How to Get Stated as a Witch Series
Continuing this little series, we wanted to put out a few more helpful tips on getting started as a witch.
Practice Meditation or Journeying Work
One of the biggest things that will help your progress on a path of witchcraft is to practice some form of meditation and mindfulness. Having a consistent daily practice is best, but even once or twice a week will help improve your connection to your spirits, deities, and higher self. If nothing else, try to meditate before your rituals or spellwork and/or even during if it is appropriate to sit in contemplation over the work you're doing.
There are many types of meditation available to learn out there. Take time to test a few styles out and see which work best for you. Some people do best with guided meditations while others may do better with unguided ones that focus solely on breathwork. Some will find it easier to focus during meditation and journeying work if they play calming music and burn a little incense while others need complete silence and no scents. You may find using a mediation app works for you or that you may want to play a YouTube video with a guided meditation in the background.
For myself, I like to listen to meditative music with headphones if there are others at home and watching TV or something. The headphones help block out the extra distractions. I will also light a stick of incense and a candle. It helps get me in the mode to meditate or do journeying work like a little light switch to make it more of a ritual.
Photo by Dingzeyu Li on Unsplash
Some general tips to remember when you start meditating:
- If you have an itch, scratch it and get back to meditating.
- If you are in an uncomfortable position, readjust and go back to meditating.
- If mundane thoughts come to mind, like what to fix for lunch or dinner, acknowledge and set it aside and go back to your meditation.
- If a thought comes back multiple times (usually three), then it may be a message to consider.
- Try to avoid caffeine or eating right before a meditation.
- Try to avoid meditating in high traffic areas of your home or in bed.
Don’t worry in the beginning if you find yourself unable to focus for long amounts of time. Starting with just five minutes a day is a great start. The more you practice, the easier and more routine it becomes and eventually the longer you will be able to sit in meditation or journeying.
Check out a few of these videos or apps to practice meditation:
RelaxMelodies - allows you to put together several ambient sounds and binaural/isochronic tones to meditate to. In-app purchases.
Calm - a popular meditation app featuring a number of guided meditations. In-app purchases.
Headspace - another popular meditation app. In-app purchases.
MyNoise.net - a website similar to Relax Melodies where you can listen to pre-made ambient sound playlists or create your own to block out unwanted noises. Also available as an app.
Find or Join a Community
Not every witch wants to work in a coven or they do better in a solitary environment for their magic. And that is perfectly fine. This tip isn’t about saying you need to join a coven, but rather about finding connections in the community at large.
It may be an online community on a social media site or chat group. It could be attending a local meetup or pagan pride event. Or it could be attending classes at a local metaphysical shop.
Reaching out and talking to other witches and pagans can sometimes be very helpful in encouraging aspects of your craft and giving you an accountability partner or two. There are far more witches and pagans out there than you might realize and that little bit of community may help you feel a little less alone. You may find that having a few other acquaintances to talk to to study with or get ideas from may be a great way to expand your personal practice.
If you are inclined, you can look for fellow like-minded folx to come together as your own coven or else join an existing one. Don’t jump all in at first into joining a group though. Take time to figure out if you are the right match for them and vice versa. Ask questions and clarify any concerns like time commitments and study requirements. If creating your own, be sure to clarify your expectations with the others joining. Interview potential candidates for your group. Decide if you want a simple study group or if you want a group to perform rituals and magic together.
Practice Cleansing and Protection Magic
One of the first types of magic to learn when starting out is cleansing and protection magic. Whether it is just for clearing out energy or getting rid of malevolent spirits, cleansing and protection magic can help purify and protect your space.
You can cleanse with herb bundles, reiki, crystals, or more elaborate rituals and spells that combine several elements. Cleansing can be simply for getting rid of the gunky energy you picked up during the day, or part of a quarterly energetic cleaning of your space. You can do more intense and focused cleansing to banish malevolent spirits and energies from a space as well and combine with specific protection and warding magics.
Protection, whether you believe in malevolent spirits or not, can be beneficial in helping keep your energy protected at all times. Sometimes protection magic is just about keeping up your energetic boundaries around people that are particularly draining of your energy. Other times it is to keep you from picking up on others' negative vibes. And sometimes you will find that it helps when casting spells to prevent energetic boomerang effects or from others sending bad energy your way.
Take some time to learn a cleansing technique or two and find a protection method that works for you as well. Cleansing on a regular basis should become part of your magical routine regardless and protection magic is a nice extra to keep things outs so cleansing can be a bit less frequent.
Photo by Renee Kiffin on Unsplash
Gather Supplies Slowly
As you start gathering supplies and tools to work your magic, start slowly. You do not need to break the bank the very first time you go out to get your tools and supplies. Start simple and add as you go along.
If you know you would like to burn candles, get those first. You can usually get some packs of tea lights fairly inexpensively. Chime candles are excellent for starting out as well since they don’t take as long to burn down and are great for spell work. Votives and longer taper candles are also options. Start with white and maybe black to begin with and add colors as your spellwork increases. Go with unscented in the beginning unless you want your candle to double as a scent focus as well.
If you like incense or want to incorporate smells in your practice, you can start with stick or cone incense or use loose herbs and resins in a heatproof vessel with charcoal. Start with one or two scents before expanding. You may find certain herbs are more useful for your practice than others. Get only a few ounces in the beginning.
However, if you can’t burn things in your space, you can use alternatives like an essential oil diffuser and flameless candles. You can get a diffuser that changes colors to enhance color magic aspects. Start with one or two oils in the beginning to make sure you don’t have any reactions and haven’t spent too much on something you can’t use.
Start out with a few crystals that you are attracted to. Small tumbled stones can work just as well as large towers. Pick crystals you are drawn to, but you can always start with some of the master crystals like black tourmaline for protection, rose quartz for love, selenite for cleansing, amethyst for psychic gifts, etc.
Set yourself a budget on your supplies and tools. Your supplies will increase over time based on what you find you work with best and use the most. Starting small and on a budget will stop you from breaking the bank or buying too much of something that you only use once and hate. Just because someone else uses a certain ingredient or supply in their practice doesn’t mean you will like it in yours.
Check our our Candles Here.
Check out our Loose Herbs and Incense Here.
Similar in effect to starting small, learn a few substitutions. Some ingredients you will find recommended for certain spells or rituals can be expensive and hard to find. But knowing a few ways to substitute can be a helpful way to get around some of those issues.
In general, clear quartz is an excellent multipurpose crystal in magic. It amplifies intentions and is easily programmable. Having a piece or two in your collection would be useful and will make sure that when you need a crystal you have something to use. Simply focus on your intention while holding the quartz and send that into the stone. Charge it in sunlight or moonlight and then use it.
The multipurpose herb is often considered rosemary. It is seen as an herb that can substitute for any other herb you may not have access to for spell work. You can buy fresh or dried in the grocery story or grow your own as well. Some metaphysical shops even sell bags of rosemary for magical purposes as well.
White candles are also used to substitute any color candle your spell may call for. Keeping a number of white candles in your supplies is ideal for any type of magic you may need to do in the future.
There are more specific substitutions out there as well. Some books even include lists in them with one-for-one substitutions that you may need. Consider alternate names for the herbs and crystals you are looking for too. Some spells will list colloquial names or trademark names that shops may not label them as either.
As your witchcraft practice grows, you will find some things working for you and other things that do not. Witchcraft is always experimental, so trying new things can help you along your path and throwing out things you learned in the beginning can also be helpful for future progress.
Hopefully these tips this week can help you continue on your path and learn new things as you go along.