How to Be a Witch: Beginner’s Guide to Finding Your Path
Do you find yourself wondering if you might be a witch? Perhaps you have experienced some psychic visions or dreams? Maybe your grandmother had a certain way with home remedies? Or, maybe you just feel that there must be more to this life?
If you are sure you are a witch, perhaps you are worried about what kind of witch you are. The trouble is, many don’t seem to fit into any neat category. This beginner’s guide to becoming a witch will help you take the first steps to finding your path.
First, let’s clear up some misunderstandings.
You Are a Witch If You Practice Witchcraft
That’s right. You are not a witch just because you kind of feel like one, or because you have weird and disturbing dreams. Witches do witchcraft. That means they study it and live a witchy life. You may be a fledgling psychic, but that doesn’t mean you are a witch.
If you’ve been told that witches have always been in your family, that’s great. But that still doesn’t mean you are an actual witch.
I can tell you, though, that if you are a bit psychic, if it runs in the family, if you have visions, and you have certain traits and characteristics, then you have a head start on becoming a witch.
How Do I Become a Witch?
You start by studying. Real witches have an encyclopedic knowledge of all, or some, of the following:
- The magickal elements
- Moon cycles
- The seasons
- Common plants and trees
- How to raise energy
- How to protect themselves and others
Witches usually have an affinity for:
- The Moon (or sometimes, the Sun)
- Spirits and ancestors
- Open-minded and willing to change their perspective
- Excellent researchers
- Set out to do harm or wish ill upon another person (except under very rare circumstances)
- Cast inappropriate love spells
- Cast any spell without considering the consequences
- Lie, cheat, or steal
- Bring the practice of witchcraft into disrepute
The Benefits of a Witchcraft Lifestyle
There are many benefits and advantages to being a witch. Most witches tend to have robust mental health. They see where they fit into the world. That they are part of the whole. They know death is part of life. They generally have a good sense of humor and understand that all challenges and obstacles will improve with time, or can be dealt with positively. Witches know their own limitations and are able to work around them.
Witches thrive in their connection to the earth, nature and the cycles of the universe. They are grounded and pragmatic. They can gently and humanely remove spiders from the bath.
Magick is just one of the ways that witches interact with the world around them. They use it to make positive changes in their lives. These positive changes radiate outwards to improve the lives of others.
Witches are keen observers. They are interested in stuff. They like to see how situations play out. Nothing gets past them - they file these experiences away for future reference, especially if they practice divination.
Home for witches is usually quirky, fun and maybe a little untidy. Books, magical 'equipment', candles are all around. And a lovely smell of herbs, incense and chocolate cookies permeates the house. There are usually muddy paw prints near the entrance too. Okay... not all witch's homes are like this and mine only smells of chocolate cookies when I can persuade my daughter to make them. The paw prints are definitely a thing though.
Where Do I Start?
You can begin from right where you are. Look at the lists above and determine to incorporate those qualities into yourself and your life. Don’t expect to turn into the ‘Good Witch’ overnight. It will take a lifetime and many slips, and even then, no-one is perfect.
Remember that only you can tread this path. It’s unique to you, and you get to choose. If you are very young, I recommend you read these two articles:
I also recommend you begin to build up a library of reference books. Start with these:
- The Modern Guide to Witchcraft: Your Complete Guide to Witches, Covens, and Spells by Skye Alexander
- A Year and a Day of Everyday Witchcraft: 366 Ways to Witchify Your Life by Deborah Blake
These are really good basic sources of information. I also recommend Lisa Chamberlain’s books to all fledgling witches and Wiccans. She writes in a straightforward, easy-to-understand way.
"The ethos of Witchcraft is one of working with the natural forces of the world, rather than commanding them."
- Chamberlain, Lisa. Modern Witchcraft and Magic for Beginners: A Guide to Traditional and Contemporary Paths, with Magical Techniques for the Beginner Witch
Later you can move on to subjects like the history of witchcraft and specific topics, such as divination or herbalism. Most witches have extensive collections of books and enjoy reading, and expanding their knowledge and expertize.
So, How Do I Know What Kind of Witch I Am?
To start with, you don’t have to be any kind. Keep it general. Learn about all the different traditions and see if one or two catch your attention. You don’t have to fit into any neat category or give yourself a label. And be prepared to change paths as you get older. As you mature, your interests will change. You might not have the slightest interest in growing herbs now, but when you get your own place to live, you might suddenly decide that a herb garden would be the best thing ever. Or maybe you’ll spot a deck of tarot cards in a witchy emporium. Or you might choose to look into astrology or crystal gazing.
Can I Combine Traditions?
Yes, absolutely. Most witches do that anyway. Wicca, for example, is a modern reinterpretation and amalgamation of many traditions. A lot of people will describe themselves as an ‘Eclectic Witch.’ This is someone who doesn’t restrict themselves to any one tradition. They pick ‘n mix from all the others. For example, someone might be keen on Celtic history, magick and deities, but they also enjoy dabbling in astrology, tarot and growing herbs. S/he would be an ecclectic witch.
Can I Go Niche?
Again, yes. If one particular aspect of witchcraft grabs your attention, pick up that thread and follow it. Sometimes, you’ll find it leads you out of witchcraft altogether, as in herbs leading to a passion for gardening. Or the cards taking you towards being a professional tarot reader. And that’s OK. No one is going to care if you leave your witch-hood behind you. It’s whatever works for you.
I’m Still Not Sure. What Do You Recommend?
That’s fine. You are right to think it through. What you could do, is to begin incorporating some tiny witchy practices into your daily life. Doing them doesn’t mean you are automatically a witch, but they can make you feel a little witch-ier. They’ll also connect you to the energy that swirls around and through us all. Have a look at 50 Ways to be Witchy Every Day. Just pick one or two to begin with.
"To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter; to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird’s nest or a wildflower in spring — these are some of the rewards of the simple life."— John Burroughs
What About Conservation and Ecology?
All witches care about the planet. Some will be activists, fighting for their beliefs; others will do it in their own way by picking up litter while out on a walk. They seek to reduce their own impact on the planet as much as possible. Good witches aren’t into material gratification. They love their books and witchy things, it’s true. And many of us couldn’t manage without our tech. But we do try to minimize buying stuff just for the sake of it. Recycling is very important to witches.
In a similar way, a lot of witches are vegetarian or vegan. I think everyone needs to follow their conscience in these matters. In the UK, we are lucky enough that our home-bred cattle, sheep, and pigs are grass-fed for a large part of the year. We have strict animal welfare laws, so we know that if the meat is British, it means the animal will have been cared for properly. It’s different in other countries, so you must decide for yourself.
Do I Need a Familiar?
Familiars were supposedly fantastical creatures or imps that did the witches’ bidding. They would spy or lay traps and get into places that the witch couldn’t. In return the witch kept them fed by allowing them to suckle on ‘witch teats’ on her body. All this was made up by the witch-hunters of centuries gone by.
However, many witches like to think of their pets as their familiars, and a lot of witches have a cat or two around the place. They don’t do much to help, even when we ask them nicely, unfortunately.
Did This Article Help?
I hope I have set your mind at rest. You don’t have to be any kind of witch if you are just starting out. Let the path reveal its wonders and secrets to you as you travel. If you have any questions, ask below. I’m happy to help.
Do you know what kind of witch you are?
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Questions & Answers
Can I become a witch even though I worship God?
Yes, witchcraft doesn't have to have a religious aspect. You can't be a Wiccan, because Wicca is a religion, but you can, for example, combine Christianity and witchcraft. There are many Christian witches.Helpful 58
Are witches real?
Of course. They aren't fairies, pixies, or goblins. They are human beings the same as you.Helpful 26
I have a spiritual connection to witchcraft but I don’t think I want to be one. I’m curious if there's anything else on the spiritual side?
There are many spiritual practices to try: meditation, Reiki, yoga, Kabbalah, or simply connecting with nature. I have another article that lists very simple daily practices, some of which may appeal to you: https://exemplore.com/wicca-witchcraft/50-Ways-To-...
Can a Therian be a witch?
If they want to. Anyone can be a witch unless their faith or culture expressly forbids it. I would hazard a guess that many witches are therian at heart.
I can sometimes tell what a chosen card or number is without looking at them, what kind of witch would that make me?
What you describe is the psychic gift of claircognizance - clear knowing. To be a witch you have to practice witchcraft.Helpful 1
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