I want to share my experience in the beginning with Paganism. Paganism is a broad term, but my practices are closely related to Wicca. Wicca is the worship of "The Lord and Lady", more or less the worship of duel deities, rather than just the one god. I tend to believe we are ruled by the one "Mother Earth."
I didn't just get thrown into paganism, I have some very close friends who are Wiccan and have been for quite some time- that's how I got an idea of what paganism is. I had the wonderful opportunity to witness some rituals. They also left me feeling so alive, it was just like I had the feeling that I just got it. About four months ago, I decided that I want to start studying paganism so I just started reading everything I could find. I'm still building my knowledge in other ways. There's a rule of a year and a day of studying, so I am not yet a member of a coven, but I am being mentored.
So far, my experiences with meeting other Wiccans have been very warm and inviting. Although l have to mention I have met some that practice "dark magik" and they are a little different and almost scary. I believe in the threefold rule, (that anything you send out comes back threefold) which makes me wonder why anyone would wish for something dark to come back to them. Right now, I can only practice personal magik- it's a form of low magik. However, I want to mention one of the rules of Wicca is secrecy. Believe it or not, even in this day and time there is still quite the stigma connected to following any kind of spiritual path that doesn't lead you to the local church. As far as most of my friends and family I still am in the "broom closet." As far, my over all experience with other Wiccans locally has been a nice one, any gathering I've been to was very warm and accepting.