The study of witchcraft is diverse and participants do not follow one particular course. Those who want to study witchcraft should first decide which path to follow and their goals in the study of the craft. After selecting a path, research its initiation requirements.
Some paths, such as Druidism, do not allow for self-initiation because it is an organized group that follows strict rules, while others are more free and flexible. Connect with other people, either in person or online, who follow the same tradition or path to learn more about initiation and getting started.
There are thousands of books available on the study of witchcraft. Patti Wiginton, an expert on the subject for About.com, recommends 13 books that all students of witchcraft should read. These are found on her Recommended Reading page and include Raymond Buckland's "Complete Book of Witchcraft," which is considered a classic, and Phyllis Curott's "Witch Crafting," in which she offers a new take on The Rule of Three, which is a core belief in the traditions of witchcraft. It holds that whatever is done revisits the doer threefold.
Other basic beliefs that practitioners can study on their own are the divinity in nature; the validity of karma and the afterlife; the honoring of ancestors; the polarity of the Divine, both male and female; and holidays based on natural cycles, such as equinoxes and solstices.