How to Get Started as a Witch, Part 1/?
Posted by Cassandra Shea on
5 Tips for Beginner Witches
Getting started as a witch may seem daunting in the beginning. There are many prejudices to get over, from yourself and others. There are hundreds and hundreds of books and websites out there to learn from. And there are seemingly so many ways to get started. It can be difficult to figure out where to really begin.
Despite all the information out there, there are a few easy ways to get started on your path to reclaim your inner power as a witch.
Know that You Are a Witch
One of the first things to do on the road to “becoming a witch” is to just accept and know that you already are a witch. Regardless of gender, you are a witch. If you want to call yourself a witch, you are one.
If you don’t like the term because of the years of stigma or you find a similar term works better for you, then go by that instead. Just know that your choice to walk a path of magic and witchcraft is enough to make you a witch.
Some sources will say that only another witch can make you a witch through initiations or that the gods make you one or any other number of gatekeeping methods. But those sources are only talking about their tradition. Not every tradition or type of witchcraft requires extensive initiations or have certain requirements for becoming a witch.
How to Do It
Take some time at the start of your path, or even if you have been practicing for a while do it now, to just declare to the universe, your gods and/or spirits, and, more importantly, to yourself your intention to be a witch. Say a simple affirmation every morning during your morning routine or just before bed that announces and affirms this path for yourself. Use whatever terms for your path that you feel comfortable with and give a statement of what your overall goal on your path is.
Try some variation of the following: “I am a Witch. I walk this path of Magic and Witchcraft to reclaim my personal power and make change in my life.”
You can be a witch regardless of your gender. While the term has been associated with women over the years, it can be used by anyone who identifies as a witch. Female, male, nonbinary, cisgendered, trans, undecided, etc. You can call yourself a witch.
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When starting out, there are so many things to read and so many supplies to get. But, you don’t have to consume everything and buy all the supplies when you start out. Start small.
Pick one or two books to read. As you read them and try the suggestions the books have, then you can add more to your collection as you finish or work through the ones you have. Check your local library too for books on witchcraft.
There are a ton of different supplies that you can start with. Consider what attracts you the most. Crystals? Incense? Candles? Tarot? Start with one or two crystals that call you. Start with incense sticks before using loose herbs and resins. Try white candles in the beginning. Start with one tarot or oracle deck in the beginning or use an app.
Use supplies and ingredients you already have in your home. If you need an athame but don’t want to dish out the money in the beginning, use a butter knife. Use your finger for your wand.
Think about if you are wanting to work with deities or spirits in your magic. If so, start with one pantheon, or one deity at a time. Focus first on ancestors or your spirit guides.
How to Do It
Be selective in the beginning with your books, but don’t be afraid to read everything as time goes on. Here are some suggestions for books and supplies to start with in the beginning:
The Modern Guide to Witchcraft by Skye Alexander
Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner by Scott Cunningham
Tumbled Stones or Shop All Crystals
I am definitely a proponent of reading and researching as much as possible, but starting out with a few sources in the beginning can help you from getting overwhelmed in the beginning.
Also consider a budget for your supplies. You don’t want to go broke buying a bunch of supplies.
Research closed cultures to avoid working with pantheons or spirits that are off-limits. This also helps avoiding techniques that belong to other traditions. In general, if you are not of Native American descent, you shouldn’t work with Native-American spirits or practicing smudging. You can still cleanse, but you aren’t really smudging.
Photo by Katherine Hanlon on Unsplash
Make Everything Magical
The world itself is full of magic if you are looking. When you start walking a path of witchcraft and magic, you will find that everything you do is essentially a magical endeavor. So start turning your everyday rituals and tasks into magic.
How to Do It
Take a look at your morning and evening routines. Consider adding in magical affirmations and meditations to them. Charge your toothbrush or makeup with intention and magic. Dedicate certain tasks to deities you might work with. Say a chant over your morning coffee or tea as you stir in your creamer or sugar.
Start small again. Add one thing at a time. Make it part of your routine for at least a week before adding in something else.
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash
As you start practicing witchcraft, start a journal to record your journey. Recording your process and your path can help you see patterns over time. You remember things better too when you write things down. You will be able to go back and see what you have done and what worked and what didn’t. You can see where your beliefs shifted.
How to Do It
Find a notebook that you like. A simple spiral bound notebook or composition book can work well. But if you want to make things a little nicer, you can find some great leatherbound journals out there to use as your magical record keeping journal.
Dedicate your journal for your purpose. You may write this on the first page of the notebook. Write something like, “I dedicate this journal to record my journey and path of witchcraft.” You can invoke elements and deities in the dedication too and add in bits about keeping prying eyes away.
Have a table of contents a la Bullet Journal style. Set aside a couple pages in the beginning to index your pages. Or you can index your pages by coloring the edges of pages in a color code method or with sticky note tabs for important pages you want to reference later.
Start writing in it. Date your entries too. That way you can see how things change over the weeks and months and years of your practice.
Don’t worry about having a perfect Book of Shadows or Grimoire in the beginning. Just focusing on journaling and writing down your experiences and thoughts is enough to start with. As time goes on, you can make things more fancy or official with cool leather journals and neat inks and pens.
Also consider having multiple journals. You can dedicate one journal to your work with deities or one to your divination practice. Or you can keep everything in one journal.
Photo by Michael Dziedzic on Unsplash
Be Willing to Change
When you get started, you may latch on quickly to one tradition or book and the beliefs touted in them. This is all well and good and as long as those beliefs are not harmful, that can work out for some people. But don’t be afraid of changing over time as you learn more.
As you experience new things, your beliefs may evolve and change. Do not be afraid to toss out old information or reevaluate as you go along. Changing your beliefs on these things doesn’t mean you were wrong or incorrect, it just means that things have evolved and changed. You are learning and growing and developing in your practice.
Try not to compare your progress or your practice to others. This can be difficult if you follow a lot of other witches on social media that post super pretty aesthetic photos of their Book of Shadows or their altars. Use them as inspiration, sure. But know that they may have been practicing for years before you started or have changed in a million ways before showing off where they are now.
Now, go get started!