Looking for a pointy hat?
So you’ve decided to don the pointy hat and develop a healthy cackle (just kidding about the hat lol) and become a Witch. Learning the Craft is much like learning any other craft, and then again, it’s not. For example, let’s say you have access to a piano and you decide you want to become a pianist. First, you’d need to get to know your tools, how they work together (correspondences), how to read the music (spells), and how to make the music. Accomplishing these things is how you learn to play the piano, but you don’t become a pianist until you find a way to infuse the music with your own experience and intention (power). There are plenty of how-to-become-a-Witch articles online, and you’ll find that there are some similarities and some pretty big differences. The reason for this is that becoming a Witch is a spiritual journey (not necessarily a religious one, there is a HUGE difference between the two), and as such, each and every one of us experiences it differently. I’m happy to offer any guidance I can but keep in mind that in the end, you have to take the path that resonates most with you, even if that path is made up of bits of this and some of that, etc.
Before we get started, let’s examine what the Craft is. Simply put, Witchcraft is the practice of magic. Witches have a spiritual connection to the energies around them and can direct those energies with intent to make change. There is nothing “super” natural about what we do; in fact, think of it as nature magnified. Energy (aka magic) exists in all things, and all people have the ability to connect to and access that energy but only a few of us, Witches and the like, remember HOW to do it. If you want to become a Witch because you want to be able to fly and burn buildings down with a single glance, you’re going to be disappointed because these things are not part of the Craft. They are fictional constructs that defy the laws of nature rather than work within those laws.
Keep in mind that while the Craft is a spiritual pursuit, it is not a religion. As a Wiccan, Witchcraft is woven deeply into my spiritual practices and beliefs but there are plenty of Wiccans who do not practice Witchcraft. There are also plenty of Witches who practice no religion at all. You’ll need to decide for yourself which path to follow. Magic lives within you but you have to quiet the voices outside yourself so that you can hear it. If Witchcraft is truly the path you’re meant to take, it will open up for you – but that doesn’t mean it will be easy. Like any craft, it requires research, meditation, and introspection for you to find the correspondences and traditions that work for you personally. Draw on the guidance and experience from as many sources as you can, but do so with a grain of salt and taking from them only those parts that resound with you.
There are a variety of tools that can aid you in your pursuit of the Craft, just keep in mind that they are tools, not requirements. Your energy and focus will always be the most powerful tool you have at your disposal; anything else you use is there to aid your focus and intent. Witchcraft draws its power from your intentions and your own inner magic. Tools can be powerful items that can be used to focus and symbolize the power within you as well as that in nature but you don’t need to buy anything at all to start practicing Witchcraft. If you do want some tools, here is a short list of some of the tools many Witches find useful: cauldrons, mortar & pestles, herbs, flowers, gemstones, crystals, magical amulets and talismans, wands, athames, sea salt, statues to the deities you call, etc.
Powerful rituals and spells can be performed without ever spending a dime. When you go to your favorite spot in nature, open your senses to the energy around you and collect items that reach out to you. These items will have magical significance to you, cost nothing, and are every bit as powerful as any elements you can purchase. Powerful spell elements you can get from nature include stones, feathers, seashells, driftwood, sand, salt, bones, fossils, dirt, flowers, seeds, water, etc. Common kitchen spices can also serve a magical purpose. The only limits are those you place on yourself. For example, I live in the desert and thorns are part of my everyday life (especially if I’m barefoot) because they are tracked into the house by both man and beast. I was pulling yet another thorn out of my foot when I realized how powerful a protection element they were; I began collecting them (especially the ones with my blood on them) and using them in protection spells. Be open to the wonders around you and you’ll find what you need!
When you feel like you’re ready, the first thing many people do is look for spells. I’m sorry to tell you that there is no single “Book of Shadows” that all witches use. Experienced practitioners create their own spells for the greatest impact. As with everything else we’ve been talking about, spells are highly personal; since your focus, intent, and energy fuel them you need to ensure that the spell and all of its components fit you. If your spell doesn’t include these three ingredients, it won’t work no matter how “perfect” or guaranteed it seems. Googling “free spells” can give you ideas about how you want to go about casting the spell you want to cast, but you’re going to be much better off using what you find as an example on which to base your original work.
Remember that witchcraft itself is neither good nor evil. It is simply a tool that can be used for either benefit or harm. The outcome of the spell is entirely dependent on YOUR intentions as you cast it. There is no right or wrong way to practice witchcraft, no unified path that we all must follow to call ourselves witches. Witchcraft is a personal path, a neutral practice shaped by the character of your intentions. Whatever path you choose, respect the forces of magic in both nature and yourself enough to put the time and research into learning the Craft. Learning from a variety of sources is essential but only you can decide where your witch path will lead.
Now back to that pointy hat and cackle…Hee! Hee! Hee!