This area of the site focuses on building a practice (and once you have one, on taking it further and deeper so it continues to grow.) There’s always more to learn and do and try.
The basic steps
There are five steps I suggest when you begin exploring Paganism. The links in the sections below fill out different aspects.
- Take inventory of yourself and your life.
- Learn more about different paths. Decide which interest you and which don’t.
- Become familiar with options for learning.
- Start with some simple practices.
- Build deeper practices.
Take inventory of yourself and your life
- Taking inventory: your interests, history, limitations, and resources.
- How do you learn best? This can help you find the best ways to pursue your goals and learn more.
- Understand the stages of learning more about Paganism : these tips will help you as you get started.
- Think about whether online conversations are a good fit for you.
- Think through online (and offline) privacy issues that might affect you.
- Being open to change: advice as you begin to look at making changes in your life
Learn more about different paths
- Some general suggestions to help you sort through common options.
- Why religious witchcraft? An essay about why you might consider religious witchcraft in specific, and what that might mean for you.
- “I believe X, what path am I?” turns out not to be a useful starting place. Here’s why, and what you can look at instead.
- As you get started, give yourself the best start by being open to different options.
- Set aside assumptions from other religions : These may get in the way while you’re trying to figure out what does suit you.
- Learning to ask smart questions : a longer guide to asking better questions and helping people give you better answers (especially useful if you want to ask for help online.)
- Resources for learning more about different paths: some ideas on places to start.
Become familiar with options for learning
This next step is where you start looking for materials that will help you learn about your chosen path. What these are will depend on the path, but they might include:
- Finding books and websites that tell you more about the path. Check out the Learning sections of this site for ideas and some starting titles.
- You may want to connect with other people who follow roughly the same path. Check out books, podcasts, local events, and other options. The Connecting section of this site has more.
- Pick a couple of initial sources to start with – don’t feel you need to read or learn everything immediately.
Start with simple practices
My essays on practices in religious witchcraft have their own section, but the essays below talk about how to make use of these practices. (You may also want to check out the Adaptations section for working with specific needs or limits you may have.)
- Starting practices: Five practices that will help you get started with a good foundation.
- Starting tools: A guide to building up a collection of simple, inexpensive, and widely available tools (and advice about the others.)
- Am I ready to try this? Figuring out about when you’re ready to try a new skill or practice.
- ‘right’ ways and ‘wrong’ ways – why (and when) does how you do something matter?
- This feels really silly. Should it? We can feel very odd when we’re trying new things. Sometimes that’s just fine. Sometimes it’s a sign of a problem.
Build deeper practices
- Constructing a path: A full resource on constructing a personal path is beyond the scope of this site, but here’s some things to think about.
- Building on the five basics: Ways to take your practice deeper over time.
- Want manageable approaches to structuring your learning? Here are some suggestions including three examples of approaches that can last a few months at a time.
- Why a year and a day? Why do witchcraft groups talk about this as a timeframe?
- A possible first year of training : This is how I’d train a student, to give you an idea of the scope of what might be included and why. (You should not try to duplicate this: a lot of it will not apply to your situation, but it may be useful as a model.)