Beginner’s Guide to Becoming a Witch

Updated on November 15, 2018
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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 may 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 with:

  • 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

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.

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)

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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Questions & Answers

    © 2018 Bev G

    Comments

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      • theraggededge profile imageAUTHOR

        Bev G 

        5 weeks ago from Wales, UK

        Glad it is useful, EMSS :)

      • profile image

        EMSS 

        5 weeks 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 

        5 weeks 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 

        5 weeks 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.

        Blessings.

      • Vixen1966 profile image

        Victoria 

        5 weeks 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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