The Basics Of Wicca
To be a Witch is to love and be loved.
To be a Witch is to know everything, and nothing at all.
To be a Witch is to move amongst the stars while staying on earth.
To be a Witch is to change the world around you, and yourself.
To be a Witch is to share and to give, while receiving all the while.
To be a Witch is to dance and sing, and hold hands with the universe.
To be a Witch is to honor the Gods, and yourself.
To be a Witch is to BE magic, not just perform it.
To be a Witch is to be honorable, or nothing at all.
To be a Witch is to accept others who are not.
To be a Witch is to know what you feel is good and right.
To be a Witch is to is to harm none.
To be a Witch is to know the ways of the old.
To be a Witch is to see beyond the barriers.
To be a Witch is to follow the moon.
To be a Witch is to be one with the gods.
To be a Witch is to study and learn.
To be a Witch is to be both the teacher and the student.
To be a Witch is to acknowledge the truth.
To be a Witch is to live with the earth, not just on it.
To be a Witch is to be truly free!
Wicca is a religion based on nature and respect of it. It is the joyous union of nature and being one with Divinity. Infact, it's totally me. But, if you ask twenty thousand Wiccans what they believe, you'll have twenty thousand different answers. It's a personal thing.
In my opinion, the God and Goddess are equal, yet opposite entities. Not in the fact one's good, one's evil, but the fact that they have different energies and abilities, both equally necessary and mutual. Although some religions worship a Goddess mainly, Dianic Wicca, or a main God, Odin the All-Father. Although I believe in Odin and Diana, I feel equality is necessary. Speaking of equality, Wicca is a very equal religion. Men are just as important as women, there is no main church, priest or priestess or prophet to the Divine, we always with Them all the time. The God and Goddess, also the Lord and Lady, the Great Father and Great Mother, are our primal parents. They are part of everything. The land, the sea, the stars in the sky, even us and the people we don't quite appreciate. They are sacred to us. The God and Goddess are part of one Deity, but still themselves. To make a comparison, cells are in us, but make up our body. You don't have to name the God and Goddess, you can always call them the God and Goddess, the Lord and Lady, until you find what fits you. I still call them the God and Goddess, as well as the Lord and Lady, because that's how I like it and I will probably call them that forever. I mean, this is what it's all about, personality.
Wicca is not about spells, it's not about candles and herbs, it's about our respect to nature, Deity, Divinity and The All That Is. Although, magic and spells are important and part of it, they aren't the main part.
Sexuality is sacred among Wiccans. It is the personification of the union of the Lord and Lady. But remember the three P's, no not position, position, position, but, protection, protection, protection. No matter how well you know someone it is always best to use protection, and try to remain within legal age, it's only done for your benefit so you're more knowledged. Please don't force your partner into it, and if you are being forced it's your right not to. It's your body, but remember that doesn't mean you should harm it. "An ye harm none, do what thou wilt" includes the hidden don't harm yourself either.
As for body image, be happy with who you are, and if your not, take small steps to changing it. Try to be healthy, like low cholesterol, normal blood pressure and make sure you have a physcial every six months.
Wiccans can be catergorised in to two main groups, covenors and solitaries. Covenors work in groups, usually 13, but it's not set in concrete. Solitaries work alone usually because they cannot find a group or are just more comfortable in that way. It's up to you, but don't go binding yourself into covens, because these bonds are very difficult to break. Although covens have more than one person, you can always be in a study circle or a circle where you can practise occasionally with no bindings. Again, it's up to you.
Be cautious around people who claim to be Wiccan, unless you trust them. Although most Wiccans are nice, don't feel that just because one is Wiccan, they have the same, hopefully bona fide, ehtic system as you do. Remeber the Rede, "An ye harm none, do what thou wilt." This means don't harm anyone, including yourself. It means don't cast maipulative spells, (for me personal gain spells, unless absolutely necessary) and spells that will harm people, wether directly or indirectly. Then there is the threefold law, "Mind the threefold law ye should, three times bad and three times good." Curses and hexes aren't a good idea, because you'll just get them back, if they do work, afterall they are against the universal flow and mainly a psychological play. Not from the Rede but, "Do unto others, what you would have done unto you", very relative.
Magic is the altering of natural forces to cause desired, please reasonable, effects. It will simply alter your life in small ways. Don't expect glowing balls of energy, or zaps of glitter to appear on the physcial plane, but be prepared for it to work. Magic is can be compared to fire, it is a great help, but has dangers. Magic and spells don't bring an end to a means, but a means to an end. Don't expect money to grow on trees if you do a money spell, but be prepared to take out the classifieds and try to find a job.
Gerald Gardener did publicise Wicca, I am not a Gardenerian, altough I do believe in most things they would as I am an Eclectic Solitary Wiccan. What's right for you is the best thing.
You cannot be another religion and Wiccan, but you can be an Eclectic Wiccan Christian, or an Eclectic Wiccan Buddhist. That just means that you are not entirely Wiccan nor are you entirely Buddhist or Christian, but somewhere in between.
The most important part about being a Wiccan is to study, study, study. Get books, go on web sites and "speak little, listen much."
Wicca is a religion based on "perfect love and perfect trust." That's why we do not exploit our magic of money, sex and power. Never let anyone take advantage of you or make you do something you are not uncomfortable with. Remeber you have rights, and can use them. That's what they're there for. Some people are dominating, that doesn't give them any reason to dominate you, don't take it from them. And if you are offended by someone, tell them the truth about it, if you don't want to or don't want to come out, just make a statement that they probably don't know anything about it and shouldn't judge. "Judge not lest ye be judged." I mean throw some of their own words back at them. If anyone threatens you, or infringes on your rights, you have the absolute allowed to tell the police, or some other law enforcer. And if they aren't infringing on you, but are persistently, be wiser and walk away. "Two wrongs don't make a right."
Let's start out with my favorite place to shop: thrift stores.
Thrift stores are excellent places to find Pagan supplies, especially on limited budgets. I've gotten many things, magical and otherwise, from thrift stores around where I live. It seems a lot of people have no idea what their "junk" is worth.
An enterprising teen can do just about anything with a nice goblet from a thrift store, from using it as a chalice, to using it to hold candles, to using it for a scrying-bowl. Use your imagination.
Secondhand shops have an astonishing selection of items. The quality of these items varies according to some arcane plan that no Witch living has ever figured out. On one trip, you'll see nothing but trash; on the next, you'll find a silverplated bowl worth upwards of twenty dollars for three bucks. Persistence is the key.
If you see something you kind of like but aren't sure of, give it some time. The Shopping Goddess will provide. If you're meant to have it, it will not only stick in your brain, it will still be there the next time.
A friend's sister once bought a piece of wood covered in mosaic tiles with the vague idea of using it as an incense burner. Later, she discovered that it had been the art project of one of her friends. (This was an example of the give it some time rule. It was there on every one of her visits for three months.)
Magic works in mysterious ways, especially around these stores. You may mention to no-one in particular that you're looking for some object and find it on the next trip to the secondhand store. This has happened to my sister so many times that we've ceased to be amazed.
Thrift stores are any teenaged Wiccan's best friend. Remember that. If you forget every other thing I've told you, remember that. Thrift stores are the Shopping Goddess' gift.
If something is tarnished, check to see if it's silverplate. If it is, you can polish it up and it will look spiffy. If something has a stain and is white or off-white, you can put a drop of Clorox on the stain, rinse it off, and voila! you have ritual garb (or a new addition to your wardrobe, depending).
Books are cheap at secondhand stores, but chancy. Don't expect too much.
Never give up on secondhand stores. They are wonderful. They are bounteous. They are cheap, and that is what modern teens need. After all, allowances only go so far, and if you have a job, you should be saving a considerable portion of that money for your future.
In conclusion, learn to thrift. It is good.
Speaking of books, I'm going to take a moment to instruct you in the how's and why's of modern large bookstores.
They will almost never have a section titled "Witchcraft" or "Wicca". Look instead for "New Age" or "Metaphysical." In the local Barnes&Noble, I know, it's right next to the sections with "Eastern Thought" and two shelves over from the Bible rack.
Ignore the shelves with alien and vampire books unless you're really into that. You will have to search very carefully for anything good. Accept that. Check on the shelves with titles like "Witchcraft For Getting Everything You Want". Do not buy books with titles like that, by the way, unless they're by an author you know and like. The good books will be tucked in with the shitty. I recommend starting out with Cunningham--he's easy to read and find--and then moving to Patricia Telesco. She's written some wonderful books. Llewellyn's Magical Almanacs are worth buying. They have tons of timeless essays in each almanac.
Don't be afraid to pick up a book and read the first chapter. You have a right to know what you're buying.
Look for the Llewellyn publisher's stamp on the bindings of books--usually a crescent moon enclosed in a rounded square. While not all their stuff is great, they do have higher standards than many other publishers.
Semiprecious stones can be found at metaphysical stores, but I strongly suggest trying rock shops first. Metaphysical stores charge an arm and a leg for stones you get for two bucks if you know where to look. Those little points of quartz crystal you find marked at three to five dollars a point? Don't pay more than fifty cents to a dollar. Quartz marbles are harder to find, so you may wind up paying a little more than that if you want one of those. And never order plain semiprecious stones from a metaphysical catalog. You can't inspect them before they're shipped, they're advertised to look bigger than they really are, and they're overpriced. I've seen a piece of amethyst worth maybe five bucks sold for thirty in a catalog. I recommend studying stones a bit so that you have a realistic idea as to their value.
If you live in or near a medium-to-large city, there will probably be a metaphysical store around. Look for them. They can come in handy for purchasing such goodies as a tarot deck--which you need to get first-hand, and be sure to pick one that's aesthetically pleasing to you--and books. Books are the heart of a teenaged Pagan's studies. After all, the Net only goes so far.
If you're in a small town, particularly a religious small town, resign yourself to a few more years of shopping in thrift stores and getting your books however you can. Hey, it's life. Online stores can be helpful, but be wary of scams, and remember that anything you order online, your parents are going to know about.
Make things yourself. Learn to sew and make a ritual robe out of some old sheets. Make a zillion little drawstring bags. They come in handy for everything.
Learn to model clay and make God/dess icons. Make little disks and inscribe protective spells on them. (The one I used for mine was from A Crone's Book of Words, a piece with a high fiction content which nevertheless has some good chants: "With this pentagram I lay/Protection here both night and day/And for the one who should not touch/Let their fingers burn and twitch." I used a pentacle ring to make an impression on the side on which I was not writing--before I tried to write the inscription, by the way. Learning by trial and error.) You can hang such disks on your doorknob, in your closet, or tuck them in your luggage. Be creative.
Many new witches are ones that have just read a few books, but the author does have a different point of view. That's why information on the most basic of things can be different and conflicting. Now, one might be very confused and begin to look for a teacher or group of people to teach them. But the response is very often no. One shouldn't be taken aback by the response, even if it is slightly offensive, but instead go learn more. Especially when covens can be bound, and the level of intellect is much higher. So instead, try to make a circle with some friends.
A new comer should know that much of the witchy information around has been passed down by word of mouth, and from archaeological documents, myths and legends. But not all of this has filled the gaps, so some have been filled with the conjecture of scholars. This means there is no right way of practising Wicca, even if we had all the knowledge. Afterall it is so personal. Which in turn means that different interpretations will continue, so you have to do a lot of studying by yourself. Any teacher worth studying with will tell you this upfront. Read a lot. Even those you might not like to just to get a feel of it and another point of view, read with an open mind. Look at things if they were a theory before you make up your mind. Somethings will automatically feel right for you, others might not. But don't make up your mind just yet, you're researching.
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