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A MASTERPOST FOR ANYONE INTERESTED IN WITCHCRAFT AND ALTERNATIVE SPIRITUALITY

You are an individual interested in witchcraft. Everything seems big and scary? You don’t know where to begin? This is one of the places you can!

 Note: This is an updated, fleshed out and improved version of my original “How To Begin Witchcraft” post which is going to be deleted after this is posted. Due to this some of the text may be familiar, but the resources and tips are updated as I now have a better understanding of a lot of these topics.

What is witchcraft?

Given many descriptions and definitions by every culture since the beginning of time, the modern understanding of witchcraft is as so; witchcraft is a method of bringing a desired action into existence, through a transfer of personal or external power. These transfers can be spells, rituals, ceremonies, the use of crystals, materials found in the earth, through appealing to a divine power. All of these methods are what witches consider ‘magic’. 

Of course, no one believes you can just extend your hands out and lightning will rain down upon the world, nor that they can fly or turn people into frogs. People do, however, believe that the actions of an individual have an impact on this world larger than what you would expect. Witchcraft isn’t a definitive ‘this action will happen’ guarantee; it’s more like a forceful, quiet push at the probability. This is why it’s unreasonable to do a spell and expect to win the lottery. Sure it might increase your chances, but if your chances are already tiny, then a small increase isn’t going to do much.

Is there any proof?

Aside from phenomena that science hasn’t found an explanation for yet, no. But asking for proof of witchcraft working is like asking for proof that God exists. What you consider as ‘proof’ can be a matter of perspective.

Do I have to be from a certain place to be a witch?

Witchcraft has no religion, has no race, has no doctrine. Practising the art of witchcraft has no requirements and no set level of education, social standing or skill. 

Having said this, if you’re wanting to join an organised group of witches (often referred to as a Coven) or if you want to devote yourself to a specific religion while you are a witch, there is generally some code of conduct or set of rules to follow. This, of course, differs from case to case. Being a member of an organisation or religion is also not compulsory at all, and most witches are not.

What do I have to learn?

Literally whatever you want. While it’s suggested to have a broad basic knowledge of simple things such as a few herbs or moon phases, it’s completely up to you. Just because everyone else seems like they are doing divination, for example, it doesn’t mean you have to.

Important Tips

  • Don’t feel like you need a witchy label, you don’t.
  • Don’t feel like you need to worship a deity or be religious at all to be a witch, you don’t.
  • Practice what feels natural, if something doesn’t click then don’t force it.
  • It isn’t a rush. There is no time limit on learning. You have your entire life to discover what kind of spirituality you want to pursue. It’s been 10 years for me and I’m still undecided on many topics. 
  • Your mind is your best tool; you don’t need every herb or crystal under the sky to be a practitioner. People all over the world have been practising witchcraft without crystals, herbs and ritual tools since the beginning of time.
  • Meditation can be a very helpful guide, but don’t feel bad if you can’t get the hang of it. It is not crucial to being a witch and not something you ‘have’ to do.
  • Like any craft, skill or hobby, friends will help you learn. Join witchy chat rooms, integrate into your local community.
  • Don’t take all of your resources or information from one source; even me! Having knowledge of a large number of sources will give you a fairer, unbiased viewpoint. 
  • The tips mentioned here are valid for witchcraft as a general term, but some things may differ depending on whether you want to study a specific religion or style of witchcraft. Every practice has a unique way of looking at things, and sometimes different rules to adhere to. (An example of this: the modern consensus is that the intent of the spell you do matters more than the ingredients you use or the techniques you utilise. But some practices and some people believe the complete opposite, that without using all the listed ingredients and actions, the spell will not work.)

Bonus Tips

  • Take the time to refamiliarise yourself with nature.
  • Something crucial to note; Wicca is not the same thing as witchcraft, though many authors and blogs use the terms interchangeably when they mean different things. See my “What is Wicca?” guide below for more info on that.
  • Keeping that in mind, Wicca books are still amazing reads for witches because witchcraft is the form in which Wiccans express their faith.
  • If anyone tells you that Wicca is an old religion they are misinformed; The religion started around the 1940′s and was a culmination of various practices and superstitions from both other cultures and personal gnosis, all mashed together.
  • I would advise any beginners to steer clear of Silver Ravenwolf books; they are full of incorrect information. Though this applies to most Wiccan books, SRW is a particularly prominent offender. When you’re new it can be difficult to sift through what is authentic or not, so feel free to check her out later on in your journey if you’re interested. 
  • Don’t take practices from cultures that don’t want to share them; basic human manners!
  • HAVE FUN.
  • Make spells up as you go along. There is no need to do a spell you found on the internet instead of something you made yourself, you being new doesn’t make it any less valid.
  • Don’t worry when spells fail; People don’t expect every prayer to be answered, the same logic should apply to spells.
  • Age does not equal knowledge; there are many older witches who aren’t as well informed as they seem.
  • Stay away from the drama, it’s not worth it and will only make you angry. Tumblr is a good resource but can also be a toxic cesspool, so be wary.

My Beginner Course

Over my time in this community, I have crafted a few posts towards the end goal of creating a mini beginners course, a point of reference for you to grow from. This post is the first entry in that. Here are the rest!

  1. What is Wicca? A Guide For The New Wiccan
  2. A Short History Of Wicca
  3. The Elements
  4. Sabbats
  5. Crystal History
  6. Beginner Crystals
  7. Am I Ready For Spells?
  8. How Do Spells Actually Work?
  9. Witchy Terminology 101
  10. Moon Phases 101
  11. Circle Casting 101
  12. Material Disposal 101
  13. Cleansing 101

Isobel’s Grimoire

As well as the posts above, I have a section of my website called ‘Isobel’s Grimoire. There I list not only the posts I make on witchcraft but also a lot of my favourite resources and spells. This content isn’t geared towards beginners, but neither is it explicitly ‘complex’. If you are interested you can find the grimoire HERE!

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My Book Suggestions (Mixed Topics)

  • Grovedaughter Witchery by @breenicgarran
  • The Witches, Stacy Schiff
  • The Secret World Of Witchcraft, Jason Karl
  • The Occult, Witchcraft and Magic, Christopher Dell
  • Aradia, The Gospel Of The Witches, Charles Leland
  • The Encyclopedia Of Crystals, Judy Hall
  • The Green Wiccan Herbal, Silja

External Resources

Here is a list of resources that other people have written, which I find to be very helpful.

  • Tarigrove’s Tips For Those Considering Witchcraft
  • The Master Post To Rule All Masterposts; Has SO MUCH STUFF
  • Beginner Witchcraft Resources Masterpost
  • Natural Magic’s Books And Resources
  • Tarigrove’s Spellbook Masterpost
  • Green Kitchen Witch’s Crash Course On Fake Gemstones
  • Limited Witchcraft Masterpost
  • Necromancy
  • Masterlist of Ways To Tell Fortunes
  • Types Of Witchcraft

Blogs To Follow

A few bogs I like that post varying witchy and spiritual content!

Witchcraft

  • @practicalwitchcraft
  • @breelandwalker / @breenicgarran
  • @wyntercraft
  • @witchy-words
  • @wyntercraft
  • @thecuriousviolet
  • @sylvaetria
  • @upthewitchypunx
  • @thefatfeministwitch 
  • @thefrogsapothecary
  • @persephoneandthepomegranates
  • @pomegranateandivy
  • @fae-sidhe
  • @thewitchystuff
  • @torque-witch
  • @sigilathenaeum
  • @pastorwitch
  • @cunningcelt
  • @thebookishwitch

Tarot

  • @tarotprose
  • @static-chaos
  • @decklove
  • @tarotgirlnextdoor
  • @tarotgram

End Notes

That’s about it! The last note I have for you that contradicts with pretty much everything above; you don’t need a massive encyclopedia of information. Feel free to use this post as a reference, something you can refer back to and pick out the parts you like. I wish you the best of luck on your journey! If you even survived reading to the end let me know in the tags 😉

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