How to become a Witch is one of the major questions asked when they are just discovering the Craft. The answer to that question is one does not become a Witch.....they are a Witch, and it is just reaching down and finding it within them. It is not a matter of "becoming" a Witch, but finding the Witch within and, while the answer is quite simple, yet; to some, it can be quite complex. For me, ever since I was a small child I had been fascinated with the mysterious Moon and the magick of the night. The mysteries surrounding a Witch was something that I did not frighten me but made me want to know more about this wort-nosed old hag portrayed in books and even movies. Finding your Witch self inside is really not difficult once you find that inner Witch within. But that is where it must come from and not from any book that you read. Reading books, joining covens and/or someone who initiates one into Witchcraft does not make one a Witch. It is you and you alone. One does not have to be initiated to a Witch. One has to be initiated to be a Wiccan because Gardner's Wicca created it that way. However, Witchcraft and Wicca are not one and the same. Finally, after many books being written on the supposedly Old Religion once called Witchcraft and now called Wicca, some people started doing their homework instead of parroting other books. They did their homework by research and found the true "truth about Witchcraft." Once you discover and decided that you are a Witch, you are deciding to embrace a life-enhancing and joyful spiritual path. You are declaring that you are willing to experience the wonders of the magickal web and encounter the Goddess. You are daring to be different in a way that facilitates your growth and empowers you. Most importantly, you are stepping into the spiral dance of life, celebrated by Witches all over the world. But remember, Witchcraft is really not a religion but the practicing of one's Craft. But because the Moon is so important to magick and Pagans love the Moon Goddess of many names, they combine the two to make one. Also, magick can be a very spiritual thing.
Becoming a Witch means learning how to work ritual and magick, methods of raising, containing and releasing power, how to work with the energies of the moon and earth and the principles of sympathetic magick upon which most Witchcraft magick is based.
Witches are very unique individuals and some, no....... many, might call us strange. We look at life differently; we live life differently; and we experience life differently. We find beauty and laughter in the simplest things. We believe that magick is in life itself.
Some people who become interested in Witchcraft have expectations that Witches are gifted with amazing powers as the result of a particular ceremony or spell. The truth is more mundane than the fantasy. Witchcraft is about growing within your own spirituality, making contact with the web of magick, learning how to weave, and observing the way the world works. Witchcraft is about working with natural energies, observing how they work, and determining how you can gently divert them and not about moving things around at will.
The decision to become a Witch is not one you should take lightly. It is not a persona you can put on or take off at will. Witchcraft becomes your whole life and can drastically change your perception of the world in which you live. Becoming a Witch will affect everything and everyone around you. That it will affect them positively does not alter the fact that you will relate to them differently and you should be prepared for this.
To become a Witch is to become changed within yourself and a changer of things outside you. This is your inner magick. Encountering the Goddess, working with magick and connecting with nature will take a lot of time and energy until it becomes second nature to you. You may find that you get angry with those people who do not understand Witchcraft or paint it as "evil" but you will have to resist putting them right until you have grasped some of the key concepts for yourself. This can be achieved only through experience and this means practicing patience which means embracing the Crone energies of wisdom and patience, and this can take quite some time.
Once your decision is made, you have already stepped onto the path of Witchcraft. The next step depends on the type of person you are. If you are a fiery, adventurous sort of person, you will probably wish to throw yourself into studying everything at once. You will want to read everything you get your hands on, hoping that the more you read, the more experience you will have and the wiser you will be. Unfortunately, experience and wisdom work together and that comes with life experiences which comes with age. That is why so much emphasis is put on the Crone for her having wisdom. She has experienced life; she has stumbled and fell and picked herself up over the years until she hardly falls anymore. She has learned when it is time to speak and when it is time to be silent. She is the Raven and the Owl all rolled into one. The Raven is very vocal whereas the owl practices silence and is silent in everything that it does. If you are more cautious or laid back, you may wish to learn gradually and thoroughly. One of the lessons that the Craft has to teach is to be resourceful.
So, I think the best place to start is within your heart and soul. I am not talking about being a pagan but a Witch. Being a pagan and being a Witch are two separate things. Pagans tend to work more with the Sabbats and attend celebrations and many now call themselves Wiccans. There are many pagans who do not have anything to do with magick. You may have heard that old saying that all Witches are pagans but not all pagans were Witches. That is because before the God of Abraham came and then later Christianity, most people were pagans and their beliefs were centered around agriculture, because most were farmers. However, you then had your mid-wives and healing women, who were pagans, who attended to the towns people when they were sick or when a woman became with child. These wise women were also consulted when women wished not to have a child. They consulted these women from birthing to healing the sick through herbs which were grown and tended to by these women. The wise women grew and harvested their herbs by the Moon and lived also by the Moon. These wise women were also consulted for divination purposes and potions. Years later these wise women were called Witches and later on, they were tortured and burned. See Crone Turns Witch for a more in-depth reading.
My first suggestion would be to get in touch with the Moon and knowing when She is full and dark, and when She is waning or waxing. Notice how you feel when the moon moves through the phases. Do not feel that the only time to do magick and work with Her energies is when the moon is waxing to full. You can work with Her energies any time of the month. I seem to come more alive when the Moon moves into Her waning phase and up to Dark Moon, whom many call New Moon. But that might be because I was born on a Balsamic Moon (Dark Moon). I prefer to call the Moon what it is....dark, and give it back to the Crone, where it belongs, and give the New Moon back to the Maiden, where it belongs, when it is the first thin sliver in the sky. I also burn a white candle when the Moon starts to wax in honor of the Maiden; I burn a red candle when the Moon is full in honor of the Mother; and I burn a black candle on the Dark of the Moon in honor of the Goddess. You will be surprised how this helps you to be connected with the Moon and with the Goddess all at the same time.
My second suggestion is to read and read as many books as you can. We are so fortunate in this day and age to have the abundance of books on the Craft. Even if you are not Wiccan, there is a lot of material to be found in books on Wicca. I think the most informative book and a must to have in every Witche’s library is Scott Cunningham’s "Wicca, A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner." His book is very easy to follow, and he explains the art of ritual design, the Witche’s tools and many other important things. If it is magick you want, then besides Hecate’s Cauldron, you will find Scott Cunningham’s Book of Incense, Oils and Brews is yet another must to have sitting on your Witche’s cupboard. But keep the spiders away, as they love this book! There is also another wonderful book by Shekhinah Mountainwater entitled "Ariadne's Thread." It is a workbook of Goddess magick and many Witches today are discovering this wonderful book.
I would also suggest to jump right into ritual work and doing spells as well. As mentioned above, Scott Cunningham's books are excellent for the beginning Witch. Remember, practice makes perfect. There are many new in the Craft who are afraid to do magick, fearing that they might do something wrong. Witches of yesteryear lived quite, simple lives and their magick was simple as well. Many did not even do rituals when they performed a spell. They were Witches and not magicians. If you follow the cycles of the moon and do magick according to those cycles, you have accomplished half the battle. A little homework, and you will be fine. Also, in my Witchraft section of this website, I have a provided a step by step ritual set up as well as a Full and Dark Moon Rituals along with a page on Candle magick.
If possible, growing herbs not only for cooking but for medicinal purposes as well is very rewarding for a Witch. Did you know that during the Burning Times, any woman having the herb Basil in her cupboard was considered a Witch? I love Basil and have it growing in my herb box, as well as Thyme, Oregano, Rosemary, and Dill. Learn to know the magickal properties of herbs, and as you sprinkle these herbs in the cauldron on your stove, cast that magick into the food that you and your family eat. When I drink hazelnut coffee, I charge my coffee for my psyche, as hazelnut is good for psychic abilities. Cinnamon is also great for psychic abilities. . I always drink cinnamon tea before I do tarot readings. As you sprinkle nutmeg and cinnamon into your apple pies, charge your pies as well to help you in your psychic ability. If you cannot grow the herbs, there is always fresh herbs in your local grocery store. However, one small potted plant of a particular herb will give you much satisfaction. There is so much a Witch can do while cooking on the stove in her cauldrons!
As far as computers are concerned, I consider my computer a form of cauldron where I conjure and stir things up. There are many Witches who have a special magickal name for their computers, as do I.
There are more and more Witches wishing to connect more with the Moon and Her energies and walking Her path. Walking the path of the Goddess is a very simple one and it is very spiritual and brings you inner peace because it is through the Goddess that you will find this. So, get out in the fresh air and see all Her beauty and nature all around you and that includes the leaveless trees in winter to the bursting foliage in the spring for the Goddess is not only the Moon but nature itself and She is Mother Earth, and She is the seasons. More information on the Goddess path can be found on The Path of the Goddess.
You can also start each day with a prayer to the Goddess to give you strength and wisdom throughout the day and at the end of each day say a pray thanking Her for giving you the strength and wisdom. You can also light a sacred candle in Her honor each night when you get home from work. You can burn a scented candle as well. I burn a scented candle depending on what the Moon is doing. When the moon is waning, each night I light a candle scented with cloves to banish negativity and when the moon is waxing, I burn a scented candle to bring abundance into my life.
I would also like to add that you really do not need "magickal tools" in order to be a Witch. Tools are nice to have and work with; however, they are not necessary. Everything you need is inside of you. Tools belong in the category of ceremonial magicians and Wiccans. Gerald Gardner was a Free Mason and belonged to the Golden Dawn. The Golden Dawn pulled things from The Key of Solomon. Witches of yesteryear were simple folk who used what they had in and around the house. And during the Burning Times, it could cost them their lives to have "magickal tools." Witchcraft is of the heart, mind and soul and not from magickal tools.
The sky is the limit, because we Witches reach for the sky~so fly!
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