How to Become a Wiccan: A Guide for Beginners
You Want to Know How to Become a Wiccan?
Have you recently had a revelation in your spiritual path that has led you to the alternative religion of Wicca? You are not alone in this time of enlightenment. However excited and clear your mind and heart might feel towards the idea of being Wiccan, maybe you are unsure as to how to become a full-fledged Wiccan. Maybe you are confused as to where you should begin on your new path. I hope to lead you in the right direction on how to become a Wiccan in this article.
Let me start by saying, learning and practicing Wicca as a religion should not be something you are doing to be "cool" or rebel against society or your family, etc. It should be taken seriously, just as you should take any religion seriously. If you are interested in Wicca because you think you will learn how to put spells on people, turn back now. That is not what Wicca is about. If you are looking to learn spells, go online and google "how to do spells." Doing spells and being Wiccan are two completely different things. Wicca as a religion is a dedication of your spirituality—putting spells on people is silly and irresponsible and can be done without delving into and disrespecting a religion.
Wicca is a religion established by Gerald Gardner in mid-twentieth century. He was a man in England who claimed he had been initiated into an ancient surviving witch-cult. Wicca is the religion he based off his time in this secret coven of witches. Some say Gerald Gardner added his own elements to the religion, including some esoteric eastern concepts and ceremonial magic from his brief time in The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Wicca is recognized as a religion in the United States, and it bases most of its beliefs on nature and old pagan traditions. There is a god and goddess, and Wiccans celebrate the seasons in what they call the Wheel of the Year. Holidays are known as sabbats and esbats, which are based off the movements of the sun and moon. Some Wiccans are part of a coven (a group of Wiccans) while others are solitary (practice Wicca alone).
The Two Major Rules of Wicca
In hopes that you know what the Wiccan religion truly encompasses or that you at least have an inkling as to what Wicca truly is, we can discuss the two major rules of Wicca that all Wiccans strive to abide by. Because Wicca is a very open and utterly not staunch religion, there aren't many rules or regulations per practitioner; however, these two rules are rules that one must strive to follow if wanting to know how to become a Wiccan.
The first and ubiquitous rule is: An Ye Harm None, Do As Ye Will. What does this rule mean exactly? It's sort of equivalent to the Christian saying "treat others as you would like to be treated", but is even more basic than that. If you plan on doing your first spell and it has implications of confusion or harm upon another person (even yourself), then you need to re-think what you're intentions are with becoming a Wiccan. Wiccans believe that everyone and everything has a purpose and is a part of the Universe and of the gods and goddesses. You wouldn't want to harm the universe or the gods now would you? So don't do harm to others or yourself, as we are all a part of the Universe.
The next rule and one that I have experienced to be innately truth is: Whatever you do comes back to you times three. This rule is one that is supremely representative of Karma, in all its consequential glory. Whatever you do in your personal life, and whatever decisions you make, have a consequence be it good or bad. This is the same idea with practicing Wicca. If you put out a spell to take revenge upon an enemy, that negativity and revengeful energy will come right back at you, but three times as worse as what you put out there. Not good times, let me just say that. I have had personal experience with this rule—I didn't follow it and I was smacked in the face with it...times three. The same thing goes for if you are a loving and kind-hearted person, eventually you will receive that love and kindness back threefold; however, don't run around doing nice things for everyone purely for selfish motive...Karma and the universe just don't work like that (ask TipToe Chick on YouTube).
When learning how to become a Wiccan, one must know these rules by heart and follow them wholeheartedly.
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Wonderful Starter Book
Do Your Research on Wicca
When learning something new, no matter what it is, one must do research on that topic. The same goes for following a new religion such as Wicca. If one wants to know how to become a Wiccan, one must read up and fully engage in his or her resources.
The very first book I ever picked up on Wicca was Silver Ravenwolf's To Ride A Silver Broomstick. I highly recommend this book for younger people getting started with Wicca. Other wonderful starter Wiccan books include Scott Cunningham's Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner and also Earth Power: Techniques of Natural Magic. Scott Cunningham is and has always been one of my favorite and most trusted authors in the Wiccan religion. Unfortunately, no more new material will be published by Scott, as he has passed and moved on to the Summerland. But any of his books are easy to understand and beautiful.
Another great book, especially for more advanced readers, is Laurie Cabot's Power of the Witch. This is an older book on witchcraft and Wicca, but it is powerful and eye-opening, nevertheless. Give it a try, you may love it or you may hate it. But at least you can say you've done your research!
You should also try out Christopher Penczak's book The Inner Temple of Witchcraft. This is a great guide for anyone looking to study Wicca for a year and a day. It gives information and also planned exercises along the way.
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Your First Wiccan Ritual
Whether practicing solitary (such as I do) or practicing with a coven, your first ritual is generally somewhat nerve-racking. Why? It is brand new and you are worried how it will turn out...will you say the right things? Cast the circle correctly? Remember to ground & center? Don't sweat it, it will all work out perfectly. Remember that sometimes there is beauty in chaos.
Before performing your first ritual, you might want to think about whether or not you are going to be a solitary practitioner (someone who practices Wicca alone) or as a part of a coven (a part of a practicing group of Wiccans). If you live in an urban area, you are more likely to find a coven than living in the country. This is sad but true. Do some online research to search for local covens. You can use witchvox or you can try going to a Universalist Church, where many Pagans and Wiccans join other alternative religions for communion. You can also go to a local new age or metaphysical shop to see if they have any meetings or classes on Wicca or paganism. This is a great way to network and meet other people like you. If these are unavailable to you, perhaps being solitary will suit you best at this time in your life.
For your first Wiccan ritual as a solitary practitioner, I suggest doing something very simple and quick such as lighting a candle and saying a short prayer before bedtime for protection or love, etc. Maybe you could practice a particular meditation when you wake up, while watching the sun dance its way into the sky. Or maybe you could simply take a cleansing bath and focus on the healing and loving energies of the water surrounding and enveloping your body. Connect with the elements in a simple yet effective way...that is your first ritual.
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© 2011 Nicole Canfield