As the nights grow long, the wind blows sharp and cold, many are seeking light in the Dark that is across the land, looking for where to begin on the chosen Paths, and the Witches abide. Those of us who are Heathen await Odin's Ride, and all are eager for the the Winter Solstice where we keep watch all night for the promise of a new spin of the Wheel, and new chances to learn and teach.
This is a good time to be thankful for the teachers who have helped shape the existence of Wicca here in our nation. In this writer's travels across the boards and rooms of the web, a question came that led to many responding with answers that are common today. However, many answers that would be standard to those at the beginnings of the Great Witch Awakening here in the late 50's and 60's might have found curious to see were missing.
The question was as follows:
"I am actually seeking guidance on where to start. The library here offered one Wiccan book & its missing. The people that Ive met that have claimed to be Wiccan (sic), it was just a phase for them. Thank you for any help or guidance"
A query familiar enough to many on the Path. The expected names of Buckland, Grimassi, and our own native son from the Land of the Fresh Water Seas Scott Cunningham were there, as well as Donald Michael Kraig. A name glaringly absent was Ed Fitch.
For those unfamiliar with him, he was one of the major contributors to how Witchraft and Wicca formed here in the United States of America today. What did he do? Well, as Pagan Poet's site fondly conveys
"He is one of the creators (along with Joseph B. Wilson and Thomas Giles) of “The Pagan Way”, a non-initiatory Wiccan tradition. He was one of the editors of “The Waxing Moon”, a magazine founded by Joseph B. Wilson in 1964, and the first magazine devoted to Witchcraft in America (later re-named “The Crystal Well""But more than this, he helped shape a generation of young minds and souls. A Pagan Veteran and prolific writer, he helped guide many of us in our first steps through his works. Yet his name is not as well circulated in many forums as his peers. As you light your altar candles for all of our Veterans to keep watch for them throughout the year would be kind and proper.
Also, while the writers at Llewellyn Publishing are always delivering new and original authors, there is a firm foundation of excellent works that have been on the scene that they released many years ago. For the beginner, a great start would be to look into their Practical Techniques books.
It is also important to remember that there are other publishers and authors near and dear to us that may not be as well known, but offer a treasure of gifts to the student and sage alike. Publishers and writers, Shetan Noir of Shetan Noir Books and Corvis Nocturnum of , are local Mid Western favorites for good titles and useful information. Authors Andrieh Vitimus, Puck Shadowdake, Shauna Aura Knight, Michelle Belanger, and others are all adding to the tapestry of Magick and the Craft here in the Mid West. Do not neglect the pearls in your own garden.
So in as we approach Thanksgiving here in the States, let us give thanks for those who have Served and those who continue to Serve the community. And since it is near the holiday's here is a suggested rite called
The Light of Thankfulness
You will need an altar dressed in the appropriate colors for your Tradition. Suggested colors are red for Life Blood, Purple for Achievement, and Gold for Divine Guidance. A Silver Candle, a Gold Candle,and a Light Blue Candle,( for the Lady, the Lord, and for Blessed Healing) should be at center. A small bowl, which can be inverted over a stone is placed under the Blue Candle. Anoint the Blue with Rose oil. A small red or garnet stone should be there to help offer protection to those who you Honor, and charged with protective thoughts.Set out a cup of water you have prayed over to sustain those who have passed on. Bread should be there to bring remembrance of the solidity and the impermanence of this human life. If desired, incense of Sandlewood is appropriate.
Compose a prayer of simple words to thank deity for observing your rite. Light the Lord and Lady candles. No Circle is needed. Light your incense, name all those who you would heal and see placed in Divine protection and light the blue candle. For those whom you wish to give special thanks, you can write out a simple prayer of thanksgiving and burn in the flame of the blue candle. Let this stay in place during your Thanksgiving meal, encouraging guests to stop by the area and give their own moments of prayer and reflection. The garnet should be wrapped in a cloth afterward and sent to one who needs it most. Let the candle burn all meal, until it burns out. Extinguish the deity candles and save until next year.
~ Mistress Belladonna ~
So when asked where to begin, remember to begin at the beginning. Begin with remembering what came before you, that there is joy in thankfulness for being able to have those teachings to draw upon, and then go out and find that within you that is a light to others that you may share. And that can be a beautiful beginning.
First published in http://www.examiner.com/article/beginning-at-the-beginning-when-starting-wicca?cid=db_articles