Being a Witch or Wiccan is not something you are born as, or just wake up one morning and decide to become. More often that not, you come across it by accident unless you were raised that way. Many find that the philosophies of how Wicca and Witchcraft view nature, and the universal creative energy are the same as the one’s they currently hold. They just didn’t know there was a …specific belief system that shared the same views.
The “Charge” comes to each of us in a different manner. It is that moment in our lives when we feel the Magick of the Universe for the very first time…coursing through us…and we know beyond all real and imagined shadows that is calling to the mysteries is indeed there. That it is truly there, and not a whimsical flight from reality. If you are one who has seen striking similarities between what you believe and have found, there are generally accepted ways to increase your awareness and find communion with others who feel the same. The following are the steps I would recommend to anyone who wishes to learn more about witchcraft/wicca.
Read everything you can get your hands on that will tell you more about the beliefs of Wicca and Witchcraft. Only by learning, practicing and training…about the basic beliefs and tenets of Witchcraft can you decide if the Old Ways are the right path for you.
So now, when you know the basics and you have decided this is something that fits into your belief system, it would be a good time to start a Book of Shadows, or a journal of all your magickal workings, such as: spells, rituals, etc. You can also start with writing down some reasons why you think Witchcraft is your path. What does being a Witch mean to you? What do you hope to achieve and learn? What do you fear about following this path? How do you see the Goddess and God? What does the Divine mean to you? Be absolutely honest with yourself here, this is a private book and nobody else should ever read it, it’s only meant for you. There are no right or wrong answers to your questions, this isn’t a test, only a way to help you define your path and follow after what your heart desires.
You need to complete the first two steps: Read/learn and start your Book of Shadows before you attempt to do any spells or ritual yet. Magick is NOT hocus pocus, it’s not bending the natural order of things to fit your needs! If that is your intent, then you might as well be aware that the Divine and the Universe will recognize your deceit and motives to do magick solely for selfish greedy reasons. We Witches have had enough bad press over the past few centuries and are working hard to turn those misconceptions around. We certainly do not need people running around claiming to put spells and hexes on people because they cannot face reality or are not willing to work for what they want. Besides, if this is the type of person you are, you probably do not need “anymore” bad karma coming back than what you already have. What energies you put out into the world comes back 3 x 3 x 3. So better make sure they’re all “positive energies”, or you’ll be paying the price for your negative energies later!
Magick is simply raising and channeling energy that is found in yourself, in nature and in the Divine to achieve a desired result. Before you begin working with magick, you need to understand what it is, where is comes from and the ethics involved in magickal workings. The main ethical tenet to remember is the main point of the Witches Rede: “Do What Ye Will An Ye Harm None”.
You also need to understand the basic structure of rituals. Casting circles, calling the quarters (North, East, South & West & elementals), Invoking the Goddess and God, raising and directing energies, grounding, cleansing, consecrating, centering and opening and closing the circle.
At this point, you will need to do more reading and learning. Read books, web pages or anything else you can find about magick and spellwork. Once you understand the basic concepts, you can begin to think about casting your own spells and designing your own rituals. But if you have any questions, I’m sure you could find an experienced qualified witch online to help you!
Being working with meditation and visualization exercises to increase your concentration. The ability to focus and visualise will greatly increase the power of your magick. Breathing exercises, such as breathing deep breaths before and after magickal workings, will help you focus better, so spend time on them. The more you concentrate on doing things correctly the easier it will become second-nature to you and you will become stronger in building your energies.
Now you can begin some basic spellwork. I suggest starting with a Full or New Moon ritual, but of course..you do whatever feels most comfortable to you. You can use “word for word” spells or rituals found in books or on web pages if they feel right to you. Generally, those spells were written as guidelines and should be used as such, as magick will work better if they are written directly from YOU and your energies create it and compose it. It may be very difficult to come up your own, and that’s natural..but in time..you will find the words and the inspiration coming easily. If everything still feels right, and if you still feel witchcraft is the path for you after all the studying, learning and practicing..now would be a good time for you to perform a self-dedication ritual.
This Ritual should be yours and yours alone! Design it however you want to, and in a way that will be most meaningful to you. A Dedication Ritual means exactly what it sounds like it means–you are dedicating yourself to the Craft and telling yourself and the Divine that this is your chosen path and the one you wish to pursue. Mine was in an open field with a glorious Full Moon and the peaceful energies around me…helped me feel comfortable and at ease with devoting myself to a loving Goddess and God.
At this time, you can explore the option of joining a coven or a group of some sort, if that is your desire. Many choose to never join an organized group and this is fine. Just make sure that any information you get from others, is indeed, something true and something that will benefit you in the right direction on your path. A Solitary Witch is just as much a Witch as a coven Witch. I joined a coven for my year and a day, which is the basic time for studying to be a witch, became Initiated, and later chose to go Solitary to pursue further studies. But even if you do not join a group, you might want to consider finding other Witches to circle with occasionally. It’s always good to get other perspectives, to hear others ideas and to share a common sister/brotherhood.
Many covens require a year and a day of study before initiating new members. This time frame gives you time to explore the religion and decide if it is the right path for you, because it takes a lot of work and effort on your part. It also allows you to experience one full rotation of the Wheel of the Year, which is the celebrations of all the esbats and sabbats and to see how each celebration/holiday is done in ritual.
You can initiate yourself or you can find another Witch to initiate you. Do not ever let anyone tell you that you have to be initiated by a Third-Degree Witch in order to become a true Witch! The witches from the Old Ways never went in search of a Third-Degree Witch in order to be initiated and have the privilege of calling themselves a Witch! Neither do you!!! Self-initiated Witches are just as valid as those who were initiated into a coven or by another Witch. Most importantly, listen to your inner voice and heart. Follow your intuitions and gut feelings. It is usually very good council and will never lead you astray! If something you read, hear, or are told does NOT feel right…then it isn’t right for you! After all, following the path that brings you closer to nature and the Divine, is the whole premise of following this path!
Whether you came here because you already follow the Old Ways, or are simply curious and wish to understand our ways, “BLESSED BE” and may your path be Blessed with light, love and positivity!
xoxo Kyia Blackhawk