“Some find their home in the Witches’ Craft, Touching magick, drawing down the moon and wielding power, But each must seek and find their path, Is this your way, is this your hour?”I Am a Witch” by Amber K
How To Begin Your Journey Into Witchcraft – A Magickal Guide For Beginners
‘Merry Meet’ – That’s a traditional greeting amongst witches – we’re so glad you found us! As some of you may already know Wicca Now is a place where Amaria and I write all about witchcraft, magick and Wicca. Lately, we’ve been writing about moon magick, water magick and kitchen witchery and today I thought we’d cover another popular topic, namely how to become a witch.
The first thing that any baby witch or person curious about witchcraft needs to know is that pretty much everything you’ve seen television or in the movies about witches is wrong. The witches you see in the movies are pure fantasy, they are the make-believe creations of a clever scriptwriters mind and bear little resemblance to real-life witches. Witches (as far as I know) are not able to fly on broomsticks, turn princes into frogs or dust into diamonds. You might be disappointed to read this but it is the truth and from experience, the truth is always the best place to start.
Both Amaria and I define ourselves as witches so you can be sure that this information is coming straight from a reputable source, however, the world of modern witchcraft is so diverse there may be those who disagree with what we have to say and others still who would tell you a completely different story about witches and witchcraft and swear upon its truth. This is perfectly fine and the choice of whom to believe or not is yours. To walk the way of witchcraft requires one to be an explorer and as with all adventures, not knowing the final destination, and instead, finding joy in the journey itself is what makes it interesting.
As a beginner witch, you can be sure of one thing: there is no One True Way to be a witch. Witchcraft is no place for dogmatics and if you happen upon a witch who tries to enforce his or her rules upon you my advice would be to run. What witchcraft IS is a place of Freedom and Diversity. It is a place where spirituality and the Craft (the art and science of magick) meet. It is a place where you can learn about yourself, express your creativity and connect with your higher self. The world of witchcraft is colourful, diverse, magickal and available to all those who seek it.
Why Do You Want To Become A Witch?
There are so many reasons you might feel drawn to witchcraft. Maybe you’ve always felt drawn to mystical and magickal stories, felt a connection to the gods and goddesses you learned about during history lessons or felt intuitively connected to nature and the rhythm of her cycles (the seasons, the tides, the phases of the moon). Perhaps you’ve experienced synchronicities in your life, things that made no logical sense but seemed to happen for a reason.
You might have family or historical connections to witchcraft or to magickal ways of being. You may feel drawn to Pagan or Wiccan rituals and beliefs. You might like to explore your power as a female, as a male or in whatever form you choose. You might have a curiosity about the deeper mysteries of the universe and about the laws of attraction, manifestation and healing. You might feel misplaced within your current perception of reality and be seeking to find new ways of understanding the world around you.
Whatever your reason for choosing to express interest in witchcraft the choice is yours to make and you are also free to change your mind at any time.
The Wrong Reasons For Deciding To Become A Witch
For as many wonderful reasons there are to choose witchcraft there are also, in my opinion, just as many wrong reasons for choosing the Craft.
Witchcraft is not a way to make yourself more ‘special’ (you are already special and unique), it is not a tool for impressing people or for making yourself feel better than others. It is not a tool for acquiring power or influence (although some use it as such in the form of black magic) nor is it an easy way to get what you want. Witchcraft will not allow you to simply manifest your desires with the shake of a wand. Become aware of your motivations before choosing the path. Understand your own desires and know what it is that you seek.
Please also keep in mind that there are many dishonest people, including those who call themselves witches, who might attempt to scam you. Some people use spirituality and witchcraft as part of a scam to get your money, acquire power over you or influence you into doing things you might not feel inclined to do. Keep your wits about you and trust your intuition when it comes to these matters. Anyone can start a coven or call themselves a witch. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they have your best interest at heart.
The Rewards Of Witchcraft – Merry Be
Being a witch has so many awesome benefits and can be incredibly rewarding! Because witchcraft is so diverse and open to personal interpretation the range of benefits to be expected can be wide-ranging depending on where you choose to set your focus.
I can say from personal experience that being a witch has helped me to feel more connected and loving towards myself as well as helping me to feel more connected to the earth, the moon and the stars. Being a witch has also taught me so many new skills like divination and herbology as well as allowing me to get in touch with my own psychic abilities.
Some of the benefits of being a witch might include feeling more connected to mother earth as well as to nature in general. You might also feel a deeper connection to your ancestors and those that went before. Because witchcraft is a path of constant learning, witches are often some of the most well-read people you’ll meet.
Witches are also often skilled in the healing arts and may be able to communicate with the animal realm. Some of the other skills you can expect to develop as a witch include divination, herbology and kitchen witchery, knowledge of the moon and stars as well as heightened psychic abilities. Because witches learn to gain control of their own energy and thoughts, you’ll often find that they have very grounded and peaceful energy.
What Is Witchcraft? – A Witches Tale
If you’ve made it this far it seems fair to say that you have a real curiosity about witchcraft but you probably have a lot of unanswered questions am I right? The first question I often get asked by beginner witches is ‘what is witchcraft actually’? As you may have noticed already, witchcraft is a multifaceted domain open to interpretation and wildly diverse. Because of this, it’s hard to put a clearly defined label on it but I’ll try and give you some examples of witchcraft in action so that you can create your own idea of what witchcraft might be.
- The first story is about a teenage boy who’s pet goldfish is sick and appears to be swimming listlessly. At night after his parent have gone to bed, the boy walks over to the aquarium and places four pink candles in front of it. He lights the candles and recites a prayer to the god Bast. As he recites the prayer he imagines waves of healing energy flowing towards his sick fish and surrounding it with light. He continues to recite the prayer and hold the image of the healing energy in his mind until he feels its power has reached a zenith. Thereafter he blows out the candles and thanks Bast for helping him with the healing. The next morning he returns to the aquarium to find the fish swimming normally, appearing to be in the best of health as it nibbles on a piece of fish meal. You’ve just seen a young witch in action.
- The second story concerns an older woman who has just found the courage to leave her abusive husband. She is sitting alone in a small empty room (the only place she can afford at this time) with her eyes closed. In her mind, she is weaving a picture of her future life. She is experiencing the touch of new comfortable surroundings as she mentally enjoys having a space of her own. She is weaving an imaginative picture of well being and abundance so powerfully that she knows she will begin to draw it into her material experience. She is freeing herself from the bonds of abuse and low self-esteem as she feels connected to a higher power. You’ve just witnessed a witch in action.
- The third story concerns a young couple. The family of the young woman are unhappy about the match and are doing everything they can to make her partner feel unwelcome. The couple invites the disapproving family members over for tea and cake to try to smooth things over. The cake is served. It’s delicious and slightly unusual tasting. As each member of the family finishes their plate the energy in the room begins to lift and someone laughs. Soon the laughter catches on and the room is engulfed in a great feeling buzz of warm soft joy and laughter. The family begins to feel connected to the partner of the young woman and new friendships are born. The cake was baked by the couple using a blend of special herbs and spices, blessed with intention and served with clear intent. You’ve just seen two witches in action.
Seasons, Moon Cycles And The Wheel Of The Year
Many witches, especially those following the Wiccan or Pagan path celebrate eight sabbats or holy days throughout the year. These sabbats comprise a yearly calendar called ‘The Wheel of the Year’. Again, as with all things concerning witchcraft, it’s very much up to you if you would like to celebrate these holy days or not.
The sabbats are as follows:
- Yule (or Midwinter, Winter Solstice): December 20–23
- Imbolc (or Oimelc, Brigit’s Eve, Candlemas): February 2
- Ostara (or Eostre, Spring Equinox): March 20–23
- Beltane (or May Eve, Mayday, Walpurgis): April 30
- Litha (or Midsummer, Summer Solstice): June 20–23
- Lughnassad (or Lunasa, Lughnasadh, or Lammas, August Eve): August 1
- Mabon (or Harvest Home, Fall Equinox): September 20–23
- Samhain (or Hallows Eve, November Eve): October 31
The sabbats are a way of reflecting the changing seasons and the energies that accompany these changes. If you’d like to learn more about the Sabbats why not check out our blog post on the Wheel of the Year.
Witches also often feel intuitively drawn to the moon and may follow the eight phases of the moon closely. Each phase of the moon brings different energy with it and understand each phase and its corresponding energy forms an essential part of moon magick.
Some witches (including myself) like to perform special rituals on the night of the full moon as this is considered to be the time when the power of the moon has reached its peak power. As well as working with the eight phases of the moon, many witches like to take their moon magick a step further by incorporating the zodiac signs.
The energies one can expect as the moon moves through the zodiac are as follows:
Moon in Aries
(the Ram, a fire sign ruled by Mars): Spontaneity, energy, enthusiasm, action, openness, independence, passion.
Moon in Taurus
(the Bull, an earth sign ruled by (the Bull, an earth sign ruled by Venus): Security, conservatism, nature and strength, health, stability, endurance, Calmness, strength, health, stability, endurance, also stubbornness, slowness.
Moon in Gemini
(the Twins, an air sign ruled by Mercury): Thought, recklessness, communication, intelligence, knowledge, analysis, social skills, ideas, words.
Moon in Cancer
(the Crab, a water sign ruled by the moon): Attachment, home, roots, intuition, motherhood, caring, receptivity, emotions, memory, moodiness, stubbornness.
Moon in Leo
(the Lion, a fire sign ruled by the sun): Light, sun, warmth, love, passion, drama, expressiveness, charisma, pride, generosity, confidence; also self-absorption, craving for attention, egotism.
Moon in Virgo
(the Virgin, an earth sign ruled by Mercury): Task orientation, organization, competence, effectiveness, facts and data, perfection, cleanliness, low visibility, simplicity, personal relations, young people; also self-abasement, moralism, perfectionism, fanaticism.
Moon in Libra
(the Scales, an air sign ruled by Venus): Awareness, diplomacy, partnership, peace and harmony, intellect, wisdom, understanding; also instability, oversensitivity, manipulation, and fear of solitude or conflict.
Moon in Scorpio
(the Scorpion, a water sign ruled by Mars and Pluto): Emotional intensity, passion, devotion, wholeheartedness, intuition, transformation; also introversion, selfishness, and addiction to drama.
Moon in Sagittarius
(the Archer, a fire sign ruled by Jupiter): Idealism, enthusiasm, vision, passion, friendliness, dislike of conventions, need for freedom; also fanaticism, impracticality, lack commitment need for freedom; also fanaticism, impracticality, lack commitment.
Moon in Capricorn
(the Sea-Goat, an earth sign ruled by Saturn): Responsibility, solidity, reliability, self-control, family bonds, security, conservatism, tradition; also lack of spontaneity, distancing from others, lack of flexibility and openness.
Moon in Aquarius
(the Water Carrier, an air sign ruled by Saturn and Uranus): Intellect, community, collective effort without intimacy, observation, perception; also emotional detachment, isolation, lack of self- knowledge, erratic behaviour.
Moon in Pisces
(the Fish, a water sign ruled by Jupiter and Neptune): Sensitivity, empathy, connection, kindness, understanding, imagination, solitude; also daydreaming, impracticality, emotional parasitism, over- sensitivity.
Beyond the cycles of the moon, the seasons and the year, witches may also like to work with the cycles of day and night, life and death, inner and outer worlds or the astrological cycles of the planets.
The Pentagram – A Witches Power House
The pentagram, a five-pointed star, is considered one of the most powerful symbols of witchcraft. Often misrepresented as an ominous symbol aligned with dark energies, the pentagram actually symbolises The Great All, the universe, consciousness, the five elements, you name it. It’s been used as a symbol of protection since ancient times and standing upright, it represents the spirit ruling over the world of materiality.
Although some people believe that the pentagram standing upsidedown is a satanic symbol, most witches simply believe that in its upside-down iteration the pentagram represents the horned god or in other words, the dark side of the light, the yin of the yang, the night followed by the day.
As a beginner witch, you may choose to work with the pentagram if you like or you can put it into your ‘to do later’ pile and approach it again once your knowledge and understanding of witchcraft have increased.
Supplies – A Witches Tools Of The Trade
A Book of Shadows
A Book of Shadows should be something that every witch keeps. A Book of Shadows, sometimes also called a BOS, is a blank book in which a witch records all of his or her spell and rituals as well as any notes, thoughts, dreams, belief system, or whatever else he or she considers relevant to his or her practice of the Craft.
Some witches like to keep a virtual book of shadows rather than writing into a physical book. The choice is yours, however, make sure that regardless of what style of Book of Shadows you use, you are methodical about recording your work in it. A Book of Shadows might live on your witchy altar if you have one or in a special draw or cupboard.
To be a witch is to develop a strong imagination. Without first imagining it, nothing can be brought into being. All began as a thought, an image an inspiration within the mind. A good question to ask yourself as a beginner witch is ‘what do I want’ Once you have a clear answer begin the work of imagining it as vividly as possible.
Later you can begin to work with spells, rituals and visualisations to further help bring your imagination to life. Write all of your imaginations, your dreams and your wishes into your Book of Shadows. Record any exercises or meditation practices you do. Keep note of any spellwork you have started in regards to your imagined desires. Note the effectiveness of your spells. Revise your spells if they are found to be ineffective and make new notes. Rinse and repeat.
An athame is a double-edged witches knife. This knife is used for magickal purposes only and should never be used to cut anything physically. The athame is either kept on your witchy altar or in a special place where it won’t be disturbed.
A wand is a tool associated with the will. You might like to incorporate a wand into your witches toolkit but it is certainly not required. Personally I find wands to be a little cliche and my magick works perfectly fine without the use of a wand.
A chalice represents the element of water and some witches like to use a chalice within their spell or ritual work. A chalice can be filled with water, you might like to use moon water or any other liquid of your choice. Many witches keep their chalice on the west-facing side of their altar. Personally I don’t have a single chalice but rather work with a set of beautiful Japanese ceramics which I cleanse and bless before any magickal work.
A Magickal Name
Some witches like to choose a special magickal name for themselves. You might like to keep this name for yourself, using it privately in your spellwork or you might like to share it with members of a Coven, between like-minded friends or use it out in the world at large. Again, the choice is yours and if you decide to stick with your birth name, of course, that’s also perfectly fine.
Many witches like to have a set of divination tools on hand. This might include a deck of Tarot cards, a pendulum, a scrying bowl or runes
There’s a running joke within the witch community that you can always spot a closeted witch by the number of mason jars in her kitchen. Mason jars are a super practical tool for witchcraft. You can use them for spell work like this protection jar, this honey jar love spell or for storing different type of magickal waters. You can also use jars for storing special herbs and spices, crystals, magickal trinkets and other useful bits and pieces.
For a more detailed explanation of the witches toolbox I suggest Amaria’s post on the top her top 13 witch supplies.
A Magical Diet – What Do Witches Eat?
Because witches generally try to live in harmony with the natural world and try to walk gently on the earth, the same can often be said about their diet. Many witches prefer a plant-based diet, often comprised of seasonal fruits and vegetables, organic where possible. To have a witches garden and gown their own produce, fruits and herbs is the dream of many witches.
Witchy kitchens often feature a broad array of potted herbs on the windowsills, and a witch can often be found pursuing the stands at his or her local produce market. Again, as with all things witchy, there are no rules about diet. Decide what works for you and go with that. Test it out, refine, re-test.
A Witchy Way Of Life – Rituals And Routines
Working with rituals and routines is part of the witchy way of life. May witches start their day with a practice of mediation and visualisation, others like to walk outdoors and commune with nature. Some witches like to perform daily cleansing rituals in the shower or they enjoy the soothing comfort of a bath ritual.
For many witches, words are vehicles of power and working with affirmations and incantations form a part of their daily practice. Meditation, communing with the Gods and Goddesses or connecting with the animal world are also rituals which many witches find to be invaluable. You may also like to begin journaling, gardening or take up yoga. Some witches love to dance, others prefer to sit still in contemplation.
Designing your rituals and routines is part of your witchy practice and can be as individual as you like. Again, make sure to keep a note of what you are doing, what works and what doesn’t, how you feel and what your energy is like in your Book of Shadows.
Light Or Dark Witchcraft – The Rules Of the Craft
Whilst the Wiccan way of witchcraft is governed by the rule ‘An ye harm none, do as ye will’, witchcraft itself has no such code of ethics.
However, witchcraft does have some general rules which many witches instinctively adhere to. These include:
- Never reveal anyone as a witch. Every witch has the right to keep his or her practice of the Craft a secret.
- The need for informed consent. Most witches ask for consent before they perform and spellwork relating to a person other than themselves.
- The Law of Three. Many witches believe in the Law of Three which states that anything you release into the world will be returned to you threefold
Can I Get A Spell With That? Magick and Spellwork Explained
Is magick real? If I had a dollar for every time someone has asked me this question… To answer the question, YES, magick is totally real but it’s quite different from the magic you might know from series or movies like Sabrina the teenage witch, and harry potter. To understand what magick is we first need to define it. Magick in its essence is really about using the conscious and subconscious mind to transform oneself and the environment. Knowing your true self, your goals, and applying energy to these goals is the basis of all modern witchcraft.
Magick can be divided into two categories: practical magick and theurgy. Practical magick covers all areas related to health, wealth, travel, work and such. Need a spell to protect your home? Practical magic (along with a deadbolt) will be your go-to. Theurgy, on the other hand, is a higher form of magick related to spiritual development and the higher dimensions.
As a beginner witch, I suggest you first try your hand at the most basic of practical magick. Perfect the simplest spells first before moving on to anything more advanced. Magick takes real patience, practice, and self-reflection. Anyone thinking it’s as easy as waving a wand and shouting ‘abracadabra’ is seriously barking up the wrong tree.
As a beginner witch, you might like to start your magickal practice with some of the beginners spells Amaria and I have added to the site. For example, this easy love spell, or this full moon spell to attract abundance.
Remember to record all of your spellwork and the results in your Book of Shadows.
There are also a number of different types of witches and spellwork.
Some of these include:
- The kitchen witch – works with practical magick, mainly in the kitchen
- The nature witch – works primarily outdoors using the sun, the rain and the wind
- The Shamanic witch – works with nature and also ventures deep into the spirit realm
- The simple ritualist – works primarily with rituals
- The ceremonial witch – works with rituals on a deeper and more complex level than the simple ritualist
- The intrinsic or inner witch – works only with the own mind and body to manipulate energy
For a more detailed look at the different types of witches check out Amarias post on the different types of witches.
What Are Spells And How Do I Make One?
Spells are the tools through which witches manifest their magick out into the world. To most witches, a spell is any type of magickal operation and a spell may or may not involve tools and or words. Spells can be as complicated or as simple as needed and many witches prefer to make their own spells according to their own specific needs. Spells always involve imagination, intention and action
Lovelies, I hope this article provided you with at least a little taste of what modern witchcraft and being a witch might mean for you. If you’d like to delve further into the topic I suggest working through this list of resources and also checking out some of the book recommendations I’ve listed for you below. And don’t forget to follow us on Instagram for daily witchy tips and inspo.
List of Resources For Beginner Witches
- A guide to Moon magick
- A list of things to research as a beginner witch
- Different types of witches explained
- The history of witchcraft explained
- Herbs for protection
- How to make crystal infused water
- All about crystal correspondences
- All about the Sabbats
- A guide to witchy gods and goddesses
- The best witchy books for beginners
- All about witches familiars
So, my loves, I hope this answers some of your more pressing questions about how to start your journey into witchcraft
Some Recommended Reading
The Gardnerian Book of Shadows by Gerald Gardner – https://amzn.to/2TOeyVO
Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America by Margot Adler – https://amzn.to/32c7PcL
High Priest by Leary, Timothy – https://amzn.to/3eoRmH1