Basics of Wicca & Paganism
By Patti Wigington, About.com Guide
- Take an Online Class!
- What Do Wiccans Believe?
- Beginner's Guides
- The Gods and Goddesses
- Pagan/Wiccan Library
- Important People to Know
- Pagan/Wiccan FAQs
- Pagans and Christianity
- Using Tarot Cards
- Tools of Divination
- Book of Shadows
- Magical Theory
Take an Online Class!
This is a collection of online classes available through the Pagan/Wiccan website. In addition to our Intro to Wicca class, the Seven-Day Sabbats will be added as they are ready. Feel free to sign up for one, or take them all!
- Introduction to Wicca
- Introduction to Tarot
- Samhain Seven-Day Sabbat Class
- Yule Seven-Day Sabbat Class
- Imbolc Seven-Day Sabbat Class
- Ostara Seven-Day Sabbat Class
- Beltane Seven-Day Sabbat Class
- Litha Seven-Day Sabbat Class
- Lammas Seven-Day Sabbat
- Mabon Seven-Day Sabbat
- How to Unsubscribe From a Class or Newsletter
- Help! I'm Missing a Lesson!
What Do Wiccans Believe?
What are some of the guiding principles of Wicca? Read more here to find out what exactly it is that Wiccans and Pagans actually believe in.
- Myths and Misconceptions
- Wiccan Traditions
- What are the Best-Known Pagan Traditions?
- Gods and Goddesses
- What's the Difference Between Wicca, Witchcraft and Paganism?
- Basic Principles and Concepts of Wicca
- Ten Things You Should Know About Wicca
- The Threefold Law, or The Rule of Three
- Magical Ethics
- How Do Wiccans Know What's Right or Wrong?
- Power Animals, Totem Animals, and Spirit Animals
You've discovered Wicca might be the right path for you, but now what do you do? Read on for information about the basics of candle magic, Tarot, and altar tools.
- Crystals and Gemstones
- Magical Herbalism
- Poppet Magic 101
- Discussion Forums: Info for Beginners
The Gods and Goddesses
In most forms of Paganism, including Wicca, part of the process of spiritual growth involves interaction with the gods. But how, exactly, do you go about this? Well, you can make offerings, send them prayers, and make sure you honor them in a respectful manner. It's also important to get to know the gods of your particular tradition.
- Working With Deities
- The Role of Prayer in Wicca & Paganism
- The Concept of Appropriate Worship
- Making Offerings to the Gods
- Dedicating to More Than One Deity
- FAQ: Do Wiccans and Pagans Believe in God?
- Mother Goddesses
- The Archetype of Maiden/Mother/Crone
- Deities and Gender
- Celtic Deities
- Egyptian Deities
- Greek Deities
- Norse Deities
- Roman Deities
- Deities of Love and Marriage
- Deities of Fertility
- Deities of Death and the Underworld
- Deities of the Fields and Harvests
- Discussion Forums: Deities and Other Beings
Wondering what you need to read, and which authors are worth checking out? Be sure to look here for book reviews, sacred texts, author interviews and profiles, and information on which books every Pagan or Wiccan should have on their reading list.
- Pagan/Wiccan Glossary
- The About.com Pagan/Wiccan Book Lists
- Beginner's Reading List
- Reading List for Celtic Pagans
- Reading List for Hellenic Pagans
- Reading List for Pagan Men
- Reading List for Herbalism
- How to Create a Daily Plan of Study
- What Makes a Book Worth Reading?
- Ten Authors You Should Know
- Author Interviews
- The About Pagan/Wiccan Book Reviews
- Start Your Own Pagan/Wiccan Study Group
- The Wiccan Rede
- Discussion Forum: Books and Other Resources
Important People to Know
Meet some of the people who are profiled and mentioned regularly on this website. Some are authors, others are historical figures, and a few more are scholars. Learn who they are, and why they matter to people studying Wicca and other Pagan religions.
- Who Was Dorothy Clutterbuck?
- Gerald Brousseau Gardner,Founder of Modern Wicca
- Rebecca Nurse and the Salem Trials
- Bridget Bishop, First to Hang in Salem
- Robert Burns, Scottish Poet
- Joseph Campbell and the Hero's Journey
- Sir James Frazer, Folklorist
- Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa, 1486-1535
- Author Scott Cunningham, 1956 - 1993
- Raymond Buckland Interview
- Dorothy Morrison Interview
- Ellen Dugan Interview
- Sirona Knight Interview
- Dana D. Eilers Interview
- Isaac Bonewits Profile
Wondering about initiation, and whether you need it? Concerned about whether you might go to hell? Got questions about what exactly Wiccans do in private, and if they have to be naked to do it? Well, you're in the right place! Here's where we'll answer some of the most popular Frequently Asked Questions about Wicca and Paganism!
- How Can I Get Started in Wicca?
- I Bought All My Supplies - Now What Do I Do?
- Do I Have to Get Initiated to be a Real Wiccan?
- What is the Degree System?
- My Parents Don't Want Me to Be Wiccan - Can't I Just Lie?
- Why is There So Much Secrecy in Wicca?
- Do I Have to Practice Naked to Be Wiccan?
- Why Do People Tell Me Paganism is a Challenge?
Pagans and Christianity
Many Wiccans and other Pagans are former Christians, and have some concerns about how they'll practice their new beliefs. Also, many of us have Christian family members, so sometimes it can be hard to answer questions that our non-Pagan family might have. Here are some of our most popular articles on how Wiccans, Pagans and Christians can all co-exist together, as well as some of the common questions that Christians might ask you about your beliefs.
- Can I Still Go to Church With My Family?
- Do Wiccans Believe in God?
- Do Pagans and Wiccans Hate Christianity?
- Pagans and Proselytizing
- Do Wiccans and Pagans Worship Satan? What About Sex Orgies?
- Why Do People Become Wiccan?
- Will I Go to Hell if I Cast Spells?
- Do Pagans Believe in Sin?
- Can I Be a Christian Wiccan?
- Interfaith Relationships, and How To Make Them Work
Using Tarot Cards
Tarot is one of the best known forms of divination, and it can be done in many ways. Learn about how to read the cards, what to do if a reading fails, the Major Arcana, and reviews of popular decks.
- Introduction to Tarot
- Learn the Cards and Their Meanings
- Preparing for a Tarot Reading
- How to Interpret Tarot Cards
- Selecting a Tarot Deck
- Can I Make My Own Deck?
- Keeping Your Tarot Cards Safe
- When Tarot Readings Fail
- The Celtic Cross Tarot Spread
- The Pentagram Tarot Spread
- The Romany Tarot Spread
- Sew a Tarot Card Bag
- Review: The Whimsical Tarot Deck
- Review: The Lord of the Rings Tarot Deck
- Review: The Jane Austen Tarot Kit (Deck and Book)
- Submit a Review of Your Favorite Deck
Tools of Divination
In addition to the Tarot, there are a number of other forms of divination. Learn about the Celtic Ogham, Norse Runes, Ouija boards, and more.
- Developing Your Psychic Abilities
- Finding a Psychic
- Make a Set of Celtic Ogham Staves
- Ogham Symbol Gallery
- The Norse Runes - A Basic Overview
- Ouija Boards: Harmless Toys, or Dangerous?
- Divination by Pendulum
- Make a Scrying Mirror
- Full Moon Water Scrying
- Lithomancy - Divination by Stones
- What is a Spirit Guide?
- Getting Rid of Unwanted Spirits
Book of Shadows
Looking for information on spellwork, herbs, stones, moon phases, crystals, candles, oils, recipes and more? Here's where you'll find it!
- Make Your Own Book of Shadows
- How to Write a Spell
- How to Draw the Pentacle
- Using Animal Parts in Ritual
- Using Body Fluids in Ritual
- Spellwork and Folk Magic
- Poppet Magic
- Moon Phase Magic
- Magical Color Correspondences
- Days of the Week Correspondences
- Non-Magical Items and How to Use Them
Many Wiccans and Pagans use magic as part of ritual or incorporate into their daily lives. Here are some of the basics you'll need to know about spellwork, magic, and how to put it all together.
- Magical Ethics
- Magical Self-Defense & Protection
- What's Up With Love Magic?
- Is Magic Real?
- How Does Magic Work?