1. Tenets of faith:
Not ever tradition of Wicca will have the exact same tenets of faith but the seven set forth here are some of the common ones. This particular set comes from the, "Blue Star Tradition". For purposes of meditation and reflection try drawing a seven pointed star and write one of the tenets at each point. Place copies of the star in your car, on your bathroom mirror or any place else where it can be a handy reminder.
Centering before meditation involves balancing your body, but balance needs to be carried through our entire lives and everything that we do. We need to achieve balance between caring for ourselves and caring for others; between home, work, school and rest; between time and energies spent in studying the craft and the rest of your responsibilities; between spending money and saving it; between eating and exercising; between talking and listening.
Tolerance can be achieved through understanding. It is easier to tolerate a distasteful individual, circumstance, or event when we understand WHY he/she/it is the way it is. Grounding and centering can help. Tolerance does not have to mean turning the other cheek when we are verbally or physically attacked, it means keeping everything in the correct perspective. One of the chief benefits of tolerance is that it gives us the time and space to learn much more about people and everything that goes on around us.
We learn to trust others by being trustworthy ourselves. We show our trust in the gods when we make libations of our best food and drink to them (we are trusting them to provide for us in the future) We show trust in them when we invite them to witness and assist in our rituals. We trust that our magic will work. We show trust in others when we come into Circle and share our innermost secrets, hopes and fears. We prove to others that we are worthy of their trust by knowing when to keep our mouths shut.
Most Wiccans believe in reincarnation in some way. There is never likely to be a consensus on how it works. Some believe that reincarnation happens when our spirits or souls are reborn in new babies time after time, others believe it we reincarnate through our DNA which is passed on through the generations of our family. There are many factors to consider, research and on which to meditate. Either way, we have a great influence on future generations. A Wiccan needs always to keep in mind this impact they have on others currently living and those who will come in future generations.
Harmony between individuals comes with tolerance and trust. We foster a harmonious atmosphere around us by setting a good example for others with our own calm and balanced nature.
Remember that no matter how much you know about any topic- there is still more to learn. In paganism humility does not involve putting the gods or other people above ourselves. It means an awareness that all life is sacred and needs to be appreciated for what it is.
What witches do that sets them apart from others is that they pay attention. Much more carefully and intently than the average person. We learn from everything around us. Learning is a life long process and can take many forms. It is a rare Wiccan who is not reading at least two books at any given time. We learn by observing nature and other human beings. We learn by teaching. We learn from our enemies. Whenever an event tests your Tolerance - ask yourself what you can learn from the situation. We learn by listening. We know that each experience is an opportunity to learn and that we can only progress in our spiritual development when we stop blaming others for the problems in our lives and instead learn what to do about them. There is a phrase in the Wiccan Rede, "Speak ye little, listen much". Keep all your senses open and never be afraid to ask questions - there is no such thing as a dumb question!
2. Meeting the Gods:
Getting to know the gods and goddess as individuals is essential for progress in an initiatory, mystery path of Wicca. Many people find their views of the gods changing over time. This is natural. If you have not yet seen them as individuals these exercises, and guided meditations can help by giving another perspective.
The first step in getting to know the gods is doing some research. Decide on a culture which interest's you and read what you can on the gods and goddesses of that culture and era. You will need to look for books of mythology for this information. Find a god and a goddess who know and like each other according to the myths that you have read. When you have found a god and goddess pair which works well together and that you feel drawn to it is time to meet them. If you would like to begin by getting to know the Earth and Moon goddesses and the Sun as god see our page on, "Introduction to the gods".
Create a safe space either by casting a circle or just finding a quiet place to be by yourself as you do when you meditate. Close your eyes. Center and ground and put yourself in your astral temple.
When you are settled into your astral temple, you can either close your eyes, or leave them open if you choose. Talk to the god or goddess you wish to meet. This is no different from meeting a human whom you respect and are looking forward to meeting.
Introduce yourself and tell the god and goddess a bit about yourself, for example: what you like about Wicca, what kind of research you did to find them; and why you are interested in getting to know them. Do not expect to see them clearly, or to hear them speak clearly to you. This may happen right away, at a later date, or never. Not everyone who communicates with the gods does so in a clearly audible or visual way. Many people will say they feel or just know the gods are with them. This is fairly normal.
Do not ask for any favors the first time you meet them. Keep reminding yourself this is just like developing a relationship with a person. Be respectful. Be a good listener, and be sure to thank them for the privilege of getting to talk to them. The more often you take time out to meet with the gods, the faster your progress in the craft will be.
3. How we can live each day magically:
Ideally, Wicca isn't something we do -- its a way of life; its a state of mind; a state of being. This feeling doesn't come automatically or immediately, it takes a lot of dedication and work. However, this "work" should feel welcome and pleasant -- not like a chore. When one finds the right religion (or way of life) then it should feel right, it shouldn't feel like putting a square peg in a round hole.
a. Self blessings:
To connect with the god and goddess of your choice try doing a "Self Blessing" each morning. Feel free to modify the Self Blessing whenever you need special help. For example, if you have an important test or meeting coming up you might say, "Bless my mind that I may think clearly, and remember well."
If you do a Self Blessing every morning you will find yourself beginning to look at things differently, and you will truly feel the presence of the gods throughout your day.
You can anoint yourself with oil or dew as you do this self blessing:
Bless me Lord and Lady (God and Goddess, or whichever names you prefer) for I am your child.
Bless my mind that I may know of your truth and wisdom.
Bless my voice that I may speak with kindness.
Bless my heart that I may feel your love and allow your light to shine forth.
Bless my womb (or seed or body) that I may be made aware of all life.
Bless my knees that kneel at the sacred altar.
Bless my feet that they lead me always on the path of right and reverence.
Bless my hands that they be instruments of creation and healing.
Bless me with your presence this day Lord and Lady for I am your child.
b. Remember the tenets of faith.
Balance - Tolerance - Trust - Reincarnation - Harmony - Humility - Learning
Make copies of the Tenets of Faith septegram and place them where you can see them frequently throughout the day: On your bedside table; in the center of your steering wheel (harmony and tolerance come in handy when stuck in traffic); on your desk at work.
c. Find the magic in the mundane.
Think about the elements as you go about your normal everyday business:
Feel the element of water as you wash your face in the morning, or as you put a load of laundry in the washing machine. Take a deep breath of Air as you go out to greet the day and watch the birds gliding through the sky.
Feel the heat of the Sun shining down on you and the firm Earth beneath your feet as you walk from your car to your office or school. See "Living Magically" for further information on this topic.
d. Some Magical ideas for releasing anger:
o Swim in the Ocean - the soothing waters of Mother Earth's womb wash your troubles and anger away.
o Exercise or go for a walk or run.
o Take a ritual bath - do some research into aromatherapy and use appropriate oils in the bath.
o Focus your anger into a spot in the air in front of you, encase it in a bubble and envision it floating away.
o Ground it - touch, sit, or lie on the Earth and send your anger down into the fiery core of the Earth where it will be burned away.
o Burn a white candle and/or Frankincense incense.
o Swim in the Ocean and focus on the healing and nurturing aspects of the Mother.
o Take a ritual bath - use oils and/or herbs which promote healing.
o Take time for yourself and DON'T feel guilty.
o Remember: Healing energies are all around us - in the Earth, the Moon, the Sun, the plants, the rocks - everywhere. When you are feeling weak draw these energies into yourself. The Goddess makes these gifts available to all who have shown Her sensitivity and understanding. Use them freely - just don't forget to say "thank you".
f. Cooking, Sewing, Carpentry, etc.
Whenever you make something for your family or friends you are presented with the opportunity to but your energy into the work and empower the item any way you like. Do not cook, etc. unless you are in a good mood, for your negative energy can be transmitted to the item you are working on. Ground, center and calm yourself first if necessary. Then, concentrate on putting love, health, protection, etc. into the item while you work.
g. Food blessings:
As a Wiccan, be conscious of where your food comes from. Visualize the source of the food: The gods, the farmers tending the crops and animals, the Earth in which it grows, the Sun's rays warming the soil and turning the leaves green; the Wind carrying pollen and bees for pollination; the Rain. Do not forgot anyone who might have had any part in bringing your food to your table: the truck drivers, clerks, etc. A sample food blessing follows:
We are grateful for the seeds that grew the plants,
For the cows that gave the milk, for the chickens, that laid the eggs,
For the lives of the animals whose bodies will nourish ours,
For those who planted and tended,
For the Wind, the Sun, the Rain, and the Earth that nourished them,
For those who harvested, milked, gathered and slaughtered,
For those who carried, prepared and delivered,
Thank you all who provided our food today. Blessed Be.
The food blessing should be modified according to the type of food you are blessing. The idea is to acknowledge all the hard work and sacrifice that went into your meal.
Try not to let your food blessings become empty words that you could recite in your sleep. As you say the blessing (our loud or in your head) envision someone sowing seeds, milking the cow, kneading the bread. Try to picture how these things are done now with modern technology on some occasions. Then try to envision how they were accomplished hundreds, or even thousands of years ago. If it were not for those ancient farmers we wouldn't be here now.
You may chose to make a libation to the Gods occasionally or even for each meal. When choosing what to libate remember: You are making a libation to the Gods to thank them for providing your meal and to show them that you trust them to provide you with food in the future. Therefor a libation should include the nicest pieces of each type of food. These should be carefully placed on a plate, not just heaped in a bowl as though you were slopping the hogs. (A bowl is fine if used appropriately for soup, etc.) The entire plate can be set outside under a tree or in some bushes, or carefully slide it from the plate onto the ground. Do not just toss the food. Tossing is fine if we are feeding the animals, but remember, this is a libation to the Gods. Liquid libations can be poured directly on the ground.
Some people reserve a special place in their yards for leaving libations, or you could leave them in different places until you find one that feels right.
h. Ritual Baths:
Ritual baths are a wonderful preparation for ritual, but they are also wonderful by themselves. Any time you need to "un-stress", re-charge your batteries, or just relax - try a ritual bath, complete with candle, incense, etc. alone or with a friend.
Ideally, meditation should be part of your daily routine. If you can not set aside at least 15 minutes a day do try to meditate as often as possible, it is the key to magical and spiritual growth. The more often you meditate the more quickly you will become aquatinted with yourself, the Gods, and the powers of the Universe which are available to you. For a change of pace, try saying your daily Self Blessing in your astral temple for a lunar cycle. This way you will get a least a few minutes meditating done, you will be doing your Self Blessing AND getting more familiar with your astral temple.