Barbara Lee, a white witch for 30 years, allows us into her suburban her home in Killiney where she shares her experience of becoming a Wiccan. Barbara firmly believes that Wicca has been hugely misrepresented in the media. Wicca ritual is about celebrating the earth, channelling positive energies and creating healing. Barbara did not take her decision to become a witch lightly. With her father a former Anglican preacher her upbringing was strictly conventional. Indeed her own two children were raised within the church of Ireland faith. But at 19 years of age, Barbara felt that there was something missing from her religion – it was the recognition of the feminine and the celebration of the cycle of life. Today, she presides over a coven of witches that meet once a month to perform rituals and initiations. The coven also celebrates the Celtic festivals; Barbara estimates that there are 150 witches from the Alexandrian tradition in Ireland with another 2000 pagans, druids and shamen. To become Wicca is not an easy process; firstly one must have a wide knowledge of comparative religion and mythology and undergo a nine week course before initiation can even take place. Initiation also involves performing three rituals before one becomes a member of a coven. In 2007, Barbara’s world was turned upside down when her eighteen year old daughter was diagnosed with cancer. Barbara believes that her Wicca faith helped her through the long year of nursing Rhiannon. Sadly Rhiannon …
Pagan, which once meant country dweller, is now coined as the term for a spirituality that is not one of the Big three monotheistic faiths of Christianity, Islam or Judaism. Many folks use Paganism as an umbrella term for many earth-based, or earth honoring spiritual paths. To further break it down many refer to Paganism as what ancient Pre-Christian people practiced, and refer to what is practiced today as Neo-Paganism. Wicca is just one of the many Pagan faiths out there. Pagans refer to themselves as many different things such as Wiccan, Asatru, Celtic , Hellenic, or Roman Re-constructionist, Heathen, Witch, Traditional Witch, Green Witch, Elemental Witch, Pantheist, Polytheist, or even Just Pagan.
I am very interested in learning about Wicca, Witchcraft and Paganism….Now what do I do?
If you are interested in the subject and want to learn more, read as much information from as many different sources as you can. Never take any one teaching or opinion on the subject as set in stone, and the one true way. You will find that many people say that traditional coven taught and lineage based Wicca is the only way to go, and you will find others that think it’s perfectly acceptable to learn and practice Wicca in a solitary fashion. All these different schools of thought can be daunting and confusing at first. Do not worry, and take your time. Get educated and come to your own conclusions about what you learn. Much information about Paganism and Wicca is based on scholarship and history, but much of what you read will also be based on opinion, beliefs, and guesses about what our ancestors actually did.
Looking for a Teacher, and Meeting Other Pagans
Be safe when looking for a teacher, or other Pagans to celebrate with. If you are new to Paganism and Wicca, and are looking for someone to teach you, use Common sense and be leery of ANY new person you meet. Gaining trust, and being able to trust someone takes time. Never feel pressured or rushed into anything. Do not do anything you feel uncomfortable doing, even if a particular person’s teachings dictate that you do so. My best advice on this is to join an on line social group at first (one that is welcoming to people new to Paganism) and join in on the discussion there. You will learn much by participating in on line group discussions. After you feel more comfortable, and want to venture out into the real world to meet other Pagans in or near your town, make sure you meet people in an openly public place, and not alone.