July/August 2016 Issue
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Researching Wicca for Teens
This article was written by Gwinevere Rain
posted under Pagan
Teens are often misguided when they first learn about Wicca, believing that a mentor or coven is needed to jump start their practice. This is far from the case, in fact many young people start as a solitary practitioner researching the path on his or her own. If you are a teen interested in Wicca (or have a teen interested in Wicca) and have wondered where to begin or what steps to take next, then this article will be a valuable asset in your quest for knowledge.
One of the benefits of being a solitary practitioner is that you set your own learning pace, deciding how much time and effort you’d like to devote to creating an individualized practice. With the Internet and a slew of Wicca books to choose from you have so much information at your fingertips. Take the initiative and believe in yourself, it is completely possible to learn Wicca on your own.
Map Out A Plan
A great way to start your research is to create a Book of Shadows. This journal/workbook will help you to express your thoughts and keep track of your progress. Your Book of Shadows might be a spiral notebook, blank CD-ROM, or password-protected blog. Decide upon a format that you are most comfortable with. Next, state your intentions by answering the following questions in your BOS:
- What do you want to learn most about Wicca?
- What areas at this point confuse you (i.e., the holidays, concept of deity)?
- How much do you see yourself utilizing Magick? Why do you feel this way?
- Have you thought about your family and friends reaction to your interest in Wicca?
- What have you learned recently about the religion that surprised you in a positive way?
After you have considered these questions and recorded your responses, you’ll have a basic foundation to grow from. Once you understand your strengths and weaknesses you’ll be able to aim your focus in a specific direction.
Grab Reading Material
Often picking up a book on Wicca can help you to understand the path more and fill in the gaps of the information you’ve already ascertained. Yet, with many titles on the market, selecting one or two can seem daunting.
The best thing to do is research your choices in advance. Read reviews, check out Witchvox’s book profiles (www.witchvox.com), grab recommendations from online pals and take advantage of amazon.com’s search function and book excerpts.
Aside from my book, Spellcraft for Teens: A Magickal Guide to Writing and Casting Spells, two books I continuously recommend are Wicca: A Guide for The Solitary Practitioner by Scott Cunningham and In the Circle: Crafting the Witches’ Path by Elen Hawke. They are great reads for any age and answer many beginner inquiries.
Once you’ve purchased a book and started reading, jot down specific passages that have meaning to you in your Book of Shadows. Remember to include the source title, author, and page number for future reference.
Join A Message Board or Online Group
Often beginners have the desire to reach out and connect with other practitioners. Since there may not be a big group of Wiccans in your area, a message board or online group can be a great alternative. But before you jump to the closest search engine it is important to understand the proper etiquette. First, make sure you like the existing members by reading back posts. Next, take a look at the group or board rules. Then, post an introduction (but don’t give personal details like your town name or phone number). Make your intentions clear—do you want to meet new people or just ask one or two questions?
You might be wondering why I started talking about online contacts mid-article, this is because it’s better if you know the basics before networking, you’ll seem competent and serious about the path. People are often willing to help if a question is specific and original. For example, asking "What is a Book of Shadows?" might not get you a significant amount of replies. However, asking about creating or organizing a BOS might spark a popular thread.
In my experience, I’ve learned how essential it is to stay true to oneself. Although it may be tempting, try not to compare your practice to others. Accept that each Wiccan has their own style and that with time you’ll find your own balance. Also, when learning the path you might feel discouraged when questions keep popping up. I have realized there are always new things to learn, but that’s great because you constantly grow as a practitioner.
I hope these tips will help aid you in your research on Wicca. With the right tools and resources you can make great strides. Record your experiences, grab a book, search the Web, and connect with others. Best of luck on your journey to becoming an informed solitary practitioner!
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