This is a question we received a while ago on Tumblr, intended to repost here and then forgot about. Whoops.
hey i really interested in paganism, but i dont know what path to choose, i may be an eclectic pagan, what are some different beliefs/simple spells/rituals from different pagan religions to get me started?xxxxxxxxx
Ooo, big question. The term Paganism at its very widest refers to any religion that is not Abrahamic. Even the much more narrow “Neo-Pagan” is so broad an umbrella it’s difficult to know where to start. People want to leap into rituals right away, and rituals can be fulfilling, but if you don’t know what you believe or what direction you want to go in, you may end up leaping in with both feet to something that isn’t really for you.
So to start with, write out somewhere what you believe at the moment. I find writing or typing gets my mind working, but it may not be the same way for you; you may do your best thinking while jogging or whatever, but once you have it worked out write it down as well, because it’s an interesting thing to refer back to in years to come.
As far as beliefs go, Pagan religions span the range of theistic interpretations (though pantheism and hard and soft polytheism may be the most popular). Not all Pagans believe in gods, and some that believe in them do not worship them. Many Pagans recognise spirits of the natural world to some degree, and some honour or worship these spirits. Beliefs regarding the afterlife (or lack thereof) vary; some believe in reincarnation, some in an Underworld, some that your spirit is absorbed back into the universe, some that there is no afterlife.
Many rituals held to honour gods tend to involve an offering of some kind, such as food or drink. Rituals can be elaborate and involve a lot of tools, lines to learn and preparation, or they can be as simple as lighting a candle. If you’re wanting to get in touch with your spiritual side and the world around you, I’d recommend something quite simple, like going out into the garden or a park and sitting somewhere that appeals to you. Take some deep breaths, listen, observe, enjoy.
Things to consider when choosing a religion to look into might be the gods or culture you feel drawn towards, your theistic beliefs, your beliefs in the afterlife, and the morals you personally consider important. These things may well change and evolve as you learn and research – I know mine certainly did – but at least they’ll give you some clue on where to start.
You might also find the following article of some use.
I hope that was of some help!