Wicca is an initiatory religion. Purists insist that Wicca therefore cannot be practiced by eclectics. That’s fine; I have no argument. But there are many who practice something they like to call “Wicca.” This page is for them.
Wicca (of whatever stripe) is something that should be lived, not merely take the form of rites performed at the full moon or on a particular pagan holiday. Living magick takes time, but as you progress in your learning, the thing learned eventually becomes second nature. The question you want to ask yourself first is, “Why do I want to learn magick?” If your answer has anything to do with power over others, or manipulating others in any way, then you’d probably better exit this page now. Wicca is not going to be helpful to you. If, on the other hand, your aim is to grow spiritually, refine yourself as an individual, help others with their permission, and accomplish some physical goals, then read on.
One of the core tenets of Wicca is the “Law of Three.” It states, simply, that anything you send out is returned to you times three, be it positive or negative. One crude example might be “If you steal $20.00, expect to lose $60.00. More realistically, this refers to the law of Karma, which is not (as commonly believed) the practice of earning brownie points by doing good deeds, and earning punishments by behaving like a jerk. Karma is cause and effect – touch a hot stove, and you’ll likely get burned. Mess enough people around, and soon you’ll find yourself becoming very unpopular.
Another tenet is the Wiccan Rede. You can find the long version here. The short version is simply “An’ It Harm None, Do As Ye Will.” The Rede is believed to have been formulated and adapted from Aleister Crowley’s assertion of “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.” Crowley and the founder of Wicca, Gerald Gardner, were acquainted. Some even say that they had a bet as to who could start the most popular religion. In any case, the similarity is unmistakable.
These tenets are essentially religious morals, and as such are a part of the religious view of Wicca. They are not a part of witchcraft in general. Another thing that should be realized is the “be careful what you ask for” clause. This falls more under the heading of common sense than any particular law or rule. I’m sure you've heard it before, but it applies more than ever here. If you do a ritual asking for a job, are you going to be satisfied with being a fry cook at a burger joint? Wouldn’t you rather be more specific? Outline exactly what you want – job description, type of company (not company name!), environment, pay. You’d be surprised at how well your opportunity will match your request. Of course, you still have to look for the job (it’s not going to fall into your lap), and it certainly helps if you’re qualified.
The flip side of this is to avoid lust of result. Remember that while you want to be sure to state your goal, you don’t want to limit it. So only apply those aspects of the goal that are absolutely essential. Let the Universe take care of the details. And once the working is done, let go of it. Just follow through on your mundane aspects, and don’t sweat the magick. Holding on to something too tightly and worrying it to death only stops the energy from flowing to the intended manifestation.
I once did a ritual while looking for a house to rent. I’d been unable to find anything remotely suitable. I ended up getting everything I asked for – appliances, fireplace, wood floors, fenced yard, deck – with the exception of one thing. (Apparently the Universe felt that I didn’t need that one thing.) I was quite thrilled when I pulled up into the perfect house’s driveway about two weeks later. And I got the house on the spot, no questions asked.
I’ve heard some disagreement lately on how elaborate a ritual needs to be to obtain results. I can’t understand that, personally. I don’t think it matters. I’ve done candle magick with a birthday cake candle (one of the little skinny ones) and no other tools, no circle, etc, and it worked fine. In fact, I saw results within 24 hours. What happened was my car had been towed at the perfectly wrong time, and even though I picked it up 5 minutes later, it still cost me money I couldn’t afford to spend. I did a little emergency ritual to get my money back ($40), and that evening I found three $20 bills lying, end to end like a little trail, on the ground. Noone around. No open buildings nearby. Strange, yes, but deeply appreciated on my part!
I’ve heard a lot about what magick is and isn’t for, what it can and cannot do. One example said, “If you are unemployed, don’t do magick to try to get a car. Instead, do a ritual for a job, then for a bank account, then for a car.” I completely disagree. I’m perfectly capable of getting a job, a bank account, and then saving for a car, all by myself. I need a car now! So I’m going to do my best to conjure one up, for the good of all, according to free will, and any other disclaimer I can think of to make sure it hurts no one (if I’m working in the Wiccan paradigm, at least).
Another common misconception is that the Rede means that at no time can you harm anyone, ever, no matter what. So if someone broke into your house and came at you with a knife, would you stand there and let him stab you? If the answer to that is no, then you understand why sometimes it can be necessary to fight back or do defensive magick. Protective or banishing magick is even better. Wicca isn’t meant to be all white light and butterflies. That might be what they showed on Charmed, but I think you know how realistic that was… or at least I hope you do. Just remember – fair, just, and balanced, and you’ll be fine.