“If you really want to upset a witch, do her a favor which she has no means of repaying. The unfulfilled obligation will nag at her like a hangnail.”
― Terry Pratchett
It is fairly certain that you did not randomly get up this morning and decide, hey I want to be a witch! If anything, you happened across information on Witchcraft and found it interesting. After that, an exploration begins either out of plain curiosity or because there’s something about Witchcraft that keeps itching at your awareness. Either way, the piqued interest keeps hounding you, so what next?
Good Morning, You’re a Witch!
First off, know that there is nothing at all simple about becoming a Witch, nor is it anything like what you’ve seen from Hollywood. There’s a lot of introspection involved and a lot of research to get to a place where you feel you want to go further.
When you first decide you want to learn more about Witchcraft, start at the library. Bear in mind that a lot of magical information comes to us from history and literature. Choose the material that most interests you, making sure you highlight troubling sections for further digging.
There are other steps you can take at this juncture:
Create Notes: have a special folder on your computer screen for Witchy notes. As you meander onward, you’ll return to these time and time again (just trust us).
Reconsider your place in Nature: Witches count themselves among “earth-based” faiths. How does becoming part of that kind of framework feel to you?
Start a list of questions: When you meet a Witch, whip them out (politely of course).
Introspection: Take a serious look at yourself. What is it that you think Witchcraft offers for your life and spirituality. This is a very important question and one well worth sitting on for as long as it takes to find your answer.
No hurries: This is not the time to rush in where proverbial angels fear to tread. A solid foundation takes time and forethought.
Prepare for diversity: There are many different types of Wicca and Witchcraft. Not all of them will appeal to you. So, focus on narrowing down your research to say three that capture your imagination.
If at this point you’re still pressing forward, then now it’s probably time to put a toe in that proverbial magical pool.
The Serious Study of Witchcraft
Now things are starting to get more serious. You’ve consumed a bunch of books, gathered notes, and started asking other people questions. Now what? First move forward cautiously. You don’t have to accept every opinion your read as “true” or consider it applicable to your life. That’s simply unrealistic. Even Witches can’t be all things to all people. So, these are some of the next, best steps for solidifying things more:
Groups or solo? Not all Witches enjoy groups or covens. Some prefer keeping their beliefs between them and the universe. NO rule says you must join a group to be a Witch.
Strictures or Wing it? Witchcraft traditions include groups with very refined rules for getting involved and what happens afterward. There are also paths that prefer a more vision-centered approach. What do you prefer (are you a planner or impromptu)?
Fancy, Simple, Cultural or Eclectic? Do you like lavish parties, or are you a jean and t-shirt sort of gal? Are you fascinated by a specific culture or mythological narrative, or prefer dealing with the emerging stories of the here-and-now? Again, Witchcraft offers all these options.
Paths of the Wise Craft
It’s hard to know what direction to take in becoming a witch if you don’t know what’s available to you. For those who enjoy structure, there’s Wiccan traditions like Alexandrian Wicca and Gardnerian Wicca. Someone drawn to Celtic traditions might choose Celtic Witchcraft when they become a witch. What other possibilities await? How about:
Green Wicca Do you love recycling? Are you an avid gardener? Want to wander through unending fields of flowers or learn herbal arts? Then you might be a Green Witch.
Gypsy Witchcraft: The art of the gypsy focuses heavily on healing modalities and divination. Can’t keep your hands off that crystal ball? Check this out more about the Gypsy Witch.
Herb Witch: As the name implies this Witch focuses her studies and practices wholly on all things herbal. This includes potions, spells, ointment, charms – really any magical approach so long as the Herb Witch can use plant parts knowingly in the process.
Solitary Witch: Ready to walk alone and find your own way? That is the path of the Solitary Witch.
Shamanic Witch: The Shamanic Witch is a walker between the worlds. She knows about shapeshifting and animal spirits. She also knows how to help her community in times of need.
Now that’s really a very short list of the different types of Witches. The key is finding the right one for you and one to which you have access. Certain Wiccan groups are hard to find, so keep an open mind.
The Keys to Success in Witchcraft
In the adventure of becoming a witch, there are a few things that will not fail you. One is active listening. The more you open your ears, the more you’ll catch tidbits of information that truly inspire. Another is being up for a challenge. Many Witches and Pagans alike have met a TON of “wannabe” practitioners. They’re a little jaded by that. Proving your commitment makes a huge difference.
Last but not least, maintain your sense of humor. Laughter is very good soul food, and it keeps you from taking everything too seriously. Yes, Witchcraft has responsibilities and moments when we need seriousness. Even so, if you can giggle about your mistakes and learn from them, you will be a MUCH better witch for it.