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Getting Started

This page contains:
  • Getting Started On Your Spiritual Education Path
  • How Can I Learn More?
  • Words of Warning.
  • Where Can I Get More Information?
  • What Path/Tradition Do I Chose?
  • What Do I Call Myself?
  • Where Does A Student Start?
  • Where can I get help?
Getting Started On Your Spiritual Education Path
Any spiritual practice requires research and study. Witchcraft is no different than any other path. Here I'll give some basic info, words of caution and suggestions for reading and starting your research.
There are 2 additional articles here on that I strongly suggest be read before you continue this one.
  1. A Parents Guide To Protecting Their Child With Craft Interests
  2. A Guide To Children Interested In Magikal Paths
How Can I Learn More?
If you are one of the many people looking for information on how to become a witch, there are a few things you should ask yourself first.
  1. What is your reason for wanting to be a Witch?
    If your reason is simply so you can cast a spell, it's the wrong reason and you might find more information if you look for Spellcraft, than Witchcraft. If your reasons are truly from an interest in the faith or you feel drawn to the Craft as a religion, then you maybe on the right path. But you should learn more and make an informed decision.
  2. Are you willing to live by the spiritual laws as a way of life?
    If you are, or if you're not sure, do a lot of research on your own and find out as much as you can about the path you've chosen.
  3. How Do I Get Started?
    Read, learn and read a lot more. Do your own research, and not just from magikal books or reference manuals. Through studying history, other religions and how they all inter-relate and interact. I have a favorite saying for this type of education: "Books can give you knowledge. But only your own personal experiences give you wisdom to decide your own path."
Words of Warning.
Don't take one persons word or teachings as the only truth or as the only way on this or any spiritual path. No one person has all the answers for you. Only you know what rings true within your own heart and soul.
When it comes time for you to chose a mentor, be very cautious. There are a lot of novice people claiming to be a High Priest or Priestess. The best advice I could give is find someone who can prove they have practiced the path for several years (my standard is 10 years or more with formal education and a document of initiation). Don't just take their word for it. Find someone who is willing to answer your questions without charging you money. Taking a class and paying for an instructors time is not the same thing as finding a spiritual teacher. What you should really be looking for is a mentor or guide, not a person who thinks they have the right to tell you what to do or believe.
Lastly, always question! Question everything you are told and everything you read. Research other material to validate what you are being told or what you read in a book. Make sure that a book is supported by other books and by history itself.
Where Can I Get More Information?
  • You can begin your study through several publications. Below is a list of a few I like. If you're truly interested in beginning your study, start at the top and go through the list. You'll also find an extensive resource on our Books & Resources page.
  • But if you can't wait, start now through the many wonderful web sites on the internet. Of course I like our site, but it's not the only pagan education site on the web.
  • You should start with the basics, an understanding of metaphysical principles. Then move on to the lessons of the craft. It will make your journey into magik much easier to understand and utilize.
What Path/Tradition Do I Chose?
When you are starting your research, the tradition should be the last thing on your mind. Before you can find a practice for your beliefs, you have to understand the beliefs.
When you have established this base of knowledge, I would suggest you follow your heart. If you feel drawn to Fairies, research Fairy Traditions, or Native American cultures research Shamanistic practices. If you feel drawn to your Irish heritage, research Celtic traditions. If you feel drawn to your Scandinavian heritage, research Norse traditions. If what you've heard about Wicca appeals to you, research the various Wiccan traditions. And so on. The point is, the tradition you chose should 'feel' comfortable and natural to you.
What Do I Call Myself?
For now, if you need a label, call your self a beginning pagan. After getting an understanding of the basics of belief and metaphysical principles, my students are required to pass a written and oral test. At that time, they've earned the right to claim the title of Apprentice. Some chose to change it as Apprenticing Witch, Apprenticing Pagan, or for those who have the ambition and desire, Apprenticing Shaman.
Some people think they can study a tradition and claim the title of that tradition. There are many Wiccans who follow that practice. The problem is, many traditions such as Wicca, require a process of initiation before claiming the title. To many practioners of those traditions that require initiations, claiming the title without the formal education is seen as disrespectful and insulting.
There is no shame in claiming that you are a beginning practioner. Many established Pagans, Priests/Priestesses and Elders will have a greater admiration and respect for you if you're honest about your standing. They will also be more likely to help you and answer your questions.
Where Does A Student Start?
First, you should read the article on this site Frequently Asked Questions. Get basic overview of concepts and labels.
The second step is define what you currently believe. Regulars to the Message Board started a thread concerning the questions I require new students to answer when they come to me for training. I received a great number of emails about this thread and decided it would be easier to post the generic list of questions for anyone interested under LadySpringWolf's Questions - A Student's 1st Assignment: Define Your Beliefs.
On Springwolf Reflections:
~ What Is Paganism? A Basic Description of Paganism & Pagan Metaphysics
~What Is Pagan Metaphysics?
~Frequently Asked Questions
~Getting Started
~Meditation, Energy & Action
Next, my students start their research on these first 4 books to gain basic understanding of the spirit, energy and your own inner awareness. To be read in this specific order:
  • Spirit Guides by Iris Belhayes
    This gives you a basic understanding of how you can work with spirit to learn, advance and enlighten. Something that's key to any spiritual development.
  • Opening To Channel by Sonya Roman & Duane Parker
    This builds on Spirit Guides. Where the first book gives you the basic understanding of spiritual guidance; this one tells you how to better communicate with spirit. Not just spirit guides; but the Divine as well.
  • Living In The Light by Shakti Gawain
    This book describes our responsibility and accountability to our own path. I love this book and feel that it truly changed my life. So I added it to my list.
  • Pagan Metaphysics 101: The Beginning of Enlightenment by Springwolf (my book)
    Gain an introductory understanding of metaphysical concepts from a pagan perspective, beginning with the first principles of the creation of the Universe through the Celestial Soul Groups and their influence upon the evolution of life and expansion of spirit. From basic metaphysical models, the reader learns about the anatomy of the Soul and how it is connected to the Spirit and the Divine Universal Energy. You can read an excerpt on my author's blog
  • The Spiral Dance by Starhawk
    The first book into Witchcraft. StarHawk and Doreen Valiente are, in my humble opinion, the mothers of modern Witchcraft. Both have a great understanding of the path, it's spirituality and purpose.
  • You might also like to see a list of recommended reading on my Amazon Listmania book list. Here you'll be able to see excerpts of these and other books I recommend, read reviews from others and even purchase the books from Amazon.
After these 5 required books, I suggest starting from the first posting on Metaphysics 101 section and working your way through to the end. At the bottom of each article you'll find links to the resources to continue your research about that topic.
In addition to the books on Listmania, you may want to review these to further your reading.
  • Laurie Cabot
            · Power of the Witch
            · Celebrate the Earth
            · The Witch In Every Woman
  • Scott Cunningham
            · Wicca, a Guide for the Solitary Practitioner
            · Living Wicca
            · Earth Power: Techniques of Natural Magic
In addition, you might read through the postings on the Witchcraft & Shamanism section. You'll find information about creating your spiritual space, finding your magikal name, creating rituals, and various other traditional information about Celtic, Norse, Wiccan, and Egyptian paths. At the bottom of each of my postings, I list the resources that can provide additional in depth information about the topic.
Where can I get help?
If you have any questions, or need further clarification; please feel free to contact me. If I can help, I'd be glad to answer any additional questions, or at the very least I might be able to point you to another resource. You might also like to join our community and post your questions and thoughts on the MessageBoard. You'll find a good number of knowledgeable people there who are more than willing to share their experiences and information.

Many Blessings,
    Director, The Pagan's Path
    President, Spring's Haven Spiritual Center

Created: 10.02.1996       Updated: 05/22/2012