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WITCHCRAFT & WICCA 101: TABLE OF CONTENTS

Feel free to copy this information to your Book of Shadows.

WITCHCRAFT & WICCA 101: TABLE OF CONTENTS

Postby Xiao Rong » Fri Jul 11, 2014 12:20 pm

Welcome to the Witchcraft 101 forum! If you are new to the Craft, we hope that you will find this resource useful. We have curated a number of discussion threads throughout the years on the really important subjects for beginners.

We are still working on expanding and developing this resource. Are we missing an important topic? Saw a really informative thread that you want added here? Chime in below, and we'll see what we can do!

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AN INTRODUCTION TO WICCA AND WITCHCRAFT

What is Wicca, Witchcraft, and Paganism really all about?


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TERMS AND DEFINITIONS

Wicca, Witchcraft, Witch, Wiccan, Pagan, Paganism ... What does it all mean? Well, as the saying goes, ask a dozen witches the same question, you'll get 13 different answers. Unfortunately, we can't give you exactly what those terms mean, but the links below are some of the discussions we've had over the years about what those terms mean to us.


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IMPORTANT TEXTS & MYTHS

Witchcraft has very few important "sacred texts" that are universally accepted by all Wiccans or Witches. However, we have compiled here a few of the most common creeds and myths that have inspired Witches for generations and have found their way into many Witches' Book of Shadows.


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HOW DO I BEGIN?

This is one of the most common questions we've received. Before starting a new thread, we encourage you to take a peek at some of our past discussions on this subject and see what others have said.


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COVEN VS. SOLITARY

Witchcraft often conjures up the image of a group of witches holding hands and chanting, or perhaps clustered around a cauldron together. However, that isn't the reality for many witches; perhaps it's because they prefer practicing solo, or because there are not enough witches in their area to form a coven, or any other number of reasons. Here, we've listed some topics around this subject about the benefits and drawbacks to both, and how to make the best of your situation.


It's natural for many beginners to look for teachers (both online and in-person) to guide them as they make their first steps on their path. However, seasoned EUTM members offer their advice on how to discern good teachers from bad ones -- not everyone looking to teach others on their path are necessarily qualified to do so, or have your best interest at heart. If you plan on looking for a guide, the following posts are a must-read.


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THE ETHICS OF WITCHCRAFT

One of the appeals of becoming involved in the Craft is reclaiming your individual power. However, at the risk of sounding like Uncle Ben, with power comes responsibility. In Witchcraft, we take the ethical dimensions of magic and spellwork very seriously, and all experienced witches you meet will always think carefully about the ethics of how they use that power. As Witchcraft is a decentralized spirituality, there are very few hard and fast rules or commandments to follow, the closest being the famous 8-word Wiccan Rede ("An it harm none, do what ye will"), but often applying it in our lives takes great thoughts and consideration. The links below represent some of the discussions we've had in the past about the ethics of witchcraft.


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BEGINNING YOUR MAGICAL STUDIES

Many sources suggest that you study Witchcraft for at least a year and a day before you commit yourself to Witchcraft. Why do witches call for a year and a day? And what should you study then? See our discussions below.


Other free sources for a Year and a Day Study (non-EUTM threads):


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THE WHEEL OF THE YEAR

Many Wiccans and Pagans celebrate the Wheel of the Year, which consists of 8 Sabbats (four of which fall on the equinoxes and solstices, four of which fall on cross-quarter days) that celebrate the seasons and the Sun's journey through the year. Many witches also celebrate the Esbats, to honor the cycle of the Moon.


You will also find more information on how other members celebrate these holy days in the Sabbats and Esbats Subforum.

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YOUR BOOK OF SHADOWS

Your Book of Shadows (commonly abbreviated as BoS or BOS) is arguably the most important tool you will use (and create) during your magical studies, since they serve as a record of your progression in the Path. Exactly what form your Book of Shadows is up to you, since often the Book of Shadows is highly personal and specific to a Witch's personality, interests, and preferences.


You can find many of our members' public or digital Books of Shadows in the Members' Books of Shadows forum. Some of them are a digital backup of their physical Books of Shadows, or their primary Book of Shadows (if they cannot keep a physical BOS for any reason). When you are ready, you are welcome to create your own thread in that forum to serve as a record of your progression (although please review our notice about plagiarism before doing so -- we take copyright claims very seriously!)

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TOOLS OF THE TRADE

Now that you're ready to start your magical practice, you can start assembling the tools you will need. Many witches use tools such as a cauldron, athame, wand, altar, and a chalice. The links below can give you ideas of how to obtain them and personalize them for your practice.


It might be easy and tempting to shop for all our ritual tools from a catalog, but that can get pricey fast. Fortunately, with a little creativity and imagination, one can easily obtain ritual tools for cheap (or even free!) that are just as good as any you can buy from a shop (or perhaps even more powerful, because they are uniquely yours!)


You can find more information on ritual tool specifics in the Ritual Items and Tools Subforum.

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INTRODUCTION TO MAGIC & SPELLS

You don't have to practice magic and cast spells to be a Wiccan or a Pagan, but it's definitely a perk of being a Witch! These are links to the basics of magic, magical theory, and spellcrafting. For more specific spells or questions, please see our Post a Spell or Ritual subforum.


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MAGICAL CORRESPONDENCES

A reference guide for common magical correspondences. Feel free to bookmark these and refer to them often!


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CASTING A CIRCLE

Casting a circle is a common practice among witches. What does it mean, and why do we do it? Find out below.


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WORKING WITH DEITIES

Many Witches and Pagans work with deities in their practice (though it is by no means required). Below are a few links, and you can find much more information about connecting with specific gods and goddesses in our Gods and Goddesses subforum.


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SELF-INITIATIONS & SELF-DEDICATIONS

After a time, you may be interested in dedicating yourself to the path. Below are the many discussions we have had on why we dedicate ourselves and how to write such a ritual.


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THE BROOM CLOSET

Unfortunately, many Witches and Pagans are unable to practice openly, due to pressure from their family or community (this is especially a problem for those who are underage). Staying in the "broom closet", so to speak, is a necessity for many, and choosing to come out is a choice that only you can make. We also have some tips below about how to practice witchcraft discreetly and inconspicuously if necessary.


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PSYCHIC SHIELDING, CLEANSING, AND PROTECTION

When you first begin in the Craft, you may find yourself open to all sorts of new energies, both positive and negative. While actual psychic attacks and curses are not common, it is always a good idea to know how to shield and some basic protection. There are many methods to doing so, and here are some that our members have shared over time:


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LIVING A MAGICAL LIFE

Beyond celebrating the Sabbats and Esbats, how does one bring their spirituality to our everyday lives?


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BEYOND THE BASICS

You're almost finished with Witchcraft 101. What should you do now to continue on your path?


In addition, head on over to our ADVANCED WITCHCRAFT: TABLE OF CONTENTS to find new topics!

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MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS

~ Xiao Rong ~ 小蓉 ~ Little Lotus ~
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