Bev G believes that witchcraft is fundamental to the life of any woman who wants to know herself and reconnect to her divine spirit.
In this article, I want to explore a different aspect of witchcraft; the idea that it can offer a new perspective on life. That it can bestow empowerment, confidence, and knowledge upon one who embraces it. Regardless of social class, politics and gender identification, witchcraft is able to provide a framework for a rewarding life. This is primarily directed at women, because women form the majority of witches. I acknowledge that people of all genders are joining the path in increasing numbers, so this isn’t meant to exclude you. Witchcraft is inclusive. It is acceptance of all, whatever their religion, race or gender. There is no discrimination. However, because I am a woman and a witch, I am focusing on the feminine… the Feminine Divine. The power and the glory of womankind.
Many young women have contacted me via other articles to ask about witchcraft. On the whole I tend to discourage very young teens from practicing witchcraft while at the same time encouraging them to explore further. Those who feel strongly committed will take my advice and spend time reading and researching until they know it is right for them.
The Negativity of Witchcraft in the Past
To call a woman a witch in the past was to demean and insult at best; to accuse and torture at worst. It was a label thrown around in order to keep women in their places. If you behaved yourself and demonstrated that you were a good girl, then you’d be safe. If you cooked and cleaned and kept your opinions to yourself, you were deemed a good wife. Any woman who dared step beyond the boundaries of ‘common decency’ ran the risk of being denounced as a witch or a whore. Once the label stuck, you could expect much worse. And the prospect of losing your life was a very real one as the witch-craze rampaged through Europe. It wasn’t until the 1960s that witchcraft was reclaimed as a valid life choice.
The rise of feminism had a lot to do with that, as women began to realize it was a lot more than just equal pay and opportunities. We began to see the thread that shimmers from mother to daughter. We look at the moon and know that she is fundamental to our being. We walk on the Earth and understand she is part of us as we are part of her. Witchcraft feeds our soul and so eliminates starvation of the spirit that can leave us feeling empty and directionless.
What Is Modern Witchcraft?
Modern witchcraft can be whatever you want it to be. For me, it’s simply a way of being. Having a relationship with the world around me. Seeing things in both a practical and spiritual way. Often witchcraft is described as a religion, and for a lot of witches that is true. They use the word ‘worship’ when talking about their preferred deities. Other people see witchcraft as only the practice of magick, or healing, or making charms, or telling fortunes. In truth, it’s all, some, or none of these things. It’s highly individual and there’s no one way of being a witch.
Why Women Are Turning to Witchcraft
There appears to be a surge away from the pristine, always beautiful, Disney princess type of role-model. Women want real, and they want practical. They want to be capable, confident, and resilient. At the same time, they feel the seductive call of magic. Not the Netflix kind of magic, but the raw energy that makes stuff happen. The ability to work with that energy to get what they want. The kind of magic that is accessible by everyone, but that only a few recognize as being freely available.
How the Empowerment of Witchcraft Happens
It begins with a tendril of thought, that turns into a feeling and then into a full-on emotional response. What am I talking about? It’s the knowledge and the visceral knowing of Oneness. The fundamental law of the universe. When you realize that everything has universal energy: even the merest thought, the smallest word, the most insignificant action, you also learn that everything affects everything else. Connections proliferate. The Divine (energy) which permeates all is the underpinning of our existence.
Once our fledgling witch can tap into her power at will, she becomes more confident. Less likely to conform to social stereotyping. Her actions are more considered, and then more deliberate. Her words are chosen more carefully. She begins to become less judgmental. She learns acceptance, how to manage stress, how to reconnect with nature. She reads, she studies, she seeks out others who share her new values. And she learns how to manipulate universal energy. In other words, she finds her magic.
It becomes a lot easier to deal with setbacks, pressure, stress and other people when you are a witch. You can put aside any problem and know that you can deal with it later with a little magick. Boss causing problems? You can work a simple spell to make things more easy-going between you. Money running short? Do a money-increase ritual? Not feeling your best? Kick off your shoes and stand on grass and feel the earth recharging your very being. Want to reconnect with your ancestors? Look up at the full moon and imagine how the women in your line did the exact same thing over the centuries.
A quick word about something that affects many women—body confidence. Once you embrace witchcraft, you begin to understand that your mind and body are subject to the same cyclical influences as nature. We are not designed to always be the same. Our bodies change within a month, within a year, within gestation, motherhood, menopause and beyond. They are wonderful and creative; changes are inevitable. Do not pound your body into compliance with some popular template. Keep healthy and fit, but be accepting of the shape you have. It is an expression of yourself. Fall in love with you.
The First Steps to Finding Your Inner Witch
My suggestion is to spend some time journaling why you feel this pull toward witchcraft. What is it in you that yearns? What’s missing from your life that becoming a witch will fulfill? Give yourself the chance to explore your thoughts and feelings around the idea. Don’t worry if you don’t come up with a definitive answer; it’s an ongoing process.
After that do some general reading. What attracts you? Perhaps you are a potential healer, diviner, or herbalist? Could be that taking care of animals is your thing? Or you are a natural gardener? Maybe your magic lies in creating wonderful food? Some witches do very well in a corporate career path—there are no glass ceilings for us. How about your future practice? Would you feel more at home alone, in a group, or a mix of both? These things will unfold naturally, so don’t worry if you can’t define your witchy way just yet. Your interests will change as you find out more.
At the root of a witch’s practice is her relationship with nature. Pay attention to the moon and her cycles. Delve into tree and plant lore. Find out about natural habitats in your area. Read up about animal totems and perhaps choose one for yourself. Take walks: sit on the beach, a river bank, or hilltop and just listen and look. Lie on the ground and feel the thrum of earth energy beneath you and feel that you are an extension of the planet. Let your mind play with the thought that we are spinning in orbit in perfect harmony with the planets and heavenly bodies. Journal your thoughts, feelings and ideas.
Should you want to find people with like minded interests, then social media is your friend. It goes without saying, surely, that you know how to keep yourself safe online? Avoid any group or gathering that has ‘rules’. If anyone tells you that you should do this or you must do that, then they may be best avoided. This is your life you are creating. A rigorously organized group tends to be based on dogma and internal politics. Egos abound and so spiritual voyaging takes a back seat to hierarchy and control. Not the kind of place conducive to finding your divine connection.
Or magick, as we often spell it in order to distance ourselves from stage magic, which is not magic at all.
I touched on this earlier when I mentioned universal energy. It’s not wave a magic wand and make things float in the air, or to wake up and find your room full of money, or to bring that dream guy right to your door. It’s not like that. Although it has to be said that witches are rarely poor or without love.
Witches do perform magick. Whether it is a carefully designed solitary ritual, a raising of exhilarating energy in a group, or a quick written spell. We have learned how to use that universal energy by aligning our feelings and emotions with what we want to happen. And when you really know that it works, when you feel that deep connection, then you are empowered. And no one can take that inner strength and personal power away from you.
I couldn’t put it more succinctly as Danielle Dulsky does in her book, "Woman Most Wild: Three Keys to Liberating the Witch Within":
Know the Witch as a wise presence that is fiercely feminine. Know the Witch as a wild woman who has embraced nature’s spiral dance. Know her as a keen-eared, sharp-sighted healer who has her own way of conversing with the world. Now, know yourself as Her.
— Danielle Dulsky
How Do I Become a Witch?
When you feel ready, you can call yourself a witch. That’s it. There are no exams. No formal study, although there are plenty of those kinds of courses available and I would advise you to be careful before parting with any money. Extensive reading and practice will suffice. Simply add small actions to your everyday life until you are steeped in witchcraft. Then you will begin to see life through the eyes of a witch. You’ll find you have more choices available. Your new found power blows away the invisible restrictions preventing you doing what you like. It’s true, though, if you are a young person living with your parents, that you have to abide by their wishes. But remember, your inner life; the one you live in your heart and mind is yours alone. Make it as magickal as you like. It’s where freedom lives.
Witch Q & A
Where do I start?
You start right where you are. Pick anything that I’ve mentioned above and delve in a little deeper. Moon cycles, plant lore, and small daily rituals are a good place to begin. Witches are keen readers and many love to keep a small library of witchy books for reference.
How long does it take to become a witch?
It takes no time at all. You can declare to yourself that you are a witch and simply get on with it. But also know that it takes a lifetime and you can never know everything. Witches are very big on self-education. The standard Wiccan guidance is that a new witch (neophyte) should study the craft for a year and a day in order to reach the first level but that’s up to you. Wiccan is a religious subset of witchcraft; many people love it, but many other people prefer the autonomous (self-directed) approach.
Should I keep my witchcraft secret?
That’s up to you. It may be a good idea if your friends and family are skeptical. It’s possible to do witchcraft in your head without any outward signs. Meditation is an acceptable common practice and is also one of the foundation skills that will help you find out more about yourself and receive spiritual guidance, so consider learning how to do it.
What books do you recommend?
There are so many good (and not-so-good) books on witchcraft, it’s difficult to narrow my choice down. For beginners, I almost always recommend Lisa Chamberlain’s Modern Witchcraft and Magic for Beginners. If you are drawn to Wicca, then she has a whole collection of works to guide you.
For one that is aligned with the ideas in this article, then Woman Most Wild: Three Keys to Liberating the Witch Within by Danielle Dulsky is poetic, uplifting and inspiring. Her writing will ignite the flame of recognition that lies deep within your being.
Any More Questions?
Just ask below.
© 2019 Bev G
Silas777 on November 08, 2019:
Witchcraft isn’t just limited to women empowerment- it gives energy to the whole world! Every time you cast a spell it makes an effect on the entire world! There is a school devoted to witchcraft as a way of women empowerment, the School of Magickal Empowerment of Women.
Bev G (author) from Wales, UK on August 11, 2019:
I'm so glad you found it interesting, Brenda. And glad you are enjoying FM. It was so cloudy here last night that I only caught a glimpse of her light.
BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on August 11, 2019:
This is a very interesting write. I love how you explain each detail in this process.
Being one with nature is so appealing, for right now I am sitting upon the deck looking at a full moon. The breeze is lightly blowly across me, the echoes of nature's creatures surrounding me.
I might do some more reading...you have inspired me.
Bev G (author) from Wales, UK on July 10, 2019:
Thank you, Tiffany.
Tiffany Anne from Port Huron, MI on July 10, 2019:
Nice and well - written article. Thanks for sharing!