Basic Wicca and Paganism

Full Moon n Wolf
Full Moon n Wolf

If you're new to paganism, Wicca, or pretty much any form of spirituality these days, it's easy to get lost in philosophy and what the "right" way to do things is. We've been there, done that, and have the dog-eared books to prove it. Ultimately, though, what we've found is that the plethora of information and philosophies out there mainly serve to distance the neophyte from the whole point of things -- the spiritual integrity and progress of the individual.

Any philosophy you choose has to satisfy you, personally, as an individual. This is why getting back to the basics is important.  You need to start from the core--first you need to meet your own basic needs, then you can see what you need to add to your life and where your soul is leading you.

We each have an obligation to ourselves to survive as living beings. We must obtain food, water, and shelter in order to survive. We need to feel safe. For some people, this can mean being a solitary practitioner and doing very, very simple things to maintain connection to spirit. This is ok, and just as significant as the grandest ritual.

Once we are comfortable that we will survive, then we can move on to other things. We have the leisure to read and try new things and experiment with what resonates with us. It doesn't take a lot of money or time to meditate, connect with the elements, or learn about a particular deity or pantheon. It's hard sometimes, when you're really excited to learn, not to feel like you don't have enough time or knowledge or enough anything. But a little goes a long way.

Remind yourself to savor the experience and the journey, and don't compare yourself to anyone--especially who you wish you could be in the future. So much of Pagan and Wiccan experience is just being present in the moment. Especially at the Sabbats, take the time during even the smallest of your own rituals or meditations to pay attention to your own state of being and feelings. 

Eventually, you might want to practice with other people or dedicate yourself to a particular type of worship. This is, by nature, more complex and not necessarily something you need to commit to immediately. In a Coven, the focus will often be on intentions for the group as a whole, as well as a specific shared path of development for the individual. This can be wonderful because being social is good and also because there is more energy when the right group of people get together. Many people also enjoy celebrating the Sabbats more with other people than by themselves. 

No matter whether you practice alone or in a group, it's always important to check in with yourself and see whether what you're doing is working for you. Are you doing things just out of habit or obligation, or because you read it in a book? Are you finding that you're skipping your rituals because they're too complicated to fit in with your real life? Are you a happier or better person? 

Whatever you do, it always comes back to you.

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