The Basics Of Wicca
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After reasearching, you get an inteterest. You might go around in chatrooms asking for help. They might have a not so helpful response, probably with the overtone of "You Wannabe!" Don't feel embarassed, discouraged or put down just tell them thank you, let them pick up the sarcasm, and go off to a library to read some more about it. Wicca is a very spiritual path. It isn't summarised in one page. So if you ask a question try to ask it very specifically. For an intelligent question, will get an intelligent answer.
Read as many books as you can on History, Myths and Legends, Wicca, Witchcraft, Magic and anything else you like.
Make yourself a reference library of books, pirnted off pages and web sites.
Start a journal and keep your thoughts in it about your day, as well as information you have found.
Get organised and try and concentrate harder.
Be honest and spend time along and meditate on what you want on this path.
Don't make commitments yet, you are researching something that interests you at a personal level.
Find out where you fit in instead. As above, don't get discouraged. It can be very difficult to be a solitary, but even some old witches are solitary still. It's a personal choice. Sometimes they won't give you the information straight away, because they had difficulties getting it themselves. They will be telling you that it was so hard for them and they had to with a simile to walking barefoot in the forest to collect firewood, don't be suprised that you'll have to walk a bit and don't expect your fire wood served on a silver platter.
You shouldn't join a coven just yet. They are bound together and work very well together. It is a difficult process to make a magickal unit that works. Most covens aren't looking for new members because it takes time to re-adjust to thechange. There are some internet covens and they are great for a beginning and finding new knowledge.
Don't feel left out because you aren't part of a group. In the olden days, witches were alone, and many still are. Just because you are a solitary doesnt mean you can't be in a studay circle with other witches.
Now is the time for your personal preferences in what you do. Do you prefer to lead rituals outside, or with just a few close friends? Do you like to think about things, or are you spontaneous? Think why you want to be in a circle/coven. Try visulaisation. See your self as a hero or heroine running along the beach with your covenors, with fire wood in your hands, preparing a bon fire and an altar. See yourselves laughing and having fun. Does this appeal to you or do you feel more confortable along? These questions are not so that you have an image, but so you have a spiritual connection with your path and the God and Goddess. Asking questions to yourself will help you find a decision. You may feel like collecting some ritual items or setting up an altar. Now you are exploring your possibilites. Don't set up an altar if your parents are very un-understanding about it. You could set up a crystal, a candle, a feather, and a shell for the elements and a forest branch for the God and a special shell for the Goddess.
Continue to read, study and record your notes and keep recording those questions.
Find out what Way appeals to you, wiccan, Celtic, Druid. If you cannot decide ecelctic is probably for you. That means you take little bits from everything.
You will be challenged by other Pagans , this tells you a lot about them and you.
Keep a sense of humour.
Look in chat rooms, read websites, go to witchy shops and ask and read the books.
There are opportunities everywhere. Now asking questions is easier when you know what youire doing.
Think about particular Deitites. Which ones speak to you? What doet of relationship do you have with the ones you have chosen, or one which chose you? Do you associate with the symbols associated to hte Deities?
Don't get ahead of yourself. All lessons take time to get into your head. That's why your subconscious is learning through dreams and symbols whilst your conscious mind is still grasping.
Don't 'put all your ritual eggs into one basket.'
Keep an open mind and open heart and keep reading other points of view.
Don't lie, it wastes energy .
Don't get frustrated about not being a coven. This normally comes later.
Now you may feel ready to start doing rituals and spells.
Feeling informs you through its feeling-tones of the values of things. Feeling tells you for instance whether a thing is acceptable or agreeable or not. It tells you what a thing is WORTH to you....It is, like thinking, a rational function.
Look for symbols because that is how the subconscious mind works. That's why the inner work that you do is the starting point of magic. Touch some of your ritual items. What emtotions do they evoke? How do you feel? This is your imagination, not making up things as you might have been told. Unlcok this powerful tool and use it. It gives magic a lot more power. Creative comes from creation. You are literally creating with you mind. Put yur imagination with symbolism. What have you come up with? Your subconscious is a fertile place of your spirit where eveyrhting is possible.
Do you remember your favourite story that you always heard when you were a kid. And you could always prompt the reader where the mistake was. You were always in the story and could remember everything? You were using your imagination.
Tjhe gestures, tools and workings at this beginning time should be done exactly the same. The repitition trains your brain, mind and subconscious to magic workings. The subcnscious is like that kid who wants to hear the story over and over again. It allows your symbol-imagination mind to accustom and grow. Later you can do what you want.
Basic Ritual Structure:
Preparing the Altar.(nothing too elaborate, just a few of your favorite tools). Lighting the candles.
Cleansing the area.
Casting the circle.
Invoking the elements.
Invoking the Deities.
Stating the Purpose of the ritual.
Magickal workings or devotions.
Raising the Energy. Releasing the Energy.
Thanking the Deities.
Thanking the elements.
Closing(or sometimes called opening) the circle.
Cakes and ale.
There are more simple or elaborate ways of doing a ritual. Most traditions have their own format. This is a basic structure and as it is pretty similar to another tradition's way, you should be comfortable no matter what circle you are in.
Take note on how you will do each step. You can do it with salt and water, incense, a besom.
Take time to ground, centre and meditate prior to ritual.
Tell the God and Goddess about what you are doing, to reassure yourself.
Perform each step as planned previously, slowly
Listen and draw symbols you feel l=ike drawing in your journal.
Make sure you do it the same time over and over. Rather than becoming boring it should become more spiritually meaninful.
Take deep breaths during the ritual.
Continue to repeat these phases. We are continually learning new things.
Don't worry what you will say. It's from the heart and that's what counts.
Don't take any oaths or dedications for you have not made that decision yet. It takes time and will be an important decision in your life.
Don't worry about how movies portray rituals. Nothing bad will hapen, Just perform each step slowly as follow ehtics.
Do a ritual on a regular basis if you can.
Begin to think about the Phases of the Moon, the Sabbats and other important Wiccan things.
Wicca and Witchcraft is, afterall, following the rhythms of nature and the universe.
Ask yourself how you are doing, The information previous to this should have taken a fair bit of time to complete, about a few months. At this point you hsould feel comfortable. You have to do it physciall, not just mentally.
"Effort requires that you either answer 'yes' or 'no'."
Teachers can always tell if someone who comes to them has done their work. The first time that a student will do a ritual or take part in one with others will clearly show his or her knowledge and practise or lack of it.
Just because you have done your work doesn't mean you won't be nervous first time round, but this feeling will pass very quickly. You subcnscious will remember all the work and bond with the conscious mind to make you wiser.
Life is always changing. Nothing stays the same.
To Know you have To Do. Experience requires action.
The quality of each experience - as you draw it forth and do it and live it - becomes the substance of your wisdom.
Yes, there will be a test on this. There is ALWAYS a test on this!
"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters,
compared to what lies within us."
Wicca follows the seasonal changes of the Earth. There are eight sabbats, called the Wheel of the Year. Some have the Four Fire Festivals, and others just do things according to their system of beliefs. When you have decided research these holidays. Think of each as a seasonal marker for the year.
During this you will explore the year throughout its cycles opf nature. This will take a whilte. A year and a day. Just because you are training doesn't mean you won't have fun. This is a time of focus and concentration to help you become your spiritual self, the universe and nature.
In this cycle you will learn your place in the universe. Everything in the universe has vibrational energy. Some have a higher frequency, others a lower frequency. Feel these changes around you as the seasons change.
"I learn by going where I have to go."
Most witches believe in reincanration and transmigration of the soul. All things in nature are born, grow, mature, reproduce and then decline and die. This cycle is constant. This is my this makes such good sense to Pagans. By observing the continuous, rhythmic cycles of the Earth, we reflect on it and feel it just seems right. Afterall, it's natural. And in nature everyone has their own place. Learn to fit in to this cycle through active involvement. When you understand these rhythms, you will know what it means to be a pagan.
Effective experiential learning will affect the learner's cognitive structures (action theories), attitudes and values, perceptions and behavioral patterns.
People will believe more in knowledge they have discovered themselves than in knowledge presented by others.
Learning is more effective when it is an active rather than a passive process.
Acceptance of new action theories, attitudes, and behavioral patterns cannot be brought about by a piecemeal approach.
It takes more than information to change action theories, attitudes, and behavioral patterns.
It takes more than firsthand experience to generate valid knowledge. Besides experience, there needs to be a theoretical system that the experiencer tests out and a personal reflection on the meaning of the experience.
(The above principles come from the work of Kurt Lewin, one of the important founding fathers of social psychology who influenced the development of the Group Dynamics movement in the early 1940's.)
Look for objects on your altar, especially seasonal ones. Design robes, think about their colors. Make a mask for each holiday and a story to follow. Act! Dance! Sing! Write! Compose! Cook! Make boxes to hold ritual decorations for each holiday and have fun!
"A man of faithful thought may feel in light, among the beasts and fields,
the turning of the wheel."
This is done for transformation. It begins from within and shows itself on the outside. Many people turn to a religion in an attempt to change the things that they perceive to stand in the way of their path to the sacred.
Inner transformational work is difficult, messy and will take a long time. This explains the want fo spells frpp, new witches. Wanting to go around the mundane, necessary means just to achiene an instant end., It isn't like that.
You will learn throughout the year:
Respect - Both for the interconnection of all Life and for yourself.
Thought - How you can change your life by changing your thoughts.
Examination - Looking within yourself for answers and solutions.
Release - Letting go of old habits and emotions that no longer work.
Synthesis - How an individual can also be part of a whole.
Creativity - Trusting your intuition to help you make viable choices.
Action - Learning how to act rather than re - act.
Love - Being able to give and receive healthy love.
Strength - Inner courage to overcome circumstances without harm.
Transformation - The realization that only you can change what is not working in your life. Only you can make your life what you want it to be. And only you - through difficult, messy and lengthy work - can make your magickal Life one of Love,
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