How I got started
In a nutshell, I dove in basically blind. At best I knew a couple names and some basic protection rites as, really, some of this stuff is nearly impossible to avoid thanks to pop culture being loaded with occult references. This is nothing new: the Greeks and Romans loved writing plays about their gods and making up stories about them for entertainment.
Unfortunately, pop culture through the centuries means there's lots of bad info out there, which is why I went in as blind as I could, keeping an open mind. This has it's drawbacks and advantages....
Less outside influence: You see things your way and can slowly tailor them to what works great for you.
Less risk of bias: If you don't know who is "good" or "bad" you can make your own mind up and find truths this way.
Less risk of imagination overflow: If you don't have any preconceptions, there is less chance your brain is making silly stuff up to match what you think is there.
You're easier to trick: If you don't know what ___ is supposed to be, it's easy for something to lie and pretend they are something else. Click here for tips on identifying entities and avoiding fakes.
You can accidentally piss folks off: You don't know who dislikes what or who hates who. It's possible to get in the middle of a cat fight, give the wrong gifts, and otherwise accidentally step on toes. Be prepared to handle unexpected consequences.
You must cross-check obscure things: To assure you aren't imagining things, you'll want to cross-check what you learn. Unfortunately, good references can be hard to find sometimes on modern or obscure facts. The pop culture aspect only makes it worse.
If you want to follow this path, read on. If not, feel free to look around the rest of the site. As this is the path I took, I can't really teach anything else without feeling like I'm lying. Although I am glad I took this path and it has taught me a lot, I also got burned a bunch and have my share of metaphorical and sometimes literal scars to show for it.
Diving in Blind....
Please click/tap the step names to go to pages with more information.
Step 1: Learn basic protection and cleansing rites
This is required as you will need some backup in case of trouble with weaker entities. It also is just good in general to know as sometimes you need to shake off a funk or consecrate an area and it's harder to do this without cleansing it first. None of my preferred rites call on a specific god or faith.
Step 2: Go looking for friends
I call all entities, gods or not, that mean well "friends". There's a lot out there and it is possible to seek a certain group, but I went in totally open personally. As a caveat, it helps not to be part of a monotheistic faith before starting this step. Otherwise you're likely to just find angels of that faith and little else.
Step 3: Cross check and refine knowledge
How do you check info nobody seems to have...? Also how to tell Bullshit from possibly real.
Just repeat these three steps over and over. You'll learn in no time! No matter what, stay patient and persistent. It took me almost eight months of nightly attempts before I found my first "friend" and almost a month of cross-checking to assure myself I wasn't going crazy.
While we're at it, I'll add in this little warning/explanation: Helpful Madness vs "I Need Help" Madness
Stay safe, think for yourself, and never be afraid to take a hard look at things even if you don't like what you see. If you don't like what you see, it simply means things need to be changed. Change them.