Welcome, youngling, to the craft. This is a massive tree with branches extending the universes known galaxies. The world of witchcraft is as old as humanity and it has now been found that the oldest known ritual is 70,000 years old. We have lore that stretches back to the conception of mankind, or the genetic manipulation, if that is a branch that you would like to climb…
Witchcraft is not only about magic. Witchcraft is a long winding path where you will learn who you are inside and out. Learning Witchcraft does not mean you will fly on a carpet or be able to move your house around without picking up a finger. It does mean that you will learn to traverse the universe using your astral body. It does mean that you will learn that the spirit of Echinacea is a wonderful motherly spirit that fends off the flu. It does mean that you will one day be called alongside the wise ones. You will heal the sick, empathize with the saddened ones, lift the hearts of the broken and teach the younglings, like you.
Witchcraft for beginners means that you should not begin with magic. It means that you should begin with you. This is after all the path of the self. For, as a wise teacher once said, how can you love someone else if you have never known how to love yourself? You must heal, love, and learn everything you can about who and what you are before you can even think about performing a love spell to catch the eye of the boy or girl who lives down the road. You must learn to control your emotions by using the power of water, learn to master your mind by forging a relationship with air, conquer your inner rage by listening to the bursts of fire, and you must learn to ground your energy by placing your bare feet on mother earth. Above all, you must form the relationship of the greatest importance with spirit.
You are a beautiful soul and if the path of witchcraft has found you, stop. Sit down on some open space in nature and breathe in the essence of life. This is the core and the most magical thing you will ever experience. Do not run to buy every crystal. Instead, purchase one crystal that catches your eye, learn about it, meditate with it, travel into its world and form a relationship with its spirit, then move on to the next thing. There are thousands of books on spells for beginners and the magic does work, but with no foundation, how will you know of the consequences of the magic that you practice?
There are certain important goodies that should be collected by someone learning witchcraft or even a beginner in the craft and these are listed now:
- A Book of Mirrors – This is your journal and the continuous record of your journey. These books are filled with your meditations and what happened, your workings and your failing tasks. Remember all witches have made mistakes, it is part of our journey. It is one of the wisest things to record your witchcraft path.
- A Book of Shadows – A book of shadows is not your Book of Mirrors. The Book of Shadows only has its pages filled when you are completely certain of something. The Book of Shadows are passed down to your grandchildren, or fellow witches, as is the custom. A thick blank sketch pad is the best buy for a Book of Shadows. The paper is durable, and you can paste, draw, or write without having lines or other images in your way.
- A Healing Course – Reiki is very well known in the witchcraft circles, but there are thousands of healing courses available today. Witchcraft’s one main lesson is the use of energy. To learn a healing modality is to learn to use energy to manipulate and change other energy. To get a certificated course in a healing of your choice will stand you in good steed throughout your life, whether you choose to remain learning witchcraft or not.
- A Sacred Piece of Clothing – If you do want to join a coven, you will need a robe, an athame, a wand, a pendulum, books and so much more. If this journey is your own, a robe is nice but not necessary. You do need to instill the triggers in the beginning, and that means having a piece of clothing, a dress, a scarf, a kaftan that will be kept separate from everything else. It must only be used when you are addressing the gods, working on magic, or in your sacred space.
- Failsafe Herbal Cabinet – You do not need all the herbs on earth. In fact, many can be substituted for all the other hard to find ones. Remember that each plant has a spirit and that spirit has many attributes. Each plant attribute is woken up by you as needed. Choose what you need to do, so protection, you will form a sturdy relationship with Bay Laurel or with Black Pepper. White Sage is endangered now, and as a witch this should caution you to find a suitable substitute. For peace in your home, lavender is wonderful and always works. Do not give lavender tea to males as it produces lactation. For happiness, dry orange rinds and make bundles for the home. For prosperity use cinnamon. Magic must be simple. It is a simple process, learning witchcraft, it is a long path, but with patience and perseverance, you will find that your spice rack is more magical than you thought. Also learn to grow your own herbs and plants from seedlings. Care for them and love them, and they will serve you well.
- Recommended Reading – There are so many books on Learning Witchcraft and Witchcraft for beginners and spells for beginners or magick for the advanced practitioner that the neophyte or youngling often gets overwhelmed and buys them all. This is not what the gods want, or what your bank balance wants. There are some authors who are important to know. Digest there work, for it is from them that everything else has stemmed. These authors are:
- Doreen Valiente
- Clarissa Pinkola Estes
- Helena Blavatsky
- Carl Gustav Jung
- Margaret Roberts
- Gerald Brosseau Gardner
- Stewart and Janet Farrar
- Alex Saunders
- Scott Cunningham
- The Wheel of the Year – Learn it. It is one of the only chapters that all younglings learning witchcraft skip. It is long and tedious only if you approach it like that. Look for the psychological meaning as well as the mundane. Record your own journey with it. The human mind works better with experience, so make sure not to read the whole Wheel of the Year and then attempt to memorise it, that is useless to you and your path. Take it one Sabbat at a time. Whilst you are busy following the path of the sun, remember the path of the moon. Follow her phases and take this entire journey one step at a time and before you know it, you will be teaching the younglings as a wise elder of the craft.