Hello everyone, this time I will introduce a “new” topic to you all, Witchcraft.
Now you may think “Shea, we know you’re a Witch, why do you need to make a new topic for it?”. Well, I noticed there’s a LOT of new witches surfacing lately and I wanted to get some basics on the blog that may be helpful for those people, but also to give a basic understanding for some future blogs I plan on writing. Maybe you are one of those people interested in the craft and this can be a good starting point.
I won’t be covering all things in these blogs on witchcraft simply because I don’t believe in teaching or sharing things I don’t practice myself. As an introduction, I want to go over the Witches Path, or what (in my opinion) it means to be a witch.
The witches path, is something more and more people come in contact with nowadays and while I think that is absolutely wonderful, I don’t think everyone understands what it truly means to be a witch.
First of all, if you didn’t know, a witch is not an old woman with green skin that eats children, in case you weren’t aware yet. A witch is someone that feels close or connected to the ways of nature or the universe, and who is connected to their true self by listening to their inner voice. It’s taking control of your life, listening to what’s around you and using it to become a better version of yourself and make this world a better place.
A witch can be both male and female, no, we generally don’t call men Warlocks or Wizards. Some people are witches but dislike the term and its association and instead call themselves occultists or similar things. In the end, it’s not the term that you use that matters, as long as it is true to what and whom you truly are.
And no, we are not (always) Wiccans or Satanists. Some of us are, but certainly, not everyone is. There are also witches that base their practice on Christianity or science. Let go of anything anyone ever told you about what witches are supposed to be and try to see what it means to you and how you can incorporate it into your life.
Witchcraft isn’t a religion. It’s a lifestyle of self manifesting and taking control within our lives.
So the witches path…
The witches path is something you will walk if you feel called to do so. It could be you’ve always wanted to be a witch, not the harry potter version necessarily but someone taking fate into their own hands and using forces of nature to create and guide their lives. It can be when you read about it that this old feeling of coming home wells up within you. Whatever it is, if you feel the call, listen to it. Explore it. Maybe after looking in to it and understanding it you find it’s not the way for you but you find something else that is.
A good point not to get caught up in are meaningless labels like “green witch”, “Astro witch” or “white witch” (I’m not getting into black and white magic here). Labels don’t serve the craft. If I were to use them I’d need a whole page to be able to write them down purely because my practice, my path, is very diverse and tailored to fit me, my cultural background and roots. Yes, the witches path is very personal. It’s never entirely the same. Now, these labels do come in handy when trying to look into specific types of things like how to incorporate herbs or cooking into your craft, but that’s honestly as far as it’ll get you.
In my opinion, if you want to label then you only need 2 or maybe 3 labels to indicate the following.
- Are you a believer in anything? God, entire pantheons, are you an atheist or whatever it may be? You don’t even have to believe in anything to be a witch anyway. I personally use the term Polytheist(ic) to indicate that I do worship multiple deities.
- That you’re a witch or any other esoteric/occult term you identify with.
- And maybe whether you practice solitary or not if that is something that matters to you, I personally don’t bother adding it.
So when someone asks me what sort of Witch I am or what I believe in I tell them I’m a polytheistic witch. Now if they ask I will name some things like what Gods I worship or what sort of things I include but I’m never listing everything because it’s either too much or won’t mean anything to them.
Now why I don’t encourage using any more labels is because when you label you put yourself and your path in a streamlined box, and you know what, we are fluid and organic and our path changes and evolves as we do. So when we label it we limit our own capabilities to change and grow and thus limit our path. Maybe it will keep you from looking into that one subject that could feel life changing and not just improve your craft but also your day to day life.
Labelling is one of the most common things I see with “witchlings”, or new witches. I see a lot of people telling them “figure out what type of Witch you are” but I’m here to tell you this:
See what witchcraft means to you, research anything related to it you come across and let your practice grow as you learn.
Now another tip I have for you is read from many and take everything you read with a grain of salt. Yes, including this blog. This is of course based on my own experiences, studies and opinion. By no means do I claim this to be the one and only way to do it. My way may not even work for you and that is totally okay. The main thing is to listen, research and create your own thing. Be respectful even when you don’t agree.
Now, I personally prefer to read from different authors on the same topic just to see the differences and similarities, and then research origins or what could explain these differences. No one is entirely objective, even translations can be influenced based on personal background. (I’m looking at you Snorri)
Also whenever an author says it’s the one and only way to do something, that’s ringing tiny alarm bells in my head. Unless it’s a safety thing perhaps, like how to properly handle something hot and burning, take that seriously. But anything related to cultural or ritual implications, that is entirely personal. Take that with a huge grain of salt. Do what feels right.
Yes. Do what feels right. This is one of the most frustrating expressions you hear with anything spiritual because it’s super vague and personal. One HUGE part of witchcraft is listening to your intuition, your gut, your “spider-senses”. Whatever you call them. Because that’s your subconscious, your soul, your inner child if you believe so it may be even your God talking to you, guiding you. I personally think intuition comes from our subconscious self.
When you follow your intuition, I personally believe, you are following the ways of nature. That what was meant to be so. That what serves you best. Whether it’s deciding what to look into in terms of different types of practices, picking a crystal to wear, taking a different route to work or maybe saying no to that thing a friend asked you to do. More often than not our gut makes the best choices for us. So the more you pay attention to what it is telling you, the more aware you will become of the choices that are presented to you to create your own personal path.
Last but not least…
I guess this sparked something within you if you’re still reading. So here are some books and subjects I have found very interesting and helpful starting off with my craft almost 11 years ago.
- Your own cultural or ancestral background, in terms of old practices, worship and customs. In most cultures, there’s history to how people would honour nature, maybe even ancient magic or cleansing methods. Look into folktales to get a bit of an understanding and see what it could mean for you. I’m mixed European so I take information mostly from those roots.
- Skye Alexander’s book series Modern Guide to Witchcraft is a basic introduction series to several different things. Witchcraft itself but also the wheel of the year, tarot and so on. It’s basic, and I definitely encourage to read from more authors than just Skye, but it can be nice to start with.
- Divination is one of the most popular things used in the craft and while it’s definitely not necessary it can be great to help you reflect on your life and practice and just get a little guidance along the way. Look into all the different types and pick something your gut tells you to. No, it doesn’t need to be Tarot, but if you do pick Tarot, I write a Tarot 101 part on this blog that may be helpful for you. It can be Oracle cards, Runes, Pendulum, Scrying, Tea reading… Lost of options and super fun to look into.
- Colour psychology and associations is often a big thing in spells and rituals. It’s psychologically proven to have an effect on us but the exact colour association can be slightly different depending on the culture you grew up in. It’s interesting to look into.
- Lunar and Solar cycle. The Lunar cycle is monthly (moon phases) and the Solar cycle being yearly (the seasons). Both have been a big influence in pretty much any ancient practice and can thus be interesting to look into. For lunar cycles I recommend the book Moonology by Yasmin Boland and for solar cycles anything about the Wheel of the Year (which can be a bit more Wicca focused but doesn’t have to be).
- Look into the correspondence of kitchen herbs. These things are very easy to get your hands on, you most likely already have them at home and they can be a solid basis when looking into incorporating herbs into your personal craft. I have a massive loose tea collection in our kitchen cabinet that I use for tea, spells and rituals.