You made the decision. You’ve done some initial research. You even found an awesome Wiccan website that has an adorable black cat as its official mascot. And, perhaps most importantly, you’ve “officially” dedicated yourself to studying the Craft and making Wicca part of your life.
So….. now what do you do?
I found myself in the same conundrum after I decided that I wanted to follow the Wiccan Path. I was excited about the decision, but I didn’t exactly know what to do on “day two.” Luckily for you, you found me (or, more to the point, you’ve found this website).
One Path – Two Lanes
What you do next is going to depend largely upon which lane you’re in on your journey down the Wiccan Path. If you found a coven (and, assuming the coven has allowed you to join), then chances are good that the coven members will be your guides. Most covens have their own process on what initiates should do. In this case, I highly encourage you to rely upon the more seasoned members of your new found coven family for guidance. That doesn’t mean, however, that you must listen to them and ONLY them. Above all, Wicca is a path of enlightenment; and that enlightenment will take a slightly different form for each person. Everyone’s journey is unique.
If you’ve decided that you’re going to practice solo, then you may feel a bit lost (as did I) as to what to do next. When I started practicing, I wanted to dive head-first into performing rituals and spells. But I didn’t know the first thing about the who, what, when, where, and how. I knew I needed supplies. But when I started my journey, I was in a bad place financially. And I’m the kind of person who, when I decide I want to do something, I want to get EVERYTHING I need to do it right; and I want it ALL right now! So the first lesson I had to learn was patience.
Homework, Homework, Homework!
If you were enjoying not having homework since college, you’re going to be a bit bummed out at what you’re going to have to do next. Yep, homework. And lots of it. In another article, I discuss the “year and a day” concept that is a key tenet of Gardnerian Wicca. But the basic idea is that a new initiate into Wicca is on a “probation period” of sorts for a year and a day. During this time, the initiate dedicates themselves to studying the different aspects of Wiccan beliefs and practices. This is still popular in many covens, especially those who follow the classic Gardnerian path.
Some schools of thought say you’re not “really” a witch until you’ve fulfilled the year and a day probation period. Others disagree (myself being one of them). I think that you can consider yourself a Wiccan the minute you perform your dedication ceremony. And if you’re a solo practitioner, then you have no obligation to put yourself on a probationary period.
HOWEVER, I do think it’s an excellent idea to allow yourself at least a year (and a day) to learn about all things Wicca. There are a few sites out there that offer a guided “year and a day” study path for new Wiccans. I’ll list these sites in my “Resources” section as soon as I gain the proper approvals. But you don’t necessarily need to do any kind of structured study plan (and, if you’re like I was when I started – i.e. a witch on a tight budget – you may not have the financial resources to enroll in such a program). So what to do?
Well, my site has a lot of excellent information about Wicca, and I’m adding more stuff every day. So, for now, just read everything you can get your hands on. I HIGHLY recommend getting your hands on a copy of Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner by Scott Cunningham. You can click the link to be taken to Amazon where you can get a copy for about $8 (physical or digital editions are available). It’s well worth the small investment and it’s a great resource to have on hand.
What About Rituals?
You’re probably wondering what to do about performing rituals or doing spells. After all, it’s an integral part of any witch’s repertoire, not to mention lots of fun to do (and very spiritually uplifting). Believe me, you’ll never stop learning about new ways to do spells or new rituals to try. For now, though, try to keep it simple. There are some very key things that you need to know about performing rituals or doing spells, all things that I discuss in subsequent articles.
Keep your spells simple at first. All you really need are some candles (any kind of candle will do; white votive candles are ideal for simple spells), some extra virgin olive oil (with which to anoint the candles), and intent. You’ll soon learn that a lot of what goes into a spell or ritual has to do with the outcome you’re looking for and the intent with which you’re performing it.
When I first started doing simple candle spells, I concentrated on spells that would increase my self confidence and self esteem. It simply consisted of a candle, a simple rhyming incantation, and meditation. If you’ve got all the self confidence you need, then think of another area of your life that you want to improve (and also email me and let me know how you got all that excess self confidence!) and let that be the first area you focus on in your candle spells. Keep it simple though; you’ve got much to learn!