View Full Version : Feeling really overwhelmed

05 Aug 2018, 02:30
So Iíve wanted to get into Wicca for a long time now. Years, actually. Iíve been sort of drifting between Wicca and atheism, like I hadnít fully committed to either but recently, Iíve felt a strong desire to convert to Wicca. I donít know where to start. Iíve been looking at posts on tumblr tagged under ďwitchblrĒ which a lot of pagans seem to use. I thought itíd be helpful but Iíve just ended up feeling so overwhelmed and discouraged. Thereís just so much information...astrology, candles, casting a circle, crystals, deities, herbs, incense, palmistry, spells, tarot reading, types of witches (black, gray, white...thatís all I can remember!), something called a grimoire, Esbats, Sabbats...and thatís not even everything lol. Half the time I have absolutely no idea whatís going on and I feel really out of the loop.

Plus, it also seems really expensive. People were post photos of their altars and theyíre really beautiful but from what Iíve seen, it costs a lot to buy things like crystals, tarot cards, etc. I have a few crystals now and theyíve already cost maybe $30 in total. I donít really have the money (Iím under 18 and live at home) but I feel like without the proper tools, it makes me less valid or it delegitimises everything.

Iím thinking about going to the library and checking out some books on witchcraft but...Iím just feeling mentally exhausted and I havenít even started lol. I guess Iím hoping for advice, like is it normal to feel like youíre in over your head when you first start out? And do you have any recommended reading for beginners (Internet links or books)? Iíve read through the Newbie Guide To Paganism so Iím going to see if those books are available at the library. Thanks so much!

Prickly Pear
05 Aug 2018, 07:55
It is normal to feel overwhelmed. Anytime you start something new, it seems like there is a whole dictionary of new terms, warehouses of new tools and equipment, and everyone else seems to be a huge expert. Wicca and other forms of witchcraft are no exception.

The truth is that you do not not need to spend a fortune. Starting at the library is fantastic. You can delve into all kinds of topics and see what draws you. I would suggest starting with a simple beginner's type guide, and then digging deeper into the things that interest you. Of course, that may be limited by what is available at your library. You probably already have tools at home that will work fine. You will have knives and herbs and bowls and pans in your kitchen (don't steal your parent's favorite stuff). Lots of people find little treasures at the thrift store or discount store that fill in the gaps. Wicca is a particular path with particular guidelines and structure, but there are also other witchy paths. All of these are valid, so you don't need to feel discouraged if you need to explore a bit to find the best fit. There should be a pagan community in any medium to large sized city, so you may be able to find some guidance. Just approach any group that wants lots of money to teach you the one true way with suspicion. A reasonable contribution to defray expenses is to be expected, having to take our a loan or wipe out all of your savings is not. Pushing your boundaries a little can be healthy, pressure to act against your own core beliefs and healthy boundaries is not.

Also, people on social media are often trying to present an idealized version of themselves. You will find some people who will try to outdo each other with witchiness or expensive equipment in the same way you might see other people try to outdo each other with fancy cars and houses or "perfect" lifestyles. There is a lot of good stuff out there, but there is a fair amount of style over substance. Don't let it discourage you. In this case, the work you put in and the way you feel about it carry a lot more weight than how much you spent, or how pretty it might look on instagram.

Also, welcome. Check out the threads on budget paganism.

05 Aug 2018, 13:00
One thing to keep in mind is that most of the people that post pictures of their altars didn't get there immediately. Those items are acquired over many years and eventually come together. I'm personally not an altar person, but I have my medicine bundle which contains symbolic items found in nature, and "food" to feed them. I have many card decks (tarot, angle, faeries, etc) and books but like I said, it took years to build this selection.

Make a small list of books you want to read as a starting point. The internet is full of all sorts of information, a collective that millions of people have contributed to. Take small, manageable bites to digest and go from there. Chances are your interests today will not be the same in a few years and this is a completely normal progression. I was interested in Wicca when I was 13. A few decades later, I'm into completely different things.

05 Aug 2018, 13:43
Another quick thing to note is that nobody is going to judge you for being a bad pagan, and if they do, they're not very nice people anyways.

I started out at 13 interested in wicca, and my altar when I first started out was four dollar store candles with the elements carved on the bottom (so my mom wouldn't see!), A tiny round mirror from my mother's craft drawer, my pocketknife, and some incense. Slowly, I collected books, created various types of book of shadows/grimoires over the years, and read. Mostly, I read the heck out of everything (and still do).

The flavour of paganism I've fallen into involves a really, really dusty altar (I should really clean that sometime...), the old candle burning for luck or prosperity or whatever, but mostly, living off the land. The rituals and all the rest never were for me. I celebrate the turn of the seasons, I try to make myself as knowledgable as I can about the world around me, in regards to the plants and animals, and I try to sustain myself as best I can off the land. I am on the land, and I am a part of the land.

It's pretty cheap, honestly.

05 Aug 2018, 14:38
I agree,most of my early in pagan beliefs I used "found" things and still have most if not all of them,small stones,feathers,and incense burners,cone incense(my favorite type. Meditation music to use when chilling and meditating. Things are all around you,just open your mind and see beauty in nature.

06 Aug 2018, 17:39
I agree with everyone. When I first began, I was a teenager and thought that I needed a lot of these things to do these rituals. You really don't. It is nice to have some of the items, like a cauldron, but I use a personally made small pottery bowl I made. Do you need a lot of books? No. But I would take the time to read some of the classics like Wicca by Scott Cunningham. So like many of those above, just take your time and no one is judging you. Good luck in your journey.

Sean R. R.
06 Aug 2018, 22:47
Another quick thing to note is that nobody is going to judge you for being a bad pagan, and if they do, they're not very nice people anyways.

I just wanted to add something to this here:

People ARE going to judge you. But you know what? It's okay. It doesn't matter. What other (hopefully experienced) people think can be an useful indicator for yourself. It is not accurate, as they are a different person than yourself, thus cannot understand or comprehend the entirety of your complex persona. However you can always judge their judgement and see for yourself if the information they convey through their judgement is of use to you, or not.

Rule of thumb is trusting your gut, your instinct, then add a dash of pragmatism and half a spoon of rational thinking. You should be fine, and you shall go far.