Where can you go to learn Wicca?
There are plenty of people who claim to teach an introduction to Wicca for beginners, but where do you find them, and even more important... how do you know whom to trust?
Wicca for Beginners
There are basically 7 ways to go:
The crucial part, no matter which method you use, is actually practicing Wicca. If you just read about it or think about it, you won't really know it.
The good news is, you can learn much of Wicca simply by searching it online. There is a ton of Wiccan information on the World Wide Web these days.
The bad news is, a lot of it is highly questionable information. There's lots of horse-manure disguised as objective information out there. Find out how to figure out whose information to trust.
Naturally, I think one of the best places to learn about Wicca is by reading through this website, along with the Silver Chalice E-zine.
These resources give you most of what you need to know about Wicca. If you want to learn it, it's probably in here somewhere. (Check out the Sitemap or use the Sitesearch tool to find what you're looking for.
I hope it's obvious that these articles have been written with your well-being, and the world's best interests, in mind.
Wicca-Spirituality.com also covers a deeper spiritual level than most resources. That means that it will help you get the most out of your Wiccan practice.
Workshops & Courses
It can be very helpful for beginners to take workshops. I especially recommend Reclaiming's Wicca teachings. This is the group that Starhawk belongs to. They have gatherings all over the world.
Many people are offering online courses these days, but beware. Some of these are reputable, but some are pretty shady... and some have low-quality or just plain bad information.
(That's why I created A Year & A Day: 53 Weeks to Becoming a Wiccan. It's a hands-on, step-by-step development of your knowledge and skills as a Wiccan, as well as a spiritual seeker. This is one of the best ways you can learn Wicca. But don't take my word for it; check out what others have to say about it.)
At the best of times, if you learn Wicca just by reading rather than practicing, you don't really learn Wicca. That's why workshops and courses are such a great way to learn.
You may want to learn Wicca from a coven. This has certain advantages. When you learn for a coven, you have a built-in group of people to celebrate with... and you're learning the Wiccan tradition these members practice, so you're all on the same page.
One of the disadvantages is that Witches who work in covens often have quite rigid and hierarchical structure, and that's not everyone's cup of tea.
You can read more about covens, the advantages and disadvantages and how to find them, in Covens, Circles, and Solitary Witch Craft.
Also, be sure to read this article on how to choose a safe coven (or mentor) and whom to avoid!
Most people starting out to learn Wicca wish for a coven to study with. In fact, sometimes it can be a disadvantage, even if it's a good group. It can inhibit your own spiritual development. I'm not saying covens are bad for Wiccan beginners, not at all; but I'm saying that sometimes it's a hidden gift to be learning as a Solitary.
Mentoring is a great way to learn, because you have one-on-one teaching.
Unfortunately it's not easy to find a mentor. That's the biggest drawback. Probably less than 1% of Witches have learned the Craft from a mentor.
You should also think about this: What's in it for your mentor?
Some people are happy to share what they know and bring others to the Divine. Other people have hidden agendas, or are attached to being the person in power. A good mentor will be upfront with you about what they get out of the arrangement, and be willing to share power as you grow in your abilities.
Either way, a mentoring relationship must be an exchange. You must give something back. It's only respectful... Your mentor is giving so much of themselves for you. If you value the gift, then you must give something in return.
An exchange of energy, in one form or another, is an important spiritual balance.
Traditionally, an apprentice would do the menial labour in exchange for learning the secrets of the trade.
What can you give back? What does your mentor want? It may be that they want you to pay it forward, and help someone in turn. But the two of you need to decide this before you start.
This kind of relationship is best worked out beforehand. I know the urge is to trust each other and the Divine and believe that everything will work out since you have the best of intentions. But we are human, and misunderstandings are inevitable. Be clear, and write it down! What are the responsibilities or gifts of each party?
Trust me... you'll probably be glad you did!
There are some excellent Wiccan books I can recommend for an introduction to Wicca. I've written Wiccan book reviews on some of them, and you can order them online through the links to get started right away.
In particular, I very highly recommend Starhawk's books for beginners to learn Wicca. Starhawk and Reclaiming embody the best ideals of Wicca Spirituality, and they have lots of experience training Wiccan skills to beginners.
Starhawk offers more than the ABCs of ritual and magick. Her books take you on a journey that develop the skills you need to really practice Wicca.Scott Cunningham is another popular resource to learn Wicca. I appreciate his eye for detail, and he also encourages you to take his methods as a starting point and adapt them to your own use.
Learn Wicca with the Divine
In the final analysis, we all teach ourselves. Others can show and explain and guide, but what you learn is what you experience for yourself and understand.
If you want to learn Wicca on your own, or you don't have options like covens or mentors, you can start by reading and taking workshops, or even an online course (like A Year & A Day: 53 Weeks to Becoming a Wiccan ).
You can also proceed by letting the Divine guide you.
The best teacher is Mother Earth herself. Go back to Nature. Always, always, go back to Nature. Let Her teach you her secrets. They are the secrets of your own Divine nature!
Bring as much consciousness as you can to everything that you do. Look for the connections... how does this relate to your understanding of Wicca?
And when you want to learn Wicca, your best guide is your own heart and gut feelings.
Your heart is the Temple of the Divine, and everything you need to know can be found there.
It's often said that at some point on the spiritual journey, you must have a teacher. It's also said that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear.
You can put out a magickal call for a teacher if you want one (and they're very helpful to have!). In the meantime, learn all the Wicca you can on your own, reading and taking courses and practicing, so that you will be ready when they appear.
Advanced Spiritual Training
Even if Wicca IS the right spiritual path for you, I most highly recommend taking courses from either Yasodhara Ashram in western Canada, or at Radha Yoga centres near you.
This will give you some of the best, most transformative, most important spiritual training you could ever receive! (Take the 3-month Yoga Development Course if you possibly can!!)
You can find the Ashram through their website, and Radha Yoga classes here: they may be able to tell you of classes in your area.
This is not just physical hatha-yoga that they teach... it's spiritual development on all levels. Their dream classes are always fun!
If you're under 30, you can get reduced rates at the Ashram, and even some free things -- there are lots of young people there.
Even as a Wiccan, you will probably feel like you're coming home to your true family, when you go there. It is an extended family of spiritual and mystic people, like you.
With Bright Blessings,