A Wiccan of 25 years, Sage likes to put her background as a writer and teacher to use by helping people learn about this NeoPagan 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!”
This isn’t an actual email, but it’s the gist of what I (and other Wiccans) will get occasionally. I see similar posts to Wiccans 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 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.
Learn First, Decide Later
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 for at least one year and one day before making any decisions about whether to be Wiccan or not.
Wicca for Beginners by Thea Sabin is simply the best book of fundamentals for beginning Wiccans to date. It’s better than Cunningham’s Wicca (though I like that one too) and leagues better than anything ever penned by Silver RavenWolf (which are entertaining but should be taken with a huge grain of salt). Another book I love is The Circle Within by Dianne Sylvan. Unlike most other books, it’s not all about introducing tools, Gods, and rituals. Instead, it takes an approach that is 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.
Once you 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 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. Some things 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 significant rituals, festivals, rites, etc. are centered on Pagan Gods and Goddesses? You could 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 there is nothing to be saved from?
The beauty of Wicca is that there are no mandates—there are no “accept this or take a hike” philosophies. But, in being part of an experiential religion, you accept the responsibility of using logic and reason. This means 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 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. 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.
Many 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 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 enables you to 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 common 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 an excellent time to start 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 a 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 to 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.
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
beginnerwitch on August 26, 2020:
i was wondering...
i don't have access to books... so is it ok to read lots and lots of online articles?
jackie on July 08, 2020:
i have been wiccan for a few years and know a good amount of stuff, I dont know here to find a group of people to talk about it with or to help with spells, does anyone know?
Ashley on April 17, 2020:
I've been Wiccan for 17 years and still not interested in performing magic. Please don't think it is necessary or expected of you.
firstname.lastname@example.org on March 30, 2020:
I wanna be a Wiccan
email@example.com on March 27, 2020:
Hi, i'm 13 and I've been wanting to be a Wiccan for a while now do u have any tips for me to fall in the right dereliction?
goudjo benoit vossah on March 26, 2020:
I am on a visite to my children here in SanANTONIO . give a contact if possible
goudjo benoit vossah on March 24, 2020:
i happen to be a friend my wife cousin where we attend his church i need to join since i read some portion of one or two books though our official language being french I hail from TOGO i am on a visit to my children here in the USA I SHOULD UNDERSTAND THAT i do not have much time here Please help me.
Bell on March 19, 2020:
Hey im new and i really love nature and wicca id love to learn thanks!
Piper Staples on February 24, 2020:
Hello I am trying to get into Wicca and find some people that I can talk to along my journey I am a teenager so do u have any teen friendly or chat room spaces for young Wicca practicers
Kitana James on December 30, 2019:
Hi! I’m an atheist, but I am very very interested in being Wicca, but I don’t know if there is a god that I should pray to or worship. Help please!
Celestina on December 29, 2019:
I want to join. Please can u assist me on how to join
Keith on December 28, 2019:
I am not looking to become a wiccan, my wife says that this is her belief, i am a christian, i am open minded and just want to learn more about the wiccan faith, i am not dismissing it, i just enjoy gaining knowledge and want to be able to discuss intelligently the wiccan faith.
Stephen Amoakohene on December 27, 2019:
Please can you show me the way i can also join my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Asare Kofi Lawrence on December 26, 2019:
Please i need to practice wicca But i have no one to help me please is someone here to help me i will be happy to get someone here to help me i am from Ghana this is my Email email@example.com or my whatsapp number +2330548697030 please help me becouse life is had for me now
Kai Linkin on September 15, 2019:
Im probably very late to this post, but I need some help. Can you please suggest me ten of the best wicca books for beginners? I've been so interested in wicca for a long time, and thought I might try it. So, beginner wicca books are greatly appreciated.
Tina Marie Hoffman from Murphy, Nc on May 26, 2019:
Back in 2012, my beautiful puppy Harmony gave birth to 5 beautiful and tiny pups. Within 2 hours, they started having seizures! I prayed to the Goddess to give me strengh and power to save these tiny pups.....and it worked! Blessed Be, Sage.
Zakira Hussain on May 18, 2019:
Hello sage ,
I'm an Indian belonging to Islam but I don't find my religion so apt to myself (not insulting it too) Wicca on the other hand ,I've been trying to gather information from everywhere but always failing, I'm really wanting to switch to Wicca and accept all it terms and consequences.Please help me .
Becca on May 15, 2019:
Hello sage my name is Becca I have been interested for a long time and studying Wicca and doing witchcraft I just am not sure where to start or how to get started
Elowen on March 04, 2019:
So I'm 14, and I've recently been very interested in Wicca and witchcraft. I do know that these two do tend to overlap, and sometimes the lines between the two are blurred. My entire family is a bunch of Catholics and christains, so being interested in this would probably make me the shame of the family. It's why I'm absolutely terrified to tell them I don't believe in what they do, and I haven't form while. Anyway, I'm allowed to be pansexual if I am Wiccan, correct? I wasn't very sure about that, but I absolutely love the idea of this religion, and it sparked my interest. I would love to become Wiccan (even going to do the year and a day), but how do I let my family know this??
larry on January 24, 2019:
i know somes about wicca but i have ask for money to pay off some bills i didt get the help i ask tham for,and i have cast some spells but i still geting what ask them for.hoe come thay want help me,what is it that im not doing right can you tell you tell what im not doing right,and i need your hellp. larry
Elicia on January 09, 2019:
I think that these tips are amazing. Ive been interested in the wicca religion for a few year and om now doing research to see if its really for me and if it is ill definitely be doing the year and a day thing. Thank you again for thes helpful tips!!
Logan S. on December 18, 2018:
Hello! I'm currently new to the wiccan religion, meaning I have just stumbled upon it about a month ago. I'm still in highschool and dependant of my mother and father for most my purchases. Both of them are large believers in god, my father is understanding of my beliefs, but my mother is where I worry. She cares for me deeply and only wants the best for me, which I admire, but sadly her worry for me can lead to her pressing the beliefs of catholicism onto me constantly. She does not know that I Identify as Wiccan, and I worry that if I tell her or that if she has to purchase a Wiccan book/tool for me, she may get angry with me. I don't wish to damage my mother and I's relationship, but at the same time, I want room to "Spread my wings" and express my religious beliefs freely with out pressure from the very woman who birthed me to believe something I don't truly believe in. I'm simply made anxious by my current situation. Should I wait till I am able to move out? Or should I throw caution to the wind and begin my practices in private, away from the eyes of my Catholic mother?
Than you so much for reading!
xx.Midnight.Queen.xx on November 16, 2018:
I am a 14-year-old girl living with a Christian parent. I am very interested in Wicca. But very confused on where to begin. I can't buy books because I'm afraid of what people around me will say about this thought/decision made and the fact I haven't decided it's for me so I don't want my dad to find out. I was just wanting to know where the right place to begin is.
Simone from South-Africa on September 24, 2018:
Hi! So I have a question- may sound silly. I grew up as a Christian, no longer adhere to it for a very long time now, like I'm totally committed to becoming Wiccan, since I love everything about it [am doing one year and one day]. All the things I've learned so far are so liberating! Anyway, growing up Christian I was taught to always ask god what is his will before I make any life decisions, and that I would be punished or things wouldn't work out well if I made the wrong choice against his will. I was also taught about predestination and a divine plan. Now that I'm walking this path of becoming wiccan it's a huge obstacle for me as I'm not sure if there is such a concept in wicca? It has always made me very uncertian in my life about how to make decisions, and now I feel like WIcca may have some better answers for me about 'the will of the divine'. How does this work and what are your veiws? When it comes to magick and ethics- does a witch need to consult the will of the divine before doing a spell, or is she free to do any spell, as long as she harms no one? Is there some divine plan that we need to follow/understand or do we just make our own path? Tnx!
Aidean on May 16, 2018:
Hi I read this page and this looks interesting. I am currently in the research part of the decision. I wanted to ask if you know any good articles or books or even videos about this subject.
Mackenzie Sage Wright (author) on March 22, 2018:
Hi Vivienne; I know how it feels, your mind can swirl with information overload in the beginning, it takes time for things to start settling and percolating sometimes.
So it all comes down to this: Wicca & Witchcraft are two different things that overlap. Wicca is a Pagan polytheistic fertility religion; we have certain liturgy, tenets, rights, rituals, a way of looking at the divine (as equal masculine/feminine).
Witchcraft is a skill; a literal craft. It can be combined with any-- or no-- religion. There are Witches in all walks. Their practices may vary depending on religion/culture.
The pentagram (which we don't worship; it's just a symbol) has been around for thousands of years. Wicca is a 70-ish year old religion. So... do the math. Many religions have used the pentagram as a symbol for various things. Even Christians used it for more than a thousand years to represent the wounds of Christ.
Athames are not unique to Wicca. In fact when Wicca was developed, the use of blades was adopted from Ceremonial Magic.
Now... can you be Wicca if you don't agree with everything? I would say sure... I don't think there is any religion in which every person agrees exactly on the doctrine. I guess it really depends-- how much can you disagree with a religion before you discover you've gone way out of the ballpark? That's something you have to think about as you learn.
Some of my articles delve into the differences between Wicca & Witchcraft, Wicca & Pagan, Wicca & Christianity, Eclectic Wicca & Traditional Wicca, etc... so keep reading & learning. It takes time to really digest it all. Took me years to get a foothold, and I'm still learning things.
Good luck! Many blessings on your path.
Vivienne Tiana on March 03, 2018:
Hi sage. I have to get this off my mind! So i am very very interested in Witchcraft. But i tend to get things mixed up. Like the Pentagram. Can you worship it without being Wiccan? Can you own an athame without being Wiccan? Can you still do wiccan rituals without being Wiccan? I have considered being Wiccan, but i dont really believe in some things that Wicca beholds. It confuses me alot. Can i still be wiccan even if i dont believe in some things? I need answers about what the religion actually is and what makes it different from Witchcraft. Blessed be.
Mackenzie Sage Wright (author) on August 13, 2016:
Sorry for the late response Angelfire, I hope you've found the answers to your question. If I put a book in my article, it's because I recommend it. My favorite for people looking to learn is Wicca for Beginners by Thea Sabin.
angelfire on January 16, 2016:
I've always been drawn to 'the craft' and wicca- but there's so much info- I seek the truth of it all. Can you recommend books that will help me along the way
Mackenzie Sage Wright (author) on April 30, 2015:
If you are interested, check out my blog for info about the Wiccan Way Grove class I will be teaching this fall: http://wiccansage.blogspot.com/p/news.html
This is going to be a fairly intensive year-and-a-day study, so it's not for someone just looking for information or who is just looking to chat. But for those serious about learning, it will be an interactive guided course for serious practitioners.
There are many ways to study Wicca. You can study as a solitary and join an internet message board to help you along (it is always good to have people to bounce ideas off of). You can also check out Witchvox.com or CUUPS.org to see if there are any groups, events, shops, classes, etc. in your area.
Play it safe to be sure, but at least you have somewhere to begin and can ease into it.
Hopefully you'll find my hubs helpful as well. Have a blessed Beltane.
Melissa on April 30, 2015:
I live in a big city, a bad city. I am 34 and need to learn about the gods and goddesses, the moon and its power and many other things, people where i live are NOT approachable, but i need to learn. What do i do? I need someone to learn from.
Mackenzie Sage Wright (author) on October 15, 2014:
Thank you Mel, I so appreciate the kind feedback.
Mel92114 on October 11, 2014:
This is just amazing! Love, love, love this and all of your work!
Mackenzie Sage Wright (author) on August 05, 2013:
Thank you modernalchemyst, I think it could apply to many of the Pagan religions today since they are so orthopraxic. I think people mean when when they are attracted to it, but the Western world has long been dominated by orthodoxic religions that teach people, "Sit down, this is what you're supposed to believe and this is what you're supposed to do." When they come to an orthopraxic religion, it takes them by surprise. Thanks for the comment!
Joey on August 05, 2013:
Yes! This! I will be sharing this in the future, because I tend to get the same questions only referenced toward Norse paganism rather than Wicca. I think what you've written actually could apply to paganism in general.
It sends a red flag up for me every time I hear someone claim they want to be a witch/Wiccan/pagan/whatever, but they have absolutely no idea what it entails. I immediately suspect they're fresh off a great sci-fi show or book that inspired them to practice "the craft", right or wrong. I admire the Wiccan tradition of studying for a year and a day for just that reason.