Back in the not-so-good old days (aka the ‘60s, ‘70s, and early ‘80s), you had to know someone or be introduced in person or by mail, or maybe you found someone though word of mouth, a listing in the back of one of the few witchy books available, or through magazines like Green Egg or Fate. If you were extra lucky you might live near an occult bookstore, such as Herman Slater’s Magickal Childe in New York. If you were less lucky, you had to get creative. There’s a semi-legendary story of a man who looked for Wiccans by posting notices in Theban (a WiccanRead More →

I blame Bewitched, Charmed, and Harry Potter in part for this question. In all of those universes, Witches are born, not made. “Person has a mystical experience and discovers s/he’s got magical powers and is the only one who can save the world” is a tried-and-true theme of films, children’s books, and urban fantasy fiction. But it is exactly that—fiction. As in, “fun to read or watch but not true.” We become Witches by choosing to become Witches. We either study on our own or with like-minded others or find a teacher who helps us. We declare ourselves to the god(s), or we are initiatedRead More →

These are books I have liked myself and/or recommended to students. There might be editions other than those listed here, and some of these might be out of print, but if you use your Google fu, you should be able to find used copies somewhere. Basic Wicca and Paganism Books Adler, Margot: Drawing Down the Moon. Boston: Beacon Press, 1979. Buckland, Raymond. Buckland’s Complete Book of Witchcraft. St. Paul: Llewellyn Publications, 1993. Campanelli, Pauline and Dan. Ancient Ways: Reclaiming Pagan Traditions. St. Paul: Llewellyn Publications, 1991. Campanelli, Pauline and Dan. Rites of Passage: The Pagan Wheel of Life. St. Paul: Llewellyn Publications, 1994. Campanelli, PaulineRead More →

Here are some of my favorite books for absolute beginners, in no particular order. The Spiral Dance by Starhawk The Spiral Dance was written around 1979, when there were almost no beginner Wiccan or Pagan books on the market. Many, many people were introduced to the Craft through this book. It’s well-structured and full of great information and extremely useful exercises, meditations, and rituals. I have some quibbles with Starhawk’s view of the Goddess in history, and this book is a bit female-centric, but it is gorgeously written and can help women and men alike build a strong foundational practice. Get the most updated versionRead More →

If you decide to pursue Wicca as your spirituality, you’re embarking on a path that’s not in the mainstream and doesn’t have a centralized leadership, structure, sacred text, or set of teachings. Exploring Wicca means jumping into the deep end without many of the usual societal supports. Nobody can truly tell you how to do it, although helpful people might be able to provide some guidance on the way. I realize that’s very uncomfortable sometimes, but nobody ever said spiritual growth is comfortable. If we’re too comfortable, we’re not likely to change. If I told you what to do, I’d be taking that choice andRead More →