I Think I'm a Witch—What Are the Next Steps?

Updated on January 30, 2018
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Born in deepest Cornwall and now living in wild Wales, Bev G. has known for many years she is a witch with magickal powers.

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Do you ever wonder if you are a witch? Or perhaps you are certain of it? Either way, you are very likely confused and unsure of what to do about it. If you need to check some of the signs of being a witch, hop over to this article, 'Are You a Witch?’ then come back here.

You Don’t Have to Do Anything

First of all, relax. There’s nothing you have to do. Really. Being a witch is who you are, it is not something you do. You’ll come across cauldron-loads of sites that offer instructions and say you must do this and do that. Ignore all. You are a witch and that’s all that matters.

Having said that, most newly self-discovered witches want to take it a step farther. They want to explore what it means to be a full-on, energy-manipulating powerful woman (or man). So I’m here to make it easy for you to decide how to proceed.

Educate Yourself in the Ways of Witchcraft

For anyone who thinks they have witchy tendencies, the first thing to do is to educate yourself in the basics. Before you reach out to any groups or individuals, make sure to find out what it’s all about. You need to know what you are getting into.

So read, read, and read some more. Read good stuff and not-so-good. Make notes in margins about what appeals to you.

Remember, though, that all authors have their own perspective on witchcraft. You will have your own perspective too, so discard anything that doesn’t resonate with you. In some cases it might be everything they write. And that’s okay. The more you can pare it all down, the better you will carve out your own personal version of witchcraft.

Topics to pay attention to are:

  • The seasons
  • Moon cycles
  • Manipulation of energy
  • Meditation
  • Your connection to the earth.

Some of the best material is not classified under witchcraft, so I encourage you to read other sources too. It’s good not to get bogged down in all the ritual and accompanying information too soon.

Other Sources of Information

YouTube has a ton of witch-related videos. Some will resonate with you, others will put you to sleep, and some will even send you screaming into the hills. Again, I can’t emphasize this enough, you don’t have to subscribe to anyone else’s views other than your own.

I love the video, below, by Jessi Huntenburg. She is so down-to-earth and real. Her take on witchcraft mirrors my own. Watch out for a little bit of swearing. Her idea of working with archetypal characters in pop culture is excellent.

Podcasts are also useful. Beware of the hyper-witches though. For some reason, many people think the more hysterical and upbeat they are, the better witches they be. This is not so. The people who have an inner serenity are way more authentic than the screamy kind.

The Religious Option

For those who feel witchcraft is a religious calling, you will probably be drawn to Wicca. Wicca is a highly ritualized path with the benefit that the information is well-organized and readily available. There are many Wiccan groups all over the world and finding one is not difficult. Most Wiccans are kindly and welcoming, and pleased to help a new witch along his or her path.

One of the best proponents of Wicca is Lisa Chamberlain. Her book, “Wicca for Beginners: A Guide to Wiccan Beliefs, Ritual, Magic and Witchcraft” is highly rated and, if Wicca, is your thing, you should grab a copy and carry it everywhere.

Lisa defines Wicca thusly: "Wicca is classified as a nature-based religion encompassing a wide variety of beliefs, traditions and practices inspired by many different sources—Wiccans often refer to these sources as “the Old Religion.”

Despite that, Wicca has its origins in a very modern form of witchcraft—and that's a good thing for people starting out. Be aware that witchcraft in general doesn’t need to have religious connotations at all. It is whatever it is to you. It’s personal.

The Solitary Option

A ‘solitary’ is a witch who practices by herself. Let’s assume for brevity, that she is a she for now. Apologies to any male solitaries out there. The solitary works alone and usually in secret. She sets about teaching herself what she needs to know. She may well follow a Wiccan path, or she may not. As always, it’s down to personal choice.

The "Just Be Yourself" Option

This is probably the most common path. Those who have that certain way with energy, a closeness to nature, and confidence that they are masters and mistresses of their own destiny, will often simply choose to be themselves. They don’t need any accoutrements or deities to worship. They are simply who they are. And this is perfectly fine.

Tread gently on the earth

Breathe gently of the air

Lie gently in the water

Touch gently to the fire.

— Carolyn Hillyer: Dance of the Elements

Paths of a Witch

Whatever your main choice of how you practice the craft, within it are little avenues that branch off. Sometimes these little avenues become the focus of your practice. For example, when I began, it was suggested that I choose a skill to learn. I decided on tarot. Gradually, the study of tarot took over everything else for me, and it’s only in the last few years that I’ve been called back to the more general study and practice of witchcraft.

Some witch-related paths:

  • Healing
  • Divination
  • Magic and Spells
  • Music
  • Crystals
  • Herbalism
  • Storytelling
  • Art
  • Gardening/conservation
  • Working with animals
  • Counseling

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Tools and Accoutrements

Let’s face it, witchcraft is an industry, and that means there are some canny marketers out there. Know this: you don’t need any expensive tools or clothes to be a witch. If you need items to help you focus in a ritual, you can start with:

  • A candle, even a tea light will suffice, to represent the element of Fire and the direction/quarter South
  • A pebble, to represent the element of Earth and the direction/quarter North.
  • A paring/veg peeling knife to be your athame (ritual knife) and to represent the element of Air and the direction/quarter East
  • A glass of water or wine to represent the element of Water and the direction/quarter West.
  • A smooth twig or sick to be your wand.

A lovely thing to do is to go out for walks to look for natural objects you can use in ritual. Always ask permission, and give thanks to any tree that graciously donates a wand.

You can substitute these with anything that works better for you.

There’s No Time Like Right Now to Cast a Circle

Okay, maybe you can do it later, but casting a circle is fun and you never forget your first time. A really good thing would be to carry out your first circle-casting at the time of the Full Moon. When witches gather at this time, it's called an 'esbat'. Other occasions, such as the solstices and other major witch celebrations, the gatherings are called 'sabbats'.

Here’s a suggestion for your first ritual. Cast a circle to provide protection and a bubble of love while you pledge to dedicate yourself to the study of witchcraft.

  • Step One: wear something comfortable and decide where you will work. You need some decent floor space, because you are going to sit down in the circle.
  • Step Two: gather your tools, if you have any. They are not mandatory. A cushion to sit on is also a good idea. Place them on the floor or a low table.
  • Step Three: make sure you won’t be interrupted.
  • Step Four: stand still, close your eyes for a moment and breathe deeply.
  • Step Five: clarify your intent for the ritual. In this case it is to experience working with energy and to pledge yourself to the craft.
  • Step Six: hold up your wand and turn to the East. Say, “I call upon the guardians of East and Air to watch over and protect me. Do the same, in turn with the other three quarters, going clockwise (or deosil): East, South, West, North (if you are in the northern hemisphere).
  • Step Seven: point your wand and describe a circle around yourself and your tools. Again clockwise/deosil Visualize the circle forming a sphere. Now don’t step through the circle, stay within its boundaries. If you have to leave the circle because you need the loo or anything, use your athame/kitchen knife to 'cut' a doorway. Oh, and cats, dogs and small children can pass through the circle with no harm done.
  • Step Eight: light your candle and sit on the floor. You can close your eyes if you like. Feel energy rising up through the floor and into your body. Imagine this strong earth energy filling your circle/sphere and mingling with the air, fire and water energy.
  • Step Nine: when you are ready, say, “Within these walls, within this circle, and within my heart, I dedicate myself to the craft. I ask that the guardians support me and help me as I explore this path. Blessed be.”
  • Step Ten: sit for as long as you like. Then stand and thank each of the guardians in reverse order, turning anti-clockwise (widdershins): North, West, South, East. “I thank you guardians of the North and earth, please go in peace.”
  • Step Eleven: Pick up your athame and turn widdershins (anti-clockwise) to close the circle.
  • Step Twelve: Have something to eat and drink to ground yourself.

Over time, you will adapt and change your circle casting ritual to fit your preferences. It can be as complicated or as simple as you like. Your circle is a space where you are one step removed from the ‘real world’. It is where you raise energy to work your magic. It is where you commune with spirits, guides, ancestors, and any deities or archetypes you want to work with.

Any Questions?

I hope I’ve given you some ideas how to get started. I didn't want to overwhelm you with information. The most important thing is not to stress or worry about it all. Being a witch will unfold over a lifetime. Some of you will take to it, others will try it and move on. That’s how it goes.

Please feel free to ask any questions in the comments section below.

Merry Part and Blessed Be.

Note: I don’t actually go round saying that to people, I say “Bye, see you later” most of the time. It means the same thing.

© 2018 Bev G

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    • theraggededge profile image
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      Bev G 2 minutes ago from Wales, UK

      Why would you be using 'black magic' in the first place, Jasmine? And how do you define it anyway? Are you talking about wishing ill on someone?

      You are aware that 'what goes around, comes around' is an actual thing, don't you?

    • profile image

      Jasmine 35 minutes ago

      Hi! I've been reading your articles lately and I feel 'drawn' to read more of them... but I have a question. In the past couple weeks, I've been looking at some rituals and how to create your own. When I performed the rituals, only the black magic ones worked. It was about 4/13-14 rituals... Could I get some advice? :)

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      unknown_person 4 days ago

      I feel like I am but I do not know how to combine my religious beliefs with this.

    • theraggededge profile image
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      Bev G 7 days ago from Wales, UK

      Raiby, you need to understand... there are no 'shoulds'. This kind of witchcraft is your own. You adapt it to suit you. Why don't you start with this one, and then get a larger one next time?

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      Raiby 7 days ago

      Hey it's me again. I bought a notebook to make it my own BoS. and the book is small.

      So do I have to buy a big notebook with more papers for this?

    • theraggededge profile image
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      Bev G 10 days ago from Wales, UK

      All my suggestions are in the article above, Raiby. There is no 'right way' to be who you want to be :)

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      Raiby 10 days ago

      Hey I asked this question in another article but the author didn't reply soo.. Do I have to have a wand? and should I start witchcraft with casting a circle or do I just start by easy spells like good luck?

    • theraggededge profile image
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      Bev G 2 weeks ago from Wales, UK

      Thanks, Vlad. I like your perspective.

    • ValKaras profile image

      Vladimir Karas 2 weeks ago from Canada

      Bev---Once a "psychic" told me that in one of my incarnations I was a high priest in Atlantis and beloved by the crowds. Now, flattering as it sounds, in this incarnation I am not into religion, but have fromever felt the presence of that other, unseen reality---in modern times basing my deepest convictions upon the quantum realm.

      Just like you said, it's all a VERY personal experience, for me not easily communicable. I liked your article.

    • theraggededge profile image
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      Bev G 2 weeks ago from Wales, UK

      Of course you can, nothing is set in stone. Use what works for you. Even your finger or the side of your hand. Athames look intimidating but they aren't sharp. You can get wooden ones too.

    • theraggededge profile image
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      Bev G 2 weeks ago from Wales, UK

      Hi Raiby, an eclectic witch is someone who follows their own path - takes a little bit of this and a little bit of that.

      The knife (athame) is a bit like the Swords in tarot. Think of them cutting through the air. Swords are truth, thought and communication.

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      Raiby 2 weeks ago

      Hey I'm sorry its me again. I ask a lot but what kind of a knife is atheme/paring knife? I googled it but I just saw daggers etc.

      can we use any knife instead of it?

    • profile image

      Raiby 2 weeks ago

      Hey I really need advice. I can't find out what kind of which I am. I'm insterested in a lot of things. I like gardening, animals, crystals.. and I am agnostic so I can't be a wiccan. and btw can you tell me what is an eclectic witch type is?

      and I couldn't understand why do we use a paring knife to represent air.

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      Daisy gutierrez 2 weeks ago

      I just read this article and came to realize that I am a natural born witch omgosh I just am like wow I knew I was diffrent

    • theraggededge profile image
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      Bev G 2 weeks ago from Wales, UK

      Hi Raiby, simply use your athame/knife and imagine cutting a rectangle in the sphere. Eating and/or drinking grounds the body. In witchcraft/pagan/wicca rituals this part is called 'cakes and ale'. You can do it however you want. Nothing is cast in stone. It's about what works for you.

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      Raiby 2 weeks ago

      I couldn't understand how do we cut open a door through the circle. and lastly do we have to eat something in step twelve.

    • theraggededge profile image
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      Bev G 2 weeks ago from Wales, UK

      Hi Cassidy, there is lots of advice in the article above. Your family are holding back because it is not something people generally talk about. You will have to research and decide on your own path. xx

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      Cassidy 2 weeks ago

      Dear Bev

      I am 18 from the US, and ever since I was little I have felt like I was different. My sister, my father, and my grandmother are all familiar with magic, but they don't really talk about it much. If you could give me some advice that would be deeply appreciated.

      Sincerely,

      Cassidy

    • theraggededge profile image
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      Bev G 3 weeks ago from Wales, UK

      Good morning, to you, Linda. Thank you. I hope your circle is a beautiful, peaceful and rewarding experience. Then as soon as you are ready, try a magical money manifesting spell. I think I need to do one as well :D

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      Linda 3 weeks ago

      Good morning Bev!

      Loved your post! You break it down into such simplicity!! Perfect!! I am just starting my journey & I'm one broke witch!! So these ideas are perfect!! I'm definitely going to try this circle casting! What a perfect idea to "seal the deal"!

    • theraggededge profile image
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      Bev G 3 weeks ago from Wales, UK

      Hi amibame. No, it's not necessary at all. You can do spellwork with absolutely no tools whatsoever. All you need is your thought and your intent. You can write spells, speak them or just think them. However, it's important to keep the intention clear and interference-free, so I recommend writing out your intention, then hiding the paper, or even tear it into pieces and flush it down the toilet. x

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      amibame 3 weeks ago

      Hi Bev, I hope you're having a peace filled day!

      I wanted to ask if it is always necessary to light candles when doing rituals etc? I live at university where lighting candles etc. isn't allowed for safety reasons. Is there any way to get about this? I haven't been able to find any solutions to my issue.

      Peace and love x

    • theraggededge profile image
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      Bev G 3 weeks ago from Wales, UK

      Yay! Kate. Have a joy-filled life xx

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      Kate 3 weeks ago

      I'm in my 50s & have felt most of my life, different! To the point of pos insanity! Until a good friend recognised the symptoms & encouraged me to explore. Finally through this wonderful site my eyes are opening & I know I'm a witch of sorts. Am so privaledged & full of excitement as I gather my first tools. Thank you xx

    • theraggededge profile image
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      Bev G 3 weeks ago from Wales, UK

      Ashley, there are lots of witchy and pagan organizations out there, depending where you are. They all have websites. Try searching for Pagan or witch or moot followed by *your area*. You'll soon find your community.

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      Ashley 3 weeks ago

      I’m 21 and I’ve never felt normal. I can do things other people cannot and I’ve been feeling like there was something wrong with me to the point where I was going to get a psych evaluation until I read this article. I feel such a great peace. This is the answer I’ve been searching for. I’d really love to speak with someone more about this if thats possible.

    • theraggededge profile image
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      Bev G 3 weeks ago from Wales, UK

      Hi again, Nikki. I'm not sure how you can stop it. It's down to the other person's sensitivity. Personally, I would practice 'being in the moment' so that you become aware of the intensity of the emotional energy you are 'broadcasting'. Try to let it dissipate gently rather than trying to force it into a 'mental box'. Maybe you could create a momentary visualization where you see the energy float away like smoke?

    • theraggededge profile image
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      Bev G 3 weeks ago from Wales, UK

      Meryl, you don't have to do anything until you are ready. Read my article https://exemplore.com/wicca-witchcraft/I-think-Im-...

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      Nikki077 3 weeks ago

      I see you wrote about manipulating energy. I feel I've been doing this for years. I didn't realize what it was but lately I notice different things. I feel different emotions very intensely. I've to actually close my eyes and push it into a mental box. However recently someone told me something I'd never said to anyone. I asked how he knew and he said he'd felt it he could feel me. My husband says the room and my eyes changes with my mood. Can I be pushing my thoughts and feelings with energy onto others? If so how do I stop it?

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      Meryl 3 weeks ago

      Im scared of what I can do and I’m scared to try because I don’t want to mess with negative spirits

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      Kari Poulsen 4 weeks ago from Ohio

      Thanks Bev! I will do that.

    • theraggededge profile image
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      Bev G 4 weeks ago from Wales, UK

      There are many Christian witches, Kari. They manage to combine a love of nature with their religion. They also consider their witchy traits gifts from God. Try searching for Christian witchcraft and see if it brings up anything of interest. xx

    • k@ri profile image

      Kari Poulsen 4 weeks ago from Ohio

      How does being a witch and being a Christian get along? I seem to have many of the traits of a witch, but I've always considered these to be gifts from God.

    • theraggededge profile image
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      Bev G 4 weeks ago from Wales, UK

      What process are you referring to, Shruti? The circle casting? No, the whole point is to form a sphere of love and protection. It's important to understand that, while some witches will manipulate energy for nefarious purposes, we all will feel fulfilled and live better lives if we focus on love. And, of course, that applies whether we are witches or not.

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      Shruti p 4 weeks ago

      Are you sure that I wouldn't attract some negative energies in this process?

    • theraggededge profile image
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      Bev G 4 weeks ago from Wales, UK

      Okey dokey :D

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      Linda Lee Crisp 4 weeks ago

      not interested

    working