Here are some answers to the most commonly asked questions about Witchcraft.
Do I need to be Wiccan to start practicing Witchcraft?
No! Wicca is a Neopagan religion with magickal beliefs and witchy elements. Witchcraft is more of a way of life. Read more about the difference between Wicca and Witchcraft. A few other things you might consider:
- Men and non-binary people are also called Witches.
- Any religion can practice Witchcraft. You can be a Buddhist or a Christian Witch.
- On the other hand, you can be a secular or an atheistic Witch.
- Die-hard environmentalism is not a must – Respect for your surroundings is always good, but you don’t have to be vegan/vegetarian or eat organic to be a Witch.
- You don’t have to be “Light” only. A Witch can curse and hex if needed since Witches don’t follow any particular moral code.
- You don’t have to be “Dark” only. A Witch doesn’t have to curse or work shadow magick if they don’t want to.
How do I become a Witch?
First of all, gain some basic knowledge about what Witchcraft is and the different traditions that are out there to see which one seems most natural to you. Secondly, try to get your hand on some basic and cheap beginner tools and supplies. Thirdly: study, study, study. Read about the different parts of the craft. Try your hand at very basic rituals and divination, and do exercises to sharpen the mind. To see progress, keep some sort of magickal journal like a Grimoire or if you choose a more Neopagan/Wiccan path, maybe keep a Book of Shadows. Refer to yourself as a beginner witch for a while, but don’t be intimidated around more experienced witches – ask them questions and gain knowledge from their experiences.
But where do I start with Witchcraft?
Start from right where you are sitting now. There is no “start” to Witchcraft, but there is also no “end”; you are never a fully taught, complete Witch – no matter what tradition you adhere to. So take a deep breath and figure out where you want to go next. A good starting point would be to finish reading this FAQ and then read on for more information on the Craft, spells and divination. Keep searching the web for interesting topics and sites. Keep a Pinterest-board, start a Tumblr and reblog spells and other important information. But do keep your wits with you! Not everything you read on the web is 100% accurate, especially when it comes to the history of modern paganism and witchcraft. If you lean towards Wicca or Neopaganism, I have a recommended reading list. Also, not everything you read will feel right for YOU. And this is the main thing: practice in what manner you see fit.
What is an altar and why do I need one?
Your altar is your magickal workspace. This is the place where you mix your magickal ingredients and honour your deities/elements/whatever you work with. It’s usually decorated to correspond with your personal practice – if you work with certain deities you might have statues personalizing them or maybe objects representing the different elements. The altar should also work as a safe space for you to work your magic around. The altar itself can be kept in the open or portable in a box. It does not have to be anything big or fancy – a bandana as an altar cloth and some candles plus some incense will do just fine.
Do I have to celebrate the Sabbats?
Not at all. The modern eight Sabbats are a Neopagan invention: the pagans of old never celebrated all eight of them in one tradition. To celebrate all eight parts of the Wheel of the Year is a way to attune oneself to the seasonal changes and possibly a way to honour deities and nature, and the Cosmos. It can be done in solitary, or with a clan or a coven. And no, you’re not less of a Witch or a Neopagan if you don’t celebrate every Sabbat.
How long should I study magick before actually performing a spell?
This is highly individualistic. Some prefer to get going right away, and perform their first spell only hours or days after discovering the Craft. My personal recommendation would be to take at the very least a few weeks to study energy manipulation as well as magickal protection before doing any elaborate rituals.
How do I…?
Here are some basic walk-throughs for those completely new to the practical side of the Craft.
- Ground and center
- Manipulate energy
- Cleanse yourself and objects
- Magickal protection
- Opening and closing a magick circle
- Structuring a basic Neopagan ritual
- How to perform a spell