Welcome to the Community!

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I get a surprising number of requests for information on how to get started. So many people uncover Pagan opportunities in books, and quite a few of them in mine. 

The question that they all have is: What’s next? 

I do have some suggestions for seeking out like-minded people sanely, but remember that YMMV: your mileage may vary. You are a unique individual so please take my suggestions as a starting point, rather than a voice of authority. 

First, don’t be alone. You are seeking community but you probably already have an adventurous friend whose judgement you trust. Take her, or him, along. Plan to have a cuppa afterward and you’ll have a sounding board for your thoughts and concerns. 

Start with the metaphysical stores. I don’t know all of them, but I am familiar with and comfortable in every one of the stores that carries my book. Many of them offer "wicca 101" class or similar classes which will give you a chance to pick up information and meet people. They almost all have bulletin boards or newsletters, (paper or online), that will offer you additional insight into the community. 

Don’t overlook the practical information you will find. In particular, I recommend that you check out excercises for grounding and centering. Excitement is its own kind of stress, and even finding the path that is truly meant for you can bring up anxiety or fear. That is perfectly normal and might be a good sign that you are at your own emotional “speed limit” and would be comfortable to slow down a bit. You won’t miss out on anything that is truly meant for you. I mean it. 

Books and workshops are all well and good, but perhaps you’re ready for some real experience. 

Check out Hearthstone Community Church. [http://hearthstone.fnorky.com/] They've been at this for over 20 years, and they offer a space for different paths to host a full moon ritual, every month. I've done a couple there myself. It gives solitaries and seekers a chance to see what a group or path is like. It’s kind of a "try before you buy" opportunity. 

The other, very open option is the CUUPs group [http://www.cuups.org/chapters/chapterlisting_NorthWest.html] at the Jefferson Unitarian Church [http://www.jeffersonunitarian.org/] in Golden. The CUUPS groups tend to be very public, not secret, and I have met the couple who host the Golden group and they were very nice. They have a meetup group online. [http://www.meetup.com/JUCCUUPS/] 

Be sure and check out the Paths and Traditions Fair at the Jefferson UU church next February. [http://www.crodreoilin.org/events/paths_and_traditions_fair.html] It's a great way to meet a lot of the groups that operate in this area. Instead of seeking out a stranger, you’ll be able to move from table to table, having real conversations and picking up literature to peruse later on. It’s the opportunity to form an in-person impression of local groups and group leaders without worrying about excusing yourself from an event that turned out to be not what you really want. 

Lastly, trust your gut. Not all things are meant for us. Just because there isn’t anything wrong with a group or a practice, doesn’t mean that it’s a good fit for you. There’s no harm in that, in truth, everyone benefits when you are honest with yourself about what you want and need. 

In this community, as in all of your life, take it easy and be safe. There is much of wonder out there and you don’t need to take in all in one dose. 

Welcome to the community, I’m glad you found us!

© Paulie Rainbow 2013