"From" Patti Wigington", your Guide to Paganism/Wicca"
Welcome to a 13-week Introduction to Wicca e-course! We've got a lot of information to cover, but by the time you're all done, you should have a good, solid foundation to build your future studies on. Each lesson will feature four or five topics that you should read and study. Don't just skim over them -- read them thoroughly, and make notes on the points that jump out at you. Take your time when you're going though them, and if you need to, bookmark them to read later.
For our first class, we're going to talk a little bit about just what Wicca really is. We'll look at the differences between Wicca, witchcraft, and Paganism (because they really ARE different), as well as the basic concepts of Wicca. We'll also talk about different interpretations of the Threefold Law, one of the most common tenets of modern Pagan religions. Finally, we'll look at some of the most frequently asked questions seen on Pagan/Wiccan About.com's site.
Again, I encourage you to take your time. Read over these and -- even more importantly -- THINK about what you've read. If there's something you disagree with, or that doesn't make sense to you, that's okay, because it gives you something else to research and learn about later on.
Differences Between Wicca, Witchcraft, and Paganism
Can you be a Pagan without being Wiccan? Is it possible to be Wiccan but not be a witch? How come some Pagans are Wiccans but others aren't? Well, believe it or not, the three terms really are very different. Witch, Wiccan, or Pagan -- how you identify yourself will depend on not only your practices but your beliefs. Read on to figure out what it is that separates witches, Wiccans and Pagans, and why it matters.
Basic Principles and Concepts of WiccaThere are many misconceptions out there about Wicca and modern Paganism, so first, let's talk a little about what it is that Wiccans believe. Although there are many different traditions of Wicca (or NeoWicca), there are several common concepts shared between them. You'll find that typical Wiccan groups have more in common than they have differences. Here's where we're talking about what it is Wiccans generally believe and practice. We'll also address the issue of what Wicca is NOT.
Ten Things to Know About WiccaIn addition to the basic principles and concepts of Wicca, as we discussed above, there are also some other issues you should be aware of. Most of these are not Official Sacred Tenets of Wicca, but in fact simple common sense rules that you should be aware of.
The Threefold LawWhen you first begin studying Wicca, you'll probably hear a lot about the Threefold Law, sometimes called the Law of Threefold Return or the Rule of Three. Many commercially available Wicca books include much emphasis on the Threefold Law. However, few of them encourage readers to stop and think about what exactly the Threefold Law means to you personally. After all, it's important to understand exactly WHY you're following a rule, if you do in fact decide to follow it. Let's talk about some of the different interpretations of the Rule of Three.
FAQ: I'm New to Wicca Now What?That's an excellent question, and one that comes up frequently. Because there's no Official Wiccan Welcome Packet, it's kind of hard to figure out where you're going, if you don't know exactly what the path is. That's part of the goal of this class, in fact, to help you figure out what's next. For some other ideas on how to get started, be sure to read this FAQ.
Other Pagan/Wiccan FAQsGot questions, but feel silly asking them? That's okay -- because they've probably been asked already, by someone else. Check out our list of the most common questions that have come through so far, and you'll get a chance to look over answers to other people's questions.
Next Week: Read, Study, Learn and GrowNext week's lesson is called "Read, Study, Learn and Grow," and that's when we'll discuss some of the most valuable reading material and information available to modern Pagans and Wiccans. Have a magical week!