Advice for Beginners

It can be difficult being a beginner. You don’t know where to turn for good information, what to avoid doing, or how to formulate a plan of study. If you have the benefit of being part of a good study group, things can go a lot smoother. But many newcomers to Wicca are Solitaries, either by choice or situation.

I’d like to pass on some bits of advice that may help make your studies and practise a little bit easier.

Books and Other Sources of Information

  • Read everything you can get your hands, from every religion (ancient and modern). You never know what you will learn from these faiths.
  • No one knows everything. If someone tells you they are “Grand High Priestess of Bunny Wicca”, that doesn’t make what they have to say any more valid then what anyone else has to say.
  • Never assume the way an author/teacher does something is the only correct way to do it.
  • Always check facts and sources.
  • Read my essay Buying Books for more advice.

Worship, Rituals and Spells

  • Never, ever call upon a god or goddess that you have not researched. Always know the kind of power you are calling on.
  • Never mix deities from different pantheons, unless they were historically mixed. The different types of energy are not likely to work well together.
  • Wicca is not about collecting spells. It doesn’t matter how big your grimore is. What matters is your spiritual growth.
  • If you feel the need to cast a spell, make sure you have tried all your other (mundane) options first.
  • If you think a ritual or spell is beyond your level (and be honest here), don’t attempt it. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t try to grow, just that you should know your limits.

Spiritual Practises

  • If you decide to become part of a tradition, your practises should fit within the framework of that tradition.
  • If a tradition does not allow solititaries, or requires initiation by another member of that group, then you can not claim to be a member of the tradition. You may model your practises after it, but that it is.
  • Do not appropriate from other faiths and claim that it is a Wiccan practice.
  • Don’t personalize your practice so much that is it no longer recognizable Wiccan. Unless of course you decide to not call yourself Wiccan any longer.
  • Think about what you are doing. I mean really think. Using Xena to represent the Goddess, or building an altar out of beer cases is probably not a good idea.
  • Never claim or think that the way you choose to do something is the only way or the best way for everyone. It may work for you, but it probably won’t work for me.
  • Always respect members of other faiths, even if you don’t agree with the path they have chosen to walk down. It is disrespectfully (not to mention very silly) to refer to non-Pagans as muggles, or by any other dismissive or derogatory name.