I have received so many e-mail requests asking me where a person should begin her/his path on Wicca that I would have to say it is our number one question. Well, I can't speak for any other tradition except the one that I practice but I am going to do my best to give you some good generic guidelines to follow.
Since the beginning of time, humans were exposed to all the elements and forces of nature. As a species we were subject to and limited by all the natural forces that surrounded us. As a result of this exposure, we knew and understood those forces in a deeply intimate way. We had to be in tunewith Her cycles and rhythms in order to ensure our survival. We understood that it was Nature that sustained us and yet She could also be destructive. This was never intended to harm any one. She was just doing what She does best: Creating.
As time went on and we evolved as a species, we found and/or developed ways to not only work with Her, but to insulate and protect ourselves from Her as well.
By working with Her natural cycles, we were able to develop from hunter/gatherers, to more complex agricultural societies. This allowed for greater numbers of people to exist in a particular area because the food could be grown and harvested. Yet we understood that no matter what, She was still in charge. There were droughts, floods, storms, freezing cold, etc. that were all Nature driven events that could change things for us very quickly and without warning. Because of this, Nature was respected and worshipped as a Goddess and a power that was far greater than we were.
Slowly, over the centuries, our ancestors began to develop better living quarters that could provide protection from the elements and more complex tools that allowed them to do more complex work. But it was also during this time that tools of war and conflict were developed. Fighting over the best land, water, etc., sparked all sorts of battles and a nurturing Goddess who wanted nothing more than for all of Her creations to grow and thrive was replaced by a God of strength, courage, and a love of victory over the enemy (whoever that might have been). It was no longer a simple matter of living in balance with the Goddess and the forces of Nature, we had to have protection from each other We had to be the biggest, the strongest, the toughest, have the best weapons and tools, and of course, the strongest Gods to help us defeat our enemies. Humans pulled away from the Goddess because She was not considered to be a force that could be used to conquer and vanquish our enemies. I think this was a correct reasoning. What mother would help a daughter or son harm or kill another daughter or son?
The Goddess no longer ruled, and the world was thrown into chaos. Thousands of years of fighting and war passed. The Earth became a killing field, ruled by angry male God/s but Nature continued to show Her strength and power using the very elements that She used to create life here from the beginning of time. These acts, however, were interpreted by the priests of the God worshippers as "acts of an angry God" directed against all who would disobey His laws. It is important that we remember that the Goddess did not abandon us, or change in any way. She was always there, doing what She had always done; providing us with what we needed to survive and thrive. She did this without choosing sides between Her children, She gave to all equally.
It was during the second World War in the 1940's that the ultimate killing machine was developed; the atomic bomb. The "Nuclear Arms Race" was on and the human race teetered on the edge of destruction until the "Cuban Missile Crises" in the early 1960's brought a lot of us to our senses. The War God had reached His zenith of power and the people were no longer willing to follow Him blindly. An entire generation of humans had decided that enough was enough and that something had to change if our species and all life as we knew it was going to survive.
But what could be done? I believe it was at this point that many of us in that generation began to hear the "call of the Goddess", calling us back to Her and the true way to live in balance and harmony. Although we might have heard or felt Her call, there was very little information for those who wanted to choose this path. I think we, in America, owe a debt that cannot be repaid to the Native Americans here who were willing to share their knowledge with us. Many great Medicine Men such as Black Elk, Sun Bear, and Lame Deer chose to come forward as true children of the Great Mother and teach their ignorant sisters and brothers the ways they had forgotten. The old European traditions of Goddess worship were revived to the best of human ability, and Witchcraft or Wicca was revived as the "Craft of the Wise". The Goddess, in the guise of the Holy Mother began to make miraculous appearances all over the planet. Finally, once the Internet was developed all of this information became available to those who sought it out. We were finally set free from the bonds of the War God/s and are now able to choose. Please don't misunderstand me here. I am not saying that there is no God of Peace. Of course there is, but if all that is important is a God of War, that is all that will be worshipped. The same angry father that can kill, can also provide protection, wisdom, and love. It is our focus that will make the difference in what Goddess/God will rule and be worshipped in the future. In that sense, we are creating with our own energy what our future, as a species, will be.