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I am not very good at talking about myself and having never rescued a princess or slain a dragon anything I do say always tends to sound incredibly boring. I have always been drawn and fascinated by the occult ever since, well, before I can even remember. Magic and weird occurrences have always just been *there*. I once cast a spell to stop the rain and I woke up to the aftermath of a rather bad storm. I probably must add that I was about 10 and had no idea muttering a few words I had rewritten from a magazine on Halloween would result in that. Nobody else in my family is 'magic' and probably think I'm quite possibly a loon which is partly why I have found myself on this site. I have read a lot of books on Witchcraft/Wicca and just the occult in general (although I feel very drawn to the 'Old Ways') over the years, and I feel that I've reached a point where I need to start putting what I've read into action if I plan to feel this void I always seem to feel. I've never considered myself to be spiritual or religious and would often wonder at why people that went to church or believed in 'God', yet I just can't escape the feeling of there being *something more*. I feel like I should be living how God, Deity, The Universe, whatever you may call it, intended us to be. You know, how bee's move the pollen to keep the flowers reproducing and they just do it, as if it is programmed into them etc etc, I feel that humans have a place on the earth, a job to do, if you will, and I feel Witchcraft is the best route to achieving this, for me.

Which brings me back to why I'm here. As I said I read a lot so I'm familiar with authors such as Gerald Gardner, Doreen Valiente, Raymond Buckland, Scott Cunningham and so on... I also must add that although I am knowledgable of the principles and ritual basics I have never actively participated in a ritual myself. I have all the tools (plus an obsession with wands which I've had since, again, before I can remember) but I always find an excuse on why I can't cast a circle. Whether it be 'it won't work' 'what's the point' 'is there really a god, I'd just be talking to myself' (the usual doubts) there is always something. I have decided this year, that regardless of my doubts I would like to follow the Wheel of the Year, starting at Imbolc, learning and participating in each sabbat as they come and actually start to 'live like a witch', so to speak. My aim is to self dedicate in, approx, a years time. So around next Imbolc. But I'm in no rush, I thought I'd just take things as they come. As much as I love to read, and just love books in general, I am very much a visual person and would really like to get to know other witches and just pagans in general, hopefully locally, I live in London UK, and maybe get to actually see how the magical/pagan community (sorry I don't not know if there is a term for this) really is. To my knowledge I don't think I have ever met a 'real' witch or pagan, and if I have which, is most likely now that I think about it, Obviously I was oblivious. I have so many questions and I think at some point I am going to need some human help and honestly I think I would like some. When I read about coven work part of me longs to join in, even though I am a very private person and feel religion and lifestyle is a personal thing to each individual and very much enjoy being solitary in my studies. I find doing things by myself really allows me to let my guard down and involve myself entirely.

So... that's me. Or at least, some of me. I actually ended up writing a lot more than I planned. I wish to thank those of you that take the time to read through my mini essay. I have a couple of quick questions that I would like to ask but don't feel as if you have to answer them if you would rather not.

1) I am unable, due to living conditions, to perform a full esbat ritual this coming full moon but I would like to do something to acknowledge it. I know, in some traditions, that the moon is associated with The Goddess. I am not sure how I feel about deity just yet so I don't want to focus too much on Her or The God but I would like to celebrate the moon and its cycle and the phase in general. I would love to hear any ideas and tips on what people here do to celebrate esbats without performing the full works.

2) Fantastic candles and where to buy them? Anyone know of any reputable sites for decent candles, preferable solid colours. I hear beeswax is best but I find coloured taper ones hard to find. I like simple candles, nothing in jars (unless scented, and for decoration) as I like the idea of doing my own work or inscribing on them if need be. I like that Witchcraft requires to put your own touch into everything. It makes it part of you. I used to sleep with my favourite things and carry them around with me as a child, now I read of people doing this with crystals, tarot cards and more!! I wonder if it really is something in our DNA to do these things naturally.

3) Meditation: possibly a silly question but how do I know when I'm doing it? Do I go into a trace, blank mind, will I be conscious of what is around me? When I attempt it I feel like I'm just sitting there thinking or visualising, which I can do anywhere. I have just not found a way to click with it yet. And it seems to be such an important skill to have if one wishes to attune and clear the mind and I am eager to learn. What does it feel like?

I shall now bring this post to a close, I don't wish to take up too much of anybody's time and again, thanks to all of you that are reading, or will be reading once I hit 'add'.

Blessed Be and I wish you a wonderful morning/afternoon or evening, wherever you may be!

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Welcome to WT To7m.Don't take this wrong but some of your comments are a little off mark, as should be expected of someone new to studying. The big one, "Witchcraft/Wicca"

Witchcraft or Craft is not synonymous with Wicca. Not all witches are Wiccan, not all wiccans are witches. Wicca is a religion, Witchcraft is something you do. So when you say you want to follow the (wiccan) wheel of the year and start living like a witch, that's two different things. Not that you can't do both, I'm just trying to clear up some confusion for you.

Here is some good reading to get some things straight.

When I first tried doing rituals I felt the same as you did but I was able to work with a coven for awhile which helped it come more naturally but then I stopped working with the coven when I realized Wicca wasn't for me largely because of my issues with deity.
I can appreciate wanting to do things by yourself but when you're standing there alone saying "what's the point" then it's not really working for you, is it? Finding a group who hosts an open circle for a Sabbat or full moon esbat can really get the ball rolling. Don't feel alone, many of us have been just where you're at.

Regarding your questions, full moon activities can be anything from a nature walk or baking cookies to charging crystals or making moon water. I tried some googling and literally got a hit "1,000 activities for the full moon". Don't forget Dark Moon and New Moon.

Can't help you with candles. I buy mine from the thrift store where you can get a big bag full for a dollar.

Meditation, there have been a lot of discussions here. There is a search field to look at past topics. There are different kinds of meditation, it's not always about having a blank mind for hours. Yes, I am usually aware of my surroundings. There are methods of meditation where you think on certain topics. There are also guided meditations which can help visualization. Sometimes it's just about grounding and centering. Here is one I enjoyed starting with


I agree that meditation is an important practice. When it clicks you'll feel it and once it does it becomes easier to reach that feeling. For me doing Yoga as a lead in to meditation was helpful.

Anyway, again, Welcome. Look around and ask questions

Tom's advice is golden, but speaking as a Wiccan, I'd quibble about one thing. All Wiccans are, in fact, witches. The Craft is at the core of our religion and it's integral to our worship. Wiccans who claim not to be witches are misinformed. Tom gets a pass because he's not Wiccan, yet STILL strives to learn about us and does a darn fine job.

Hello guys,

Firstly, let me thank you both for taking the time to reply! How fitting that the first person I 'meet' is also called Tom! Secondly, I must apologise for my use of Witchcraft/Wicca. I did not mean it as the same thing but I'm never sure of the correct term and not wanting to offend somebody so I tried to cover a wider group. I have been reading some of the threads here and it is nice to see that even some of the most experienced pagan's seem to have started off right where I am now. It makes my journey seem a little less daunting.

For me, being 'in sync' with the planet and its seasons seems to be a very natural thing, as if we should all be doing it autonomously by birth and as a lot of it revolves around the moon, seasons, planets, days so Wicca, in this aspect, really resonates with me. It gives me the same sort of feeling that Witchcraft does when I read about that so sometimes its easier for me to think of them as two sides of one coin but I guess that is a belief of mine more than anything and I apologise for the mistake! I do not wish to upset anyone by making it seem they are both the same.

Thank you for the links also, I have been trying some guided meditations on YouTube but haven't found one that clicks for me yet. I seem to always be waiting for that 'aha moment' while meditating - I always feel like I'm just sitting there with my eyes closed and not actually doing anything. Maybe I am just not giving myself enough time!? Reading and learning have always come very easy to me, I find now that I am putting it into practice, it's not that easy lol. I would love to hear of any people in the UK that hold open rituals (sorry if that is not the right term)!? Or something of the like at least. I'm quite receptive to energy so I think it might help for me to attend one or participate.

Anyway, again, thank you for your replies! I have been reading some excellent threads here already!!

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