Simple Witchcraft: How to Be a Witch With Very Little Effort
I’m a lazy witch. It’s true. Not for me the moots and meet-ups, the shared rituals and coven politics. Been there, done that, and wasn’t too keen on it. I prefer to do it my way. And my way is the lazy witches’ way: simple witchcraft.
Being a Witch Can Be Expensive
Have you been sucked into all those lovely ‘must-haves’? The tools, the altar decoration, the clothes? I was like that. Back when I started, I wanted the silver Goddess jewelry, the prettiest athame, the highly polished and very expensive wand. I wanted witchy music, witchy hair, witchy hats and even witchy handbags.
It’s lovely, I grant you, but it’s an industry. A retail sector. I encourage you, if you must have all those things, to purchase from an independent, self-employed artisan. I also encourage you to make your own or to substitute and customize what you already have.
Essential Tools of Witchcraft
In a word: none. Really. You don’t need anything to be a witch, do magic and connect with energy. All you need is your mind and body. A pointy finger is also useful, but intention is everything.
Optional and Mostly Free Tools
I get it, you want to feel like a witch, and having those things will make you feel as if you are working it like a full-on priestess of the craft. Here are my suggestions:
- Wand: To represent fire and to work with fire energy. Can be easily found on a beach or a lake shore. Look for a piece of strong, weathered driftwood around 12”—15” long. If you want to collect your own from woodland, I have another article how to go about it: How to Make Your own Wand. Know that if you cut one from a living tree, you must do so responsibly, carefully, and with gratitude. Witches never inflict unnecessary damage.
- Athame or ritual knife: To represent air and to work with air energy. Use what you have. Check the kitchen, but don’t use your mother’s best Sabatier. Choose an old worn out knife that has been well-used and holds the energy of your home and family. Sharp is not good. Or, you can purchase a wooden one. A cheap child’s play dagger will do the job and you can customize it to your own preference. But, as I say, free and home-made is always better.
- Flat stone: To represent the element of earth and to work with earth energy. This is always a useful item. I use one for burning a tea light or loose incense on. If you wish, you could inscribe or paint a pentacle on it.
- Chalice: To represent the element of water and to work with the energy of water. You could use your own personal cup or mug. It will be imbued with your energy and thus more significant. If you don’t want to do that, any pretty cup-shaped vessel will work.
Items like tea lights, candles, found objects, photos, pen and paper, string, etcetera, are all useful in the working of magic. Keep your eyes open and see what you can find. Create an altar, if you want one, with pretty stones, inexpensive crystals, and your own jewelry.
A really important thing to remember, and I see a lot of people ignore this, especially when recommending dollar-store accoutrements. is that we are supposed to care for our environment and the planet. Therefore using items found in nature is a whole lot better than using manufactured goods, especially plastic.
Some people love this, others prefer the social aspect and the increased power of working in a group. It’s your choice. I like to work alone. I’m a solitary witch and I find myself distracted when working with other people. Plus I can carry out rituals in my jammies should I wish.
The Religious Aspect of Witchcraft
Again, this is personal choice. I find myself leaning towards the tradition of the West Country witches who saw themselves as practical, wise women. Religion and worshiping didn’t come into it. However, I think that cultivating an attitude of appreciation (of nature, people, fortuitous events) is always a good thing.
Some people enjoy working with deities and that’s fine too. For a while I studied the Celtic deities, but after a while I didn’t feel much connection, so I let all that go. My witchcraft is not religious although I love the spiritual experiences I have as I go through my days. Precious memories of simply walking in the woods and feeling the power and the peace of nature. Or having a cleansing breeze whip my breath away as I walk my dogs on the beach.
A Simple Ritual of Thanks
This simple ritual of thanks, involves nothing more than a few found objects. It can be done indoors, but much better to do it outside. My children and I used to do this when they were very young.
Choose your place: woodland, a park, on the beach, on a hilly hike, or in the garden, wherever you can go.
If on a beach, spend a little time collecting pebbles, seaweed, shells, tiny bits of driftwood. It depends on what’s around. If there are lots of flat pebbles, use those.
If anywhere else, do the same. Look for twigs, leaves, pebbles, stones. Never pick flowers, although you can include a nearby growing plant in your ritual without touching it.
Now build a little… something. It could be a circle or a small cairn (flat stones piled up on top of each other. Perhaps you could mark out a symbol that means something to you. As you place each object, feel and appreciate it. Give thanks for the air you are breathing, your health, the abundance of nature all around. Even if you are in a city, backyard or even in your living room. If you like you can close your eyes and meditate.
When you are ready, simply say, “I give loving thanks for all that I am, all that I have, and all that I experience.”
Leave your circle where it is. It will make people smile if they see it. Just don’t destroy, litter, pollute or obstruct. A little collection of leaves, stones and twigs is fine. All you’ve done is gathered them together.
Simple Spellwork: Sigils
I'm a huge fan of sigil magick. They are so simple to do and all you need is a pen and paper. A sigil is a symbol that you create yourself. It is only meaningful to you, which means it is unique and personal.
Should you want to learn more about making sigils and using them to create a better life, read my article: Witch Sigils: Easy Magick
Incorporate Witchcraft into Daily Life
It’s really simple to bring the craft into almost everything you do. Whether it’s blessing the food as you cook it, lighting a ritual candle occasionally, filling your home with the sweet smell of incense and wearing the obligatory long stripey socks or leggings.
Expand Your Knowledge
Learn the old ways, read up about traditional witchcraft. Become that wise woman or man. Mix the old with the new. Try new things, have new experiences, push your own boundaries. Learn to heal, have a go at quirky activities like dowsing or tarot reading. Bring witchy-ness into everything you do. Most importantly: be your unique self.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Questions & Answers
What books would you recommend to learn about traditional witchcraft?
I'd suggest you start with "Modern Witchcraft and Magic for Beginners: A Guide to Traditional and Contemporary Paths, with Magical Techniques for the Beginner Witch" by Lisa Chamberlain... or any of Lisa's other books that appeal to you.Helpful 22
What experiences did you have when you first started out?
I'm not psychic, although I have a pretty good intuition (I'm a professional tarot reader). My favorite witch experience is a sense of awe, such as at Full Moon. The sight of the moon at any stage can take my breath away. I love the feeling of energy coursing through me when I do a ritual. The first time I felt it was special; my hands were tingling as if with electricity. Walking in the woods with my dogs is where I feel most happy although being near the sea is also a balm to my spirit.
These things happened at various stages. In the beginning it was more a feeling of finding out that witchcraft resonated with me in a way that nothing else had.Helpful 5
Why the preference for a dull edge on an athame?
Because, A. It's not necessary to have a sharp edge; you won't be dicing vegetables with it. And B. So as not to harm yourself or others.Helpful 4
In the ritual of thanks, what if someone messes up the circle when you leave it outside?
Nothing will happen. It's fine. It is merely a temporary focus of your attention and energy.Helpful 3
I don’t know why I see and feel dead people sometimes. I also smell one of them. What do you think they want? I have no idea how to learn about it, especially when some I feel/see aren't humans. What should I do?
I guess you are psychic. Clairvoyant perhaps. You can choose to develop your psychic skills, or you can learn how to switch them off. If you want to understand what is going on and find out what they want, try to communicate with them. You could try using automatic writing (when you relax and allow the spirits to move your hand).
If it all frightens you too much, you can 'request' that they leave you alone. Or you can work a protection/banishing spell in order to keep them away. Google 'smudging for banishing'.Helpful 3
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