I am a witch.
Those of you who follow me on Twitter or Instagram will already know this.
But before you jump in with the obligatory “So do you ride a broomstick?”, “Are you going to hex me?” or “Do you worship the devil?”… No. Just… no.
However, it’s easy to see why people are confused.
According to OxfordLearningDictionaries.com, the definition of a witch is:
a woman who is believed to have magic powers, especially to do evil things.
There are just so many things wrong with this definition, I don’t even know where to start!
Okay, so firstly, “witch” is a gender-neutral term. A person of any gender can identify as a witch.
Secondly, magic powers. As far as I understand it, (most) witches don’t believe they have “magic powers”, rather that we connect with and are in tune with the natural energies that exist in our universe, and can work with and manipulate them to produce a specific outcome. (Small side note: many of us also prefer the spelling “magick”, but I’ll let you look into that yourself!).
Thirdly, WITCHES ARE NOT INHERENTLY EVIL. Now, of course, there may well be some evil witches, in that evil people undeniably exist. But it is not the fact that they are a witch that makes them evil. However, there are also some witches who use witchcraft to commit evil. This is true. BUT, the vast majority of witches do not actively utilise magick to commit evil – quite the opposite. In fact, if you are a Wiccan witch, you will most likely live by the Wiccan Rede, which states “An it harm none, do what ye will” – basically, as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone, do whatever you want. There are also non-Wiccan witches who follow this rule. Granted, not all do, but it is a prevalent part of witchcraft. Essentially, what I’m trying to say is, yes, evil witches exist. But positive, helpful, caring, healing, “love and light” witches also exist. To define a witch as inherently evil is just wildly inaccurate.
Anyway, now I’ve got that off my chest!
Since I discovered witchcraft, I have noticed that it has introduced some great benefits to my life in somewhat unexpected ways.
As some witches do, I adhere to the notion “An it harm none, do what you will” (as I mentioned earlier). This has also led me to recognise that “An it harm none” includes ME. I’ve started to be kinder to myself and less self-critical. I’ve also started to look after myself better, such as regular skincare and a healthier diet.
Studying witchcraft and learning about universal energies has helped me to connect with the world in a very real way. Knowing that everything and everyone is connected is a really comforting thought. So now, if I start to feel lonely, I can remember that I am connected to an entire world (and beyond) of energy and love.
Whilst there is no one central witchcraft community, there are plenty of smaller communities with which you can get involved. This doesn’t necessarily have to be a coven (you can continue to work as a solitary practitioner) but it’s an opportunity to expand your social circle and connect with like-minded people.
Learning about witchcraft has made me more aware of how I can contribute positively to society, in both small and significant ways. For example, I am now much more aware of and careful about the amount of household waste I produce. Knowing that I am connected to nature and other living things, and I can have a huge positive (or negative) influence on it, has made me much more determined to be more intentional about the kind of energy I’m putting out into the world.
5. Endless learning
Topics within and related to witchcraft are virtually endless. You could learn something new about witchcraft every day of your life and still only scratch the surface. As such, delving into witchcraft is a lifelong project. It means I always have something to do. Resources available are infinite. I can add to my knowledge, challenge pre-existing beliefs, and just generally exercise my brain forever! Doesn’t that sound great?
So, if I’ve piqued your interest in getting started in the craft but you’re not sure where to begin, here are some tips.
1. Watch some witchy YouTube videos
When it comes to beginner witchcraft, YouTube is your friend. Videos are informative and educational whilst also being entertaining. I particularly recommend the following channels (but there are many more to explore):
2. Read some basic witchcraft books
Research is essential when starting out in witchcraft (and throughout your witchy life – never stop learning!). There are almost endless witchy books out there, but here are just a few I personally recommend (note: if you follow the three links listed below and purchase something, I may receive a small commission from the seller at no extra cost to you. If you want more information, please click here for my full disclaimer):
- Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner by Scott Cunningham
Obviously, this book is written from a Wiccan perspective, but it is also good for the general witchy basics. Scott Cunningham has written multiple books on witchcraft, but I think this is the best one with which to start. I find his writing style accessible and easy to understand.
- Craft: How To Be a Modern Witch by Gabriela Herstik
Again, a good one for basics, but also good for those of you who are more interested in modern witchcraft as opposed to a more traditional view. I really enjoyed the way she explains how to incorporate witchcraft into modern life.
- Buckland’s Complete Book of Witchcraft by Raymond Buckland
This is a large, comprehensive book on all things witchcraft. It’s one of the go-to recommended books for witchy beginners
3. Listen to podcasts
Just as with Youtube videos and books, witchy podcasts are easy to find. The best one I’ve come across is The Witch’s Primer, which is available to download completely free. It’s a great source of information, and you can listen to it on-the-go.
4. Keep a journal
While doing your research, make notes in a journal or notebook. Not only does this make it easier to go back and look things up, but it also helps you to absorb the information better when you’re reading/listening to it.
5. Download Amino
Amino is an app that hosts communities on a world of topics. Communities are a place to virtually meet and communicate with like-minded people. There are so many witchy communities on there, but my favourite ones are:
- The Witches Cottage
- Pagans & Witches
- The Witches’ Circle
These communities offer a great platform to connect with, seek advice from, or share experiences with other witches. The only caveat I would include is that as with any online platform, there are inevitably some trolls that make an appearance. However, most active community moderators are pretty good at removing these if they are reported.
Note: Amino offers you the opportunity to pay for premium, but it’s absolutely not necessary. I personally don’t see the benefit of getting premium, and I’ve actively used this app for well over a year. But it’s up to you!
So, are you feeling witchy?
I hope these tips are useful, and I’d love to hear about your journey into the craft. Tell me about your experiences in the comments below!