:Where do I begin?:

This is such an important question to a lot of people new to the Pagan Path. Wicca intrigues you, but where do you go from here? How do you start on this path? What is the next step to become Wiccan?

First and foremost remember that just because you're interested and want to start learning about Wicca does not mean that you're dedicated to Wicca just yet. This is just the learning process and a time to learn whether or not you think Wicca is for you. It may not be.

The first thing you must do before you join ANY religion is to READ about it. Read whatever you can. Anything and Everything you can get your hands on. There are vast sources of information on Wicca. The majority of them are free. The interenet is a perfect source of information. It is important that you not take one book or site as 'law'. Just as I have written this site in my personal views and beliefs, so has everyone else. You must take it as a learning experience, from which you will for your own opinions.

Secondly - talk to people. If you don't know anyone around you physically that is Wiccan or Pagan, you can always hit various sources on the Internet. Message boards, Chat rooms, Forums, Myspace, Yahoo or Google Groups, etc. Be wary of people who try to claim that their way and their beliefs are the "true" beliefs and everyone else is just pretending. Sadly you will probably encounter many such people.

I also suggest you talk to people who are not Wiccan or Pagan. Tell them that you're interested in their religion. Ask them their beliefs, what they think of the afterlife, what is required of their followers, their opinions on different religions etc. Don't say that you are any particular religion. Essentially what you are doing is shopping around and trying to find what's right for you. It is mentioned in "What Witches Do" (Farrar) that many people who begin on the Wiccan path eventually turn to Buddhism, so don't be disappointed if you begin determined to find that something else appeals to you more. The point here is to find your path. Wiccan or not.

For you "recovering Christians", as my husband likes to say, who were raised in the Church and don't agree with it, try a Unitarian church when you go talk to someone. You may find that you still want to be Christian, just in a different form. There's nothing wrong with it at all, infact one of my dear friends walked the Seekers Path for a year before realizing she still wanted to be Christian.

Most Wiccans believe in a year and a day of study before you dedicate yourself in ANY direction. I firmly believe that this should be required by everyone, because this time is necessary to absorb as much information as you possibly can before moving on, whether down the Wiccan Path or not.

The information you should learn at this point should focus mainly on : Wicca and it's history, The many different pantheons, Wiccan Morals and Laws - the Three-fold Law, Karma, etc., the Wheel of the Year - Sabbats and Esbats, ritual tools - their uses and what they represent, the traditional symbolism of colors, herbs, stones, and shapes. You may find that you prefer some subjects rather than others, but you need a basic knowledge to begin with. I may not do much work with crystals and stones, but I have still learned how they are used, their different properties, etc.

I strongly suggest on taking a Wicca 101 class. Whether it is online, in a store, with a coven, it helps to have a structured guide to learn from.

While you are learning and researching as much as possible keep a journal. Write down the reasons you think Wicca is your path. What does being a Witch mean to you? What do you hope to achieve and learn? What do you fear about following this path? How do you see the Goddess and God? What does the Divine mean to you? Be absolutely honest with yourself here, this is a private book and nobody else will ever read it.

When a year and a day has passed or whenever you feel ready - I know I spent a good two years studying the different paths I could go down! - you may decide to choose another religion or to go forth with Wicca.