One of the most frequently asked questions we get is,  "Now that I have gotten all this information, where do I start?" 


     I teach my students to keep things as simple as possible until they are familiar with ritual and they know what is in their hearts.  Nothing is more frustrating than to run around trying to find things or remember where you put things just before doing a ritual, or even worse, to do a ritual but feel as if nothing has happened because you were so busy trying to get everything done right. 


So let's start with the basics and begin an outline of your own individual beliefs and practices:

        1]  Choose your deities.  It is important to remember that what you are basically choosing is attaching a personal identity to the Creative Forces of the universe.  Some keep it as simple as "Father Sky" and "Mother Earth", whereas others like to incorporate an entire pantheon of gods and goddesses.  Even so, you are still only addressing the different aspects of the God and Goddess.  There is the duality, the male/female or the  projective/receptive energies that are really being addressed.  The "identity" is just something we use to make our connection to Them easier for us to envision and connect with.  What we are really talking about is the Mother and Father of the universe and all that They have created. 

        2]  Write out a list of your own particular creeds or principles you plan on incorporating into your daily spiritual life.  The first one should be "The Harm None" or "Wiccan Rede".  From that point, you must explore your own heart and spirit for the creeds you will agree to live by.  An example of this is if you decide that you want to incorporate healing into your spiritual life, then you must add the principles that you feel will help you in your work as a healer.  That can only be determined by you since you know what your spiritual gifts are.  Some people can read Tarot, others use stones, still others see auruas.  If you are not sure what your spiritual gifts are, then you must meditate and discover them for yourself.  I know there are a lot of you who just want to do spell work, but Wicca is a "Way of Life".  You do not have to be Wiccan to do spells.  (Although I strongly urge anyone who decides to "dabble" in the Craft to change their mind.  We are talking about the living energies of the universe and they are the most powerful energies there are.  Remember, we cannot put the Genie back in the bottle, once we release it.  So if you are inclined to use these energies without the proper restraints and guidelines you can expect them to come back to you and make your life 3 times as miserable.) 

        3]  Determine what tools you will use most often during your rituals and the best location for doing them.  I know that the books say you have to have a wand, a staff, a sword, an athame, etc.  But these do not have to be elaborate or expensive.  I made my very first wand out of an oak limb that I got from the park by my house and I taped a crystal onto the tip of it.  My magickal knife is the pocket knife my father always carried until his death, and my staff is a walking stick that my husband made for me.  You can really turn this into a wonderful creative endeavor, or keep it as simple as possible.  You must consecrate and dedicate these things to your magickal working and treat them as such.

        4]  In the beginning it is best to try to use the same time of day all the time (if that is possible).  This will help you develop a pattern and make the transition from normal consciousness to ritual consciousness quicker and easier.  If, however, this is not easy for you, don't get uptight about it.  Just do what you can when you can.  The whole object here is to keep you working on your spiritual practices.
 
    When I first began practicing I did what I called "Moon Rituals" on the New and Full Moons every month.  These were simple protection and blessing rituals that I would perform without fail.  Even if I did not do any other ritual work during a month (which wasn't often), I made the time to keep these rituals.  Human beings are creatures of habit and once we establish a habit we tend to stick to it.

    Once you have completed this outline, review it and make any necessary changes.  I guarantee you that you will make many changes.  That is a natural part of your spiritual progression.  The more "in touch" you are with your spiritual side, the stronger it becomes.