Wicca and Witchcraft for beginners
Witchcraft has the distinction of being the oldest spiritual tradition in the world. However, it is highly misunderstood, thanks to the stereotypes propagated on television, comic books and movies. Most people want to learn how to become a witch because they love fictional stories, like Harry Potter, Charmed or the Chilling adventures of Sabrina. The magic that a screen witch does is definitely different from the magick that a real witch does.
What is Witchcraft?
Before we delve into how to become a witch, it is essential you figure out what is witchcraft. It is vital to understand that witchcraft is not a religion; rather, it is a spiritual practice that could be a part of a person’s religious faith and beliefs.
Witchcraft is often confused with Wicca, which is a religion, but all witches are not Wiccans and all Wiccans are not necessarily witches. Yes, many Wiccans do practice witchcraft but being a Wiccan does not make you into a witch.
So, what is witchcraft? Well, in simple terms, it is the art of practicing magick. If you are keen on becoming a witch and practicing magick, here are some steps that you would need to follow:
Select Your Path(s)
When you take the first steps into witchcraft, it can be overwhelming to decide which type of witchcraft you want to practice. You do not need to make a choice, it is merely a guideline to help you categorize your own magick. Many witches practice several different types of witchcraft and it is advisable to have at least a brief understanding of the different types, which are as follows:
Solitary: Here, as the title suggests, the witches decide not to join a coven and practice their witchcraft on their own without other witches. A solitary witch can still join with other witches from time to time, but they will mainly do their art alone.
Ceremonial: Here, the heart and soul are focused on expertly performing rituals and ceremonies, often guided by their book of shadows and closely following instructions. A ceremonial witch often tends to possess an astonishing altar and a lot of accessories to proceed with their rituals.
Eclecticism: In case a witch decides not to do a particular type of witchcraft and mix different traditions and rituals together, eclectic witches often listen to their higher selves and trust their own instinct with magick. They often come up with crafts and spells of their owns.
Green Witch & Druid: Guided by mother earth, green witches tend to meditate, take long walk in the forest and harvest natural ingredients to use them as teas or in their rituals. Protectors of nature and very spiritual, they are also categorized into two different groups, floral who tend to use mainly flowers as ingredients and herbal, who uses mostly herbs and plants.
They are many more types of witches which we will cover in another article, but for now, just being aware that they exist is a very good point of reference to do further research on types that interest you.
Understanding and Knowing the Terminologies
As a beginner of witchcraft, it is essential you also get familiar with the different terms so that you know what they mean when you are reading about modern witchcraft and paganism. Some of the important terms associated with being a witch include the following:
Initiation: This refers to the rites that make a budding witch into an official member of a coven. Usually, you would have to join a coven for a year and one day and learn its practices and rituals. Thereafter, you will be made into a part of the coven with the help of an initiation that is conducted by a high priest or priestess of the coven. Once you become an initiate, you may get the opportunity in the future to become a high priestess or priest or even the leader of the coven.
Coven: A coven is a community of witches and it is usually headed by a high priest or priestess. If the coven is Wiccan, you would have to participate in sabbats, which refer to celebrations of seasonal festivals that are based on the Wheel of the Year.
Familiar: A familiar is an animal-shaped spirit who works as the witch’s assistant, companion, spy, and protector.
Altar: This is the holy surface of a witch that is used just for witchcraft, such as chanting, casting spells or worshipping the chosen god or goddess. The altar is always covered with cloth that has symbols printed on it and works to protect the surface from ritual items, like incense, liquids, ash, candle wax, and water.
Pentacle: Most people confuse a pentacle with a pentagram, which is used by the Church of Satan. However, the pentagram is part of Wicca and does not have anything to do with satanic rites. Pentacle, on the other hand, is an amulet or a talisman that is placed on the altar.
Black Magic: Any magic that is malevolent and has harmful intentions is known as black magic. Hexes and curses fall under this category. Many also believe in the rule of three, where whatever you do, positive or negative, will come back three times at you, be wary.
Séance: This is a ceremony to get in touch with spirits and is done with the help of a medium (a medium can represent many different things, like an Ouija board, a ritual…).
Grimoire: Any magic text, books or diaries that contain magic spells and rituals, is known as a grimoire.
Book of Shadows: This is part of Wicca and is a Wiccan’s own grimoire that contains their spells, recipes, hexes, and rituals along with any other information that the witch feel is important.
We will also cover all the terms in another article since it would be too long to list them all here, but these are the most frequent ones you will find.
Get Your Witchcraft Supplies
Tools are potent items that you will use as a witch to symbolize power not just in yourself, but also in nature. However, you do not need to buy everything, as some of the witchcraft supplies are free, such as herbs and flowers that you can grow in your garden. Some of the most common witchcraft supplies that you would need to be a witch are as follows:
Cauldron: This is a small pot made from cast-iron that you will need to mix potions for spells.
Mortar and Pestle: Opt for a cast-iron one to crush spices and herbs that are integral to your rituals and spells.
Herbs: Sage is the most common herb that witches use to purify and protect themselves, and also for rituals. However, there are other herbs that you may need.
Flowers: Many spells use flowers as they symbolize new beginnings, nature, and more.
Gemstones: Every gemstone has significance, as they have magickal powers. So, take time to learn about different gemstones and their significance as you will need them for spells and protection.
Magickal Amulet and Talisman: These are potent symbols that you can wear for protection or to boost your magickal abilities. You will also need amulets and talismans for casting spells.
Crystals: Crystals, just like gemstones, have magickal powers and are primarily used to purify any sacred space before you start a ritual. They are also used for protection and healing.
Salt: You will use salt to draw a circle of protection so that evil spirits cannot enter the circle. Salt is also an integral ingredient in cleansing and protective spells.
Wand: Every witch needs a wand, but not like the one that Harry Potter had. A wooden stick will suffice and you will be using it to cast a circle.
Athame: This refers to a blade that is used to cast a circle of protection within which you can create your spells.
While most witches have these tools, it is prudent to remember that to cast a spell, you do not need any item. The power of a spell comes from the magick within you and your intentions.
Remember, the Rule of Three. If you send something out into the universe, it will be sent back to you threefold. The Rule of Three is something similar to karma. This said some witches believe in the Rule of Three while others do not. It all boils down to personal beliefs.
Practice Being a Witch
To become a witch, you need to practice how to use crystals, candles, and other tools. Maintain your Book of Shadows to note down everything so that you can refer to it when the need arises. Practice is the key to being a witch, so before you begin casting spells and hexes, get familiar with the different tools and how to use them.
Remember, no one can teach you spells. You will have to learn them to make them your own. For spells, you have to draw power from within and from nature and that is why what spell works for one witch will not work for another. Keep trying to create your own spells until you succeed. Once you do, jot down that spell in your Book of Shadows so that you can do not have to memorize it.
It is only after that you should try to find a coven. Covens are in plenty everywhere and hence, it can often be overwhelming for a new witch to make the right choice. The best way forward is to research different covens in your area. The internet allows you to do this while you are sitting in the comforts of your home.
The Final Words
There is no right or wrong way to become a witch and practice witchcraft. Buy cheap witchcraft tools to practice and it will make the entire experience more effective. While there are common traditions that witches follow, you can learn them using the power of the internet. Thereafter, it depends on the magick inside you.
Becoming a witch is a personal choice and your witchcraft will be shaped by your intentions. It is prudent to respect the force of magick and yourself. Once you master the basics of witchcraft, it is time to join a coven and learn from more experienced witches. Until then, practice make perfect!