Getting Started as a Pagan or Wiccan

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Wigington, Patti. "Getting Started as a Pagan or Wiccan." ThoughtCo, Sep. 30, 2017, thoughtco.com/getting-started-as-a-pagan-or-wiccan-2561838. Wigington, Patti. (2017, September 30). Getting Started as a Pagan or Wiccan. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/getting-started-as-a-pagan-or-wiccan-2561838 Wigington, Patti. "Getting Started as a Pagan or Wiccan." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/getting-started-as-a-pagan-or-wiccan-2561838 (accessed October 22, 2017).
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Are you wondering how to get started?. Jillian Doughty / Getty Images

Are you interested in getting started in Wicca or some other form of Pagan beliefs? Don't worry - you're not alone! It's a question that comes up a lot, but unfortunately, it's not a simple answer. After all, you can't just fill out an application and get a handy membership packet in the mail. Instead, there are several things you should think about doing.

For starters, evaluate where you stand and what your goals are in studying Paganism or Wicca.

Once you've done that, you can really get busy.

Get Specific

First, get specific. Reading generic Pagan/witchy books will leave you feeling like it's all just one big melting pot of gooey tree hugging goodness. So go online and research different Pagan paths or Wiccan traditions, just to get some specific names. Are you more drawn to Discordian, Asatru, Neo-Shamanism, Neo-Druidism, Green Witchcraft, or Feri practice? Figure out which of these belief systems aligns best with what you already believe, and the experiences you've already had.

If you're particularly interested in Wicca, be sure to read Ten Things You Should Know About Wicca and Basic Concepts of Wicca, to learn what exactly Wiccans and Pagans believe and do. It's important to be aware of some of the misconceptions and myths about Wicca and modern Paganism. 

Next, go online again and get the basic background for each specific type of Paganism that catches your eye to see which really interests you.

There may well be more than one. Look for initiation requirements and find out how much you can do on your own if you decide it is a path for you. For instance, to follow a Druidic path you can't self-initiate, because it is an organized group with strict rules of advancement and titles to go with each level of achievement, so if you want to practice as a solitary, find a path that works better for people flying solo.

If you still don't know exactly what you want to study, that's okay. Find a book, read it, and then ask questions about things that are of interest to you. What did you read that you need clarification on? What parts of the book seemed ridiculous? Pick it apart, question it, and figure out whether the author is someone you can relate to or not. If so, great... but if not, ask yourself why.

Get Real

Now it's time to get real. The public library is a great starting point, and they can often order in specific books for you, but once you have chosen a specific group (or groups) to study, you may even want to hit used bookstores or online markets to obtain the materials you need. After all, this is a great way to build up your personal reference library! 

If you're not sure what you should read, check out our Beginner's Reading List. This is a list of 13 books every Wiccan or Pagan should read. Not all of them will be of interest to you, and you might even find one or two of them hard to understand. That's okay. It's a good foundation to build your studies on, and will better help you determine what road your path will eventually take.

Get Connected

Your next step is to get connected. Hook up with real people - they're out there, even if you can only reach them online at first.

You can only get so much from book work and self teaching. Eventually, you have to interact with like-minded folks who share your struggles and understand your beliefs and your choices. 

This is a good time to start hanging around at your local metaphysical shop or join a Meetup, to see if anyone is already a practitioner or knows where to best get started in the tradition you're interested in. Be sure to read about How to Meet Other Pagans.

Even as a solitary practitioner, there are places you can go to bounce ideas off people with a solid background in magic. If you want to study under a specific mentor, be sure to read about How to Find a Pagan Teacher.

In addition to these basics, there are a lot of other resources available to you online, including our 13-Step Intro to Paganism Study Guide. Designed in thirteen steps, this collection of material will give you a good starting point for your beginning studies.

Think of it as a foundation upon which you can build later, when you're ready.