So you've found another website devoted to Wicca, and you want to know whether this one has anything new or is just the same stuff you've found on the last dozen sites you've visited. Well, Shadows of Oz is unlike any other Wiccan website out there (if I do say so myself).

Shadows of Oz is dedicated to the information-starved Wiccans/Witches of the Southern Hemisphere - there's a special emphasis on Australia, because that's where I live, but a lot of the info relevant to Australia is also relevant to the Southern Hemisphere in general. There are a lot (and I mean a lot) of Wicca websites out there - good and bad - but not many devoted to the southern half of the globe. The Southern Hemisphere might only have ~10% of the world's population, but that's no excuse for ignoring us!

I discovered this incredible lack of Southern Hemisphere-specific info when I started researching Wicca in 2000. It took me a few years to learn enough to start Shadows of Oz - it's by no means finished yet, and more detail is appearing all the time. I have so much more to learn about Wicca and everything that goes along with it, and Shadows of Oz is definitely not the final word. It's a better-than-average resource for newbies through to those that have been living the path for a few years - I can't show you what I don't know, but I'm learning all the time and hopefully dragging a few of you along with me as I do. Granted, there is some fluff clinging to parts of Shadows of Oz, but I'm working on that (and, unlike some, I'll admit it's there!).

So what will you find in Shadows of Oz? Well, it's basically a Book of Shadows online - there's information about the God and Goddess, the history of Wicca/Witchcraft, pentagrams & pentacles, the folklore and moral guidelines of the Craft, significant events in the Wiccan Wheel of the Year, doing ritual and magick (and knowing why it works) as well as magickal and astrological correspondences (botanicals, stones, colours, etc.).

If you're new to the whole Wicca thing, you're probably asking "Where do I start?". Well, the main menu of Shadows of Oz is arranged in the order it is for a reason - it's a logical progression, from the basics to some of the more complex magickal nuances. You need to know all those background shadows before you go near any sort of magick.

One of the unique features of Shadows of Oz, I've discovered, is that you'll not only find out how but you'll find out why. I've been through many Wiccan websites that give you a list of spells and sabbat rituals and not much else, as if that's what Wicca is all about - magick first, spirituality second (at the very least you need to balance, if not reverse, the two). Everything makes so much more sense and works so much better when you know why you're doing the things you're doing and saying the words you're saying.

Shadows of Oz is the beginning (hopefully) of a very non-fluffy, real-world, liveable, religion-founded - probably Southern Hemisphere-specific - book (or series of books) to try and counterbalance the Fiona Hornes and Silver RavenWolfs of the world. So, read on and enjoy!

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