Being a Wiccan or Witch is generally not something you are born as or just wake up one morning and decide to become. More often than not, you come across it by accident unless you were raised that way. Many find the philosophies of how Wicca and Witchcraft view nature are the same as the one's they currently hold. They just didn't know there was a specific belief system that shared the same views.
As Silver RavenWolf accurately stated in her book To Ride A Silver Broomstick. "The Charge comes to each of us in a different manner. It is that moment in our lives when we feel the Magick of the Universe for the very first time coursing through us... and we know beyond all real and imagined shadows that this calling to the mysteries is indeed there. That it is truly there, and not a whimsical flight from reality."
If you are one who has seen striking similarities between what you believe and have found here, there are generally accepted ways to increase your awareness and find communion with others who feel the same. The following are the steps I would recommend to any one who wishes to learn more.
Read everything you can get your hands on that will tell you more about the beliefs of Wicca and Witchcraft. Only by learning as much as you can about the basic beliefs and tenets of this path can you decide if the old way's are right for you.
While doing this, you will begin to form associations and hopefully find correspondances within yourself. Note these feelings in a journal or diary. Write down the reasons you think Witchcraft is your path. What does being a Witch mean to you? What do you hope to achieve and learn? What do you fear about following this path? How do you see the Goddess and God? What does the Divine mean to you? Be absolutely honest with yourself here, this is a private book and nobody else will ever read it. This notebook will help you design your dedication/self-initiation ritual and eventually evolve into your Book of Shadows.
There are no right or wrong answers and it is not a test. It is only a way to help you define your understanding of this path.
Most importantly, listen to your inner voice. It is usually very good council and will not lead you astray. If something you read, hear or are told does not feel right, then it usually isn't right for you. If everything still feels right and you are sure Witchcraft is the path for you wish to follow after all this studying, now is the time to perform a dedication ritual.
This ritual should be yours and yours alone. Design it however you want to and in a way that will be most meaningful to you. A dedication ritual means exactly what it sounds like. You are dedicating yourself to the Craft and making the decision to live life in closer harmony and balance with the earth and nature. You are making a commitment to yourself and the Divine.
Mine was on the shore of a remote high cascade mountain lake here in Oregon. The dancing light of the campfire on the trees, a full moon reflecting off the snow pack fed waters of the lake all combined with the energy of surrounding nature. This setting was ideal for me but something completely different might be right for you.
I haven't mentioned anything about spells because you need to complete the first two steps before you even think about working with spells.
Before you begin working with magick, you need to understand what it is, where it comes from and the ethics involved. You will also need to learn and understand the basic structure of rituals, Casting circles, calling quarters, invoking the Goddess and God, raising and directing energy, grounding, centering and closing the circle.
Magick is raising and channeling the energy found in yourself, nature and in the Divine. A Witch combines this energy with their focused efforts. It takes dedication, effort, energy and hard work to achieve a desired result. The main ethical tenet to always remember is the point of the Witches Rede:
"An It Harm None."
Magick is not Hollywood hocus-pocus. It is not bending the natural order of things to fit your needs or desires. If that is what you are looking for, you are in the wrong place.
Witches have had enough bad press over the past few centuries and are working hard to turn those misconceptions around. We do not need people running around claiming to put spells and hexes on people because they cannot face reality, are not willing to work for what they want or are looking for an easy solution to their problems. Magick doesn't work that way...
All your reading and study will help you prepare for this. The Suggested Reading Section of our on-line catalog offer some excellent resources to help you understand these basic concepts.
You will also find that meditation and visualization exercises will increase your concentration. The ability to focus and visualize will greatly increase the power of your magick. Breathing exercises will help you focus as well so spend time on them.
If you are interested in joining a Coven, most will require the traditional year and a day of study before initiating new members. This gives you time to explore the religion and decide if it is the right path for you as well as giving you and the Coven members time to get to know one another. Covens are generally very selective and rightfully so. There are many out there who seek this path for all the wrong reasons.
Ref: www.wicca.com (credits to the original author)