Pagan, which once meant country dweller, is now coined as the term for a spirituality that is not one of the Big three monotheistic faiths of Christianity, Islam or Judaism. Many folks use Paganism as an umbrella term for many earth-based, or earth honoring spiritual paths. To further break it down many refer to Paganism as what ancient Pre-Christian people practiced, and refer to what is practiced today as Neo-Paganism. Wicca is just one of the many Pagan faiths out there. Pagans refer to themselves as many different things such as Wiccan, Asatru, Celtic, Hellenic, or Roman Re-constructionist, Heathen, Witch, Traditional Witch, Green Witch, Elemental Witch, Pantheist, Polytheist, or even Just Pagan.
I am very interested in learning about Wicca, Witchcraft and Paganism….Now what do I do?
If you are interested in the subject and want to learn more, read as much information from as many different sources as you can. Never take any one teaching or opinion on the subject as set in stone, and the one true way. You will find that many people say that traditional coven taught and lineage based Wicca is the only way to go, and you will find others that think it’s perfectly acceptable to learn and practice Wicca in a solitary fashion. All these different schools of thought can be daunting and confusing at first. Do not worry, and take your time. Get educated and come to your own conclusions about what you learn. Much information about Paganism and Wicca is based on scholarship and history, but much of what you read will also be based on opinion, beliefs, and guesses about what our ancestors actually did.
Looking for a Teacher, and Meeting Other Pagans
Be safe when looking for a teacher, or other Pagans to celebrate with. If you are new to Paganism and Wicca, and are looking for someone to teach you, use Common sense and be leery of ANY new person you meet. Gaining trust, and being able to trust someone takes time. Never feel pressured or rushed into anything. Do not do anything you feel uncomfortable doing, even if a particular person’s teachings dictate that you do so. My best advice on this is to join an on line social group at first (one that is welcoming to people new to Paganism) and join in on the discussion there. You will learn much by participating in on line group discussions. After you feel more comfortable, and want to venture out into the real world to meet other Pagans in or near your town, make sure you meet people in an openly public place, and not alone.
Kelly is a Mom, Wife, and Witch who grew up in FL, and now lives in beautiful PA. She identifies as an Eclectic Witch with practices heavily rooted in Wicca. She runs a small online Pagan gift and ritual supply store from her home called Enchanted Hearth. You can visit her store at http://enchantedhearth.ecrater.com