Recently I’ve received a lot of emails from people seeking advice on how to get started in Paganism. They have no idea what questions to ask, or what to tell me so that I might best advise them on what groups to seek out or what resources they should start with.
One of the ethics of Paganism is taking responsibility for yourself. It’s one of the things that makes us very different than Abrahamic religions. As a seeker, you are expected to do a bit of research into what it is you’re seeking. As a Priestess giving advice based on my years of being around the Pagan community, and practicing both eclectic Paganism and traditional Wicca, it’s difficult for me to advise someone unless they give me a few clues about what they are looking for.
If you’re a new seeker to the Pagan path and you want to reach out to someone for help, here are some things you should ask yourself before making contact:
Are you a spiritual Pagan? Or a magical Pagan? Or both?
What gods and goddesses do you worship? Are you interested in a particular culture of Paganism? This will quickly narrow down who you approach about Paganism.
What is the difference between “Wiccan” and “Pagan.” What other Pagan paths are there out there?
Do you understand what initiations is? Do you want to take a traditional initiation? Why or why not? If you don’t know what initiation is, this is something you should research.
Do you want formal training? How involved do you wish to be with a group coven? Do you want to become a priest or priestess of the Craft, or simply attend rituals and events to seek the company of other Pagans?
Do some basic research. Its not hard, and while I don’t recommend the internet for serious study, there are plenty of resources out there that give you a basic overview of the modern Craft community in whatever area you are living. Here is my blog on information and resources for new Pagans.
Once you have thought about these things, here is the type of email you could send to someone:
Dear SO and SO,
I came across your contact on [insert website or contact here.]
I am interested in such and such path and I think you could help answer some of my questions.
[List questions here. Some examples are ]-
What do I need to get started?
Are there any groups that you recommend?
I might be interested in joining your group? How can I do that? Do you have a formal intake process, pr are you a casual group?
Do you accept students? What does training with your group entail?
What books do you recommend?
Are there other groups in the area that might help me? Or suit my particular needs?
Thank you, sincerely,
And remember, whoever you email is under no obligation to respond, so if they do, remember to say thank you! They may or may not be able to help you, but make sure you let them know that you appreciate the fact that they took the time to give you any answer or advice. I see an important aspect of my Priestesshood as being someone that can give you the information to get you to the right Pagan path. I never mind if a stranger approaches me for that sort of advise, but I’m always really bothered when I don’t even get a quick “hey, thanks for the info!” Common courtesy never hurts anybody. “Please” and “Thank You” really are magical words.