Learn basics first as You were suggested. Which may differ depending on tradition, though energy work ( ground , center, raise, release and so on ) is a brilliant advice to learn first.
Then learn about different traditions, chose one and than go on.
Even If begginer You could invite any of many helpful spirits to aid and protect You
It can be as simple as lighting a blue candle, dressed with "Spirit guide " ( from top to bottomd , or middle to ends ) type of oil, and place it on a saucer, with some Althaea around the candle 's base . Place a glass of pure water next to candle, which You will change each day. Burn candle each day and pettition any ( or desired ) spirit to aid You in Your learning and wor k :)
Carry Aqamarine , or Holley stone