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!!!!!!!! Search error!  If the URL ends something like .htm/  or .htm# delete the character(s) after .htm and hit return.

Wicca, a Neopagan religion

How to become a Wiccan

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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:

bulletFirst 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. 
 
bulletThere are other considerations:
bulletBeing 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.
 
bullet 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.
 
bulletIn 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 declining rapidly.
 
bullet 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.
 
bulletIf you decide to proceed, then you might spend some time learning about Wicca:
 
bulletYou might find many of the essays linked to our Wicca menu to be helpful.
 
bulletYou 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.
 
bullet 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.

bullet

One book that we have found particularly helpful for a newcomer is:

Book cover image "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."

Read reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store Cost is $9.32 plus shipping.
 

bullet 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.
 
bullet 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.
 
bulletIf 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.

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Reference used:

  1. Raymond Buckland, "The Tree: The complete book of Saxon Witchcraft," Red Wheel/Weiser, (1974). Review/order this book safely from the Amazon.com online book store

Web sites that provide on-line teaching:

bulletKaatryn MacMorgan, "All One Wicca: A study in the universal eclectic Wiccan tradition," at: http://home.att.net/~macmorgan_design/
bullet"Coven of the Far Flung Net," at: http://home.att.net/~ladykaat/coven/index.html
bullet"How do i [sic] become Wiccan," at: http://uk.geocities.com/angel_fire6585/become.html

Copyright © 2002 to 2012 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2002-JAN-13
Latest update: 2012-NOV-22
Author: B.A. Robinson

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