Happy Halloween, and Blessed Samhain!
I’m back to blogging, what a whirlwind month it has been! Beginners Witchcraft was released for the first time last week and I am so pleased and excited about the progress my students are already making. Beginners Witchcraft will be back for round 2 in February 2018 and I will be announcing more courses soon!
As I’ve talked to a lot of newbie witches, people feeling called to witch, but have no experience, or even people who are already witching, but aren’t sure where their path lies or really what the heck they want to focus on at the beginning of their Witchcraft studies, I felt this was a post I needed to write. When someone comes to me and asks me where to start learning about Witchcraft, my first question is generally “Do you know what path you want to explore?” The answer is generally “No, I don’t even know where to start.” If you Google “Witchcraft” the results are dazzling in their number and more than half of them are solely rooted in “Hollywood Witchcraft”. For this reason, I recommend students to find a starting point. I have put together a list of starting points. This is in no way concise, the most extensive list, or perhaps even that well organized, but I hope it gives some of you a place to start. I will be exploring each starting point more in depth in later blogs!
Lunar vs. Solar: Maybe you love the sun and moon equally, or maybe you try to avoid the sun at all costs, in favor of the beautiful moon. Maybe you feel that night is for rest, not for work. Evaluate at what point of the day you feel most “alive”. Do you adore the hot beams of the sun? Adore all things moon? Figuring out if you are more of a solar or lunar person can help you begin your path. Maybe you want to learn the correspondences of the phases of the moon as they connect with doing certain types of magic, perhaps you will Google “sun goddesses” and find that one of the solar deities really resonates with you and you decide to work with her. Love both equally? Dabble to your hearts content. Make Moon Water and have an altar to Ra.
Pantheon: Have you always been extremely drawn to Chinese mythology and imagery, but don’t know why? Did you check out books on Greek mythology as a second grader, much to your teachers bewilderment (yes, that was me.)? Maybe you just really, really love everything Celtic? Feel a deep love of Norse and Viking designs, ideals and spirit. If you have a deep draw to a certain mythology, it is very likely that your patron god or goddess is a part of that pantheon. “But I’m not Irish?!”, you may be saying. The gods don’t care. They call who they call. Just because you aren’t Irish in this life time doesn’t mean you weren’t before. Finding a pantheon can be extremely helpful for beginner witches. You can also cross pantheons! Some witches stay strictly in one. Some have deities from many different pantheons cross their path (like me!).
Witchcraft Roulette: Pick one! Have a black thumb and think that means you can’t be a Green Witch? Nonsense. You’re not trying to be a gardner. You’re doing witchcraft. I might forget to water plants, but I can work with herbs like nobodies business. Pick one of the following to research and learn about. Researching, learning, trying out, it doesn’t mean you have to exclusively practice it forever.
Candle Magic: Utilizing flame, carving, dressing and spellwork with a candle as the main catalyst.
Herbal Magic: Cultivating knowledge surrounding what plants do magically and combinging them for magical use on their own, or in conjunction with another form (candles for example) to further enhance their magical properties.
Runic Magic: Using runes, bindrunes, or potentially even sigils on paper, or in conjunction with candle magic or other forms in order to bring about magical change. Studying the magical properties of the runes and which situations to use them in.
Crystal Magic: The use and charging of crystals for certain magical purposes and utilizing their power to help you manifest a change.
Pick an Element: Are you most at home by water? Feel as though you could almost be one with a flame? Feel the fluidity and ever changing nature of the wind? Find yourself only at peace when rooted and grounded in the earth? Finding your element is one of the most useful things a witch can do. If you are repeatedly trying to work with things that utilize and element you just don’t jam with, you are not going to be as successful as you could. Your element may line up with the one that corresponds with your astrological sign, or it may be different. What appeals to you? What truly lies in your heart?
Pick a form of divination: This one can definitely change over the years. I started with Tarot cards, but wasn’t overly fond of them, switched to pendulums and then runes, and now I primarily use Tarot and Oracle cards for my clients, along with my beloved pendulums. When I was a young girl, I even learned tea leaf reading, and while fun, it just didn’t stick. I recommend students pick one, try it, see if it resonates. Pendulums are especially great for beginners, as they utilize simple yes/no questions and can often give students a confidence boost to propel them forward to working with other types of divinatory means. (I will talk more about divination in a later post, including discussion about Scrying and Spirit Boards).
As for the “types” of witches, here is a great, exhaustive post, written by “rainy-day-witchcraft” on Tumblr that lists many of the traditions and types of Witchcraft (why regurgitate it, they did a marvelous job!).
Remember that just because you look to one type or style of Witchcraft in the beginning, you are not married to that style forever. Right now, my Beginners Witchcraft students are doing Pathworking to help them find their path. I fully expect that for at least half of them there original path will not be their forever path. Witchcraft encourages exploration. Without exploration, I wouldn’t have my path (because really, who would be like “yes, please, can I blend New Orleans Voodoo, with some Greek gods and add a splash of folk magic, as well as temple ritual”). Exploration can come from many inspirations. For me, it was a mixture of certain deities appearing me and calling me, and remembering my true path through the remembering of my past lives. You don’t have to get as deep into it, but also remember, this rabbit hole goes as deep as you like.
The best of Samhain to you all, my loves, and Fet Ghede begins tomorrow!