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 67
How do I start a book of shadows?
I have a whole article about how to create a Book of Shadows or witch journal. It gives detailed suggestions how to get started and what to include: https://exemplore.com/wicca-witchcraft/A-Witchs-Jo...Helpful 2
I tried to fight a negative presence with my purple candle and will of mind plus emotions. Afterwards, I felt as if my mental energy had been drained. All was very fast, because my sister had just told me she had sensed a negative being in the room and it was getting cold (she’s sensitive). I got a bit scared (new witch) and gave my all. Could you give me some tips on fast protection?
Yes, if you are a beginner witch, you should not be messing with negative energy at all. If you feel a 'negative presence' leave the room. Or simply cleanse it by a simple method, like smudging. Even a normal cleaning - tidying, dusting and vacuuming - will help. I cannot say this more clearly: if you don't know what you are dealing with, then don't try 'Exorcist'-type of magic.
More information on protection here: https://exemplore.com/wicca-witchcraft/Psychic-Pro...Helpful 1
What are some things I can do to start practicing witchcraft today?
Read the article. Plenty of suggestions there to help you get started. You can't be a non-witch one day and launch yourself into witchcraft the next. You have work to do first.
Meanwhile, here are some simple witchy practices that will help you find your connection to the earth and to witchcraft: https://exemplore.com/wicca-witchcraft/50-Ways-To-...Helpful 2
I feel like I'm too young to even know if I am a witch. Are there any signs or symptoms to associate with witchcraft? Am I supposed to experience things like levitating something or accidentally setting something on fire to know I'm a witch? I just don't get how I'm supposed to know.
Firstly, you are too young to practice witchcraft. And real witchcraft is not about levitation and setting things on fire - that's the Hollywood/Netflix version. Real witches quietly get on with their lives. They understand that magick is powerful, but it is not spectacular. Being a witch means you need to have a wise head and a kind heart. First steps to become a young witch might be to volunteer at your local animal shelter or help your elderly neighbors. Then one day, you will know you are a witch.Helpful 3
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