Due to the sheer number of Wicca 101 books on the market, many newcomers to the Craft find themselves piecing together their Wiccan education by reading a chapter from one book, a few pages from another. Rather than depending on snippets of wisdom to build a new faith, Wicca for Beginners provides a solid foundation to Wicca without limiting the reader to one tradition or path.
Embracing both the spiritual and the practical, Wicca for Beginners is a primer on the philosophies, culture, and beliefs behind the religion, without losing the mystery that draws many students to want to learn. Detailing practices such as grounding, raising energy, visualization, and meditation, this book offers exercises for core techniques before launching into more complicated rituals and spellwork. (Amazon)
I first read this book almost 10 years ago when I was starting my path. I loved it then, so I thought I would re-read it to see if it stood the test of time. I found it just as good the second time around! Even though I would no longer call myself a beginner, I think its always good for a refresh, and this book didn’t let me down.
- What is Wicca?
- Overview of Wicca in a few key points: Wicca is a new-old religion, Wicca is an earth based religion, Wicca is experiential, Wicca is a mystery tradition, Wicca is European shamanism, Wicca is a magical system
- Some Basic Wiccan Principles and Ethics
- Breakdown of what Wicca is and isn’t
- Seven Principles: Deity becomes a polarity, Deity is immanent, the Earth is divine, psychic power, magic, reincarnation, and sex is sacred
- Fundamental Wiccan Tools: Visualization, Grounding, and Shielding
- Discussion of energy, and keys to visualization, grounding, and shielding
- Trance, Meditation, and Pathworking
- Training your mind for trance, meditation, and pathworking, with examples
- The Circle: A Wiccan’s Sacred Space
- How to prepare, cast, and take down sacred space
- The Four Elements and the Four Quarters
- The four elements of Earth, Air, Fire, and Water, and their correspondences,
- How to invoke and banish quarters, as well as a quick introduction to the Witches Pyramid
- Getting to Know the Wiccan Gods
- Discussion of the Goddess and God and how to introduce yourself, get to know them, and call them into circle
- Tools, Toys, and Altars
- Primary tools such as the athame, wand, chalice, broom, etc. as well as altar setup
- Wiccan Holidays and the Wheel of the Year
- Wheel of the Year (Sabbats) and full moons (Esbats)
- Putting It Together: Using What You’ve Learned
- An introduction to writing and performing ritual
- So You’re Curious About Magic
- Personal transformation through magic and spells
- Where Do I Go from Here?
- Solitary or group practice, types of Wicca, and how to find a group
I really liked the author’s writing style; it was modern and friendly. Her descriptions were clear and she gave examples when needed. The taproot exercise she recommends for grounding is very effective (although I’ve also heard it elsewhere, I think its a great exercise for all those who work with energy or need to ground).
There was one flag that came up while re-reading, and that’s the author’s comparison of Wicca to “European Shamanism”. Scott Cunningham wrote similar in his book Wicca: A Guide For The Solitary Practitioner, and while I don’t disagree with what the authors are saying in theory, I know that the term Shaman refers to specific people from a specific region and culture. I’m unsure if the term can extend to the type of Shamanism people are practicing today in New Age groups, or that Wicca is a type of Shamanistic practice.
After all these years, I would still recommend Wicca For Beginners for seekers and neophytes. Read all you can get your hands on and I recommend this book to be on your list!
© West Coast Pagan