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In Search of a Teacher

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Forums -> Wicca -> In Search of a Teacher

In Search of a Teacher
By:
Post # 1
I'm new to Wicca... kind've. I've been sort've half-ass studying for three years now. Trying to take in bits and pieces here and there but not really learning much. I've decided that I want to be a Wiccan... but I don't know how to go about doing it, if I'm doing ANYTHING right or even what I should be focusing.

I've tried things like grounding and meditation... but I have no clue if I'm doing it right. Visualization seems... a bit difficult. Spells scare me 'cause I don't want to mess anything up. So I guess what I really need is an experienced witch's guiding hand... anyone willing to help?

Much appreciated.
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Re: In Search of a Teacher
By: Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 2
Vanitys_Fire, Perhaps before you go trashing Wicca it would help if you actually talked to some long-term Wiccans to see what it is that they truly believe and practice because your information is off the mark by quite a bit.

First of all, it isn't true at all that experienced Wiccans try to hide the history and beliefs of Wicca from someone new who is trying to learn. I've been a practicing Wiccan for 30 years. I am also not someone who is simply book taught. I am both a 3rd degree initiate of the Oak, Ash, and Thorn Tradition AND a 2nd degree initiate of Gardnerian Wicca. I'm always willing to discuss the history, beliefs, and practices of Wicca with anyone.

Yes, it is true that Wicca is a modern religion founded by Gerald Gardner in the 1930's. (He made it public in 1954 following the repeal of the Anti-Witchcraft laws in England.) Modern Wicca is a blend of British folk magic, Western esoteric traditions, and Masonic rituals. So what?? Every religion was new at one time. What is more important is that Wicca is meeting the spiritual needs of thousands of practitioners world-wide. If Wicca didn't work it wouldn't still be alive and growing. It may not be the right spiritual path for you, but that doesn't mean that you should trash it. Especially since you seem to know little about it.

Gardner was neither warped nor a dirty old man. He was a respected British Civil Servant. He also had a very dry sense of humor and liked to pull the leg of the press at times. Anyone who practices Wicca...whether they are a Gardnerian or some other Tradition...owes a tremendous debt of gratitude to Gardner.

Wiccans do not necessarily believe that "All Gods are one God and all Goddesses one Goddess". That concept was put forward by Dion Fortune..who was Christian, not Wiccan. What Wiccans do believe is that our religion is experiential. That means that each of us has a personal experience of our relationship to the Gods and can then make up our own minds as to what the nature of the Divine might be. Personally I am both Wiccan and a hard polytheist believing that the Gods and Goddesses are all separate individuals in their own right.

The Law of Three (Often mistakenly called Karma) is not about punishment and scaring people into being "good". While many people...such as yourself...interpret it to mean that if you are hurting someone you will be hurt three times, that is not what the Law of Three is telling you. What the Law of Three tells us is that our actions have consequences and that those consequences effect us physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Hence the "threefold". There is no punishment involved, merely a result of our own actions.

Nor does Wicca say that we cannot do "harm" although many not familiar with Wiccan teachings think it does. In the Wiccan Rede it says "AN it harm none, do as ye will." In this case the word "AN" should be read as "if". So IF an action isn't going to do any harm then you are free to do it. The Rede is silent on actions that cause harm, leaving it up to the individual Wiccan to decide what the ethical response to any given situation might be. If a Wiccan feels that a baneful act is truly necessary and they are willing to accept the possible consequences of their actions, then no one is going to come along and pull their Wiccan privileges.

Probably the one statement that you made that was accurate is that Wicca and Witchcraft are two different things. Witchcraft is a magical practice that may or may not be a religious one. Wiccans practice witchcraft and are therefore Witches. BUT, of course not all Witches are Wiccan. Heck, not all Witches are even Pagan. While some practice Witchcraft as a Pagan religion, that doesn't seem to be that ancient of a practice. There is some indication of Witchcraft as religion in 14th century Italy, that seems to be an aberration. Most Witches in the past were followers of the religion of the area they lived in. I'd suggest "Triumph of the Moon" by Ronald Hutton for an overview of the rise of religious Witchcraft.

Finally, saying at the end of the post that you don't mean to offend by your post does not remove the responsibility you have for thoroughly trashing a religion about which you obviously know very little and which means so much to so many people.
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Re: In Search of a Teacher
By: Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 3
Hi Mutt, I?ve been practicing Wicca for a good many years now and one of the first questions that comes up is the one about where to start. My suggestion is always to start by doing some reading and studying to make certain that you understand what Wicca is really all about, and so that you can then decide whether this is truly the path that you want to follow. So with that in mind I thought I would offer some books and websites that are full of sound I information which can help you get started on your path.

To start with, here are some books that I would suggest.

"A Witch Alone" by Marian Green
"The Elements of Ritual" by Deborah Lipp
"Witchcrafting" by Phyllis Curott
"21st Century Wicca" by Jennifer Hunter
"Before You Cast a Spell" by Carl McColman
"When, Why...If" by Robin Wood
"Practical Pagan" by Dana Eilers
"Wicca; A Year and a Day" by Timothy Roderick

You can also find the recommended reading list that my coven uses at: http://www.tangledmoon.org/reading_list.htm

Here's some websites that you may find useful in helping you with questions.

http://www.witchessabbats.com/

http://wcc.on.ca/faq/faq1.html

http://www.widdershins.org/vol10iss3/04.htm

http://wicca.timerift.net/

http://www.witchvox.com

http://www.branwenscauldron.org/index.php/topic,5398.0.html

http://www.branwenscauldron.org/index.php/topic,5355.0.html

http://www.tangledmoon.org/wiccan-exercise.htm

http://www.tangledmoon.org (this is my own coven site.)

Hope this helps you get a good start on your studies. And feel free to ask me if you have any specific questions I can help you with.
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Re: In Search of a Teacher
By:
Post # 4

Those websites were also helpful to me!! Thank you Lark!! :)

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Re: In Search of a Teacher
By: / Beginner
Post # 5
Mutt, The Teen Witch By, Silver Ravenwolf is a good book to read. You might also want to read Wicca A Guide To The Solitary Practitioner By, Scott Cunningham, and Wicca A Further Guide To The Solitary Practitioner By, Scott Cunningham. I would read all those but, I would read The Teen Witch By, Silver Ravenwolf first because it seems to make more sense when read first. It contains a lot more information and it makes everything else easy to understand.
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Re: In Search of a Teacher
By: Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 6
"Teen Witch" by Silver Ravenwolf is a terrible book, full of inaccuracies and questionable ethics. In fact I wouldn't recommend anything by Silver Ravenwolf to anyone who is serious about their studies.

If anyone is interested in the problems with SRW you can check out these links:

Tarnished Silver: http://www.ecauldron.com/opedtarnishedsilver.php

Why We Despise Silver Ravenwolf: http://wicca.timerift.net/ravenwolf.shtml

The Problem with Silver Ravenwolf: http://www.fortunecity.com/roswell/vanthal/608/id57.htm#
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Re: In Search of a Teacher
By:
Post # 7
Hi, Lark.
I am "brand new" in this site and I'm very interested on WICA. I found your answers very informed (and informative). Thanks for the lesson.
I'll make a point of readind some of the books recomended by you
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Re: In Search of a Teacher
By:
Post # 8
hi am new here and am interested in magic but when i tries it does not work i tried the visualization and meditation but its too hard for me my mind always wanders here and there if you feel free to help me you can mail me
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Re: In Search of a Teacher
By: / Knowledgeable
Post # 9
Lark is the most informative Wiccan that I've ever had the pleasure of meeting. I suggest that everyone interested in the religion take her words to heart. I am not Wiccan, but my views of the religion have changed quite drastically since following her posts. It baffles me how many Wiccans out there are inaccurate concerning their own religion, but Lark is a huge exception. I have far more respect for the religion now, and a keener eye for those who twist it into something it is not.

I agree that Silver Ravenwolf is a terrible author. I don't understand how she became so popular. I suggest avoiding her like the plague.
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