If you read Psychic Element’s previous post, “Were You Born to be a Witch?” and decided that the metaphorical witch hat fits you nicely, and that you can’t wait to pick up your broomstick and just get witching, then here are some tips to get started. Read on to find out how to be a witch.
Firstly, you need to know that witchcraft is not a religion, though many would have it otherwise. There are branches of witchcraft that incorporate religious practices, but it’s a matter of personal choice. Yet, witchcraft is most definitely a spiritual path and it can be as individual as you are. There are no set rules, yet there are certain guidelines that every good witch should follow – the main one being that you harm no one in your practice of the craft.
How to Be a Witch – Stage 1
This beginning stage of learning witchcraft is very slow and gentle, there’s no point leaping in, casting spells all over the place if you don’t understand how it works. You could get yourself into real trouble that way. It’s not like it is on TV or in the movies. So the first step in your witch journey is to think about what it means to you to be a witch. You need to understand what it is that draws you to the craft.
- You might have always felt this way, sort of ‘otherworldly’, at odds with the fast-paced life we all live.
- Being a witch feels right to you, as though you stepped onto the right path.
- You have an affinity with animals and nature.
- You suspect you might have a level of psychic skills, or at the very least, you have well-developed intuition.
- You notice that your body, moods, tastes, natural rhythms seem to coincide with the changes in the seasons.
So take the time to explore why you feel this way. It’s important to distinguish between being attracted to the craft because it makes you feel special, and being drawn to it because you have no other choice; it’s who you are.
Researching Witchcraft – Stage 2
Witchcraft is a huge topic. There are so many traditions that may or may not fit you. So this stage is where you start researching and reading. There are so many books and websites that it is hard to recommend just one. Look at books by modern authors such as Melusine Draco – she has a really good series on witchcraft in all environments and situations. Christopher Penczac is also a renowned authority on the spiritual aspects of witchcraft. There is a short list of recommended books at the end of Were You Born to Be a Witch?
Don’t be overwhelmed by all the information out there, and don’t take one person’s opinion as being the only way. You have to gradually put it together yourself. This is where keeping a journal will come in useful. You can build up a framework for yourself, as long as you understand that your beliefs and perspective will change as you go along.
Read up on the many paths and traditions. For instance, you might decide that Wicca is the way for you – Wicca is a recognized religion and involves a set way of practicing, depending on which branch of Wicca you follow. Wicca is mainly, but not always, centered on training groups that mean you begin at the beginning and progress through a series of initiations. It’s structured and it may be all you want and expected. On the other hand, it can be full of dogma and rules, so if you are not that kind of person, it might not be for you.
If you feel that you’d prefer a more free and easy way of witching, then perhaps you’d rather be a ‘solitary’? One who practices the craft in his or her own way. And, being a solitary doesn’t mean that you can’t join up with other witches for events, rituals and general chat.
Then there are all the ‘formal’ traditions, such as Celtic Witchcraft or Scandinavian Witchcraft. Perhaps a Little research into your own family origins would help you decide which tradition calls to you?
Beginning Your Practice – Stage 3
If you have chosen any kind of group or coven to get started in, you don’t have to worry about this stage as you will be guided all the way. You will be treated gently and given instruction and teaching.
Should you have decided to practice on your own, then again, take it gently. First of all, you will need to learn how to meditate. Meditation may seem at odds with your idea of being a witch, but it isn’t. Witches have been getting in touch with their subconscious since the dawn of time. In some old British traditions like Cornish Witchcraft, it was, and is, called ‘becoming’.
Meditation helps you to connect with the life force of the universe and the wisdom you have deep in your soul. It is the basis of spell work, healing, divination and many other aspects of witchcraft. For example, a witch who wants to heal someone, will put herself into a trance state to connect with that individual, once she has reached a deep state of relaxation and ‘becoming’, she will carry out her healing ritual, which may only consist of sending energy, or it might be a full blown ritualistic spell.
Adrian, at Blue Moon Manor, offers a free introductory course, that involves meditative practice. It will give you an idea where and how to begin. It is based on British traditional witchcraft, but even if that’s not your thing, it’ll give you a simple place to start. The lessons are delivered weekly, so you can’t go too fast.
Living the Witchy Life – Stage 4
By this time you will have read lots, perhaps feel a little overwhelmed, but you know that you are on the right path. If you haven’t already, it’s time to delve in deeper. With one of your trusty books as a guide, try your first spell. Keep it simple.
You don’t really need any of the tools and accoutrements of witchcraft I order to practice it, but they door help set the atmosphere. Fortunately many of them can be gathered for free, bought cheaply, or made.
- Collect some unusual shells, stones, pebbles, feathers, and twigs.
- Look out for a likely wand – hopefully, you’ll find one that has broken off naturally from a tree branch. If you feel you need to take it directly from the tree, then ask the tree for permission and remember to thank it once you have cut it.
- Small candles and tea lights are considered important elements of any ritual by many.
- Salt is also a component of certain rituals.
Continue your studies. Witches never stop learning, so find out about the Wheel of the Year, moon phases, healing, divination, etc. It’s possible that you will discover a path within the craft that holds your attention. It's all very exciting and you are right at the beginning of a beautiful adventure.
Good luck on your path, and blessed be.