A Note to New Pagans

I don’t really think it matters how someone comes to Paganism.  You’re here and you have a lot of questions and a few doubts.  You are about to enter a world you may never knew existed.  Enjoy this beginning.  Savor the newness and fulfillment of a spiritual and religious life.

So now what?  What is the next step?  Honestly, I can’t tell you.  For me, I did a lot of Googling and reading.  I thought what I needed to do is “catch up” on what I missed and fill the gaps in my knowledge in order to be a good Pagan.  But you know what?  The strongest memory from the first few months into my path is one full moon I laid in my backyard and watched fireflies.  The simple lesson of stopping and appreciating the world the Goddess has given us stuck with me every day.

Not that reading isn’t important.  Knowledge is power and the more you know the firmer you will get in your practice.  But often, new Pagans get lost in the overwhelming amount of information.  The best advice I can give you is to start in two places: the myths and some history of Neo-Paganism (my recommendation: Drawing Down the Moon by Margot Adler).  Yes, learning about ritual is important too.  But understanding the background behind these sacred rites deepens your understanding of your practices.

You are going to be super excited about finding Paganism and feel the need to tell everyone.  Or alternatively scared shit-less because you think you could be judged, harmed, or humiliated because of your beliefs.  Coming out as Pagan is a personal decision.  You need to balance your personal growth and personal safety to decide to whom you can tell.  If it is everyone, great!  You are one of the public voices that will help debunk misconceptions people have about Pagans, Wiccans, and witches. If you can’t, that is fine.  Draw strength from this secret and come out on your own terms.

Whatever path you choose, I bless you in you endeavors.  Stay strong and remember this time in your life.  It will change you forever.

© Ariadne Woods

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