Michael is a fairly new witch and wishes to share his pitfalls and triumphs with those who wish to start their own journey.
Being a witch is probably one of the most profound realizations I have had in my life. In my last writing, I spoke about how I actually "became" a witch. It is more of a brief synopsis of my life and the experiences that lead me to where I am today. The path is different for everyone, but I am hoping that some of the truths I lay before you today will serve as a crash course into a higher understanding of Wicca and Witchcraft.
These are my philosophies and beliefs.
1. Take Time to Know Yourself
One of the first steps on my path was truly getting to know myself. Not the superficial, shallow kind of talk that one would have with an acquaintance. Ask yourself deep questions and—above all—be honest. It is easy to point out your strengths. Look inside and shake yourself. Understand that it is okay to be you. You are uniquely and imperfectly perfect. We do not get through life without scars and failures. Use them and turn them into strengths. Work on yourself. Know your faults. I have such problems with ego, pride, and not being able to say no. I struggle with them every day, but have found ways to ask myself honest and thought-provoking questions. Why am I angry at someone? Did my ego play a part in provoking them to be angry with me? Could I have handled the situation better?
Knowing yourself, your desires, your dreams, your dislikes, your fears—no matter how uncomfortable—will lead you to a place where you don't really care what others think about you. It is easier to set boundaries and gain a feeling of freedom and self worth because you know exactly what it is that you crave and what you need to be happy.
2. Establish a Place of Sanctuary
You need a place that feels safe. A place from all the noise and commotion. Somewhere to sit quietly and talk to yourself. Modern life has so many distractions and it can literally cause sensory overload. Personally, I am an extreme introvert. People, loud places, stressful situations drain me. I need a place to recharge my energy, make sense of things that happen throughout the day and sit quietly. Meditation and music are very important to me, but so is a quiet place I set aside for myself on my deck that I can just listen to the birds sing and feel the wind and sun. Time for just yourself (without answering the ringing phone, the text messages, or the emails) is okay. Everyone will be fine without you for a little while. Protect your energy. Guard it and restore it—your spirit will thank you.
3. Make Time for Study
You literally have the wealth of the world's collective knowledge at your fingertips. This can be both a boon and a bane. Realizing what is true and untrue is a vital skill when researching and studying your craft. If you are a solitary witch like me, it can seem a bit overwhelming at first. There are so many different paths one can take, on top of various beliefs and traditions. Just know that no one can tell you what is right or wrong. What works for me may not work for you. Take what you find in your endeavors and use it to form your own traditions and beliefs. Sure there are guidelines—traditions, correspondences, relations that most of us adhere to, but they are not "law". As you grow, you will become better at sifting out the important information that serves YOU. Definitely try to maintain your own "book of shadows" or place to jot down notes. Think of it as a cheat sheet for later use.
4. Seek to Be Inspired
What inspires you? Do you inspire others? Finding your inspiration is fairly straightforward. What drives you? What makes you smile? Some of us are drawn to water. The sound of waves crashing on the surf calms us. A child's laugh, great music, art, gardening, walking in the forest, or even just the sound of rain dripping off your roof. Take the time to appreciate the little things. See the beauty in everything. Be that person that stands in the parking lot with your bags of groceries that instead of running to your car for fear of melting, looks up and takes a few seconds to let the rain hit your face. Thank the moon for watching over you. When you are inspired, you inspire others. People will enjoy being around you for your unique cheerfulness and ability to see what others cannot.
5. Practice Patience
This is a hard one for me. I think the world has trained most of us to seek out instant gratification. The older I get, the more patience I can practice—but I still struggle with it. Learn to let go and understand that not everything can or needs to be controlled. Trust in yourself and believe that the Universe will allow it to happen. Set small goals that are easily accomplished, perhaps leading to a more complicated desire. Don't get caught up in casting spells and performing magick before you learn the basics. Set a good foundation for yourself and everything will fall into place. Above all else, don't get frustrated. These things take time and with time you will know when you are ready to delve deeper.
May You Be Well
Travel well—I use these words in many of my goodbyes. "Goodbye" just feels so final to me. It leaves no room for hope or the option to meet again. For today, I bid you to travel well in all that you do. Through knowing yourself, protecting yourself through your own sanctuary, accumulating knowledge through study, being inspired (and through it becoming an inspiration to others), and practicing patience you can set a solid foundation for your magick. The magick lies within you. When you find it and are able to manifest it to serve you, your path has begun. Welcome.
Questions & Answers
Question: What herbs should I start with?
Answer: Herbalism would be a different topic but for the beginner witch, I would suggest: sage, rosemary, and lavender depending on how much space you have. You can obviously expand this if you have the room according to your personal preferences. Chamomile, basil, peppermint are also good.
beginnerwitch on March 22, 2020:
Michael Berrios (author) from Tallahassee, FL on March 11, 2020:
That's a tough one in practice. For me, its ALL about honesty. We all have faults, scars and fears. There are things you will struggle with and that's ok! We all do. Sit and think. Remove yourself from situations that are fake or nonsensical. Be real and work on yourself daily. Baby steps.
beginnerwitch on March 11, 2020:
just a follow up.
are there any particular tips for getting to know myself, that you would suggest?
Michael Berrios (author) from Tallahassee, FL on March 08, 2020:
It really is a fundamental for me, it clears up so much confusion when you can be honest with yourself!
beginner witch on March 07, 2020:
really. nice. article.
I liked "1. Take Time to Know Yourself" the best.
it is really true.