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  • advice needed

    i don't know if this is in the right place or not, but here goes...

    my question centers around books but also involves paganism/wicca in general...i'm still a newbie and i've been doing my research primarily online, i've read scott cunninghams wicca/solitary wicca books yet i still have a bad feeling that i'm going in the wrong direction, that my ideals (or how i've "learned my lessons") are in some form or fashion "incorrect"...i know that everyone does things differently and that we all feel and believe what we choose to...i don't have anyone around me to say "hey, that's wrong" or "you almost got it"...what i'm asking is what should i do, how do i know if what i'm teaching myself is what i should be learning and how do i know if i'm learning it right? what authors do you suggest, what threads here do you think might help, what websites?

    please help steer me in the right direction...maybe i'm already on it, but i would like some advice just the same

    what do/did you guys do when you were still "young" in paganism?

    thanks in advance
    Truth, Beauty, Freedom, and Love

  • #2
    To be honest, when I was first starting out I just read everything I could get my hands on. Now, I don't claim to be an expert, but I found it really helped.

    Also something I did was I read virtually every thread on here that I could. I didn't necessarily participate in the discussion; but it was a great way to be introduced to ideas. Ideas that were either true for me, or were not. MysticWicks proved to be a great resource for me, and I have been using it under some name or another for a long time now.

    I hope this helps.
    "We may not be as strong. But we're more fabulous. We will take over." -- The Thrill


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    • #3
      I've been practicing for a few years, but I still consider myself a newbie.
      A good thing to do... if you are dealing with a specific culture (Irish, for example) you might want to look into their mythology and folklore. When I am doing this I tend to look for resources that aren't specifically "neopagan" because they might be more accurate. http://sacred-texts.com is good for that!

      Also, (and this goes for anything you read) take in everything with a grain of salt, form your own ideas and conclusions.

      There is no way of knowing for sure if you are going in the "right" direction because everyone will have a different idea of what "right" is. What you can do is make sure what you are reading is correct.. check your facts (especially when it comes down to historical matters)
      Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.
      ~Kahlil Gibran

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      To weave the mirror's magic sights,
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      A funeral, with plumes and lights
      And music, went to Camelot;
      Or when the Moon was overhead,
      Came two young lovers lately wed.

      'I am half-sick of shadows' said the Lady of Shalott."

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      • #4
        well for Wicca specifically I suggest reading this http://www.amazon.com/Witches-Bible-...2868011&sr=8-1

        One because it takes a more traditional and two because it is one of the most in depth 101 books I have ever read, especially in terms of explaining why things are done a certain way and also theology. I would advise you however that some of the historical references cited have been debunked since this was originally published so make sure you read up on the references used (they are very good about citing them, unlike some more mainstream authors)

        Also I suggest you think about what areas of paganism and/or occultism are of specific interest to you and read up on them in depth from as many sources as possible, and make sure to take lots of notes.
        Last edited by Nox_Mortus; June 7th, 2008, 03:51 PM.
        "The word "natural" is completely meaningless! Everything is natural! Nature includes everything! It's not just trees and flowers! It's everything! A chemical company's toxic waste is completely natural! It's part of the nature! We're all part of nature! Everything is natural! Dog shit is natural! It's just not real good food!" George Carlin

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        • #5
          Well I would say don't worry too much about learning the "right" stuff. Anything you learn, any spirituality that is meaningful to you, is valuable. There is a wealth of stuff out there to learn and do and you can't go too wrong with any of it.

          Ok, that said, here's two thoughts - first, there's a forum in here called "Adopt a Newbie". If you like, read the threads with MENTOR in the title. The people posting there have offered to help out beginners and you are welcome to message one if you like and ask for help. You can also post in the thread with NEWBIE in the title - those are for beginners to answer questions and share who they are so they can get a mentor to help them. In particular, there's a thread at the top of the forum for "sign in" and you can post there to let mentors know you're looking for help.

          Second, we have Paths forums here. Each one highlights different Pagan paths, and usually there are threads stuck to the top of each with important information about that path. It would probably help for you to nose around the ones that look interesting so you can learn about the different paths. That way you can get a better lead on what one feels right to you, and which one you could learn more about. Please feel free to post in those subforums with any questions you have; there are always people willing to help beginners learn more. If you learn a little bit about different paths you can specify what kind of Paganism you're thinking is right for you, then you can ask more directed questions and get a better feel for what you should read and learn.

          I hope that's helpful!
          Om Namah Shivaya.

          "Im finding seeking the sacred, well, that its rather like falling in love, the harder you seek it, the less likely it is to happen." - Brightshores

          "When your consciousness is directed outward, mind and world arise. When it is directed inward, it realizes its own Source and returns home into the Unmanifested." ~ Eckhart Tolle

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          • #6
            As has been mentioned, there really isn't a "right" way of doing things. Everyone, even those who say that they practice such and such a tradition for however long had adopted certain aspects of the craft to suit them. Just read, explore, question, and go with what feels right for you.
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            • #7
              thanks to all of you for your advice...VERY much appreciated:hahugh:
              Truth, Beauty, Freedom, and Love

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              • #8
                Do not get to caught up on the idea of books. They are good to a point but doing at some point is more important to your learning than reading. Books are guidlines at best. They give you a form to start with that you are suppose to change to suit you. I suggest you make a list of what you are after in your studies. If you want more indepth info on a path or paths. If you want to learn about certain form of magic, like moon, crystal candle ect. If you want to learn about writing a ritual or designing your own spell or formate. As you can see you will need to get some idea of what you want so you can choose how to proceed. Also do not be afraid of asking questions that is what this forum is all about. There is a ton of information here just do a search for a topic and read back posts. Search button is at the top play with it a bit and you will get to learn how to do an effective search for something you are after.

                Remeber one thing eveyone is learning everyday. When you stop learning you are not living anymore.
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                • #9
                  these should help

                  http://web.archive.org/web/200304100...om/learn0.html

                  http://www.sacred-magick.com/Main.ht...k.com/PDF.html

                  http://www.occult-underground.com/ebooks.html
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                  • #10
                    What did I do? I bumbled around and made so many mistakes that I walked away from paganism completely a couple of times. Once I'd read 30 or 40 pagan books, and a nice big stack of applicable non-pagan books I started to realize where I was making my mistakes, after which I got to start over again from scratch. It is a slow, painful, and unpleasant way to 'get it'.

                    I could recommend a couple of dozen great books that teach you the 'right' things (some of them are listed in this thread), but unless you understand what you're looking for yourself, they aren't going to be any better than any othr books. To shave off some of the chaos, I highly, highly recommend that you take a look at a couple of specific books:

                    Out of the Shadows: Myths and Truths of Modern Wicca by Lilith McLelland ( Link )

                    The Circle Within: Creating a Wiccan Spiritual Tradition by Dianne Sylvan ( URL=http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0738703486/1n9867a-20]Link[/URL] )

                    Neither book teaches you Wicca or any variant of paganism. Both books are about Wicca, about what it is and is not, about what is part of it and isn't. They teach you how to judge for yourself what is worth reading and what isn't. They teach you what to look for and how to look for it. I could have taken ten years off of my 'figuring it out' phase if I'd had these books.

                    The best part is that both books are very friendly and readable. You can kick back and have fun reading them without feeling like you should have a professor checking your notes afterwards.
                    Come visit me at www.darkbirdy.com

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