5 Common Mistakes Made by Beginning Witches

Learning Witchcraft

Beginning Witchcraft can be a bit confusing, especially when you don’t have a mentor or any kind of guidance. It’s no surprise—if the Craft were the quick and easy way to deliver your heart’s desires to you, everyone would be using it. There is a reason why so many people say, “I tried Witchcraft, it doesn’t work!” This is because dabbling gets you nowhere. It’s a little like someone who has never played a musical instrument before coming into your house, banging on your piano for 30 minutes and proclaiming pianos don’t work because it didn’t play a song. The problem is not the instrument; the problem is you have to learn how to play it.

When you first begin learning, there are some common pitfalls you may want to avoid.

Learning Witchcraft

There's nothing wrong with making mistakes; just learn from them.
There's nothing wrong with making mistakes; just learn from them. | Source

Fictional Witchcraft

Real life Witchcraft is not like fantasy fiction.
Real life Witchcraft is not like fantasy fiction. | Source

I want to freeze time and shoot fireballs !

There’s no faster way to bring yourself down that unrealistic expectations. Witchcraft won’t make your brown eyes blue, it’s not going to make you taller or drop 100 pounds by next month. It won’t deliver your favorite celebrity to your door, or poof things into existence for you. It’s not going to solve all your problems, fulfill your dreams for you and make life easy and perfect. Forget what you saw in fiction—you are not going to be like Bewitched, or Harry Potter, or the Charmed Ones. It just doesn’t work that way.

This is why people get disappointed or renounce Witchcraft sometimes—just because you can’t turn your ex into a toad doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with the Craft; the problem is having unrealistic expectations of what the Craft is about. Someone skilled in the Craft can accomplish great things, but on a natural level, not on par with tall tales and Hollywood special effects.

We're not hiding the "real" spell books.

The most effective spells are the ones you learn to design for yourself.
The most effective spells are the ones you learn to design for yourself. | Source

Gimmie the ‘real’ spells!

Some beginners think that to start practicing Witchcraft means finding spells that ‘really work’. They want the fast and easy spells for beginners so they can get started. What they think they need to begin their career in the Craft is a ‘real spell book, with real spells.’

The mistake here is in thinking that spells will do anything for you without knowledge and skill behind what you’re doing. Spells are methods; they’re great, they’re like recipes. But before you can start using recipes—as any cook will tell you—you have to learn some basic cooking techniques. If a recipe tells you to braise the vegetables, it’s useless to you if you don’t know what braising is. If it tells you to caramelize the onions, you need to know how to achieve that, and what they should look like, before you can produce them.

Going for spells first is jumping the gun. The spells do not have power— the Witch is the one with the power; and knowledge is a major component of that power.

You Snooze, You Lose

Warning, Snooze Alert!
Warning, Snooze Alert! | Source

I don’t really need to meditate, do I?

Maybe you don’t. There are people who naturally are very attuned, extremely sensitive, who are instinctually able to alter their state of consciousness at will and maintain extensive focus. But the sad fact is, most of us – particularly most beginners – would not qualify.

If you think of meditation as sitting there doing nothing, I can totally see how you would feel it’s a waste of time and would not want to do it. However, the primary tool of Witchcraft is the mind, and training the mind is an essential part of learning the Craft. Mental training is something that’s not just a hurtle to get over, but will continue on for your lifetime, or for as long as you practice magical arts. Even those who resisted it in the beginning will, as their practice continues, realize the value of it and begin dedicating more time to it later (if they don't give up at all, that is). It's part of the package-- might as well get used to it.

Wicca Requires Study

If you don't like reading-- you may not like studying Witchcraft.
If you don't like reading-- you may not like studying Witchcraft. | Source

But I already read a book on The Craft, I don't need another.

Have you ever seen books that claim to be the only book on Witchcraft you’ll ever need? If so, put it back on the shelf. Good books on Witchcraft, good mentors, good sources will encourage you to read and read and then read some more. And you don’t just read things once, maybe twice—the really good, really tough reads should be read several times. Take notes, make lists and really study.

Hey, it’s not known as “the Craft of the Wise” for nothing. Wisdom doesn’t grow on trees.

Recommended Book

The Witch's Magical Handbook
The Witch's Magical Handbook

I'm not a regular fan of Gavin and Yvonne Frost. Some of their ideas about Wicca, and some highly controversial ideas about sex, have garnered them a lot of criticism, and rightfully so. I don't normally defend them in that, or recommend their Witch School at all.

That said, I have to give credit where credit is due. This book educational, insightful and understandable. I would offer caveats: this is not the typical 'white-washed' Wiccan-style stuff you'll find in the Llewellyn 101 books. People fed up with the Watered-Down approach to Witchcraft will probably appreciate this book, as will students of The Craft seeking true understanding.


Don't Get Hung Up

Books should be used as reference, not law!
Books should be used as reference, not law! | Source

But the book says to do it this way...

While I say ‘yay’ to reading books, I say ‘nay’ to taking them as scripture. Books are guides, they are not holy writ. Witchcraft is one of those things (like writing, or like cooking), that can be both an art and a science. It’s both creative and technical. It utilizes both the left and the right brain functions.

Therefore, learn from the book, but then fly with it. While books and study will give you a vast base of knowledge to draw on, wisdom is only gained through putting things to practice. You really will hone your skills by doing them—and tweaking them to suit you individually. Don’t let a book hold you back like a ball and chain—act with your own instincts, just do it in an informed and deliberate way.

This is by no means a comprehensive list. In fact, you can find even more on the topic in my other article: Witchcraft for Beginners: 7 More Mistakes Made by Beginning Witches. Pointing out mistakes is not meant to put anyone down—we all make mistakes when we start out (and even when we've been at it for a while!). But knowing what pitfalls to watch out for by being warned by those who have traveled before you can really help you steer clear of them, or recover from them quickly.

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Comments 30 comments

karthikkash profile image

karthikkash 3 years ago from India

Wonderful article as always :) Voted up.

WiccanSage profile image

WiccanSage 3 years ago Author

Thanks Karthikkash!

purescience profile image

purescience 3 years ago from india tamilnadu karur

thanks for your good article

WiccanSage profile image

WiccanSage 3 years ago Author

Thanks Purescience, I appreciate the comment!

anniekatz12 3 years ago

good article! my first time on Hub, so far all good stuff!

WiccanSage profile image

WiccanSage 3 years ago Author

Thanks Anniekatz, welcome to Hubs and I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Tembrooke profile image

Tembrooke 3 years ago from US/TN

Excellent advice for anyone studying a new life skill!

WiccanSage profile image

WiccanSage 3 years ago Author

Thank you Tembrooke, I appreciate your comment!

Kukata Kali profile image

Kukata Kali 3 years ago

The power as always been inside us. With a clear understanding and appreciation of nature (Earth & Cosmos), and a real desire to shift the energy, anything we do will work. Enjoyed your expression! Voted ^

WiccanSage profile image

WiccanSage 3 years ago Author

Thank you Kukata Kali, I appreciate your comments/votes. I agree-- we're born with the potential; it all comes down to whether we want to hone it, improve it and use it.

Kukata Kali profile image

Kukata Kali 3 years ago

You're welcome! Agreed totally~

d.william profile image

d.william 2 years ago from Somewhere in the south

Great article. I enjoyed the read. I did look into this practice many years ago, but it seemed way too complicated for my simple mind.

WiccanSage profile image

WiccanSage 2 years ago Author

LOL, d.william I'm sure you could have tackled it if you wanted. But it's true, it's not for everyone; very time-consuming and there's so many other awesome things to pursue in life. Thank you for your comment, I'm glad you enjoyed it.

SM OBrien profile image

SM OBrien 2 years ago

Very well done. Too many people who are new to The Craft have been mislead by fictional portrayals. They are then a bit crushed to learn how much reading, studying and work is truly involved. Also, to paraphrase Terry Pratchett's very wise Granny Weatherwax, it is more important to know when not to use a spell then to use one. A very good, very necessary hub.

WiccanSage profile image

WiccanSage 2 years ago Author

SM, great quote and so true. There's a lot of misinformation out there, and with fiction making it look so cool and easy it's very easy for people to misunderstand. Thanks again for your comments.

bethperry profile image

bethperry 2 years ago from Tennesee

Fantastic article on the subject, WiccanSage. And I am so glad you pointed out the mistake of dabbling. Dabbling isn't recommended in any other science, religion or activity if one wants to become adept at it, and the same holds for the Craft.

Voted up.

WiccanSage profile image

WiccanSage 2 years ago Author

Thanks bethperry; I totally agree, dabbling leads to so many messes it's not worth it. As for my niche-- it's why I started a hub page account. I mainly ghost write, but rarely on Wicca. I just wanted an outlet for a topic near and dear to my heart. Thanks for your votes & stopping by, much appreciated.

DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 2 years ago from Oakley, CA

Very good and useful information, presented in a no-nonsense, fact-based manner.

I had to chuckle at the Harry Potter comparison, and offer my own tongue-in-cheek explanation of that skill. Harry Potter and his schoolmates were not witches or warlocks; they were WIZARDS, and therein lies all the difference! ;-) LOL

I enjoyed this article, and appreciated your honest assessment of your reservations in the book you recommended. You are right--all the answers are not found in a single book--a mistaken belief held by many of the "non-witchy" religions.....

Voted up, useful, shared and pinned.

kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 2 years ago from the Ether

LOVE it! All great points! Thanks!

WiccanSage profile image

WiccanSage 2 years ago Author

Thank you DzyMsLizzy. As unbelievable as it is, there are kids that contact me sometimes asking if things in Harry Potter is real and if they can learn to do it. I don't know... it's beyond me. Thanks for commenting!

WiccanSage profile image

WiccanSage 2 years ago Author

Thank you Kitty, I appreciate it! Thanks for commenting.

Lisa 22 months ago

Im so thankful I found your articles!! I am a beginner on this journey. I've taken the long way to get here, but I have finally found my place! I am a sponge and all of your articles are so amazingly helpful and informative!! Thank you so much!

WiccanSage profile image

WiccanSage 22 months ago Author

Thanks Lisa, glad you are finding my articles useful!

Gabra Lilly 3 months ago

Awesome! Do you have any blog about witchcraft?

WiccanSage profile image

WiccanSage 3 months ago Author

Thanks Gabra; I've got a defunct blog about Wicca, a new blog about Spirituality/Witchcraft in general, and I've got a couple hundred articles on Witchcraft at Hubpages.

The best place to go is my website ( because you can link to it all through there-- look for the heading on 'web writing' for the links, the new blog entries show up at the bottom of the page.

Jennifer young 3 months ago

Good advice im just starting to learn about wicca

WiccanSage profile image

WiccanSage 3 months ago Author

Hi Jennifer; I'm glad you found my article useful. Thanks for commenting :o) ~Sage

Titanna 3 months ago

I am a polytheist, which means I believe what ever name you call it, god, allah, the goddess, nature, zeus or odin, it is all the same spiritual energy we put out into the universe. Witches just work with that force but always with the full knowledge and understanding of the three fold rule. Myself, when I make a spell it's comfort, or to remove negativity. Every Full moon a circle is walked around my house with unidolized sea salt and ground Maize. Any thing we put out in to the universe, be it petty, rude, or even happy and joyous comes back. I always feel sorry for those who want to be part of witchcraft for petty evil purposes. This is a wonderful article to help weed out the dabblers, the I want the world to go my way. I grew up in a house of witches, and learned as I grew. Comparing it to cooking was a wonderful anology! and both require commitment and attention to detail.

WiccanSage profile image

WiccanSage 3 months ago Author

Hi Titanna; thanks for your comments and sharing your beliefs.

Personally, I don't believe in the threefold rule. It's a more modern concept; I'm a bit more 'old school.' But I agree with you that if someone wants to wallow in petty or negative emotions, they're not going to be very happy people. We have to be mindful of ethics and intentions, both in The Craft and any other area of life.

Lannah 7 weeks ago

Always helpful! Thank you. I don't meditate enough, but my instincts have guided me well. I've always read and researched (i actually love research) to find as much information as my little heart desires. I've always tried to find things that feel right to me and not get caught up in what everyone else is doing. My dreams also seem to guide me. I had seen Hecate in my dream when I was confused about something. The confusion was pretty well cleared after that :)

Thank you so much and Blessed Be!

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