Born in deepest Cornwall, now living in wild Wales, Bev has been practising her personal brand of eclectic witchcraft for years and years.
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 on 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
Question: What books would you recommend to learn about traditional witchcraft?
Answer: 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.
Question: What experiences did you have when you first started out?
Answer: 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.
Question: Why the preference for a dull edge on an athame?
Answer: 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.
Question: 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?
Answer: 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'.
Question: In the ritual of thanks, what if someone messes up the circle when you leave it outside?
Answer: Nothing will happen. It's fine. It is merely a temporary focus of your attention and energy.
Question: Can a boy be a witch? Or would I need be looking into something else?
Answer: A male can be a witch. However, as you describe yourself as a 'boy', you may be too young to be working with energy. Have a read of this article: https://exemplore.com/wicca-witchcraft/Im-a-Young-...
© 2018 Bev G
What d'you think? Will you embrace simple witchcraft?
Bev G (author) from Wales, UK on April 28, 2019:
Hi Shay, yes, I would think many people come to witchcraft by following a spiritual pathway similar to yours. And like you, they have discovered that witchcraft can be as benevolent as you like. On the other hand, there are people who practice a darker version.
I would say, just follow your instincts. It sounds as if you have a strong moral code and wouldn't do anything beyond your scope.
I have a ton of other articles on witchcraft that might be helpful.Just click on my profile at the top of the page. And to see even more by other great witchy writers, just click on Exemplore right at the very top.
Shay on April 28, 2019:
Thank you for your writing it has helped me understand a lot. I've been lead towards witchcraft a lot of my life (admittedly I'm only in my 20s) by something and I was always scared to let myself look into it cause of the stereotypes and stories. However after reading a few of these I've come to understand I had been living my life upon the same values just without the casting. I even had collected some items that are used in the craft without realising. Is this a normal kind of situation/ circumstances for people who go on to follow witchcraft?
I feel like I'm on the right path even though I've just started, I'm intending on working through things slowly. However, I was wondering if there is any tips or comments you had for me to help me or anything to be aware of when going ahead with witchcraft (things not to do/ things to be careful of)?
Bev G (author) from Wales, UK on September 15, 2018:
You are very welcome, Hannan.
Hannan Zhou on September 15, 2018:
Thank you for writing this article. I am a young teen, and I have not yet officiated my study of witchcraft with myself and nature yet (officiated meaning 'actually started doing it seriously,' although I am researching it), but this will be helpful when I decide whether or not to follow the path of witchcraft.
Bev G (author) from Wales, UK on August 22, 2018:
OK, JournyWitch, good luck on your path. Perhaps you'd like this page: https://exemplore.com/wicca-witchcraft/Teenwitch-H...
JournyWitch on August 22, 2018:
I am 15 and I believe I am a witch. I dont feel the energy coming out from me though i am a great believer and I am casting small spells that work.
Anastasia on July 21, 2018:
Thank you for this article. I too feel no need to join a group or have the traditional trappings of the current trend for commercial ways to practice. I honour my belief my own way as a solitary witch. Simple witchcraft suits me well and serves well enough for my journey. Blessed be
Kittie on July 18, 2018:
I enjoyed reading this very much! It is definitely very truthful and alot like I work .. brightest blessings
Lazyfirefly on July 08, 2018:
Awesome thank you!! I ended up finding a lot more articles by other authors I enjoyed so it ended up working out.
Bev G (author) from Wales, UK on July 08, 2018:
Hi Lazyfirefly, Thank you! No, I don't use FaceBook - cancelled my account due to their questionable practices regarding privacy. I have a website: tarot-study.info
Lazyfirefly on July 07, 2018:
Hey bev, I fell in absolute love with this article. So in love I clicked on your profile and clicked the follow me on Facebook icon. But it didn't take me to any page of yours. So I had to create this whole account, go all crazy trying to track this article down just to type this out and see if you have a Facebook to follow.lf not, I will unfortunately have to keep whatever this social media things is.
Bev G (author) from Wales, UK on April 11, 2018:
Not yet, Stefania!
Stefania on April 11, 2018:
I love your post! It is very near to my way of being a witch! I do exactly the same as you describe it. Easy and paddles painless. I follow my intuition. I read and course what I like. Thank you for writing about it.
Have you written any books?
Bev G (author) from Wales, UK on March 21, 2018:
Greetings, Hasty. Read these: https://exemplore.com/wicca-witchcraft/Are-You-a-W...
Hasty on March 20, 2018:
Hi im hasty. im 14. Am I a witch? I can't lift things with my mind power?there is no witchcraft book in my country and I don't know how to get started.can you help me please? and do I need a teacher?
Bev G (author) from Wales, UK on March 12, 2018:
Easy-peasy, lemon-squeezy, Eleni. Cultivate a life of ease, contentment, enthusiasm, positive expectation, and love. That's all a good witch really needs. And possibly a cat. And stripy tights.
eleni on March 12, 2018:
What a refreshing post Bev! Bless you! I've always thought my connection to nature was just that... an empathy to nature.... then I began to read and explore spells that used our Universe's vibrations to help my family... then I stumbled across Wicca and felt that spells couldn't be so simple.... I thought I had to set up altars and collect special tools to make any vibration come to fruition .... It just never felt quite right.... I'm sure Wicca is the way for some... but I connect to what you're saying... the power and the magic is in everything natural around us.. I still love my candles and resin incense (it's an integral part to the mysticism of the religion I was brought up in)... I love to use them to create peace within myself.... I absolutely adore your idea of leaving natural circles dotted about our environment (so Stonehenge!) This was perfect... Thank you... I feel like I have found evidence to let go of the "witchy image" and just do what feels right...
Bev G (author) from Wales, UK on February 23, 2018:
You are welcome, Brenna. I wish you well on your path. It sounds as though we might be walking in parallel.
Brenna Coral from Little Rock, AR on February 23, 2018:
Thank you for this article. I too choose to go without a coven because I cannot focus and be one with nature when everyone wants it done their way. I 'feel' my way along the path instead of conforming to specific rituals. It is nice to hear I am not necessarily 'wrong' in my choice. I feel more connected to the tools I took time to make and consecrate than to the items I can (and do occasionally) buy. Again, thank you for your beautiful words.
Rhonda A. Ciampaglio on February 11, 2018:
Thank you for this.. Iam relatively new and feel overwhelmed at times.
Carnelianfire on February 10, 2018:
And breath.....thanks Bev.
Bev G (author) from Wales, UK on February 08, 2018:
Oh thank you, Nicole. You have some wonderful witchy articles too. I agree with you. The place I feel most witchy is the beach and woodland. We have a small wood just a minute's walk from the house. When there's no one else around it's magical. Thank you for taking the time to read and leave a comment.
Kitty Fields from Summerland on February 08, 2018:
I really enjoyed this, Bev! This is my brand of the craft, and you iterated it so perfectly! I have done the coven-thing but I prefer solitary. I can do what I want, when I want, how I want to do it. Most of my magick and where I connect is in the garden and nature (mountains and beach). Personally, I use a lot of butterfly and bee magick, as my garden is geared towards the pollinators, and I also grow some herbs. Thanks for a lovely hub! Blessings.