There’s a great pagan song by Catherine Madsen called “The Heretic Heart,” part of which of which goes:  Though law, scripture, priest, and prayer Have all instructed me, My skin, my bones, my heretic heart are my authority. Many people come to Wicca looking for the kind of self-knowledge, empowerment, and freedom within their spirituality that “The Heretic Heart” speaks of. But once they’re inspired to explore Wicca, where do they begin? Often they start with books, as I did. But when I began studying Wicca—you know, back in the dark ages—there weren’t nearly as many books available as there are now. I was gratefulRead More →

Wiccans and Pagans often use the word “energy” to mean the power that emanates from living things, deity, the earth, or all three. Geek that I am, I have likened it more than once to the Force from Star Wars, “It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together.” I have also likened it to the “qi” or “chi,” the core principle of tai chi and Chinese medicine. Beginner Wicca and Paganism books—including mine—often include exercises for working with energy. Some of the benefits of doing this are to align with the natural world, to becomeRead 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 →