The first thing you need to do when beginning your journey as a Wiccan is to get something to serve as your Book of Shadows. The sooner you can find a book to be your Book of Shadows, the better. It will come in very handy!
You may also wish to have a separate journal for a Book of Mirrors, to record your personal journey through Wicca (although you can use your Book of Shadows for both if you prefer).
Next week, you'll receive a lesson on how to find or create and begin your Book of Shadows and Book of Mirrors.
If you prefer to skip ahead, you can see the lesson online at Book of Shadows & Book of Mirrors. It will help to start as soon as possible, if you're the kind of person who'd want to find "just the right thing" for your Grimoire. If you're not particular about the kind of book you use, there's no need to rush.
But please do finish reading this lesson before you move on, so you'll know what to expect and how to make this course really work for you!
What You’ll Find In Each Lesson
The teacher opens the door, but you must enter by yourself.
There are a few things you need to know, before we go any further. Let’s go through them quickly and then get on to the meat of it: what you’ll find in each lesson and what to do with them.
NOTE 1: Pre-Course (Preparatory) Lessons
Just to clear up any confusion, there are 3 "lessons" before you begin the course proper. This is to give you time to get your Book of Shadows ready, to answer common questions that you might have, and to get the background information on Wicca out of the way so we can go on to the important stuff how to actually BE a Wiccan.
You'll start with...
This Welcome letter, detailing how to use this course to gain the greatest benefit
The Book of Shadows lesson, explaining what your Book of Shadows is for, and how to prepare and use it also explaining a Book of Mirrors
The Introduction, giving you Wicca FAQs, definitions, and other basic information
Then you begin the official Lesson #1 shortly before Imbolc (or, Brighid), so you'll have time to read the lesson and prepare for your Dedication on February 2nd.
NOTE 2: Southern Hemisphere / Northern Hemisphere
The course is laid out from the perspective of the Northern Hemisphere, because that is Wicca's origin.
If you live in the Southern Hemisphere, you have two choices. You can follow Wicca as laid out for the North... however that’s not ideal, as it will have you celebrating the dark of the year at the peak of Southern Springtime.
Or you can align the Sabbats etc. with the Southern calendar.
I recommend the second option. After all, it doesn't make much sense for a Nature religion to celebrate Winter in the summer, and vice versa. Adapt Wicca to your place on Earth, and you will achieve a more satisfying alignment with the Earth Goddess.
So, as we in the North go through the seasons and Sabbats beginning in January, if you're in the Southern Hemisphere you could begin in July.
Another thing to be aware of is that the Moon phases look different from the different halves of the Earth. The Waxing Moon, from the Southern Hemisphere, curves to the left, like this: , opposite to how it appears in the north. The Waning Moon, from the Southern Hemisphere, curves like this: .
There will be more on the Southern Hemisphere's slant on Wicca as we go along.
NOTE 3: Spiritual Words and Ordinary Words
In these lessons, you’ll see some words written with capital letters, that aren't normally written that way. Capitalising a word shows you that it’s being used in its symbolic or spiritual context.
In other words, a lower-case letter signifies that we’re using ordinary, everyday meaning of the word, and a capital letter signifies that we’re using the symbolic/spiritual meaning.
Lowercase ‘w' water refers to the liquid that you wash with and drink,
Capital 'W' Water refers to the spiritual essence of Water, the metaphysical Element associated with the West and the Moon.
NOTE 4: Key Points Will Be Set Apart
When there is a particularly essential point you need to know about being a Wiccan, it'll be set apart from the regular text and look like this...
Very essential point here!
Make sure you read it and really take it in before going on
This won’t happen all the time. But when italics and bolding just aren't enough, you’ll know to pay close attention.
The Wiccan Chants
Each lesson begins with one or more Wiccan chants. This is an important part of your Wiccan education.
Music and songs in Wicca are not merely for entertainment.
Songs are encapsulated magickal energy
thought, emotion, will, intention, speech, music, harmony, & vibration
all rolled into one super-power-packet of sound!
When you sing, especially in ritual, you invoke that energy that connection with the Divine and set magick loose in the world to manifest what the song Calls into life. (We’ll explore this more in a future lesson.)
It's part of a Wiccan Initiate's training to learn some of the songs and chants commonly used in Wicca. So in each lesson you will find chants that are related (in some way) to the subject that week.
It's not required that you memorise all the songs, but you should strive to remember and sing at least a dozen make it 13 for a good Witchy number
so that you know at least one for various purposes, like invoking directions, invoking the Goddess and God, releasing directions, etc.
The more chants you know, the more options you have for your rituals and magick!
If you happen to know the source of any chant attributed to unknown or anonymous, please let me know so that the right person gets their due credit. Thanks!
I've included chants of my own, and I hope you find them enjoyable and useful. Some of the chants by others, though, have been around longer and are more likely to be sung in various Wiccan groups... so if your goal is to Circle with other Wiccans you will definitely want to learn some of those.
I'll be putting up recordings of the chants, so you can hear what they sound like; that will be done at a future date, though, when I've completed the editing and uploading of this course it's still in progress, but I didn't want to make you wait another year!
The reading portion of each lesson is jam-packed with information on and insights into many areas that impact your practice of Wicca and spirituality as well as your life.
Each one is a thorough exploration of the topic of the week. They include everything you need to know, in order to proceed to the next level of your practice of Wicca no other books or researches are needed.
Further Study Links:
From time to time, you’ll find links to other articles which further explain the topic at hand, for the more enterprising student.
But these are merely asides to the lesson: more important is to finish the lesson itself, before going to supplementary pages.
There are also tidbits often in the footnotes that tie your increasing spiritual awareness to situations in ordinary life.
And throughout it all are revelations about the spiritual Mysteries and glimpses into the true nature of reality.
This is the good news.
What that means is that the lessons are quite lengthy. Knowing the average attention span these days, it’s impressive if someone can focus for almost a minute, or read an article instead of skim it. Which creates a bit of a dilemma.
The information you need on this journey to Magick and Power and Spirit is more than can be summarised in 100 words or less. So I had to choose...
Should I skimp on what is needed, and leave the dedicated students without all the information they really need?
Or should I give you everything you need to know, even though most students won’t bother to read all of it?
Many people warned me that students are unlikely to read the whole lesson if it’s as long as it needs to be to teach you what you need to know.
But I believe in you!
From the start I chose to create this course
especially for you who are truly dedicated...
* to becoming real Wiccans,
* to finding your own power,
* to becoming skilled in magick, and
* to living in connection with Earth and the Divine.
To do that, you need all that these lessons give you, even if it does make them long.
If you are one of those dedicated Wiccans-to-be, you’ll appreciate the thoroughness of the information provided here.
If you're not, you’ll skim things quickly and probably never use them.
That’s not my responsibility, though. My responsibility as your guide to Wicca is to be the best guide I can possibly be. So I’m giving you everything I can to help you on your journey.
Whether you use it or not is entirely up to you.
I believe that you really want to touch the Magick Soul of the Earth. I believe you're capable of doing what’s necessary for that.
I deeply hope you will choose to really read each of these lessons. I hope you will savour them, slowly, even repeatedly, and allow the wisdom within them to seap deep into you. They will change your life, I promise you and more than that, they will change the world! Your work in this course will benefit not only you, but all beings... and Mother Earth as well.
If you want a better life and a better planet to live it on, PLEASE READ IT ALL.