I'm new. Where to start?

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I'm new. Where to start?
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Post # 1
Hi. I'm new to Wicca. I'm looking into it as it seems a good starting point to learn.

Is British Traditional Wicca where you're initiated by coven? Does it follow Traditional practices?

Can you be Wicca without being initiated?

As I'm more solitary, could this fit? Is neo Wicca more modern?
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Re: I'm new. Where to start?
By:
Post # 2
Look into finding free books on Wicca. They're available all over the internet. Also, check out YouTube.

I started with a book called "A Wiccan Bible." It's a collection on Wiccan knowledge, holidays, mythology, etc. You should be able to find a free PDF download with a Google search.

Wicca is a fairly young religion, so I don't see a point in the term "neo-Wicca." Follow the Rede to the best of your ability, and you'll be fine.

There is no need to be initiated if you don't feel one. For example, if you don't live anywhere near a coven or you practice in secret, it is completely unreasonable to say you must be initiated to be Wiccan.

You can perform a self-dedication, which is a ritual that affirms your dedication to practicing Wicca.

I began my path a few months ago myself. I've never heard of British Traditional Wicca, but I know there are several articles outlining the different types of Wicca and Wiccans.

Blessed be. (:
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Re: I'm new. Where to start?
By: Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 3

Let's see if I can answer some of your questions for you here:


Is British Traditional Wicca where you're initiated by coven? Does it follow Traditional practices?

British Traditional Wicca includes those Traditions that arose in the New Forest area of Britain such as Gardnerian, Alexandrian, Central Valley, Silver Crescent, etc. These Traditions are all oath-bound and require initiation to become a member of a coven and be given access to the teachings of each Tradition. All of these Traditions have very specific ways of practice that define who they are. There is a really excellent article about British Traditional Wicca (BTW) written by a good friend of mine that you can read at https://www.patheos.com/resources/additional-resources/2011/01/what-is-british-traditional-witchcraft-joseph-carriker I think it will answer many of your questions about BTW.

Can you be Wicca without being initiated?

You will find two schools of thought here. Those who follow BTW will tell you that you cannot as one must be initiated to become part of a British Traditional Wiccan coven. These same people will tell you that if you are not BTW then you are Neo-Wiccan, not Wiccan. I'll explain that more later. Personally I believe that the Gods call to whom they may and that it is indeed possible to be Wiccan without initiation. ( Don't be confused by those who talk of self-initiation, that doesn't exist. ) Instead of initiation, one might think about doing a self-dedication to confirm your intention to devote yourself to the path of Wicca and to your gods.

As I'm more solitary, could this fit? Is neo Wicca more modern?

Neo-Wicca is any form of Wicca which does not have an initiatory lineage that traces back to one of the British Traditional Wiccan groups of the New Forest. Most of these groups arose in the the 1980's and 1990's, especially after the movie The Craft came out in 1993. Some Neo-Wiccan groups are much like the BTW Traditions in that they are coven-based, oath-bound, and initiatory. ( The coven I first trained with was one such ) Others are less structured and take various forms. And of course there are many, many who practice Neo-Wicca as solitaries either because no coven is available or because they prefer not to work in a group.

Here is why we differentiate Wicca from Neo-Wicca: As I already mentioned, British Traditional Wicca is an oath-bound system. In BTW you must be initiated into a BTW coven to receive training and learn the teachings and the practices of Wicca. Such material is never, ever revealed to those not initiated. There have been some who have claimed to do so. You'll even find a so-called " Gardnerian Book of Shadows " on the internet. But the vast majority of the oath-bound material is never written down so such books aren't genuine. You cannot become a British Traditional Wiccan by reading a book!

In the late 1960's a Gardnerian group in Chicago began to operate an Outer Court group (non-initiates) called The Pagan Way and put together a bunch of rituals and practices that were published in a magazine called the Crystal Wel l. ( Many are published in the book "Magical Rites from the Crystal Well" by Ed Fitch ) These teachings were not the oath-bound material of the Gardnerian Wicca, but other things written specifically for non-initiates. It is from these teachings that the vast majority of Neo-Wiccans in the US trace their beginnings. So Neo-Wicca is some 20-30 years younger than British Traditional Wicca.

In the mid-1980's some books began to be available that talked about modern Pagan religions. One of the ground-breaking books was " Drawing Down the Moon " by Margot Adler which was published in 1986. And in 1989, Scott Cunningham published " Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner " and the tide of books on Neo-Wicca began.. (Scott did a great disservice to Wicca by suggesting that it is " anything you want it to be "...which isn't true). During the intervening years there has been a plethora of books on Wicca. Some of them are very good. The majority aren't worth the paper they are printed on in terms of being accurate at all.

Hope this helps answer your questions. Ask away if you have more.

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