Wicca beginners have a long, exciting and eventful journey ahead of them, - a path brimming with greater knowledge and a new way of life. With so much ahead it is no wonder that people can find themselves a little lost and overwhelmed. If you are lucky enough to live near a group or coven that you can join and be tutored by then you will already be well on your way to your new lifestyle. However, for many Wicca beginners it is not as simple as that. Geography to loved ones' own religious beliefs may prevent you from joining with others and openly declaring your new course.
Yet you should never feel precluded from this wonderful religion nor hindered in your ability to follow it. There is a wealth of information out there to learn from and nothing should hold you back from learning to honour and become at one with the world around you. But seeing as this is what often confuses the Wicca beginner in the first place, here are some ideas and basic explanations to get you started and whet your appetite for more!
What Does Wicca Represent?
This is very personal thing and every Wiccan will give you a different account of why they believe and what it has brought into their lives. Every Wiccan will have a love of the earth and its universal elements. Water, air, fire and earth will come to represent beauty, synergy and power to every Wicca beginner. It is about recognizing, channeling and connecting with the earth and its rich offerings - the gifts of Mother Nature. You will move and change along with the seasons and all of the associated festivals. Above all, Wicca is about peace and joy.
Why is it a religion?
While it is not a religion in the form than many people perceive a religion should take, Wicca is a religion due to it having been derived from Paganism. It takes on similar symbolism, belief systems and of course Gods and Goddesses. It is not prescriptive like many religions are and Wicca will not tell you how to live your life but it does help you to understand the world around you and make sense of the purpose of life.
What is the difference between Wicca and witchcraft?
Occasionally you will find differing answers to this question but as a Wicca beginner, the details of this shouldn't concern you too much. To most, Wicca is the religious part of the lifestyle and those who practice it refer to themselves as Wicca or Wiccan rather than witch. They are more likely to be part of a coven, or group, and follow more rules. However, the name Wicca was introduced to distinguish it from the stigma associated with witchcraft and many aspects of the Wiccan and witch's lives are very similar. The terms can be interchangeable.
The Wiccan Rede
Wicca is a peaceful and gentle way of life that encourages respect. For this reason selfish, manipulative or sinister intentions are very much frowned upon. A small minority of Wicca beginners take an interest because they seek power over others but will soon come across one of the very few rules, The Wiccan Rede - "An it harm none, do as ye will". This means you are largely free to practice as you please but remember to embrace the earth's power for good rather than cause harm or hurt to others. This leads us to the 3 fold law which states that all that you do will come back to you 3 times as powerful. In other words, be careful what you wish for!
Will I need to worship any Gods or Goddesses?
No but it is quite a significant part of the ideology and history. They also need to be understood as part of the worship of male and female. Many Wiccans will dedicate themselves to a single deity as they feel a strong affinity and can identify with particular characteristics. But any of the Gods and Goddesses can be called upon to assist you in your work. As a Wicca beginner it may be useful to try including as many as possible into your rituals to see of you feel a particular partiality.
Will I have to perform spells?
No. Not all Wiccans believe in spell casting so you should not feel under pressure to do this. But if you do find that you do have an ability in this area however, you will find plenty of information on spells for Wicca beginners until you get to the stage where you are writing your own!
Is there scripture for me to abide by?
The only book that Wiccans work from is a Book of Shadows and this is generally a very personal thing. A coven may have a joint one to work from, but very commonly you will have your own. It is a place for you to write your spells, keep notes and make observations. Whether or not there has even been a 'real' or ancient Book of Shadows, a central text to work from, is a hotly debated topic. However, none has been proven to exist.
Whatever your reasons for being a Wicca beginner, I'm sure you will find your life as enriched and informed as any one of us who has chosen this path for any number of reasons! You will find that there are as many ways to live a Wiccan lifestyle as there are Wiccans so enjoy every day of your personal and spiritual journey.