So you want to be Wiccan: Facts about Wicca and Paganism.
There’s a lot of information out there on Paganism, including but not limited to Wicca, in books, on the Internet, and through local groups. But how much of it is accurate? How do you learn to separate the wheat from the chaff? The fact is, there are several basic things you should understand about Wicca and other forms of Paganism before you make the decision to join a new spiritual path.
Most Pagan and Wiccan traditions have rules.
A lot op people seem to think that just because there’s no Grand High Pagan Council that there must be all kinds of magical carnage going on. Truth is, there are some fairly standard guidelines followed by a number of different Pagan traditions such as the Wiccan Rede. While they vary from one group to the next, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with some of the concepts.
Not all Wiccans and Pagans are Witches.
There are dozens of Pagan traditions, and as many different versions of Wicca. Not all are the same, and just because someone is a Wiccan or Pagan doesn’t necessarily mean they practice Witchcraft. A lot of Wiccans do however practice Witchcraft, but they are not one and the same, and do not have to go together. Anyone from any faith can practice Witchcraft, and that does not make them Wiccan.
There’s no Pagan or Wiccan dress code.
Contrary to what many popular movies might have you believe, you don’t have to be a teenage goth princess to be Pagan or Wiccan. In fact, you don’t “have to be” anything at all. Pagans come from all walks of life — they are parents and teens, lawyers, nurses, firefighters, waitresses, teachers and writers. They come from all different walks of life, all socioeconomic groups, and all sorts of racial backgrounds. There’s no Pagan Dress Code that says you have to toss away your polo shirt or khakis in favor of capes and an all-black wardrobe. On the other hand, if you prefer the goth look, go for it… just remember that goth and Pagan are not synonymous. Some Wiccans and Pagans prefer to ”dress up” for rituals, or have a set of “ritual clothes” but they are not needed.
It’s okay to be out of the broom closet…or not.
Countless numbers of Pagans and Wiccans have made the choice to “come out of the broom closet”… in other words, they’ve stopped hiding their spiritual path from others. For many people, this is a huge decision. You may feel that it’s not in your best interest to make your religious beliefs known, and that’s okay too. If you feel you could be in danger if you reveal that you are Pagan or Wiccan, or that it might put a strain on family relations, going public might be something you should postpone.
Pagans and Wiccans are not Satanists.
Ask any Pagan about the cornerstone of their faith, and they’ll probably tell you it’s a reverence for their ancestors, a belief in the sacredness of nature, a willingness to embrace the Divine within ourselves, or an acceptance of polarity between the male and female. It may be a combination of those principles. It will not have anything to do with the Satan, Old Scratch, Beelzebub, or any of the other names attributed to the Christian devil. Pagans and Wiccans aren’t devil worshipers, Satanists, or Diabolists.
You don’t need a lot of fancy tools…or any tools.
Many people think they need to stock up on hundreds of dollars worth of incense, herbs, wands and candles before they can even begin to practice Wicca or Paganism. That’s simply not the case. While a few basic magical tools are nice to have, the key element of most traditions are the beliefs, not the tangible, physical items. If you’d like to gather a very basic “starter kit” of tools, there are several which are common to nearly every tradition: Wand, Pentacle, Candles, Athame and Incense. You can even buy from the dollar store!
You CAN and should write your own spells and rituals.
Despite a commonly held (and generally Internet-based) belief to the contrary, anyone can write and cast a spell. The trick is to recognize what the key elements are to successful spellcrafting — intent or goal, components, and putting it into practice are all key. Don’t let anyone tell you that beginners can’t write a spell. Just like any other skill set, it will take some practice, but with a little work you can.