions about whether to be Wiccan or not.
I think that by Thea Sabin is simply the best book of fundamentals for beginning Wiccans in the modern day. It's better than Cunningham's Wicca and leagues better than anything ever penned by Silver RavenWolf. Another book I absolutely love is Wicca for Beginners by Dianne Sylvan. Unlike most other books, it's not all about introducing tools, Gods, and rituals. Instead, it takes an approach that is both practical and spiritual to living your life—24/7—as a Wiccan. if you tire of reading Wicca 101 books, this will bring you into new territory. The Circle Within
Once you really start learning about Wicca—its beliefs, its tenets, etc.—it’s time to consider whether your beliefs are a match. Are your personal beliefs something that can fall within a Wiccan framework?
Wicca is not a dogmatic religion, so anyone coming into it looking for a book of scripture or a list of commandments is approaching it from the wrong angle. But Wicca is also not, as some poorer sources have been putting it of late, “anything you want it to be.” The problem with saying Wicca is anything is that you’re essentially saying it’s nothing. There are some things that just don’t fit very well into the Wiccan worldview.
For example, if you don’t believe in any kind of Gods and you’re just looking to practice magic, then why are you joining a religion in which the major rituals, festivals, rites, etc. are centered on Pagan Gods and Goddesses? You could just as easily go ahead and study Witchcraft without becoming Wiccan at all. If you believe in Jesus as a savior with all your heart, why do you want to worship him from within a religion that teaches that there is nothing to be saved from?
The beauty of Wicca is that there really are no mandates—there are no “accept this or take a hike” philosophies. But, in being part of an experiential religion, you are accepting the responsibility of using logic and reason. This means really considering if your beliefs fit within Wicca, or if, perhaps, the one or two things that attract you to it can be found in another religion that is more aligned with your beliefs.
Once you get to the point at which you know you want to worship as a Wiccan, it’s time to begin worshipping. Start praying to your Gods. Introduce yourself and ask them to reveal themselves to you. Ask for guidance, clarification, and understanding.
Start meditating—for as they say, if prayer is talking to your God, meditation is listening. A daily meditation regime can be very beneficial to your health, wellness, and spiritual development.
Start being aware of life from a Wiccan perspective. Observe the cycles of the seasons and the cycles of the moon. Start acknowledging them in small ways. Think about Wiccan tenets and ethics when you’re faced with choices. Consider your life and find areas in which lessons can be learned from Wicca.
Observe the world around you. Notice the interplay between all living things. Watch and participate in the cycles of life. You may wish to get into a more regular routine with your meditations and prayers or start some very simple, informal rites to celebrate the Esbats and Sabbats. At this point, reading and learning shouldn’t necessarily stop, but it’s important to begin some application of principles. That’s how you start living Wicca.
A mistake a lot of people make early on is rushing out to collect tools. Keep in mind that Wicca is not a scavenger hunt. At this point, once you’ve begun to practice, you might wish to start collecting altar tools. You don’t need to get them all at once. In fact, it’s a good idea to study a tool and its purpose, then look for it, then begin to use it—one step at a time.
A lot of books will tell you to get this and that, but keep in mind that you won’t need every tool that every book mentions. This is why it’s important to understand a tool’s function before you even worry about acquiring it—it may turn out to be something you just don’t need.
It’s also time to start building a more structured approach to your ritual. That doesn’t mean you have to plan every single detail out, but by its very definition, a ritual is a repeated act. It’s the repetition that helps you reach ritual consciousness. It helps you bypass the state of consciousness in which you’re actively thinking and move into a state in which you go into “autopilot” so that you can open yourself to the various energies you’re trying to raise.
Start thinking about standard opening and closing rituals, invocations, and circle-castings. Again, it’s not something you need to do all in one night, but every couple of months, think about your ritual and add another element.
6. Practice Magic
Magic isn’t necessarily the focus of Wicca, but it’s certainly a major component. Eventually, you’re going to want to incorporate some into your practice. Someone interested in learning magic doesn’t have to be Wiccan and should go straight to learning The Craft. If, however, Wicca as a religion is what interests you, you should spend time to familiarize yourself with it before beginning to practice magic. Once you get to the point at which you’re collecting tools and holding regular rituals, it’s a good time to begin practicing this fascinating and enchanting element. Begin including some minor magical workings in your circle. You may also want to begin studying the arts.
At some point, it’s good idea to get out into the Pagan community at large. You don’t have to wait until the end to do this, but if you haven’t yet, you should try at this point. Meet with other Wiccans and attend classes, open rituals, and drumming circles. This will expose you to many new ideas and help you find people to talk and relate to. You might even find a coven that you’d like to join. Religions are personal journeys, but they’re also meant to be experienced communally to some extent.
Wiccan Lithurgy: The Charge of the Goddess
This list is by no means the only way to go about becoming Wiccan, but if you’re truly unsure of where to begin, these steps will help you on your path.
How many books have you read on Wicca?
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2013 Mackenzie Sage Wright