7 Things You Need To Know Before Getting Started With Witchcraft
Are you getting interested in knowing more about witchcraft and not quite sure how to get started? Then you are in the right place! In this article, I’m going to dispel (or maybe dis-spell, ha ha) some of the myths and misconceptions about witchcraft so you can get started on your magical path.
Witchcraft Is Not a Religion
There are lots of funky information out there telling you that witchcraft is a religion. There is no religion of witchcraft and in fact every religion has some sort of branch that has magical elements to it. There are some religions like Wicca that put witchcraft at the center of their beliefs, but there are also plenty of Christian witches, Jewish witches, Muslim witches, Buddhist witches, Secular Humanist witches, New Thought witches and even Atheist witches!
You don’t need to be a Wiccan to be a witch and you can follow the faith of your choosing or no faith at all and still practice witchcraft. Witchcraft is the belief that you can shift or shape reality with the force of your will and the optional assistance of Spirit or deities.
If you’re new to witchcraft don’t feel pressured to drop any spiritual beliefs you currently may or may not have or take on any beliefs that you don’t align with. You can be who you are now and still practice witchcraft.
There Is Not Just One Kind of Witch
Even within the practice of witchcraft there are lots of paths that you can choose. For example, you could be a hedge witch, a kitchen witch, a ceremonial magician, a shaman, a rootworker, a chaos magician, an eclectic witch, or a witch who doesn’t identify with any of these paths.
There are so many different schools of witchery and each path has certain practices and characteristics that more or less define it. For example, faerie witches are nature and animal focused, and hereditary witches come from families where witchcraft is practiced. The Weiser Field Guide to Witches has a great overview of different witchcraft paths. You can start your explorations there and if you find a path that appeals to you, get books that teach you more about the ways of that path.
However, don’t feel like you have to follow someone’s rules about your spiritual practice. You might take a little bit from here and a little bit from there or come up with your own method of witchcraft. Just begin an exploration and see what’s closest to your own beliefs.
People of Any Gender Can Be Witches
There is a misconception that only women can be witches. This isn’t true at all. People anywhere on the gender spectrum identify as witches. If you want to be a witch, you can be one.
There Is No One Right Way to Practice Witchcraft
You might encounter some witches who claim that their way is the only correct way. I say, “Pish posh!” If I wanted a bunch of rules like that, I would join a fundamentalist religion! There are lots of ways to practice witchcraft and what works for me might work for you or it might not work for you. It doesn’t mean that my way is right and yours is wrong.
And while might say that there are no right ways and wrong ways to practice witchcraft, I do find that there are some generally agreed upon tools and techniques. For example, most witches around the world would agree that rose petals are great for love spells. How you use those rose petals may vary between different witches, but you will find some wisdom in the agreed upon basics.
You Don’t Need to Go to Hogwart’s
You don’t need to get a certificate, go to witch school, get inducted into a group, be a part of a coven, or be ordained to practice witchcraft. You can learn on your own through trial and error, practicing with friends, reading books, watching how to videos on YouTube, listening to podcasts, taking workshops or classes, or becoming an apprentice. However, there is no test for you to pass to see if you are a witch or not.
I love to learn and am constantly buying books and going to conferences and workshops to learn more about magic and divination, but those things don’t make me a witch, they just make me a smarter and more skillful magic practitioner. You can begin to practice witchcraft whenever you feel ready to make some changes in your life.
That being said, there are some paths of witchcraft that have initiations and levels of learning. If you choose one of those paths, you will have more formal instruction and levels to pass, but just know that that is not true for all witchcraft paths.
Spells Don’t Backfire
There is a popular misconception that if you do a spell “wrong” that you will not only not get what you want but that it will make things worse than before you started your spell. This is simply untrue. When a spell goes wrong because something goes wonky, you’ll just get no result.
The thing to do when that happens is to either try the spell over again or try a different kind of spell for your aims. (If you want to know more about what to do when spells go haywire, check out my ebook “Seven Secrets to Supercharge Your Spellwork.” You can purchase it here or get it free by signing up to be a member of the Spell Squad).
You Don’t Need Fancy Tools to Get Started
Sometimes, you might find information out there that says you need purchase tools, books, classes, ritual wear, or other things to be a witch. Witchcraft is not a commodity. You don’t need a fifteen pound amethyst crystal, a handcrafted ebony wand, or take an expensive course to be a witch. These things are lovely (I do love a fancy candle or magic tool myself and have definitely splurged on books) but they are not necessary to be a witch.
Some of the most powerful magic I’ve ever done has been created with my connection to nature, the stars, the moon and my own thought. So, don’t think that you have to have expensive accessories to start doing magic.
Get Started With Your Witchcraft Practice
Hopefully I’ve used my witch’s broom to sweep away some of the misconceptions you may have had about not being ready or good enough or qualified to practice witchcraft. Every witch has been a beginner at some point so don’t feel like you have to be an expert before you start. Jump in, do a spell, tell a fortune or just make yourself a love potion with a cup of tea. Make some magic and have some fun!
Want to begin making magic? A spell kit has everything you need to get started!
This article was written by Madame Pamita and has also been published on YourTango and Medium.