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A Witchcraft Primer: Magic and Spellcasting Basics

Updated on August 10, 2017
WiccanSage profile image

Sage has been a Witch for 25 years. As a teacher and writer, she enjoys writing informative articles to teach others the Craft of the Wise.

Spell Casting

A lot of people want to learn Witchcraft because they think it's going to be a quick and easy way to rewards. They think you follow instructions to light a candle, say a few words, and boom-- stuff happens.

It doesn't quite work that way-- spells are a little like recipes. You can try to follow along, but if you aren't familiar with the ingredients, if you don't understand the techniques, if you don't have a basic understanding of the methods or practice very much, it will be hit or miss.

In fact, the more you rely on the recipe, without really learning what makes them work, the more misses you'll have than hits.

When you get a recipe at that stage, you don't even know enough about cooking to know if it's any good, or if it's flawed. If you can't find the exact ingredients, or the right tool, you aren't really sure what to do or how it will affect the outcome of the dish. All you can do is cross your fingers and hope for the best. Even if it comes out good one time, you don't know why so you can't really repeat it.

You want to get beyond the stage of using other people's recipes-- you want to really learn how to cook. You want to learn to understand the ingredients, the tools, you want to hone those skills so that you don't have to stand there reading someone else's instructions-- you can achieve your own vision of a dish, because you have learned what to do.

Witchcraft, like any other skills, requires more than just following "recipes"-- or in this case, spells that other people write down. It's not enough to just trust it, follow instructions and hope for the best. It requires that you learn, it requires that you become familiar with the ingredients (components), the tools, the techniques.

Here, I'd like to provide you with a Witchcraft primer to give you an overview of the kinds of things involved.

Learn to Cast Spells

magic and witchcraft
magic and witchcraft | Source

Theory in Witchcraft

Practicing Witchcraft is only enhanced by also studying theory. I know a lot of people aren't all that thrilled about studying or reading in-depth explanations for things, but it really pays off big time.

As mentioned before, putting the right ingredients together gives you hit or miss results. Understanding what you are doing, and why you are doing it, increases your success rate. It helps you understand what you're doing on many levels. It's easier to spot those spells that will work, and those that are flawed; it's easier to design your own for your specific purposes. It's easier to work with your tools and components, the more you learn.

So the reading really pays off. There are a lot of schools of thought when it comes to magic and how it works, which is also why it pays to read a lot of different books that don't just offer spells, but offer explanations, theory, philosophies.

So read up; get a notebook, and a highlighter (or a colored pencil, as I prefer) for underlining key concepts, and hit the books.

Great Book on Magic

The Compleat Magical Path Magic Lessons
The Compleat Magical Path Magic Lessons

For beginners seeking to learn the basic principles, this modest little Kindle book is an excellent resource. Cross breaks it all down beautifully.

 

Learning Witchcraft: Strengthening the Mind

The most important tool for Witchcraft is not the cauldron, nor the candle, nor is it even the spell book. It's the mind.

The stronger you can make your mind, the better a Witch you will be. It's important to learn how to:

  • maintain focus for long periods
  • move at will from one state of consciousness to another
  • access untapped parts of the conscious and subconscious more easily
  • hone your sensory perceptions
  • manipulate energy (raising, holding, releasing, directing)

The way you strengthen your mind is the same way you would strengthen any other muscles-- you have to 'exercise' it.

Believe it or not, common brain teasers and puzzles are a good part of that. Reading is another really good part to strengthen your mind-- think of it as proper nourishment.

There are also psychic exercises* to help you improve your mental abilities. Many exercises teach you how to use all your senses, as well as your extra-senses. They also teach you how to sense and gain control over energy.

Probably the best way to strengthen the mind is the M-word; that's right-- meditation*. I know a lot of people don't like that word, and are not patient enough to master the process, but meditation for the mind is akin to weight training for the body.

Keep in mind, meditation is not all about sitting still, wiping the mind blank and being bored for an hour. There are many different focal points, many meditative techniques, and for those who don't like to sit still there is even moving meditations. If you're going to practice Witchcraft, you should consider at least giving it a try.

Magic Doesn't Come from Tools

Magic comes from knowledge
Magic comes from knowledge | Source

Tools of the Craft

Most people think of traditional Wiccan tools when it comes to tools of the Craft; and many of these tools were inherited from ceremonial magic. They do work well, however they're not all absolutely necessary.

Ideally, you should learn about your tools, experiment with them, and decide which ones best suit you and your needs. There is no point in getting a cauldron if you don't think you're ever going to need one; however, for some of us (and I raise my own hand here) the cauldron is an indispensable tool. It all comes down to personal style and preference.

Witchcraft can be very basic; for someone with an extremely well-disciplined mind, it can be practiced without tools at all. However, most Witches will find the need to use tools for focus, symbolism, energy manipulation or to draw and borrow energies. In fact, starting out, you may find yourself relying more on your tools, and then dropping that dependency as your mind grows stronger and stronger, and you find you don't need them as much anymore.

Early on, however, is definitely the time to read up on tools and experiment with those that pique your interest.

Witchcraft Ingredients and Components

If we go back to our cooking analogy, your tools of the Craft are like your kitchen tools-- your frying pot, your knife, your cutting board and whisk. Your components are your "ingredients" for your magical working.

Once again, this is a matter of preference. Some Witches prefer to work with herbs, some with crystals, some with symbols. It's fine at the beginning to follow your gut instinct; if one particularly attracts you, you will probably have better success with it than trying to work with something that makes you feel uncomfortable.

Remember that you don't have to go grabbing a lot of wild, exotic ingredients-- in ancient times, people did not have Amazon.com or the local New Age shop. They used what they had available.

What's most important is that you learn and become accustomed to (through practice) the unique properties of the various components with which you choose to work. This also makes them much easier to substitute when they're not available.

Great Magic Resource

Llewellyn's 2018 Moon Sign Datebook: Weekly Planning by the Cycles of the Moon
Llewellyn's 2018 Moon Sign Datebook: Weekly Planning by the Cycles of the Moon

Llewellyn's guide not only gives some great articles, but a moon sign calendar so that you can perfectly time your magical workings throughout the year.

 

Corresopondences

Last but not least, it's important to understand correspondences so that you can properly plan and time your workings.

Astrological correspondences-- the moon phases, moon signs, planetary hours, etc.-- are among the most important to learn. You don't actually have to learn to read someone's full Astrological natal chart, but you need to understand how to apply these different phases to your workings. They lend a tremendous amount of power, particularly for someone new. Trying to send energy for your intent during a time when opposing energies and influences are present can just result in clashing energies-- which disperse and are rendered ineffective. They can cancel each other out. Working with the proper timing lends your spell additional energies conducive to your intent.

Other correspondences you will want to familiarize yourself with include the elements, the directions, symbols, gender, deities, tools, and of course with whatever components with which you have chosen to work.

It's a good idea to begin keeping a chart of such things, either in your Book of Shadows, your spell book or whatever record-keeping system you may employ. Keeping track really helps you repeat your successes, and it also makes spell planning a lot easier because you'll have one convenient place to look up all the information.

Of course, just like a chef may run purely on intuition sometimes, grabbing ingredients and throwing them into a pan, you can, too-- you don't always have to stick to formula. But again, to do this successfully requires a certain amount of knowledge, familiarity with the process, tools and components, and skills that you've developed over time.

But keep in mind-- they don't call it the Craft of the Wise for nothing; To earn the title, and use the Craft to your greatest benefit, takes time, study and practice. We all make mistakes along the way (I outlined some common beginner mistakes here) but that's part of the learning process; don't let them discourage you. Little by little, you'll get there.

© 2013 Mackenzie Sage Wright

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      Kamil 5 days ago

      Hey, i am a new witch, and i wanted to ask how to use herbs, like you have to protection herbs. Can you mix it together? What herbs you can't mix together? I am intrested in this type of magic, and i want to know more about it.

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      ivy 11 days ago

      i always wanted to be just like my mom. She was called a witch in high school because she was gothic and people would ask her to put a spell on someone for them most of the time they worked. I always wanted to do that to be just like her and know i can. thank you for helping me with my witchcraft.

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      Shauni 3 weeks ago

      I have always felt a connection with witchcraft. I feel like i have always had the ability I just haven't really taken the time to learn or practice any of it. I'm just wondering if you could possibly tell me a few things i may need to get started. I don't know anyone around me that has practiced the craft and I am in need of all the help i can get. Thank you so much.

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      Mackenzie Sage Wright 3 weeks ago

      Hi Christian; that would best be achieved starting with a good meditation regime. There is no 'the' spell for anything... there's lots of spells, you can write spells yourself too, if you know what you're doing. Whether they work or not are going to depend on 1) the person who wrote it knowing what they were doing and 2) the person asting it knowing what they're doing.

      But no spells are going to give you abilities; you can use spells to help you as you work toward learning a skill, like communing with spirits; what's going to be more important first is a good meditation regime. Work on things like grounding and centering, too, because you need to learn to raise your vibrations to communicate with spirits. And of course, learn to shield yourself well. Best to start practicing by contacting your spirit guides, who will help you take it from there.

      Hope that helps!

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      Christian 3 weeks ago

      So I have just recently started wanting to do witchcraft. Something's came up and I really need to start using it. I was wondering if you knew the spell on how to see into the spirit world. So if you do know anything about that I would love to know. Also ik it will take time to get strong enough to do that, but im willing to put in the work.

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      Melissa 4 weeks ago

      Awesome

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      QuittyQuat 2 months ago

      Thank you very, very much for taking the time to do that! I was thrilled to learn that I have two of them already. But I will work on getting the ones I don't have. Thank you again, QQ

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      Mackenzie Sage Wright 2 months ago

      Hi QQ; sounds like you're definitely ready! Let's see if I can break these down.

      Books Recommendations:

      Magic

      Spellcaster by Martin Duffy and Elen Hawke

      The Compleat Magical Path by John Cross

      Real Magic by Isaac Bonewits

      No Boundary by Ken Wilbur

      Christopher Penczak is a good modern author, just about everything I've read by him has been good.

      Aleister Crowley had great insights, though is hard to read.

      That's more of an issue of understanding what you're doing, so you can figure out for yourself what you think you need.

      http://thirdmonk.net/knowledge/seven-great-hermeti...

      You can also find the Kybalion online, keeping in mind it's Ceremonial magic (high magic), not Witchcraft (low magic). But still a great read for understanding how magic works: http://www.sacred-texts.com/eso/kyb/index.htm

      http://www.psychicsuniverse.com/articles/mind-body...

      I haven't read any specific books dedicated to this topic; might want to read an overview and just poke around at different articles (not just magical view, also psychology view-- read up on the consciousness, and the subconscious mind)

      The Miracle of Mindfulness" by Thich Nhat Hanh

      Meditation for Dummies... yes, really. Covers the basics clearly.

      Meditation for Beginners by Jack Kornfield is good. Recently read that.

      There's tons of great free websites on meditation, as well as youtube videos that offer guided meditations. Reading is great but practicing even a few minutes per day will get you further.

      Haven't really read many books dedicated to these topics specifically, more read articles/found them in various books. I really learned working with a coven through hands-on training and practice.

      No, some don't even bother with circles. Some would never do magic outside of a circle. Personal preference.

      I will usually cast circles for Wiccan rituals (esbats, sabbats, etc.), and if it's all up, it's where I plan to do any spellwork.

      If I'm not holding a ritual I simply go to my spell altar, I don't bother with a circle unless I feel I need one.

      You don't have to have a permanent altar for magic; it's convenient but not required. Work with the space you have, if you need to set things up each time because you can't leave stuff out, then do that.

      For most stuff, sure, but I'd be careful on a bed if something involves candles/incense ;o) fire hazard.

      All of it-- the doing (rather than the studying/reading/notetaking). Whether you're casting elaborate spells, or doing a bit of folk magic, or just playing with energy... it's practice.

      That's a personal call. It's your wand, you're the only one who has to be satisfied with its energies.

      Thanks for your comments, glad to be of help!

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      QuittyQuat 2 months ago

      Hi, I have been collecting/investing in a variety of books on witchcraft and have begun reading some with the intent to read them all in time. However, I have felt stuck for awhile, not knowing where to begin (as a beginner to the craft). So, like prayer :-), sometimes getting the answer you need from the internet requires the right question for your search. Well, I finally got the right search question that led me to your articles! Yay! Finally, a starting point! So I read the Witchcraft Primer article and have some questions that I hope you will answer. You recommended that beginners study theory, explanations, and philosophies. I was wondering if you could recommend some good books on these subjects? You also mentioned in one of your answers "why a witch might choose to use an item and the purpose it serves." Could you recommend books for this information as well? I also read in some of your comments, "all is mind - First Hermetic Principle, Hermetic laws, states of consciousness, astral travel/projection, meditation, and scrying." So again, could you please direct me to helpful books on these topics as well? I have wanted to practice, but don't know where to begin. Is it always necessary to create a circle first? or have an altar? Or, can I simply sit on my bed and practice there? Also, when you mention practice, what exactly does that mean? Practice memorizing spells, focusing energy,...? Plus a very trivial question: when I finally start creating my own wand, does the knife I use need to be consecrated, cleansed, charged, etc in a circle? I'm probably putting too much emphasis on unimportant issues, but I just want to do this correctly. Thank you for the articles. I'm planning to read as many of them as I can. :-)

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      Mackenzie Sage Wright 3 months ago

      Hi Alohamora. Is it true? Truth is relative, isn't it?

      Witchcraft is a spiritual art many people practice. Yes, Witches exists even if you don't believe in them; just like Jews exist even if you don't believe in God. We are people with beliefs and practices.

      Spells work, but not like they do in fiction. They are rooted in nature and psychology. They don't make things go poof; they just help increase your odds of achieving your goals in more natural ways.

      I don't have to prove anything... I know what I believe. I don't really care if someone else believes it or not. You should follow what you believe. If you don't believe in Witchcraft, don't study/practice it.

      Harry Potter is fiction.... it has nothing to do with with my articles. I enjoy stories as much as the next person, and it would be lovely if I could flick a wand and get the dishes to scrub themselves clean, but that is not the reality I believe in, nor is it what I try to do with my spiritual practice.

      Hope that helps :o)

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      Alohamora 3 months ago

      Is this website true? And does witches really exist? And does spells actually work? How can you prove it? Is this just a harry potter thing?

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      Mackenzie Sage Wright 3 months ago

      It all works on the same principles, Cerise, so use the tools that you feel most drawn to right now... you can always expand/learn by practicing with other types of tools later.

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      Cerise25 3 months ago

      I am trying to figure out if I want to go into herb magic, crystal magic, or something else. Should I try experimenting to see what works best or should I just trust my gut?

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      Peanut 3 months ago

      Oh okay, I see. Thank you for the info! :)

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      Mackenzie Sage Wright 3 months ago

      Generally I just get impressions when I scry; but they come from my spirit guides and sometimes I add questions to go deeper into a topic. I certainly wouldn't rule out trying, as it's an art and everyone is going to experience it a little differently. When I need to have a real one-on-one with someone I either do it in a deep trance or with my pendulum. Don't be afraid to experiment, esp. when contacting your spirit guides who are going to want to help you develop your skills.

      Thanks for your comments Peanut :o)

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      Peanut 3 months ago

      Yes, that helps a lot! Thank you! I have one more if you don't mind. I read that one can also communicate with spirits, spirit guides, and gods through scrying. Is that true or do you merely see images?

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      Mackenzie Sage Wright 3 months ago

      Hi Peanut; things like astral travel and scrying are generally safe; AT is something we do naturally (sometimes when we sleep). Scrying is merely trying to exercise intuition and can't hurt you. You might not always like what you see, but it's not going to be dangerous.

      I would caution beginner Witches when working with blood magic (nothing wrong with it specifically, just very powerful- kind of like you wouldn't use a chainsaw to cut your steak, lol), curses/hexing (which is, unfortunately, sometimes necessary; but caution should be exercised), or when attempting to contact spiritual beings with whom they're not familiar (Gods, spirit guides, etc. are generally safe). Even if beings are not specifically malevolent, they can bring trouble, mischief, etc.

      Hope that helps.

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      Peanut 3 months ago

      I found your article very informative. Just a quick question...for a beginning witch who has worked to strengthen their mind through meditation and a lot of other exercises you mentioned, would scrying and astral projection be too big of a leap? Are there any techniques that should only be done by those who are experienced?

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      Mackenzie Sage Wright 4 months ago

      Hi Jeah; definitely familiarize yourself with the understanding of how it all works (hermetic laws, states of consciousness, etc.) and mentally discipline yourself with a good meditation regime.

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      Jade Houston 4 months ago

      Hi Wiccan Sage, first of this page is very informative and is a great help to me. Okay so I have been interested in the craft since a young age when me Dad showed me his Tarot deck, I started to study recently and have learnt alot about the important day's, moon phases, deities, tools, types of magick and some takes on the Rede. I thinking of using herbs in my workings and was wondering if there is anything else I should learn before I begin to learn casting techniques?

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      Mackenzie Sage Wright 4 months ago

      Hi; most likely nothing. Magic works, but I don't believe it works like that (being able to transport molecules).If I wanted to get somewhere, I wouldn't waste my time trying to teleport... I'd cast spells to get money for a plane ticket ;o) hope that helps.

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      Shadow piercing 4 months ago

      What would happen if you did a teleporition spell and you did it wrong?

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      Mackenzie Sage Wright 4 months ago

      I've been on internet hiatus, so just answering a few I have missed:

      Theophrastus Baumast: Thank you for the rosary information but as I've mentioned before, I'm not a Christian. I'm a Pagan (Wiccan, specifically). It's a little off topic here though.

      Annica: best way to get in touch with me is through my website wicclit.com or through my email mackenziesagewright@wicclit.com.

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      Mackenzie Sage Wright 4 months ago

      Kate; practices... for some people it'll take more time and practice than other. It can take months of daily practice to learn to get into a deep meditation, so just start with whatever you're able to do now and keep doing it daily.

      Countdowns or visualizations of you going down can also help get you down deeper, but first you have to beat the distraction part. But try counting yourself down from 10-1, or count down while envisioning chakra colors (red 8, orange 7, yellow 6, etc.), or envision yourself walking down a staircase (I see it as a spiral staircase), or in an elevator going down.

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      kate 4 months ago

      do u have any tips on how to go into deep meditation, with out getting easily distracted

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      Mackenzie Sage Wright 4 months ago

      Hi magical man; you could obviously do it either way, but myself I would do both. I'd get a money spell going, and then at another time I'd cast for a house, because that could open opportunities (ie, running into someone who just happens to be planning to put his home on the market, etc.).

      As for consciousness, I start with light alpha as I prepare and get things going, such as if I am casting a circle or calling on deities/spirits. When I come to energy raising portion I go deep into Alpha or the Alpha/Theta border, and into Theta for any deep meditations.

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      magical man 4 months ago

      If I want an apartment or house should I cast a spell for those items or should I just cast a spell for enough money to afford them?...also do you personally get into they a gamma sync before or while casting a spell?

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      Annica 5 months ago

      I would like to talk with you mackenzie sage wright. How can I get in touch with you.

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      Mackenzie Sage Wright 8 months ago

      Hi Jennifer; protection spells can be effective, but it sounds like you are overlooking the basics: grounding, centering & shielding. If you're shaky on those skills, then it could be why your protection spells are failing. Might want to look into practicing and strengthening those abilities first.

      ~Blessings,

      Sage

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      Jennifer 8 months ago

      Hi im a beginner in someway to witchcraft. I've always leaned more towards wiccan beliefs an herbs but somethin is really becming a persistant problem. Im like a medium an can feel energies moreso then average people as a beginner what the way to stop this my protection spells are NOT working against attacks. Demons, spirits whichever you wanna call it are now invading my dreams as well as physical reality what can i do???

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      mariaopheliaamoro 10 months ago

      Thank you. Thank you so much. :D

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      Mackenzie Sage Wright 10 months ago

      Hi Bree; no problem.

      You might want to work on your mental state first. "All is Mind" (the first Hermetic principle). Your thoughts will send out energy before, during and after a spell. If you're sending out energy of frustration, doubts, lacking confidence, etc., it's not going to be very beneficial to your efforts. Affirmations and meditations to help reprogram the mindset can be useful.

      Yes, you should definitely study and research before practicing, but also work on training the mind. That's where it all is. The more skilled someone becomes in magic, the less they need rituals and tools and props, because they can just sit and focus on their goals in meditation and achieve the same results. The mind is the most essential tool, it must be fine-tuned. You should try to build confidence before you start practicing actively.

      Start small... a spell to get green gumballs out of the machine, or for dimes to start coming to you. Something small is easier to work with because you don't have a whole bunch of emotional hopes and dreams tied into them, so your mental state can be more focused.

      You will get there; it takes time for everyone. There's one thing about Witchcraft that people often get wrong: it's not "instant gratification", lol. It actually takes a lot of work. You are doing the right thing, starting with learning before jumping into just following instructions like a script on spell websites.

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      Mackenzie Sage Wright 10 months ago

      Hi Maria; I can help you with that:

      1. Tools needed-- none. It's not like ancient magical people had Amazon.com. If all they had were chicken bones and banana leaves, they used chicken bones and banana leaves. Magic is part of nature... there's a wide variety of things you can use if you decide it would work for you. There is nothing you *need* except maybe a well-trained mind. At the early stages, the only thing I'd really worry about getting is books if you have limited funds.

      2. Well that's all part of the learning process. First, study up on why a Witch might even choose to use an item. You need to know what you're doing, why you're doing it, why you're choosing something, what purpose it serves.

      3. Again, that is where the study comes in, and practicing/experimenting with different ingredients. Before you're working with something to achieve a magical result, you should know exactly why you're working with it and what you expect it to do.

      Spells are not like recipes... you don't study Witchcraft by plucking a spell off the internet and following it step by step to add this or light that candle. When you know what you're doing you can make your own spells, or tweak those you find that others provide, but only when you understand the reason behind each step you're taking.

      Hope that helps!

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      mariaopheliaamoro 10 months ago

      Hi Wiccan Sage. :) I've enjoyed reading your page. So informative and easy to understand.

      I'm interested in your world. I'm interested to do witch crafting.

      I just have few questions that are going in my mind after reading this page.

      1. what tools are needed by the witches?

      2. how can I sure that the ingredients I need will help me?

      3. How will I know the ingredients I need?

      I'm only beginner and I want to be a witch but I don't have money to buy good books to inform me.

      Thank you wish you can help me.

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      Bree Zee 10 months ago

      Thank you for replying! I will take all of your advice and apply it.

      I have yet to move from theory to practice. For one main reason only..and that is, because naturally I can tend to get discouraged easily. I am aware enough to know when I get discouraged, & realize that whatever I am discouraged about can work out if perhaps I re-center my focus & try again.

      I am a little iffy as to when I should actively begin practicing. I want it to be the right time, if that makes sense. I want to be confident when I begin. I fear to begin practicing, to have something not work out as I hoped, then get discouraged and think that I may be doing everything ring, or not well enough.

      I feel that if I research enough to feel confident when I begin practicing, that I will be more successful.

      Does that make sense? I know I have a strange way of thinking. If I have the wrong assumption, please please let me know and redirect me. On the other hand, perhaps only actively practicing is the only way to BUILD confidence?? Trial and error, even?

      Just let me know. I appreciate constructive criticism. I am serious about learning this craft and I prefer to do and practice things the right way.

      Much love.

    • WiccanSage profile image
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      Mackenzie Sage Wright 10 months ago

      Hi Bree; There are 4 things a Witch should always keep doing:

      1) keep studying (read as much as possible, take notes, re-read, follow up, etc.).

      2) keep working on mental discipline-- meditate, practice visualizations, depolarization, altering states of consciousness, working with energy (sensing, manipulating, shielding, etc).

      3) practice-- don't wait for the crap to hit the fan; become adept with less urgent things. Experiment.

      4) take notes-- it helps, you can't remember everything.

      Sounds like you've done a lot of research and you've got some natural talent working with energy, so that's good. And you've got your meditation regime started, which is also essential, so keep up with that.

      Have you started moving from theory to practice yet? If not, sounds like that might be your best next step. Also take lots of notes. They come in handy.

      Two of my articles outline mistakes beginning Witches make, they may help you, too!

      The only thing I can think of not to do is not to stop studying and meditating.

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      Bree Zee 10 months ago

      Hi Wiccan sage. I've enjoyed reading your page.

      I have been interested in learning the craft for years. I have spent many, many hours researching how to utilize this craft properly for beginners.

      I meditate daily, and nightly. I doubt I can call myself psychic, but I have the natural ability to sense energy. Good or bad. In any room, building or outside area, I can sense the good or bad vibrations.

      Not to mention when I sense avidly dark energy, it stands out more than any other...for every hair on my body stands on end. I immediately get cold I'm aware that a dark energy is near.

      Considering my innate experiences and how I am already meditating and learning focus daily, what are some good pointers or tips as a beginner for me?

      To be exact, certain things TO do, and certain things to remember NOT to do?

      Thank you!!

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      Xavier DAH 11 months ago from Utah

      i am learning fast thanks to you i also read most of the comments to see what others think about the craft i mostly use healing magic and I've never had any complaints so thats good i think i find its easier for me to use symbols when using the craft

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      Mackenzie Sage Wright 12 months ago

      Hi Lauren; a lot depends, how old is the child? If your child is young, there are a lot of fun things at pookapages dot com-- crafts, stories, holidays, activities, etc.

      If your child is a teen, I'd say reading is where it all starts. Witchcrafting by Phyllis Curott, the Way of Four by Deborah Lipp, Elements of Witchcraft: Natural Magick for Teens by Ellen Dugan, Spellcaster: Seven Ways to Effective Magic by Marty Duffy.

      Also encourage her to start on a meditation regime and to start keeping a journal to write down experiences, questions, thoughts, interesting information from her research, etc.

      Tell her also to beware a lot of the websites full of loads of spells. It's theory and mental discipline she has to learn first.

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      Lauren 12 months ago

      i have a kid that wants to be a witch. Do you have any tips for her to start?

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      Mackenzie Sage Wright 12 months ago

      Hi Shazz/Kina; thanks for your kind words. Witchcraft is more of a lifestyle than a race, so I wouldn't worry about quickly progressing at this point. Just keep on keeping on, and it's an ever-upward path.

      I don't know much about therians or wolves or anything like that; I personally believe skills like Witchcraft and meditation abilities are earned through hard work rather than birthrights, so regardless of what gives you feel you've been born with that help you along, I'd advise studying and practicing, because they'll only enhance whatever comes easy to you.

      Funny enough, yes. The parking space thing is fairly well known and it's something I myself do-- visualizing several spaces free/opening up in prime spots. My success rate is high enough my husband and a couple of other people I know ask me to help them with that when they know parking will be an issue. Whether it works, it really depends upon the skills of the person doing it (ability to visualize/raise/send energy). Things like that can be a great way to practice those skills as well.

      Blessings,

      ~Sage

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      Kina 12 months ago

      Hello, i loved your article and am such a newbie to witchcraft. Im not going to lie im very lazy with many things being young. So learning and studying this is rather hard for me. But i've found meditating is actully simple for me since im a Wolf Therian and meditate quite a lot. I know a few weeks ago i found a page about a witch talking about beginner witch craft. She started by talking about parking spaces. How she consontrated her mind to the point where she freed the parking spaces so that when she drove there the next day there were no cars there. iw as wondering how that works? I find it hard to understand more complicated witchcraft articles since i am very young and very new to this. - Shazz/Kina

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      Librasapphire 13 months ago

      Thoroughly enjoyed this artical, I started studying witchcraft myself a few years back after watching "Charmed" I became curious about what witches were so started studying anything to do with witches including witchcraft history the more i found out the more i wanted to know and that hunger has never left.

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      Mackenzie Sage Wright 13 months ago

      Bhargavi thank you; I publish a number of articles here to help guide one through the studies of Witchcraft, you might want to check out http://hubpages.com/wicca-witchcraft/Witchcraft-fo... In most of my articles I recommend books and resources.

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      Mackenzie Sage Wright 13 months ago

      Kate thanks for the comment; there are a lot of different kinds of symbols used in different ways. You might want to look into sigil magic, or specific cultural symbols such as runes.

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      Bhargavi 14 months ago

      Well this is a beautiful article.

      I am so much interested in knowninh about the other world which is caster of witch world.

      But I wanted to know ,is there any particular place to study about casters or witches or to become one??

      And I badly wanted to know whether casters or witches exist?? Or they are jut found in stories ??

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      Kate 15 months ago

      Does anyone know where I could find information relating to symbols and how they're used in Witchcraft? These articles have been a major help, but I'm not sure where to start and want to have as many different pages to use for reference as I can.

      Please help me, and thank you in advance.

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      Mackenzie Sage Wright 2 years ago

      Hi Courtney, there are plenty of videos, most of them are not great; I do recommend is freakphil1309 on youtube, I came across him recently and think the couple of videos I watched were great but I'm not sure he put out enough for really proper instruction, more like supplemental. I don't know any free online full video-run class that I would recommend, I just don't watch a lot of videos and a lot of what I find on the internet kinda sucks, and I learned before the internet so I never really had to look for videos.

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      Courtney 2 years ago

      I have been thinking about studying witchcaft I did briefly when I was a teenager but was not patience enough and I thought it would be wise to wait till I was older. I do have a couple of worries when it comes to having enough focus to understand what im reading I learn better from watching things and listening due to my dyslexia are there any videos on YouTube that can help me better understand the teaching of Witchcraft.

      I just want to make sure what I watch and use will be of proper teachings

      Thank you

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      Mackenzie Sage Wright 2 years ago

      Witchcraft is a skill, hon. You're a Witch when you're studying and practicing Witchcraft.

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      confused witch 2 years ago

      How do you know if you really are a witch?

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      Mackenzie Sage Wright 3 years ago

      Hi Benjamin; there's a confusion by many between psychic abilities and Witchcraft. You don't necessarily have to be the most gifted psychic to learn the Craft; you do have to be willing to work on an hone some of those abilities. It's not hereditary, though-- throughout the ages it's always been a skill people learned. It's just that when it runs in your family/culture, you're raised with it and it comes more naturally to you because you begin learning principles about it from the time you're a child-- just like if you grew up in an artist's colony, you'd probably pick up a lot about art at a young age.

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      Benjamin Chege 3 years ago

      Hi WiccanSage. I didn't know witchcraft can be learned. I though it was hereditary or something. LOL. Interesting hub, voted up as well.

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      Mackenzie Sage Wright 4 years ago

      Thank you, Nicholas, glad you enjoyed it!

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      Nicholas Fiorito 4 years ago from Northern NJ

      Great Hub! Love the content, the pictures, the analogy of spell casting and cooking. Well done!

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      Mackenzie Sage Wright 4 years ago

      True, power comes from both nature and knowledge. Learning is a never-ending process. Thank you so much for your comments.

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      Mackenzie Sage Wright 4 years ago

      Thanks so much for your insights!

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      Peter Rogers 4 years ago from Plymouth

      The origin of the word witch, wicha/wiche masculine and feminine, relates to knowledge, specifically spiritual knowledge of the sort suppressed by the Church and religion. However you practice, it should be based on knowledge, but always check what you think you know.

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      Karthik Kashyap 4 years ago from India

      I definitely agree with the bottom line that whatever ways witchcraft is done, the underlying principles are same :)

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      Mackenzie Sage Wright 4 years ago

      In Western magical systems, it's ceremonial magicians that tend to deal more with calling and commanding spirits (though Witchcraft in itself is such a broad category, some Witches do incorporate such practices as well). There's definitely some different details in the beliefs and practices of Eastern vs. Western magical studies, but I think at the core even though we have different terms and different styles, it all works on the same principles. Thanks for your comments, sorry it took so long, I've had to take a hiatus.

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      Karthik Kashyap 4 years ago from India

      Actually, I am not too much aware about how witchcraft works in Hinduism, in terms of Low or High magic. But yes, spell casting is divided into two categories, one is requesting and another is commanding. Requesting spells pretty much work like white spells. The wordings are such that we request god to complete the task (however, it is not necessarily a prayer, it is a spell). In commanding spells, you pretty much use the words which are commanding an entity. Most times, this is used for commanding entities other than gods (you know who), though not restricted to these spirits. It could also be commanding gods.

      My understanding about Hindu spells are simple. Different spells work on different frequencies (Hindu spells rely on the combination of words and chants) and attract entities that resonate at different frequencies. These may be spirits, angels or gods. Lower the frequency of the spirit, faster they get attracted and faster your results occur. However, these are temporary solutions. Higher the frequency of the spirit, slower the solution, but possibly long term solutions.

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      Mackenzie Sage Wright 4 years ago

      I think the key difference between spells & prayers are that prayers go through a "middle man" and ask for something to be given. The energy is sent to the Higher Power, and the Higher Power intervenes, or not, depending on the situation (Gods use their own judgement). Spells on the other hand is sending the energy directly toward your goal in order to bring it directly to yourself. I know it's over-simplistic, but to me prayers would be like giving your parents or your aunts & uncles a Christmas list; spells are like going to the mall to buy what you need yourself. Generally in Witchcraft, we don't command Gods or other entities (except maybe when we're trying to banish them). We control the energy to bring about the desired effect.

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      Mackenzie Sage Wright 4 years ago

      Karthikkash, I would agree. I would say the commanding other entities falls more in the realm of High Magic or Ceremonial Magic, as opposed to Witchcraft, which is Low Magic. I'm not sure if that would be how they look at it in Hinduism.

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      Mackenzie Sage Wright 4 years ago

      That's the key, isn't it. The study & mental discipline required to sense, raise and manipulate energy. That seems to be the part many people want to skip... but that's what separates the serious students from the people just looking for instant gratification. Thanks for commenting!

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      Karthik Kashyap 4 years ago from India

      Agreed at your point. I say "command" for a specific reason. Spells are cast in different cultures in different ways.. But certain spells in most cultures not only deal with gods or angels, but also other forces. Coming from a Hindu background, I have come across certain spells that do not request, but command these forces to do the job. This falls into a different category of spell-casting (actually, grey or partly black magic).

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      Peter Rogers 4 years ago from Plymouth

      It could be argued that most prayers don't seem to be answered because they are chanted by rote without giving the required focus and concentration, but I take your point. However, instruction - yes, command - no. I find making a request while giving precise instruction works fine. I wouldn't, for example, command my best friend to do something on my behalf, but I would ask while telling exactly what needed doing. I also do something most seem to forget, hold a simple ritual to say thank you. I find it cuts down a lot of concern over the need for protection.

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      Karthik Kashyap 4 years ago from India

      Radical Rog: Actually Peter, there are a few differences between a spell and a prayer, though most of it is similar. Prayers need not have specific instructions, whereas spells have definite instructions. Also, spell casting requires a lot more focus and concentration to direct the energies to the universe to a normal prayer. Moreover, prayers are usually requests. Spells are not requests, but instructions (more of a command). These are directions and commands to different forces of nature.

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      Peter Rogers 4 years ago from Plymouth

      Have you ever thought to compare a spell to a prayer said in any church.

      There is an altar, altar implements, incense and candles, a form of words calling on 'god' to aid, assist or bring about the desired purpose, and concluded by saying 'Amen' the equivalent of, so may it be.

      Great hub.

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      Karthik Kashyap 4 years ago from India

      OldWitchcraft: I very much agree with you. The effectiveness of the spells depend on how strong the witch's energy is. And it definitely a lot of hard work and dedication to strengthen one's energy.

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      Mackenzie Sage Wright 4 years ago

      Thanks, OldWitchcraft. From reading your articles I can see you're very "old school" in your thinking on that, too. I think this generation a lot of young people look to Witchcraft for instant gratification, they find a much more intense and difficult art than they bargained for, give up and say 'it doesn't work'. Definitely though, some people are more talented than others but anyone who wants to learn can learn if they invest that effort. Much appreciated!

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      OldWitchcraft 4 years ago from The Atmosphere

      Very good article!

      For spells to be successful, it requires a lot of energy and a lot of practiced mental focus to properly direct it at the target. Everyone has a certain amount of innate ability, some more and some less, but the power of a witch is something that has to be constantly developed and honed. It's more work than a lot of people want to invest. Consistently casting successful spells requires skill and practice.

      Accolades!

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      Karthik Kashyap 4 years ago from India

      Sure :) Thanks for the response..

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      Mackenzie Sage Wright 4 years ago

      Hi Kart; that money analogy is great, I might have to borrow that sometime. I've never actually tried casting 2 spells for the same thing; tell you the truth, I never really thought about it, I just always figured one is good enough. I'm guessing there is a point at which it's just overkill, like the cup won't hold any more wine no matter how much you pour. So if you try it let me know how it works out for you.

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      Mackenzie Sage Wright 4 years ago

      Thanks Demetre, that's a real complement.

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      Karthik Kashyap 4 years ago from India

      one final curiosity though (sorry, I am learning witchcraft, so better to ask questions to a witch ;) ).. What if I using two spells for the exact same result.. For example, i want to earn x amount of money in the next 3 months? Or, I want this girl to love me (both spells for the x amount of money or the same girl).. So, would those spells be considered complimentary or opposing. Or will the more potent spell win?

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      Karthik Kashyap 4 years ago from India

      ah!! I get the picture now.. That indeed solved the doubt I had.. So, from what you say, my understanding is that two spells that are complimentary can add extra oomph, whereas two competing forces for the same result may cancel out each other. Is that right?

      So, right now what I am doing is casting a spell and casting another spell as a back up that may have the potential to cancel out each other. I better stop and it stick to my original plan for some time (actually I felt that the earthern lamp I am using kind of gave me a signal when I started my second spell... that is another detailed discussion) :)

      And yeah, I too have stopped believing in the difference between white and black magic. It really depends on the intent of the person. It is just like calling money as white and black, when there is nothing like that :)

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      Demetre A. Winfield 4 years ago from chicago

      I really liked this hub. I shared it with the people im teaching and introducing to the craft.

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      Mackenzie Sage Wright 4 years ago

      Hi Kart; I'm sorry, I was unclear. I do believe you can cast parallel spells, even for the same intent. I also believe they can compete with each other and render each other ineffective if not careful. In my experience, they just have to be well thought-out so the goals are compatible. There are other times when two magical workings can complement each other as well, to work harmoniously together for extra "umph".

      For example: lets say Joe needs a job. He cast a spell on himself to land that dream job he is interviewing for. A few days later, as a back up plan, he cast a spell on himself to land a job at the mall to get him through when he's going out to file applications. Two different sets of energies are now having a tug-of-war; one tries to direct his future toward the dream job, the other toward the mall. They are weakening each other to Joe's detriment. If he is successful in both they will cancel each other out most likely. But if Joe cast a spell on the dream job interviewer him to see him as a stand-out candidate, and then cast a spell on himself to come across as really desirable in interviews in general, he may get more than one offer-- the energies are not competing in this case. So it's all a matter of thinking it through.

      I personally don't believe in the distinctions between white magic and black magic; I'm of the school of thought that sees magic as a neutral energy source in nature; indiscriminate. But that's another article entirely ;-)

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      Karthik Kashyap 4 years ago from India

      interesting.. I have heard from a couple of witches that it is alright to cast parallel spells even if there has already been a spell cast. They say that it is alright since it is white magick as these spells are not malevolent powers. Is it true or is it applicable only in certain cases, or only strong magic such as black magic or sorcery?

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      Mackenzie Sage Wright 4 years ago

      K12 thank you for your comment and coming by to read my article. I have actually studied Christian scriptures in depth for many years. My conclusion: it is mythology. It has no power other than what your mind gives it, just like any other beliefs in any other religion. I have absolutely no faith in it, so it holds no power, or use for me.

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      Mackenzie Sage Wright 4 years ago

      Karthikkash, thank you and thanks for your comments. Yes, I do believe that energy can get canceled out-- even if not in direct opposition to each other. Instead of being focused on a goal like a laser, it become scattered and therefore simply less effective.

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      Karthik Kashyap 4 years ago from India

      on a side note, I would like to know whether using two forces cancel out each other.

      I am right now practicing couple of spells (a Hindu spell) and an NLP based spell for the same purpose. The Hindu spell was given to me by my Guru (teacher) and I started the NLP spell on my own as it really didn't need any witchcraft spell casting techniques (but I got it from a NLP mental control techniques book). After reading your hub, I am wondering if any of their powers may get cancelled out. Wanted to know your view.

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      Karthik Kashyap 4 years ago from India

      A very informative hub for anyone who wants to walk on the path of witchcraft. I too was one of those people who started off doing candle magick without really understanding the basics. But then as I started reading more, I realized that the most important ingredients of any type of witchcraft (from white magick to black magic and sorcery) are mind control, mental power and visualizations. And then other ingredients come into place.

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      k12rswow 4 years ago from New England

      I have one for you. Pit witchcraft against scripture. No, really!!! See which is more powerful.