Steping up to the circle.

 

When first starting out being a Wiccan it is a bit confusing. Often not an easy choice at first there so many choices to make

Do you seek a coven or just think you want to try it on your own?

Covens, especially for new wiccans, are hard to find. Normally they are not on every corner and just pop out, to you. Hanging out at magical shops and networking with others is normally your path Also talking and doing your research, on traditions and groups that teach maybe a 101 program,

If you chose to work it on your own then you going to have a lot of choices as to which books to follow and where your views are. There are many books out there that have information and ideas for you.

Most normally go for one of two books,” To Ride a Silver Broomstick” by Silver Ravenwolf or “The Complete Guide to Witchcraft “by Ray Buckland a.k.a the big blue book

Both are good work book types that give you information and allow you to work step by step to form your new self and new beliefs. The information adds to your understanding at a pace you can digest and process and encourages you to listen to yourself. Both books break down the information and also explain the why’s, how’s, and when’s. Plus both are workbook types that give you more room to research, study, and build on what the books have to offer you.
If you chose to seek out a coven, chose one that is good for you and that you feel comfortable with. You might want to visit with the leaders and talk about the program and visit a few rituals before joining and setting out to the path. Talk with others in the group to see how things feel to you, but remember just because they have their ways of seeing things. Let your self have your own way of seeing things. Question yourself, others in the group, and the leaders of the group. Everyone will normally be very open to talking about things and explaining the why, how, and when of things.

Listen to spirit and yourself, about how you feel about the group and what you find coming from the rituals

Coming from major religions is hard at first to come to terms to two things,

One being that there is no sin or wrong thing that will destroy you. After living in an environment that forces on you to do things this way or that way and pointing out that you’re wrong before you even begin your life. Seeing yourself as being wrong, the idea that you are not wrong that you are not set to go to a fire burning forever and worthy of loving of the divine, and yourself and accepting your self is hard to understand at first especially. When you have grown up in that mindset it’s hard to shake. Sometimes it takes years to learn to be yourself and to shine with in your life. Accepting love is very hard to do sometimes.

 

The other thing that I found is hard for new comers to Wicca to realize is that it is not just one way one belief that you have to hold to. While yes we have a list of beliefs and tenets of faith but we do not have only one way to Wicca. You get to choose which path you take, which gods you follow, and what type of practices from very active groups and practices that can be very complex to the very simple, and comfortable.

 

There’s an old saying that if you ask any ten Wiccans about their religion, you’ll get at least fifteen different answers. That’s not far from the truth, because with nearly half a million Americans practicing Wicca today, there are hundreds of different Wiccan groups out there. There is no one governing body over Wicca, nor is there a “Bible” that lays down a universal set of guidelines. While specifics vary from one tradition to the next, there are actually a few ideals and beliefs common to nearly all modern Wiccan groups. That a topic I’ll talk about later.

 

So as you explore your path remember two things: one, listen to your spirit, and explore yourself and what feels right to your gut and two, listen to spirit as spirit will lead you to where you belong.

I would love to hear from you and your steps in the beginning.

Lord Aeson Knight

What Is wicca?

Wicca is a reconstruction of the Nature worship of tribal Europe, strongly influenced by the living Nature worship traditions of tribal peoples in other parts of the world. The works of such early twentieth century writers as Margaret Murray, Robert Graves and Gerald B. Gardner began the renewal of interest in the Old Religion. After the repeal of the anti-Witchcraft laws in Britain in 1951, Gardner publicly declared himself a Witch and began to gather a group of students and worshipers. In 1962, two of his students, Raymond and Rosemary Buckland (religious names: Lady Rowen and Robat), emigrated to the United States and began teaching Gardnerian Witchcraft here. At the same time, other groups of people became interested through reading books by Gardner and others. Many covens were spontaneously formed, using rituals created from a combination of research and individual inspiration. These self-created covens are today regarded as just as valid as those who can trace a “lineage” of teaching back to England. In 1975, a very diverse group of covens who wanted to secure the legal protections and benefits of church status formed Covenant of the Goddess (CoG), which is incorporated in the State of California and recognized by the Internal Revenue Service. CoG does not represent all, or even a majority of Wiccans. A coven or an individual need not be affiliated with CoG in order to validly practice the religion. But CoG is the largest single public Wiccan organization, and it is cross-Traditional (i.e. non-denominational).

BASIC BELIEFS: Wiccans worship the sacred as immanent in Nature, often personified as Mother Earth and Father Sky. As polytheists, they may use many other names for Deity. Individuals will often choose Goddesses or Gods from any of the world’s pantheons whose stories are particularly inspiring and use those Deities as a focus for personal devotions. Similarly, covens will use particular Deity names as a group focus, and these are often held secret by the groups. It is very important to be aware that Wiccans do not in any way worship or believe in “Satan,” “the Devil,” or any similar entities. They point out that “Satan” is a symbol of rebellion against and inversion of the Christian and Jewish traditions. Wiccans do not revile the Bible. They simply regard it as one among many of the world’s mythic systems, less applicable than some to their core values, but still deserving just as much respect as any of the others. Most Wiccan groups also practice magic, by which they mean the direction and use of “psychic energy,” those natural but invisible forces which surround all living things. Some members spell the word “magick,” to distinguish it from sleight of hand entertainments. Wiccans employ such means as dance, chant, creative visualization and hypnosis to focus and direct psychic energy for the purpose of healing, protecting and aiding members in various endeavors. Such assistance is also extended to non-members upon request. Many, but not all, Wiccans believe in reincarnation. Some take this as a literal description of what happens to people when they die. For others, it is a symbolic model that helps them deal with the cycles and changes within this life. Neither Reincarnation nor any other literal belief can be used as a test of an individual’s validity as a member of the Old Religion. Most groups have a handwritten collection of rituals and lore, known as a Book of Shadows. Part of the religious education of a new member will be to hand copy this book for him or herself. Over they years, as inspiration provides, new material will be added. Normally, access to these books is limited to initiated members of the religion.

PRACTICES AND BEHAVIORAL STANDARDS: The core ethical statement of Wicca, called the “Wiccan Rede” states “an it harm none, do what you will.” The Rede fulfills the same function as does the “Golden Rule” for Jews and Christians; all other ethical teachings are considered to be elaborations and applications of the Rede. It is a statement of situational ethics, emphasizing at once the individual’s responsibility to avoid harm to others and the widest range of personal autonomy in “victimless” activities. Wicca has been described as having a “high-choice” ethic.

Because of the basic Nature orientation of the religion, many Wiccans will regard all living things as Sacred, and show a special concern for ecological issues. For this reason, individual conscience will lead some to take a pacifist position. Some are vegetarians. Others will feel that, as Nature’s Way includes self-defense, they should participate in wars that they conscientiously consider to be just. The religion does not dictate either position, but requires each member to thoughtfully and meditatively examine her or his own conscience and to live by it. Social forces generally do not yet allow Witches to publicly declare their religious faith without fear of reprisals such as loss of job, child custody challenges, ridicule, etc. Prejudice against Wiccans is the result of public confusion between Witchcraft and Satanism. Wiccans celebrate eight festivals, called “Sabbats,” as a means of attunement to the seasonal rhythms of Nature.

These are:

                January 31 [Called Oimelc, Brigit, or February Eve],

                March 21 [Ostara or Spring Equinox],

                April 30 [Beltane or May Eve],

                June 22 [Midsummer, Litha or Summer Solstice],

                July 31 [Lunasa or Lammas],

                September 21 [Harvest, Mabon or Autumn Equinox],

                October 31 [Samhain, Sowyn or Hallows], and

                December 21 [Yule or Winter Solstice].

 

Some groups find meetings within a few days of those dates to be acceptable, others require the precise date. In addition, most groups will meet for worship at each Full Moon, and many will also meet on the New Moon. Meetings for religious study will often be scheduled at any time convenient to the members, and rituals can be scheduled whenever there is a need (i.e. for a healing).