Wicca Study Checklist

When we first start on a new path we are often overwhelmed by the amount of information we need to consume. Where do we begin? What is most important? Truth be told, there's no one way to do so. In Wicca, the best way is to begin with a First Degree training program. There are many good classes online and free. However, factors such as internet availability, mundane responsibilities, current schedule, and others may all interfere with an individual's ability to take formal training. This list is devised for those individuals. Study at your own pace. Ask questions. Begin with what interests or confuses you most. Ask questions. Don't feel as though you must know everything right away as changes in lifestyle take time. Ask questions. May this list help you on your new journey!

History

Studying the history of one's religion, traditions, superstitions, and beliefs provides perspective on how such paths came about and why they are relevant. By studying history you find new respect for old views, strengthen your own beliefs, or even determine which modes of thinking may be too outdated and require renewal. Areas of study include:
  • Ancient cultures
  • Witchcraft in various geographical locations
  • Different Wiccan traditions
  • Where Wicca fits in
  • Roots of words (Wicca, Witch, witchcraft, coven, warlock, etc.) to understand cultural issues
  • Misconceptions and fact vs. fiction
  • Difference in Wicca from general term Witchcraft (one a religion, other practice/way of life)
  • Modern witch hunts, discrimination, political movements, Burning Times
  • Historical inaccuracies
  • Mythology
  • Alphabets & languages

Beliefs

When studying any new religion or way of life, the beliefs are the core area of study. Why? Because the set of beliefs in a religion or way of life is what differentiates it from other religions or ways of life. Here are some topics of belief to get you started:
  • What differentiates Wicca from other religions
  • Basic beliefs of Wicca differences in traditions
  • Spirituality vs. religion
  • The Goddess & God
  • Building a relationship with Deity
  • The Wiccan Rede
  • Reincarnation
  • Karma vs. Three-fold Law vs. Law of Return
  • Skyclad
  • Personal responsibility
  • What makes one a Wiccan, Witch, or Pagan
  • Ancestor worship
  • Higher self
  • Magickal names
  • Symbols
  • Music, dance, and drama
  • Herbs & stones
  • The role of creativity

Elements

Depending on who you talk to the elements are the building blocks of life, everything, or simply spiritual entities that rule over specific areas of creation. Understanding the role of the elements in Wicca can help to connect you with nature and the Gods. To begin building a relationship with the Elements, study:
  • What they are
  • Magickal correspondences
  • Different cultural understandings (ex: Chinese vs. Wicca)
  • Role in nature
  • Purpose in Wicca

Tools

Tools in Wicca and Witchcraft serve a myriad of purposes. How important are they to you? Understanding what they are, how they work, and how they are used will help you answer that question. Be sure to research:
  • Ritual tools
  • Differences in ceremonial magick vs. folk magick
  • Shopping for vs. making your own
  • Purpose in magick
  • Clothing
  • Role tools play in Wicca and magick
  • What is necessary
  • Alternatives when the suggested tool is unavailable to you
  • Magickal correspondences
  • Creating journals & BoS
  • Use & storage
  • Cleansing, consecration, & charging

Covens, Groups, Solitary

Hierarchical structure is important to know in every aspect of life; business, community, government, military, etc. Humans are not alone in this as knowing and abiding by hierarchical structures can mean the difference between survival and death, success and failure, acceptance and rejection, etc. Studying the different structures within Wicca provides similar survival and acceptance. Topics to research include:
  • Different forms of practice
  • How to determine good groups from bad
  • What to expect from groups
  • Pros & cons of each (coven vs. groups vs. solitary)
  • Degree systems (and how they differ between groups)
  • Joining a study group
  • Rules, etiquette, & ethics
  • Online communities
  • Letting others know vs staying in the "broom" closet
  • How to find local Pagans (although not always Wiccan)
  • Seeking a mentor (what to watch for)
  • Metaphysical shops, workshops, & classes

Holidays

The celebrations of a particular religion are key to understanding what is important to that particular religion. Each holy day carries with it spiritual understanding, guidance, and reverence. What is important to Wiccans? Here's some areas to research to find out:
  • Ritual days
  • Alternate days of power
  • History of Sabbats & Esbats
  • Different cultural traditions
  • Relation with other religions
  • The Sabbats & Esbats
  • Other celebrations
  • Lore
  • Rites of passage
  • Drawing Down the Moon
  • Moon phases & lore

Meditation

Meditation serves many purposes both spiritually and in the mundane world. In Wicca, this practice is important for setting the stage for effective magick and journeying between worlds. It's a lifelong practice with lifelong benefits. To get started:
  • Different relaxation techniques
  • Benefits & purposes
  • Levels of consciousness
  • Preparation
  • Dreams
  • The additional benefit of physical exercise (yoga, t'ai chi, cardio)
  • Breathing techniques
  • Journeying, trance, and astral travel
  • Chakras

Divination & Channeling

The witch is so often known for fortune telling and conversing with spirits that to study a Witchcraft-centered faith would be silly without it. Not every Witch chooses to do these things and some are outright uncomfortable with channeling directly (for several reasons). Still, it is an important area of study for the novice witch.
  • Different forms of divination (tarot, I-Ching, astrology, scrying, runes, etc.)
  • How channeling works
  • Precautions
  • Importance of interpretations
  • Psychic abilities (scientific & metaphysical thoughts)
  • Exercises to improve abilities
  • Symbols
  • Dreams

Sacred Space

More often than not, discussions of sacred space in Wicca appear limited to ritual and magick. However, all religions share the concept of sacred space. Why is it so important? What purpose does it serve? To answers these questions begin with:
  • Ritual space
  • Circles
  • Special rooms
  • Altars
  • Nature
  • Different casting methods
  • Different purposes
  • Emergency situations
  • Energy centers, ley lines, haunted places, & healing springs
  • Limitations
  • Sharing space (spiritual & mundane)
  • Directions
  • Cleansing & prepping

Magick & Spellcasting

Perhaps most important in a Witchcraft-oriented faith is that of magick and spellcasting. Because this is not limited to Wicca (Witchcraft comes in many forms, and magick is practiced in non-Witchcraft groups) areas of research are unlimited. Here is a list to get you started:
  • Energy work & practices
  • Focusing intent
  • Spell writing
  • Different types of magick (elemental, folk, lunar, solar, ceremonial, candle, etc.)
  • Releasing energy
  • Cleansing vs. banishing
  • Protection
  • Hexing & healing
  • Personal power
  • Working with other energies (deities, stones, plants, animals)
  • Familiars
  • Sex magick (purposes & ethics)
  • Invocations
  • Witches' Pyramid
  • Timing & other correspondences
  • Preparation (grounding & centering)
  • The Cone of Power
  • Scientific laws of nature (to understand the energies we work with)
  • Music & dance
  • Shifts in consciousness

© 2011 by Evylyn Rose