Its a question that pops up from time to time where members wanting to join my meetup group ask me if I can teach them about Wicca. This leaves me perplexed. Its not that Wicca or pagan religions are complicated or even confusing. If anything, they’re pretty basic and simple to learn.
Most books on the subject cover the basics pretty well, and from there, you need to step outside to learn from other faiths and practices to see where you feel guided.
What should you learn?
Meditation- This is very basic and offers so much in the way of physical, emotional, and spiritual benefit. You learn how to visualize, control your will and mind, and focus thought in certain directions.
Journaling- Whether you call it a Book of Shadows, a dream journal, or whatever, its important to keep some record of your spiritual journey. This doesn’t need to be words but also pictures/photos, etc. Many use this as a resource as well, keeping important rituals, prayers, craft ideas, and spells on hand.
Sacred Space- (how to cast a circle and altar) You can create sacred space with nothing but visualization, but learning the basics of building a ‘temple, as well as the tools and setting help with creating a place for meditations, spell work, communing with the god/dess(es), and so on.
The Moon- learn about the moon phases, the elements of each phase, how it ties to our bodies and mind, and how religion honors those aspects. It ties into the balancing of the world around us with the rhythms of Nature.
The Sun, or Wheel of the Year- The eight holidays/sabbats honor the solar year where the sun moves through the phases of Light to Darkness and back again. Its tied to the planting and setting of goals. Again, this teaches us balance, but also celebration through the seasons.
Spellcraft- as prayer and empowerment. You need to learn not only the elements and symbols of spellwork, but the reasons why we use spellwork. Its about empowerment, self-guidance, healing, growth, etc.
Healing- aside with spellcraft, many pagans also explore natural methods of healing. You might find drawn to herbs, or stones, or Reiki, or other specific healing, but the art of healing often becomes crucial in our own lives as well as those around us. It also involves healing of Spirit, not just the body. You don’t have to specialize, but learning some basic techniques can prove helpful.
Divination, (gain insight) learning a method to divine for yourself the inner workings of the Self. This involves learning to understand symbolism and meaning beneath the obvious. It can include dream interpretation, crystal ball gazing, vision quests, Tarot, pendulum, etc.
Nature- The natural world around us offers so much in teaching lessons in so many ways. Even the natives often learned ways of hunting, how to form tribes, how to foresee the weather, and so forth by watching the animals and nature around them.
Some book suggestions:
What do you think? What books are best for the newbie pagan, and which ones did you start out with? What lessons do you think are most valuable to study in the first year?
BOS Assignment: Add a page to your BOS/Journal on what you feel is most important in any religion/faith. What things do you hope to learn this year? This will be compared at the end of the first year.