Updated: Jun 23, 2022
If you're reading this, the art of witchcraft has cast its spell on you, you're eager to learn more... but you're also frozen with fear because you have no freakin' idea how you are supposed to fit all this information into your head!! Sound familiar? I promise you, all of us not born into witchcraft, have been there!
There are so many different reasons why one is drawn to practice the art of earth-centered magickal practice and even more reasons why they choose to stay and walk the path of the witch. With so many options, where do you start? How do you know which step to take and in what direction? Well, that's exactly the kind of tips in this blog, read on!
1. Start with What Matters to You
Uniqueness to person is what makes witchcraft so special! Each path is different, each path is intimately personal. I have known all kinds of witches. From green witches to hedge witches, and from eclectic witches to traditional witches, I've known witches who are deeply rooted in ancestor and deity worship and I've known witches who deeply rooted their practice in science and atheism. The first thing I always tell people who want to start practicing but feel overwhelmed is to really examine themselves and decide what it is that is most important to them in a magickal/spiritual practice.
Take a notebook, a cuppa, and sit somewhere quiet.
Write down everything that is important to you and place an asterisk (or many) to denote how important something on the list is for you.
When you finish, look at the list as a whole picture and determine what the list is telling you.
Revise your list by determining your top 5 areas of importance.
This list can include magickal subjects like astrology and herbalism, psychological components such as self-love or shadow working, cultures you wish to connect with, and practices you feel called to practice such as ancestor veneration. The revised list is your starting point and the very beginnings of what will be your craft.
2. You Don't Need ALL the Tools RIGHT NOW
So you've seen wands, athames, cauldrons, crystals, cards, books, statues, pentacles, and the list goes on. First and foremost, the best tool in the witches toolbox is themselves. Secondly, a lot of the tools you see are tools from Neo-pagan witchcraft. Practices like Southern Folk, Appalachian, Granny, Shamanism, etc. use different tools from the ones that are most prolific on social media.
The tools you use directly relate with the type of craft you want to practice and who you are as a practitioner. You can decide you want all the tools, a few, or none at all. I've seen the whole spectrum of practitioners where tools are concerned. Here I will refer you back to Tip #1. Use your list of areas to decide what tools you want if tools are suggested. Tools come in all shapes and sizes and carry a wide range of price tags from extremely expensive to free. If you ask me, the best tools are the ones you acquire yourself through nature. The best wand I've got is from an ash branch that I took home and carved myself.
3. There is No Standard Witch Aesthetic
For some folks, the aesthetic of witchcraft is captivating and alluring all on its own. It may even be what first go them interested in learning more about witchcraft. And while witchy aesthetic can be gorgeous, it's usually either staged for the social media camera or it has taken the practitioner the life of their practice to perfect. Witches gain their own personal style throughout the life of their practice.
It takes quite a while, and a lot of WTF moments, to carve out your personal aesthetic. But I promise you will find it. While some witches believe in the magick of a clean and visually beautiful aesthetic, others thrive on the magick of chaos, disorganization and clutter. The truly awesome part is that there is no standard of beauty in witchcraft because there is beauty in every path. It has never, and will never, look or feel the same from person to person - and that, my darling, is perfectly and preferably acceptable.
4. You are Going to Fail, A LOT
Failing is how we learn. I cannot count the number of times spells failed on me when I was first starting out. More often than not my spellcraft would be excellent and my execution wouldn't account for loopholes. I got too caught up in the ritual instead of focusing on the magick. Kinda like how people become too focused on the wedding instead of the marriage.
If you've read my story into witchcraft then you know that one of my first spells was to find like-minded individuals like me and a mentor. And while it succeeded, I kinda forgot to tel