It is common practice for those joining a coven to take a year and a day amercing themselves in the Wiccan religion. The majority of this time is spent studying anything and everything they can about Wicca. This practice allows the other members of the coven to become well acquainted with you as well as you learning the principles of the coven.
For solitary practitioners, the year and a day period is also beneficial for some of the same reasons. It promotes self discipline through the study as well as allowing you to find your own traditions and getting to know the goddess.
During this period, as a solitary practitioner you should spend most of your time studying or out in the natural world. Stand in the rain. Track and watch the moon phases. Try to connect. Feel the vibrations and energy all around you. Speak, sing, or chant to the Goddess.This is not a period in which you delve into performing spells and rituals. In a coven, the other members will help guide you on this journey.
For solitary practitioners the best book I can think to recommend is Wicca a Guide for the Solitary Practitioner by Scott Cunningham. Any of the books by Scott Cunningham will be a wonderful addition to your education and journey. I read and own several of them myself.
At the end of your year and a day you should feel like you are coming home. You should feel very comfortable with the religion and knowledgeable enough to answer questions from those around you as well as have no more unanswered questions yourself. The internet is a great source for answering anything and everything you are curious about. Though I am not sure what a coven will do at the end of your year and a day as I am not a member of a coven, I would recommend a dedication ceremony for those of you who are solitary practitioners. This could be as simple as lighting a candle and expressing your intentions within this practice or as elaborate as you feel is appropriate. And once your year and a day is up you begin all the rituals, spells, forming your own traditions or sharing in those of your coven.
Good luck on your journey, and Blessed Be.
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