How to Be a Witch: Beginner’s Guide to Finding Your Path

Updated on March 13, 2020
theraggededge profile image

Born in deepest Cornwall and now living in wild Wales, Bev has been practising her personal brand of witchcraft for years and years.

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.

Photo by mari lezhava on Unsplash
Photo by mari lezhava on Unsplash

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
  • Healing
  • Divination
  • Spirituality
  • Meditation

Witches usually have an affinity for:

  • The Moon (or sometimes, the Sun)
  • Animals
  • Nature
  • Water
  • Silver
  • Darkness
  • Spirits and ancestors

Witches are:

  • Kindly
  • Sensible
  • Thoughtful
  • Helpful
  • Charitable
  • Cautious
  • Curious
  • Patient
  • Open-minded and willing to change their perspective
  • Excellent researchers

Witches never:

  • 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

Photo by Todd Quackenbush on Unsplash
Photo by Todd Quackenbush on Unsplash

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."

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.

Photo by Jessica Furtney on Unsplash
Photo by Jessica Furtney on Unsplash

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.

From 'The Discovery Of Witches', Matthew Hopkins (1647)
From 'The Discovery Of Witches', Matthew Hopkins (1647) | Source

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?

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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.

  • Are witches real?

    Of course. They aren't fairies, pixies, or goblins. They are human beings the same as you.

  • I tend to know things about people without them telling me, and occasionally know what's about to happen. Do you have a suggestion on the path I should take?

    You have premonitions. They don't mean that witchcraft is the right path for you. You could start by researching psychic gifts such as clairvoyance, clairsentience, etc. Witchcraft is a practice, a way of life.

    I wrote this article to help people to decide:

  • Can I become a witch simply by casting spells, growing herbs, and being interested in religious and or non religious facts?

    You can become a witch simply by practicing witchcraft, as you describe. There is no governing body, no one to say you are doing it wrong. You can design your own witchy life.

  • I really don't know where to start in becoming a witch, even after reading this. Any other suggestions?

    There are several ideas, links, and book suggestions in the article. I recommend you follow up some of them. Witchcraft requires an element of self-reliance, motivation, and problem solving. You have to take the first steps.

    I have a lot more articles for beginner witches here:

© 2018 Bev G


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    • theraggededge profile imageAUTHOR

      Bev G 

      4 weeks ago from Wales, UK

      Hi friend, you could only create a tradition with the help of a lot of like-minded people. A tradition in witchcraft is a specified collection of shared practices.

      However, it is quite easy to forge your own individual practice, although it would be a stretch to call it a tradition. You would be an 'eclectic witch'.

    • profile image


      4 weeks ago

      Can you create traditions?

    • theraggededge profile imageAUTHOR

      Bev G 

      8 weeks ago from Wales, UK

      Hi Olivia, glad to help.

      I have more articles for the beginner:

    • profile image


      8 weeks ago

      This article has helped me so much! I've always felt a little different than most. I've never had a set religion, but I have always felt a strong connection to nature, plants, herbs, and the elements. My family is Cuban American, and we do have many legends that I find myself believing (for example: Mal de ojo, the evil eye taking away something you boast of). I am also a musician and artist, and I work at a florist. Recently, I have put more effort into my spiritual beliefs, and I found that I resonate so much with the witchcraft that I am exposed to. Where do you recommend starting? Should I expand my knowledge of herbs? Or take a look at symbols and talisman? Or music or art? Or the elements? I found that your article really eased some of my confusion. Thank you for sharing!

    • theraggededge profile imageAUTHOR

      Bev G 

      2 months ago from Wales, UK

      Hi Melany, sounds like you've made a great start. It's perfectly fine to be a witch in the city - it's called Urban Witchcraft and a few authors have written about how witches can practice within the confines of a built up area.

      I have some more suggestions to add to your daily practices here:

      Good luck on your path.

    • profile image


      2 months ago

      Hi Bev G,

      I loved reading this article, it really helped me to get a better understanding how to be a witch, etc Recently I've been interested in it. I have done a few research too. Like you mentioned in the article, I have to practice witchcraft in order to become one. I have a few questions though. I live in a major city in USA and I want to know if i do decide to practice witchcraft, is it safe? I've heard most witches live nearby nature and away from crowded cities to help with their lifestyle. Maybe I'm wrong. Also, the most i've done is crystal/stones/plants. Not actually practicing witchcraft, but I am a huge believer of good energy and cleaning the soul, meditating, making herbs for my tea, etc. Is that a good start towards witchcraft?

    • theraggededge profile imageAUTHOR

      Bev G 

      3 months ago from Wales, UK

      Hi Anonymiss, no. You can work with magic in general, but you would have difficulty reconciling Christianity (only one God) with another faith system.

    • profile image


      3 months ago

      Can Christian witches worship/work with a deity?

    • theraggededge profile imageAUTHOR

      Bev G 

      3 months ago from Wales, UK

      Hi Aaron, I would go back to where you initially got the information from and see if you can find answers there.

    • profile image


      3 months ago

      I figured out how tofeel/pull energy recently. Took too much and began to feel dizzy so i pushed it outward and left tired a bit. Got carried away when i was on the metro lol How do i do this properly? I i figure that if i focused on the feel and where i want it to go, iwouldnhave any issues. Should i add in sound and color?

    • profile image


      6 months ago

      I think witchcraft and witches are awsome I like to study and work hard to be something or someone. this is so intresting and i never know you could just be a witch i thought you had to be born with is and if you were not then you were not a witch and could never be one.

    • theraggededge profile imageAUTHOR

      Bev G 

      9 months ago from Wales, UK

      Cool. Good luck with that.

    • profile image


      9 months ago


    • theraggededge profile imageAUTHOR

      Bev G 

      10 months ago from Wales, UK

      Hi Tayza, if witchcraft is seen as a bad thing in your country, then you should not become a witch. It might be dangerous.

    • profile image


      10 months ago

      My english is bad.In my country ,witches are trouble maker.they make illness,and sick to people.what is this which? But i want to become Good Witch.Can you help me?

    • theraggededge profile imageAUTHOR

      Bev G 

      12 months ago from Wales, UK

      Hi Francesca, there is nothing bad about witchcraft. It's common belief (though not proven) that the word 'witch' means 'wise'. Witchcraft of old was mainly about healing, although, of course there were some who used it for ill-doing.

      Just keep reading and exploring until you are sure. Meanwhile, I have an article that might have some suggestions for you:

    • profile image


      12 months ago

      I’m 21 and thinking of becoming a witch, my parents are both very spiritual beings which I have always admired and have practiced in the past. However something is pulling me towards witchcraft. As I read your article of signs you could be a witch I had chills. I’m not one to be very interested in many things passionately, however I cannot stop reading into witchcraft. It really captures me. I’m just worried that I’m going to get into something and bad will come. My intentions are not bad whwhatsoever, and have been told by spiritual guides I have a higher energy. I’ve always felt it. It it a good idea to get into witchcraft? Kind regards

    • theraggededge profile imageAUTHOR

      Bev G 

      12 months ago from Wales, UK

      Bella Cassie, I have a whole lot of articles here that can help you get started. I'm afraid I can't do personal mentoring.

      Scroll down this page:

    • profile image

      Bella cassie 

      12 months ago

      I know i have it in me, i yern for it....i want to be a witch but i dont have anyone to teach or direct me pls could u help me

    • theraggededge profile imageAUTHOR

      Bev G 

      13 months ago from Wales, UK

      Glad you found it useful, castiel.

    • profile image


      13 months ago

      this has actually really helped with the research ive been doing for my grimoire

    • theraggededge profile imageAUTHOR

      Bev G 

      14 months ago from Wales, UK

    • profile image


      14 months ago

      I dont know what kind of witch i am and it puzzles me.

    • theraggededge profile imageAUTHOR

      Bev G 

      14 months ago from Wales, UK

      Hi Sara, what do you think a witch is? He, or she, is a person who practices witchcraft. I promise you, there are plenty of us around :)

    • profile image


      14 months ago

      Hi Bev .i liked ur article but,do witches really exist?i mean really? its 2019.

    • theraggededge profile imageAUTHOR

      Bev G 

      15 months ago from Wales, UK

      Thank you, Mohan :)

    • Babu Mohan profile image

      Mohan Babu 

      15 months ago from Chennai, India

      Hi Theraggedge. This is a totally new perspective about witches and witchcraft. A very interesting read.

    • profile image


      17 months ago

      I read the signs and characteristic of a witch and almost all of them applied to me. Ever since i was a kid i always had dreams of the future, sensing others moods or intentions.seeing places ive never been only to go to those places years later. Nature comforts me and restores my energy and mood. I love pink but i feel comfort in black if that makes sense hehe . I feel like nature is alive. And am always picking up crow feathers or pretty rocks. Am just a little afraid of magik or more likely how powerful i maybe if i started practicing.

    • theraggededge profile imageAUTHOR

      Bev G 

      20 months ago from Wales, UK

      Glad it is useful, EMSS :)

    • profile image


      20 months ago

      Hi Bev G

      Thank you for this article it help explain to a witch starting out a lot of Information different areas of Witchcraft. You help out some one who is new to witchcraft , and know how to help, and explain the different path they could take.and answer their questions when they need help.

    • sweetzara profile image

      Zara Rasul 

      20 months ago from Mumbai, India

      I always knew I was a Witch! Now I know I am an Eclectic Witch! Great article!

    • theraggededge profile imageAUTHOR

      Bev G 

      20 months ago from Wales, UK

      Thank you, Victoria. Yes, you can just feel your way through. Have fun with it all, and remember nothing is set in stone. Good luck on your witchy journey.


    • Vixen1966 profile image


      20 months ago from Kent, England

      What a positive and uplifting article! I am new to witchcraft and am reading EVERYTHING I can get my hands on. I am so pleased to have found this site, and people like you, Bev, that are making my first tentative steps feel more stable and secure. Thank you and Blessed be!


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