How to Learn Witchcraft: A Beginner's Guide
So you decided you are a witch, or at least you want to be one? Well, you can’t wake up one day and be a witch just like that. There is a basic process to negotiate before you can call yourself a true witch. The good news is that it is fun, engaging and enjoyable.
What Makes You Want to Be a Witch?
The first thing to do is to work out what it is about witchcraft that you are drawn to. This calls for complete honesty because knowing and understanding your motivation is key to whether you will become a real witch, or are just playing at it because it’s a cool thing to do.
So, your first piece of witchcraft homework is to write out what attracts you to witchcraft and why.
Here are some prompts to help you along:
- What was your first experience of witchcraft?
- Do you know a witch?
- Did you see a TV show or movie that influenced you?
- What does it mean to be a witch? What do you think witches do?
- How do you think becoming a witch will enhance your life?
- How will it affect your close family and friends?
- How do you feel about religion, faith, and the spiritual aspects of being a witch?
There are no wrong answers but I encourage you to explore the idea of being a witch as deeply as possible. One of the main attributes of a witch is that he or she knows themselves really well. They know when they are making decisions based on their emotions. They know when they are acting flaky. They know when they are at fault, and they aren’t ever too proud to apologize. They also know when to follow their intuition. When to use energy to get a desired result and, most importantly, when not to interfere.
Being a Witch Is a Way of Life
It’s true, it’s not just something you do, but is part of who you are. As you learn and practice it becomes imbued into your soul and personality. You view the world through the lens of witchcraft. These are some of the things that you will learn:
Truths About Witches
- They are never cruel.
- They do not manipulate people for their own benefit.
- They try not to judge others.
- They use their knowledge and wisdom for good.
- They love nature and revere the workings of the universe.
- They are in tune with their own bodies.
- They always give the benefit of the doubt.
- They are protective of their families and loved ones.
- They like making money and they usually do well in their careers.
- They read a lot.
What Witchcraft Tradition Are You Drawn To?
Have a look through this list of 60 Witchcraft Traditions and see which ones appeal to you. You don’t have to choose just one. You might find a combination will suit you. Having said that, if you are looking at Witchcraft as a faith or religion, then Wicca is probably the best place for you to begin.
Witches Build Up Collections of Knowledge
If a witch doesn’t know the answer to something she knows how to find it. From being comfortable with technology and the goddess Google, to having an enviably spooky collection of books, she accumulates information. She absorbs everything she can and then chooses the bits she likes best.
Create a Personalized Study Plan
Once you have decided which path appeals to you, it’s time to begin researching. And know, right now, that this is a journey that will take all your life. A witch never stops learning. Not ever. There are always new things to study, new pathways of interest. And all your real life experiences will be incorporated into your increasing body of knowledge.
Start With a Good Book
Your first step is to get yourself a really good book about witchcraft. Not one that’s full of fluff, but one that covers the basics in a sensible and down-to-earth way. My recommendation has to be Lisa Chamberlain’s “”. It’s not just for Wiccans either. The book covers the history of Wicca (which is fairly modern as you will discover), beliefs, celebrations, the Wheel of the Year, other occult systems, magic and its basis in science, rituals and spellwork, and how to use all your new-found knowledge. It’s an easy read, and if you have the print version, I highly recommend that you scribble in the margins, make notes of any questions, and add your own observations. If Wicca is your chosen path, then you can follow on with any or all of Lisa Chamberlain’s books. They are all straightforward, comprehensive and a good basis for your witchy library. Wicca for Beginners
If Wicca is not your thing, then Chamberlain has also written a wide-ranging book called “”. Although it does touch on Wicca and the differences between Wicca and other flavors of Witchcraft, it is more broadly based and secular. This book encompasses what the craft is and isn’t, a brief history of western witchcraft, the various paths and traditions, healing, animism, nature as a sacred space, the Hermetic principles (important for every witch to explore), she even throws in a little quantum physics. And of course, spellcraft and candle magic are also included. There are too many topics to mention here, and it really is a good place to begin your studies. Modern Witchcraft and Magic for Beginners: A Guide to Traditional and Contemporary Paths, with Magical Techniques for the Beginner Witch
Here are two online resources that I recommend:
- Witchvox, or the Witch’s Voice (no affiliation) has been going a long time. It’s a great sprawling website full of nuggets of gold, if you have the patience to explore it. Never mind that many of the articles were written before you were born; they still hold a lot of wisdom. There is tons of information there for the beginner witch.
- And of course, our own site, Exemplore, right here has numerous Wiccan and Witchcraft articles to explore.
Keep a Journal
You can call it a Book of Shadows if it makes you feel more authentic, although that’s also a modern term. Witches of old may well have kept a ‘family book’ that contained everything about everything, from recipes to charms. They were rarely called spells, and also not really connected to magic. Witches back then believed wholeheartedly that they were aided and abetted by otherworldly creatures, and most of their magic was concerned with calling upon these entities to help them achieve some desire or other. We might call them goblins, sprites or fairies, but they had many names depending on where in the world the witch lived. Anyway, I digress…
So, yes, keep a journal to record your new-found knowledge, your thoughts, and practice of witchcraft. You’ll probably build up a little collection of several. Some witches keep one for spells, another as a sort of witch database of skills and wisdom and another where they record their insights and thoughts.
Ask Me a Question
As well as being a witch, I am a writer. That means I am online several hours a day, so feel free to ask me a question about witchcraft. If there’s anything you don’t understand or are curious about, I’ll do my best to help. All I ask of you is that you read the above article thoroughly and then scroll through the comments and questions to see if yours has been asked and answered already.
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
Can a 13 year old study witchcraft, and keep a book of shadows?
Sure, but I recommend you don't launch yourself into full-on spell casting until you are a few years older. The consequences can be unintended and lead to heartache for a very long time.Helpful 66
I have been studying witchcraft for years but I still don't know any spells. Can you teach me some spells?
I have my own basic ritual structure which can be adapted to any spell. The most important thing to remember is that the spells you create yourself are the most powerful. To distill it down to absolute basics, my spells consist of: Visualise, Feel, Know, Let go. That means to mentally see the result you want, feel how it will be when it has happened, know that it has happened, give it to the universe to deal with it.
More information on spells, and witchcraft generally, here: https://exemplore.com/wicca-witchcraft/How-to-be-a...
What does it mean that I feel vibrations in my hands or arms when I am doing research about witchcraft?
You are senstive to energy and you are able to tap into it at will. If you begin to study and practice witchcraft, it will stand you in good stead. Combine that feeling with deliberate emotions and your spellcasting will be effective.Helpful 6
Where should I start researching if I want to be a witch? What if no one in my family is a witch, can I still be one and practice witchcraft?
Yes, you can be a witch if no one in your family is already one. The choice is always yours. The article above is a guide for beginner witches. It's not limited to teens. There are suggestions, links, and book recommendations.Helpful 3
Where do I begin on this journey of witchcraft?
You begin from right where you are. I have made suggestions about where to start in the article above. Additionally, you can read these for more ideas:Helpful 17
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