“Do not think you will necessarily be aware of your own enlightenment.”
For all our talk about magickal practices and ideologies, we rarely talk about spiritual growth in the equation. I think this might be because we’re using different words for that concept. Or, perhaps because we find it hard to verbalize the deeper internalization and awareness that our spiritual path brings. At the outset of your journey into Witchcraft, everything is NEW. As you settle into being a Witch, you will generally find you crave more — a sense that you’re really getting somewhere. That’s actually a great motivator. Don’t let your magical engine stall. Always look for growth-oriented opportunities.
A Witch’s Spiritual Progress & Questions to Consider
As a novice Witch succumbing to the ideas of whipping up magic for love, prosperity, fame, and fortune. Who doesn’t sometimes think about these things? But that’s simply not how spirituality works. When you suddenly go, “oh” it may feel like a momentary letdown. That’s ok. This might be a moment for reminding yourself what attracted you to magic and Witchcraft initially. A bit of introspection won’t hurt. Ask yourself the five W’s:
- Who do I admire in Witchcraft and Wicca (and why!)?
- What do I feel Witchcraft brings to my life?
- Where did you get off track (distraction? personal issues?
- When did my Craft studies or practices fall flat? What was going on in my life at that time?
- Why am I practicing this magical art and is it really meaningful?
If you are struggling with answers, reach out to people in your community who have been on the Path for a while. Their struggles and resulting stories can be truly inspirational.
Consider this: Our world spins by. One day turns into weeks. Before we know it, we lost track of our magical development altogether. We know something’s different, but can’t quite put our finger on it. Some folks feel they’ve gotten nowhere. Don’t worry – progress is often far more obvious to others than it is to ourselves. It might be as simple as the way you word things or interact with others. Maybe it appears in your actions, like recycling when it was never a real “thing” in your life. Witchcraft changes you, but those transformations are typically subtle.
With this in mind, the central question becomes, how do we gauge our spirituality. When does one truly become an adept Witch? The answer to this question begins with the definition of Adept, namely arrival. We are all arriving somewhere in our spiritual lives every day. Even small steps still mark forward movement. It’s time to pause for a moment and really begin to see those “arrivals” and honor them in our lives.
If you’re looking for some earmarks of progress, here’s a place to begin.
Signs of Witch’s Spiritual Growth
A person who is making positive spiritual progress and showing signs of becoming a truly adept Witch (or Pagan) typically exhibits:
- Balance: Find equilibrium between the mundane and mystical, the temporal and eternal in both thought and action.
- Respectfulness: Show honor, gratitude, and courtesy to others, Spirit, and to self when it’s well deserved (our Elders and Teachers come immediately to mind).
- Honesty: Be truthful even when it’s a difficult truth. Remember the rule: Know Thyself (there is a reason you keep seeing this advice)!
- Centering: Show strength and weakness, aptitude and failure, and remain wholly peaceful within.
- Realness: Walk the walk, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. A Witch is not simply something you “try on” – it is who you ARE.
- Reciprocity: Give something substantial back to your teachers or community. (This need not be the magical community, btw – your town or city works too. Acts of service are one of the languages of love).
- Sacredness: Live life as an act of worship.
- Judgement: Gauge spiritual progress by milestones in the heart (as opposed to measuring against others).
- Mindfulness: Be thoughtful, improvisational, aware, alert, responsible, graceful, and prayerful not just as needs arise, but as a way of life.
- Flexibility: Go with the flow, accepting the wonder of new circumstances and challenges as they arise.
- Conviction: Stand his or her ground when circumstances call for firmness.
- Global Thinking: Work for wholeness in self, others, and the Earth.
- KISS: Simplify. Fancy isn’t always better.
- Outreach: Offer assistance and insights freely.
- Humility: Work for the All, without the need for title or recognition.
Final Takeaway: Honoring the Milestones Along Your Spiritual Evolution
Every “old soul” that we’ve ever met never felt the need for bravado or fanfare. He or she seemed wholly comfortable with anonymity. When someone recognized a bit of wisdom-they just smile, nod knowingly, and rejoice. While this list certainly doesn’t constitute the whole picture, it’s a good place to begin.
And remember when you reach milestones and see that shift in yourself, by all means, celebrate doing so. It is something in which to rejoice.
Adapted from the “Witch’s Book of Wisdom,” by Patricia Telesco. All rights reserved.