I suppose I'm not the only one to have decided to choose this path and then end up feeling a little overwhelmed by all the information out there. What's true and what isn't? What are the misconceptions and what is actually correct?
In this day and age with so much information at our fingertips and the ability for anyone to get online and become a content creator, it can become increasingly difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff. I guess the best way to discern between them is to speak to as many people as possible, cross reference multiple research resources and steadily begin to find the common denominator across the board. This has been my approach.
Information which is valid will be:
Something that is effective (in cases of practical magic and using those aspects of paganism)
Something that is universally accepted (if you can find something in more than three resources, chances are, its a good concept)
Something that is spelled correctly (if the person whos trying to teach you cant bother to run spell check should you really be taking their knowledge at face value?)
On the internet, free resources are always better. The resources being free means that the person who has taken the time to post them is interested in helping you, and not the money.
Something which references the three documents listed above, if youre examining Wicca.
Terms to avoid: Warlock, Wizard, Harry Potter
I found the above helpful advice at: http://pagan-pages.org/2007/12/27/beginning-practice/ and I tend to agree with it for the most part. Physical books are also generally considered a good source of info.
The following authors have been recommended to me on more than one occasion:
There are also some reasonable YouTube videos and channels dedicated to this sort of thing and some good online forums and communities such as here.
I personally found this video series informative: How To Understand Wicca - series with Wiccan High Priestess Phyllis Curott sharing some of her knowledge in laymans terms.http://www.howcast.com/guides/1150-How-to-Understand-Wicca
I feel that being able to communicate with people who share your beliefs and can help you in your path to knowledge, are a valuable resource. With that in mind I have actively sought out the Wiccan and Pagan community in my area. I will be attending my first community event to be a part of the Samhain Ritual Circle.
Meetup event: Sydney WytchyWays Group Meetup - http://www.meetup.com/Sydney-Witch-Craft-Group/events/61071152/?gj=fbsd_ed&a=fbsd_event_details&rv=fbsd_ed&from_fb=true
Next time I will start start separating the different areas of learning that I've focused on and what I've got in my Book of Shadows so far. This way I can hopefully begin to understand each thing better and for any readers it will be less complicated to read that way.
Re: Wicca - Research Tips By: Lark Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 2 Oct 15, 2014
There are unfortunately a lot of bad books and websites out there that can have a negative impact on what one is learning about Wicca. After all, on the internet anyone can post whatever they want, whether they know what they are talking about or not. So it pays to be able to look at what is being said and figure out whether it is useful or not.
I would suggest reading the article "How Do I Know What To Believe; Critical Thinking and Pagan Books" which can be found at http://www.tangledmoon.org/critthink.htm