What is something you wish someone would have told you when you were first starting out on your path? What is the first thing you learned as a wiccan? Any advice for new wiccans?
The first thing I learned as a Pagan were the fundamentals--elements, symbols, and information.
My advice is to read. Absolutely read whatever you can get your hands on! But regard your reading with wariness, because there is plenty of crap cut in with the good. It's best to make these distinctions yourself, because it's important to know what is right for yourself. Use your common sense.
[you have been visited by a heliotrope]
Not a wiccan, but my generic pagany advice would be:
Read more than you practice, but not too much more.
When somebody who's been at it longer gives you advice, odds are the advice that makes you feel dumbest is the advice you should follow most closely.
Learn what discernment is, and use it often.
Do not ever google "free spells".
Don't take yourself so seriously that you become one of those people.
Remember, on those long nights memorizing correspondences, which herbs do what, etc: it's worth the effort. You get what you put in.
I can't remember the first thing I learned as a pagan. I was kind of raised that way, along with a lot of other religious upbringing, and wasn't full-time til my mid-teens. I suppose the first paganism-related skill I learned was meditation. Though I learned that from Buddhism, and not in a pagan context. The first spellwork I learned was candle magic.
May your path be long and take you many places.
Thank you all!!!! You have helped me soooo much!!!
First things I looked into were fundamental ideas, and history. The latter has become my focus. I'm, if anything, the lorekeeper and mythographer and historian among my group of pagan friends, whenever we meet to do circles or witchy things. I'm only recently learning how to really do energy work. Whenever I've worked with anything in rituals, it's been very simple things and with the gods. Not my own energy or those of others.
"Nonviolence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind.
It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man."
Space Dock One: My Blog.
The advice to think about fundamental ideas is very sound, as is all the advice in this thread. But I think starting with the absolute basics is very important. It's easy to get swept away with the details of Wicca or whatever path you're leaning towards, and to be concentrating on juggling those details to best suit you, but from my own personal experience it all falls apart after a while if it's not based on a very sound foundation of what you actually truly believe in. Start with your idea of how the universe works, your idea of deity, and spirits, etc. Do you even really believe in deity? Or spirits? Or energy? Be completely honest with yourself, and it'll save you a lot of confusion down the line!
When I started out, I read these articles on Witchvox, and I loved them. I think they were one of the first things I read.
(parts 2-4 are listed at the end of that article)
But I'm not sure they even bring it back to basics as much as I think you need to.
I'm aware that this thread is a bit old, and maybe not completely relavent to the OP anymore, but hopefully all this advice will be of use to others starting out!
The Sexy Heathen Babe
As other ppl in this thread have mentioned, grounding and centering, the basics of meditation. They seem boring and mundane but they are skills that are difficult to do without.
Another thing that I wish someone could have sat me down and taught me. Stop looking everywhere else for answers and start seeking within. Self-criticism, self-awareness, self-esteem, and simply just a deep knowlefge of what feels right to you, is essential in anyone exploring rheir spirituality, pagan or otherwise.