The problem is compounded when your introduction to Wicca is through websites. Everyone can make a website these days -- and has! -- and there's no quality control at all.
So how do you know what's true and what's not?
Here are some guidelines.
Be sure to check out the article on Coven Cautions to find more information on this subject. Here's the brief version, specific for Wiccan books and websites.
Is there a lot of hype or claims of secret knowledge?
If they're selling an introduction to Wicca with claims like "No one else knows these secrets" or "I'm gonna be in trouble for telling you this" you should move on.
You can usually feel when someone's yanking your chain.... Trust that feeling. Just click off and go elsewhere.
If they are very heavy-handed, telling you exactly how Wicca must be done, they're either inexperienced, missing the point, or just plain dictatorial.
If they ever advocate using or harming another being (physical or non), they're totally off the mark. Don't believe them.
It's one thing for a web-manager to receive income from their site... that's how they can afford to keep a website alive and good information coming to you. It's a fact of life that we need money to live. And the energy-exchange is honourable: they provide something you need with their time and money, and you give something back in return.
But it's another thing altogether when the whole website seems designed to sell you something, rather than help you find out what you want to know.
If the site is organized around sales more than information, you might want to keep looking.
The information might be good, but it might be manipulated just to get the sales.
If a certain introduction to Wicca seems reliable to you, try some of it out.
When you act on it, you will feel in yourself whether it seems good or not.
You are your own best protection against bad information. Listen to your heart and your guts.
When you feel comfortable and happy with something, it's probably fairly safe. If you feel a little anxious or uncomfortable with it, it's likely not right for you... even if the source is trustworthy.
Your own gut sense, and then your experience, are the best guides.
When it comes down to it, Wicca is not about rites and rituals and dogma... it's about the practices that help you become more aware of the LIFE around you and within you.
Go back to the basics, what you already know and trust.
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