Witchcraft has become extremely popular over the last 30 years or so. In 1990, it was estimated that there were about 8,000 people in the US who practiced witchcraft.
Today, it's estimated that there are about 1.5 million people who practice.
While we don't know the exact reason witchcraft has grown so much in popularity over the years, the growth certainly does not come as a surprise. After all, who wouldn't want to delve into a highly intuitive way of life; connecting with nature and harnessing the energies within their environment?
So, if you feel called down the path, how exactly do you get started?
Read on to learn how to begin your journey into the practice of witchcraft.
What is a Witch?
First of all, let's talk a little bit about what exactly a witch is, as there are a lot of misconceptions out there.
When most people think of witches, they think of broomsticks, cauldrons, and old ladies with big warts running around and casting spells on their enemies (Thank you, Hocus Pocus).
But, the truth is that witchcraft in real life is much different than the witchcraft you see in movies.
To put it simply, witchcraft is the practice of magick. This isn't to be confused with magic, which is what magicians do. Magick is a series of techniques a witch uses to harness energy (both external and internal) in order to change one's surroundings as well as one's self.
It's also important to note that being a witch is not the same thing as being Wiccan. Unlike witchcraft, Wicca is a religion. However, it is common to meet witches who are Wiccan and vice versa.
And most importantly, anyone can become a witch. Witchcraft is truly for everyone.
Now that we have shone a light on what witchcraft is, let's dive into how to become a witch.
Understand the Different Types of Witchcraft
First things first, there are many flavors of witchcraft. Your flavor, may not be my flavor. You may wish to decide what kind of witch you want to be.
While there certainly is no rule stipulating that you can only practice one type of witchcraft, choosing one area to focus on can consecrate your learning and your overall practice.
Common types of witchcraft include:
Those who practice green witchcraft focus on nature, earth, and the elements. Green witches use soil, plants, flowers, trees, and herbs for both magickal and medicinal purposes. They also draw many of their practices from folk magick and use items growing within their personal gardens.
This is a practical form of witchcraft that uses herbs and other natural objects that are found within the kitchen and garden. Kitchen witches tend to use their magick to help create both magickal and medicinal remedies.
Started by Gerald Gardner in the 1950s, Gardnerian witchcraft is a part of the neopagan religion of Wicca. Unlike other types of witchcraft, in order to become a Gardnerian witch, one must be initiated by someone who is already a member.
Like green witchcraft, hedge witchcraft is nature-focused. It also unites aspects such as astral projection, shamanism, midwifery, and healing. Hedge witches also tend to serve as mediums between our world and the spirit world.
Dianic witchcraft is centered around a Greek goddess, Diana. Dianic witches worship goddesses from many different cultures and they consider these goddesses to be all a part of one Goddess. Many Dianic witches have adopted a feminist perspective that informs their practice.
Eclectic witchcraft is arguably the most popular form of witchcraft, as it involves mixing different types of witchcraft in order to suit the individual needs and abilities of the witch.
Hit the Books
Many people assume that becoming a witch simply means giving yourself the title of witch and then casting the occasional spell. This would be like buying yoga pants and mala beads, and calling yourself a yogi.
But the truth is, becoming a witch takes a lot of hard work, discipline, and time. Therefore, after you decide which kind of witchcraft you are interested in, it's time to start studying.
In order to learn about your craft, get your hands on as many books and articles as possible. Thanks to the internet, you can now watch videos online about becoming a witch, and you can even take witchcraft courses.
Being a novice witch can be very overwhelming, so it's also a good idea to find a guide. An experienced witch can recommend reading, teach you some techniques for spells, and encourage you along your journey.
Gather Your Witchcraft Supplies
Of course, you may also wish to buy some supplies in order to practice magick and cast spells.
While you don't need to buy everything at once, here are some of the most common witchcraft supplies and tools:
- Mortar and pestle: These are used to mix herbs and other ingredients in order to create your blends and remedies.
- Crystals: Crystals can help purify a sacred space before a ritual, as well as provide healing and protection.
- Wand: This is a short stick (often selected from specific trees) used to cast a circle
- Salt: Typically used to cast a protective circle
- Book of Shadows: This is where you will organize and record things you are learning within the craft, as well as spells and rituals.
- Herbs: These are used in spell workings, rituals, and magickal preparations.
- God and Goddess statues: Used to decorate the altar and as a focal point during rituals, to draw attention to a particular god or goddess
- Altar: This is where you will hold sacred space, practice your craft, as well as keep your crystals, statues, and other witchcraft supplies
While there is more we could include on this list, these are the basic supplies witches use. As you refine your area of focus, you will have a better idea of the supplies that your brand of witchery calls for.
What About Casting Spells?
Now, you're probably wondering, "Ok, but how do I cast a spell?"
The truth is, as frustrating as it sounds, there is no exact answer on how to cast a spell. This is because every witch is different and every witch has their own path. This means that a spell that works for one witch may not work for another.
Learning to cast spells that work for you takes research, practice, and introspection.
That being said, it can help to have some basic guidelines to get started. Then, you can tweak spells based on your own individual needs.
This Simple Pleasures in Life spell is a great place to start.
How to Become a Witch: Are You Ready?
As you can see, becoming a witch and practicing witchcraft involves a lot more than just waving a wand around.
If you have any questions about how to become a witch, please let us know in the comments below.
Otherwise, be sure to check out the shop to gather the basic supplies you will need to get you started on the path to practicing witchcraft.
Written By: Feather, Owner of The Witch's Guide.
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