In 1997, a school friend handed me a book that changed my life. It was Teresa Moorey’s “Witchcraft: A Beginner’s Guide”.
I devoured it that night, and a thirst for more was kindled deep within. I had to give that book back to my buddy the next day, but I re-read it a couple of weeks later, when I borrowed it from the library. I also ransacked the non-fiction section for similar material, but the selection was fairly limited. I ended up reading mostly mythology.
A couple of years later, I met a guy at school who told me his sister was Wiccan. By that time, my family had internet access so I was able to do some research when I got home. I compiled a list of recommended reading, and managed to find copies of “Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner” by Scott Cunningham and “The Spiral Dance” by Starhawk at a big bookstore.
The next three books I bought were “Drawing Down the Moon” by Margot Adler, “Wicca: The Old Religion in the New Millenium” by Vivianne Crowley, and “The Witches’ Bible” by the Farrars. All in all, not bad choices for a newbie!
The internet opened up a new world of information and contacts, and I made the most of it. I started with solitary Wicca, investigated Druidry briefly after reading books by Emma Restall Orr and Philip Carr-Gomm, explored feminist Witchcraft traditions like Reclaiming, which led to an interest in the American trad called Feri, and have circled back to British Traditional Witchcraft. Ideally, I’d love to study Wicca with a Gardnerian coven, but I’m open to whatever comes because I’m tied to the small country where I live.
I still read a lot. Like, A LOT. By preference, I prefer older stuff that’s full of inspiration, even if it requires equal parts of open-mindedness and critical thinking. I’m good at reading between the lines, putting parts together to see the whole.
I also have a daily practice that includes meditation and devotional offerings. I celebrate the Wheel of the Year. I build shrines to honour the ancestors, spirits and deities who are important to me.
I’ve identified as a pagan Witch ever since reading that first book, and although my beliefs and practices have changed over the years, my soul-deep enjoyment of the Craft has never waned.