witchcraft for beginners
Witchcraft can mean many different things, depending who you ask. It’s common to hear it quickly associated with the tradition of Wicca, but Wicca, or any other tradition for that matter, does not define witchcraft.
So what definition can we use? Is there a clear explanation or step-by-step plan available to those who want to explore its magick? I think not.
And perhaps that’s the most alluring aspect of witchcraft…
The idea that a deeper connection to one’s self is required to explore the energy that surrounds us minute by minute. The emphasis that it places on reconnecting to one’s intuition… And the desire it creates to discover the secrets of the natural world, and in turn, our higher self’s deep-rooted power to manipulate the way we experience the world.
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HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DISCOVER IN THIS GUIDE
THE BASICS OF WITCHCRAFT
Learn the personal skills many witches choose to develop within themselves.
THE TRAITS OF WITCHCRAFT
Discover the traits that allow witches to unfold their craft with power & precision.
THE SPELL CASTING BASICS
Begin your journey of spell casting by learning the basics of how it can work.
THE MAGICK OF THE SABBATS
Celebrate life, vitality and the movements of nature during the sabbats.
HOW TO BECOME A WITCH
By its essential nature, witchcraft is the tool we use to interact with the spiritual world. If you’re new to all of this, you might have a desire to quantify the concept of what the spiritual world represents, and for you to do that is a natural desire of your rational mind. But you won’t find a clearly defined explanation here.
There are no prerequisite beliefs necessary to practice witchcraft. There is no guiding book or institution that predestines the practices and knowledge that you’ll accept. You are in control of your own life, and it is simply your choice to practice the craft that makes you a witch.
And it’s that fact–that witchcraft has no standardized set of beliefs–that allows you to choose the practices that make up your craft, and to commune with others who share a common thread.
Two witches can follow different paths and show reverence for the same natural world. It’s this divergence from definition that gives witchcraft its power and gives you the power to change your world.
Even so, witches commonly develop three main personal skills to help them develop their craft:
Insight is increasing your sensitivity to the world around you. This includes a greater sensitivity to yourself, other people, nature and the spiritual world.
Some are born more insightful than others, but this skill can be developed simply by bringing more awareness to a few areas in your life, like self awareness, empathy and intuition.
Self awareness is our ability to accurately describe ourselves. We do this by turning our assessment inward, and by validating what we belive is true about ourselves against outside truths.
Empathy asks us to understand and share the feelings of another. It’s by turning our attention to the well-being of others that we develop this skill and in turn, our insight
Intuition is the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning. We can apply this ability in our lives by trusting ourselves and acting on that deep trust to work our craft.
power of will
Power of will is a skill that asks us to develop a strong mind. It is the mind that allows us to create and bring forth changes in our lives.
Witches sometimes choose to cultivate mental strength in three areas, such as consistency, subconscious control and focus.
Consistent attention to your craft will give you better results than dabbling. The witch who practices daily sharpens her mind and improves her craft.
Many people don’t know that a vast majority of their daily actions are controlled by their subconscious thoughts and programming. Witches understand this, and we actively reprogram limiting beliefs, untruths and bad energies daily to remove unwanted results in our magick.
This is the ability to remain mentally focused on one thing at a time. Mental focus is necessary in spellwork to ensure the desired outcome is clear and without ambiguity.
Energy is what makes the world go round and it’s an essential part of many witches’ craft. Make sure you’re well-rested and fueling your mind and body with a clean diet from the earth.
And with that good foundation in place, you may want to consider the following energy management areas:
Raising energy is the process of creating some frequency of energy (emotions work well) inside of yourself and raising that energy into a much more powerful state.
Projecting energy is the ability to take the energy created within yourself and imbueing that energy into or onto an object, person or desired outcome. It’s the transfer of energy from one area to another.
Sensing energy is the ability to navigate and define different fields of energy and categorize them into an emotion, idea or frequency.
Absorbing energy is the ability to intentionally draw in desired energies to accomplish your desired outcomes. For example, if you’re stressed, calming energies may be absorbed to neutralize that stress.
While there is no definition or set standard of practice for witches, there do exist several practices that exemplify what a witch incorporates into his or her craft.
This is not meant to be an exhaustive list. And by no means are these practices essential to every witch. This list merely sheds light on the practices that have been handed down through the ages among witches and are meant to help you start down your path of witchcraft.
Keep an open mind. Trust your intuition. Rely on the inner clarity you were born with to guide you as you learn more ways to practice witchcraft.
Herbalism is the practice of using herbs and plant material to achieve a desired outcome. Herbalism has applications in both magickal and practical ways, and their benefits can be used as herbal allies in both manners.
Divination involves the use of an object or objects to gain answers to questions, or to see events, that are not perceptible to the average person. The use of interpretive tools are used to relay guidance through your inner spirit or higher-self.
Animism refers to the souls, spirits or energy that may be tapped into by the witch. Animals, plants, natural phenomena, geographic features and everyday objects may be manipulated to your advantage.
Spirit work is the discovery of how to magically develop relationships with spirits and ultimately master both the spirit and material worlds. Spirits can include deity, ancestors (human or animal) or the specific energy or “vibration” of a plant or stone.
Ritual is the practice of taking a defined set of actions that are designed to create a specific set of events or result. Rituals are performed when a deisred outcome is needed as a way to create an ideal outcome and focused charge of energy.
HOW TO CAST A SPELL
1. GATHER THE WILL
Will is the drive behind your intention. It’s what brings the spell into existence and what differentiates a wish from a spell… Will requires real work, while a wish is just a hope.
2. SET THE INTENTION
Intention is what outcome you desire out of the spell. Understanding your intention at a deep level will help you define the spell and gather effective materials to enhance its power.
3. DECLARE & VISUALIZE
Declaration is the specific words used to bring about your outcome. Use easily repeatable affirmations and visualize as you feel the oucome taking place within and without.
In the world of magick, the need may arise to create change, or manipulate outcomes in accordance with your will.
It is spells that act as the tools for this change to arise.
A spell scan be any combination of words, actions and thoughts combined with a purposeful intention to alter a situation by introducing new energy or manipulating the existing energy.
But put simply, a spell can include three areas of focus to bring about change:
The will, the intention and the declaration.
COMMON SPELL CASTING STEPS
1. WRITE THE SPELL
Write your spell on a piece of paper. Take the time to make it meaningful and easy to recite. Rhymes help with this, and so does keeping things concise. Include your affirmation and be specific!
2. COLLECT YOUR INGREDIENTS
If you’re interested in using tools and ingredients in your spell, collect them before hand by matching your intention to items that emit the energy you are desiring to bring forward in your spell. Herbs, candles, teas, incense and other items that bring you satisfaction are all great ingredients to use in the way that you see fit.
3. CREATE YOUR SPACE
Creating a sacred space is something many witches prefer to do before they begin to work their spells. A home altar is ideal for many, while others like to work their magick in nature. In any case, your space can benefit from being quiet, distraction free and purified and protected.
4. CENTER YOURSELF
Now that you’ve created a space to work within, turn your attention inward to connect with your higher self. Shift your consiousness from the world you live in to the world your spirit inhabits. If you work your magick with Deities, Spirits or other energetic beings, call on them to assist your magick here.
5. RAISE YOUR ENERGY
Energy manipulation is the core of what makes spells work according to your will. Gather your will, ignite your passion and raise the energy that surrounds your intention. Draw power from within and project it into your work.
6. PERFORM YOUR SPELL
Recite your spell infusing the energy you’ve drawn up. Focus deeply on the intention you desire to bring into reality, and visualize your outcome coming to fruition while you feel the deep emotions its success evokes in your life and the lives of others.
There are eight holidays that many witches choose to celebrate. These holidays are known as the Sabbats, and they offer an opportunity for both solitary witches and covens to work their magick together.
So what exactly are you supposed to do during the sabbats? Well, there’s no rule book, but in general each sabbat can include a ritual focusing on some element of the God and Goddess relationship and/or the time of year.
How you do it is up to you, but many choose to bring food and drink offerings, baking breads & cakes, feasts, and decorating your altar as a sign of reverence and the passage of time.
The sabbats can be described as a the “wheel of the year”, and happen on key transitions that occur in nature. Many witches use these sabbats to tune themselves to the natural rhythms of the earth and to formally mark the passing of the year.
SABBATS & DATES
DATE: December 20-23
THEMES: Rebirth of the Sun, The Winter Solstice, Introspection, The longest night of the year, Planning for the Future
ACTIVITIES: Burning the Yule log, Caroling, Decorating the Yule tree, mistletoe, exchanging presents
DATE: February 1-2
THEMES: Renewal, Return of the light, Purity, Fertility, Reunion of the Goddess and the God
ACTIVITIES: Candle Lighting, Recognizing signs of spring, Feasting, Bonfires, Sun purification
DATE: March 19-21
THEMES: Fertility, Balance, New action & possibilities, Renewal, New beginnings
ACTIVITIES: Planting seeds, Nature walks, Starting an herb garden, Soaking in new life in nature, Reflecting on rebirth
DATE: April 30 — May 1
THEMES: Fertility, Abundance, Beauty, Sexuality & passion, Mischief
ACTIVITIES: Bonfires, Wedding feast for the God & Goddess, Dancing around the maypole, Communion with nature
DATE: June 20-22
THEMES: Magic, Masculine energy, Sun & Horned God worship, Abundance, Love
ACTIVITIES: Bonfires, Reaffirmation of your vows, Gathering herbs, Love & romance spells
DATE: August 1-2
THEMES: Harvest, Abundance, Gratitude, Hard work, Bounty, Warmth of close friends
ACTIVITIES: Harvesting herbs & garden, Harvest feast, Making a grain mother
DATE: September 21-24
THEMES: Second Harvest, Preparation, Welcoming the dark & the mysteries of nature, Equality and balance
ACTIVITIES: Making wine, gathering dried herbs, plants, seeds and seed pods, walking in the woods, scattering offerings in harvested fields, offering libations to trees, adorning burial sites with leaves, acorns, and pine cones to honor those who have passed over.
DATE: October 31 — November 1
THEMES: Rebirth through death, Revery, Third harvest, Honoring ancestors, The dark mysteries
ACTIVITIES: Final harvest feast, Divination, Bonfires
COMMON QUESTIONS ANSWERED
There are so many questions new witches have as they start their journey. We’ll try to answer the most common ones we get here in this section to clear up any questions you still have.
If you have a specific question you’d like to ask, feel free to contact us and we’ll respond to you within 24 hours.
Why Am I Attracted to Witchcraft?
This question often reveals the unfortunate stigma around being able to choose one’s own spiritual path with confidence. People (like yourself!) often feel insecure about their attraction to witchcraft because it’s seen as “devil worship” or taboo. It’s neither of these things, and if you’re feeling attracted to witchcraft, it’s because you’re ready to begin your personal journey to power, freedom and a better way–be that with witchcraft or another path entirely.
Are Wicca and Witchcraft the Same?
No. Witchcraft is a free, flexible and powerful way that we interact with the energies, spirits and natural elements of our world. There is no book, structure, step-by-step guide or governing body that dictates how and what we practice. Wicca is an organized tradition of witchcraft, and is a wonderful way to get started as a witch, but witchcraft is not defined by Wicca or any other organized tradition.
Is Witchcraft Evil?
Are you evil? If so, then your witchcraft may be. Evil is a human concept for those who are profoundly immoral and wicked. I’ve never met a real witch that fits this description.
Can Anyone Be a Witch?
Yes! Some are better suited than others to the craft, yet all are welcome! Keep an open mind, share of your knowledge of life and give back whenever possible, and you’ll be right up there with the most benevolent of witches.
I Tried a Spell and It Didn’t Work, What Now?
Have patience! There is no absolute right way to perform spellwork, and perhaps you’re still finding your inner power. Revisit the “how to cast a spell” section on this page and become deeply rooted in the elements suggested there. Magick is wonderful because it often works in mysterious ways and manifests itself even when we can’t directly see it happening.
How Do I Tell People I'm A Witch?
The short answer is, you don’t have to. Witchcraft is a deeply personal journey, and often it’s wise to share the most intimate and personal aspects of ourselves only with those whom we trust. You’re free to share everything about yourself, and you should never hide your true colors, yet consider how the mysteries of life and nature remain hidden. In their quiet craft they are not untrue to themselves, they simply allow those who wish to notice the opportunity to benenfit from their true selves.
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