We frequently receive an Email of the form: "I am interested in
becoming a Wiccan and need a little advice on how do do it. My e-mail address is
We have generally responded as follows:
First ask yourself whether you really want to become a Wiccan. Some Cowans
(non-Wiccans) are keen to convert to Wicca in order to cast spells and gain
power over other people. They have seen Witches wiggling their noses or waving
a wand on TV or in the movies and are enthused about gaining that degree of
control over nature and other individuals.
Wicca doesn't really work that way.
The Wiccan Rede severely restrict Wiccans' spells and rituals. It prohibits
any manipulation, coercion or harm. Spells must be for the good of all; they
must harm none. A Witch cannot, for example, cast a love spell on another
person in order to make them fall in love. That would manipulate them. A
Wiccan is permitted to perform a ritual to make themselves more open to
love generally, -- or after receiving a request -- to make another person more open to love. However, that is about the limit.
There are other considerations:
Being a Wiccan is not easy. Wicca requires a great deal of personal
discipline and effort before one becomes proficient in the craft. In fact,
the learning never stops.
Unlike many other religions, Wicca has few ready-made rules of behavior.
In order to determine whether a particular action is moral or not, Wiccans
follow the Wiccan Rede which requires them to analyze all of the possible consequences of the action (or lack of
action) and make certain that "it harms none," including themselves. In a situation where all possible actions will cause harm, most Wiccans select the option that does the least harm.
In some areas of North America, it is not particularly safe for a Wiccan
to be open about her or his religion. There are still many sincere, devout
but misinformed people who incorrectly associate Wicca and other Neopagan
religions with Satanism, devil worship,
Satanic Ritual Abuse or
other criminal behavior. Verbal abuse, physical attacks, shooting and even
one lynching have occurred in recent decades in the U.S. Fortunately,
Wicca is becoming more widely known as a benign faith, and opposition is
However, there are also many positive aspects to the religion. Wiccans
feel very close to the environment and the cycles of nature. Many have
reported an intense feeling of comfort when they found Wicca -- a perfect fit;
they feel that they have found their religious home; they have found something that they have been searching for all their life. Members of
covens often become emotionally and spiritually close -- much like a family.
Wicca is more than a religion. It is an all encompassing way of life that
permeates all aspects of your being.
If you decide to proceed, then you might spend some time learning about
You might find many of the essays linked to our
Wicca menu to be helpful.
You might surf the Internet for information. This will give you an
appreciation of the range of Wiccan beliefs and practices. Wicca is not a
single monolithic religion; it is rather a grouping of many different
traditions. See our list of links to Wiccan sites.
See also the references below.
There is a list of books on Wicca on this
site. You may be able to borrow some of these from your local library.
Otherwise you might try to purchase some. Your telephone directory might
advertise a bookstore specializing in "New Age," "metaphysical," or "magickal"
books. Large book stores like Barnes & Noble in the U.S. and
Chapters in Canada generally have a Wiccan or New Age section. We have links in
our book list to Amazon.com, an online bookstore, which stocks many hundreds
of books on Wicca.
One book that we have found particularly helpful for a newcomer is:
"Out of the Broom Closet: 50 True Stories
of Witches Who Found and Embraced the Craft" by Arin Murphy-Hiscock. It
describes fifty true stories of Wiccans and other Neopagans who found and
embraced the Craft. These stories come from the heart!
Wicca is an almost completely decentralized religion. There are as many versions of Wicca as there are Wiccans. That is what makes this book so useful. Other books on Wicca describe the religion from the point of view of one or a few Wiccans. This book has 50 authors!
Amazon.com's book review:
"How do you yell your mother you‚re a witch? Coming out as a witch isn‚t
easy. People drawn to America‚s fastest growing religion often feel
misunderstood, rejected, even discriminated against by friends, family, and
coworkers who don‚t really know what it means to be a witch. In this
one-of-a-kind collection, fifty real-life witches reveal what drew them to
the craft, why they chose this spiritual tradition, and how they dealt with
telling their families. From the witch who heard the Goddess speak to her
during a terrible car accident to the witch who knew she was on the right
path when she picked up her first tarot deck, readers will find the
encouragement and inspiration they need to practice magick with pride and
dignity, no matter where they are on their path."
After you have formed a sincere interest in Wicca, you might consider performing a ritual of self-dedication. There are many versions of this ritual available. Many acknowledge your committment to study the religion, to learn about the Goddess and God, to study the ethical demands of the faith, to maintain your personal Book of Shadows to record your experiences within Wicca, and to consider as a future goal to become initiated as a Wiccan priestess or priest. A Google search for Wicca self dedication will find many links that show the wide variety of dedication rituals within Wicca.
After you have gained more knowledge about Wicca, you might want to try to contact a
local Wiccan coven. A coven is a group of Wiccans, typically three or more in
number. Most are restricted to persons 18 years-of-age and older. Some are informally structured. Others require potential members to
pass a training class before being initiated as a Wiccan; it often lasts the
traditional "year and a day." There are also individual Wiccans who are
not affiliated with a coven. They are often called solitary practitioners. See
our essay on how to contact other Wiccans.
If you wish to remain a solitary practitioner yourself, you might find the
Seax-Wica tradition founded by Raymond Buckland to be of interest. 1
This tradition has a self-initiation ritual by which a sincere individual
can initiate themselves into the craft as a Priestess or Priest. Alternatively, you
might wish to write your own ritual.