Is Witchcraft Real? Do Witches Exist?
Is witchcraft real? That depends what you have in mind when asking the question.
If you mean: "do witches make things happen in a spectacular Harry Potter or The Craft kind of way?" then the answer is no. That’s movie magic. It’s visual, dramatic and impactful because, well, it’s the movies.
However, should you ask if witches can cause change to occur using magic, the answer has to be yes, witches are real and witchcraft is a real thing.
So, let’s put aside fantasy movie magic and focus on real magic and real witches.
Who Are These Real Witches?
Do real witches look different from everyone else?
No, they look just like you and I. Witches can be any nationality, wear anything they choose and, in public, speak and act like most other people.
Are witches always women?
Absolutely not. Witches can be anyone, any gender. Witchcraft has long been a welcoming, open community because for so long, witches were shunned by society; stigmatized and punished. We don’t want that sort of thing any more, so no one is excluded.
Do witches have special powers?
No, they have the same quotient of powers as any other human being. Some may have some psychic gifts, or have learned to develop their innate intuition. Some will undoubtedly have some unusual skills, such as divination or healing. But almost all of these things can be learned.
What is important to understand is that everyone has access to the power of the universe. And witches use it.
Do you have to be born into witchcraft?
No. There’s no doubt that there are witchcraft families, and many people if they are able to delve back into family history could find a witch or two among their ancestors.
These days, witchcraft is usually a chosen path. Often people stumble into it by accident. I was listening to a phone-in radio show, along the lines of ‘Are Witches Real’ and a woman called in, professing to be a witch. She made so much sense to me that I went out the next day and bought a book about witchcraft. As soon as I started reading, it was like, “Yes!”. I felt I’d found my true self.
Okay, but surely these people are just calling themselves witches?
Yes… and no. Real life witches actually do witchcraft. Having said that, some live in such circumstances, they have to restrict their magickal workings to within their minds (and the mind is the place where most of the magick happens anyway). The range of witch activities and applications is so big you can connect almost anything to witchcraft. From hobbies (baking, gardening, crystals) to work (improving career prospects, healing, working with people or animals).
Really there is nothing that couldn’t be spiced up with a little magick.
Name Some Real Life Witches
Okay, well, I’ll stick with those who have written books and are well known within witchy circles, if you’ll excuse the pun.
- Phyllis Curot
- Christopher Penczak
- Lisa Chamberlain
- Tonya A. Brown
- Juditha Illes
- Scott Cunningham (deceased)
- Luisah Telsh
- Pam Grossman
This story in the New Yorker profiles photographer, Frances F. Denny, who set out to photograph real life witches. She asked them to dress in clothes that represented their own witchy persona. It’s a shame no one dressed like me in jeans and casual tops - I keep my quartz crystal wand pendant hidden. It’s also a shame I couldn’t find a corresponding article that illustrated other genders.
I also know several witches personally, but obviously am not going to name them. We are all solitaries who tend to keep our witch-ness under wraps. I certainly don't go round saying, "Hi, I'm Bev and I'm a witch."
What Is Real Magic?
The mystery of witchcraft, the word that enchants us is magic. Magic, or ‘magick’, is simply the means of working with energy to make change happen. It really is as simple as that.
Everyone practices a little magic to some degree. Every time you make a wish or say a prayer, you are hoping for a change to occur. Usually these wishes don’t come true because people don’t understand how it works. They subsequently ‘muddy’ the energy by negating the wish, or they simply don’t align themselves what they want. I’ve explained this in more detail in this article: How Magic Works in Witchcraft https://exemplore.com/wicca-witchcraft/How-Magick-Works-in-Witchcraft
I tried a spell and it didn’t work, so is this all made up nonsense?
No, it’s not made up. There could be any number of reasons why your spell didn’t work. You might have been a little mind-muddled about what you really wanted to happen. Perhaps you weren’t invested enough in the result when you cast it? Or you doubted your own ability? Maybe you kept waiting for the result and became disillusioned when it didn’t show up right away?
Effective spells are those which are imbued with emotion at the time of casting, and are subsequently ‘let go’. The witch simply forgets about it and gets on with life. If they ever think about it, they remind themselves that the universe is handling it.
When will I see results?
That depends. Some spells work quickly because circumstances are already aligned, others take longer because situations need to fall into place to enable the result to happen. Some work perfectly well, but over a period of time so that it seems that the situation changed of its own accord. Still magic, but disguised as the mundane.
An example of this is that I often suffer from a condition called 'fibromyalgia'. It's unexplained pain. One evening I did a spell to help relieve it. The following day I happened across a study that recommended restricting one's diet to certain foods. It works wonderfully (when I stick to it). It was only later I realised that this solution came as a result of my spell. A disguised result.
The first time I called myself a 'Witch' was the most magical moment of my life.— Margaret Adler; "Drawing Down the Moon"
How Do I Become a Real Witch?
I have a lot of articles that cover this aspect of real witchcraft, but to summarize: firstly you need to be old enough. I can’t tell you how often I am contacted by young teenagers who have bought into the glamor of Hollywood and Netflix shows.
I don’t recommend you start practicing witchcraft until you have accumulated a few miles on the clock, so to speak. The very essence of witchcraft is wisdom. And 12, 13, 14, 15 year olds simply haven’t lived enough life to develop the necessary common sense. Witchcraft is not something you undertake lightly.
If it fascinates you, do read as much as you can. Learn. Watch videos. Find out all about it, but for goodness sake, don’t start working with energy until you know you are ready. You could hurt yourself, or someone else. There are some very simple spells you can do to begin, so look for those. They include circle casting, protection, and little money spells.
As a general rule I suggest you focus on school and get the main part of your formal education done before you launch yourself on the witchcraft path.
Should you be past your teenage years and looking for a spiritual and practical ‘home’, you have to start right where you are. There is nothing you need change or acquire, apart from knowledge.
Start small, learn to feel energy; how to physically manipulate it. The best book I have read lately on this is by Csonger Daniel. He describes and teaches how to feel energy in your hands and body. And it’s so easy—I discovered it by accident a long time ago but Daniel’s method is extremely simple and can be used in all kinds of spells and rituals. This also demonstrates that we don’t just read witchy books; we expand our knowledge by consuming information from many sources. Energy Healing
Cast your first circle, without including spells. Sit within and feel at peace. Begin to explore all the many traditions and possible paths. Ask yourself would you prefer to work alone as a solitary or would you like to be part of a group? Social media can be useful in tracking down like-minded folk.
Journal your experiences, keep a note of your walks, your dreams, your intuitive feelings. Explore what it means to be a witch. How does it make you feel?
I won’t go on; there are a myriad of websites and books available to the beginner witch, and you can always ask me a question in the comments. I also have a lot more witchy articles you can access here: Resources to Get You Started on the Witchcraft Path.
Real or Not?
To come back full circle, is witchcraft real? Or are witches a bunch of self-deluded hippies who have convinced themselves that they can influence change by ‘magick’?
I know what I am, but what do you think?
Do you believe witches and witchcraft are real?
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Bev G