If you’re brand spanking new to witchcraft and want to know where to start (or if you simply want to help further your education) and you find yourself getting easily overwhelmed and having a hard time getting started, my highest recommendation is to create a schedule for yourself, similar to that of an academic outline. So grab a piece of paper cause it’s time to start organizing.
- You know you’re interested in witchcraft, but what specifically about it? What topics and branches draw your interest the most? Are you more drawn towards casting spells, divination techniques, potions and herbal magick? Maybe you like the more historical side to it and want to learn more from an anthropologist type of perspective. Or maybe the psychological side, where dreams, psychic abilities, and the power of the mind is your fortee. Take some time to think about this, and choose one specific topic to start with.
- Now what days and time periods are you most likely to have the ability to sit down and focus on researching this topic? Even if it’s just once a week every Saturday from 3-5pm, dedicate this time period towards your research. (Of course remember, your personal life comes first. Don’t neglect any present and more urgent responsibilities at the time.)
- Now back to your topic of choice, list some of the specific aspects of that branch you want to research. For example if you choose the topic of dreams you may consider researching dream interpretation, lucid dreaming, ESP (extrasensory persception) in dreams, altered states of consciousness, etc.
- It’s time to give yourself some (reasonable) goals. What do you want to achieve from researching this topic? The broader answer is an increase in knowledge on the specified area, but how exactly do you intend to apply this knowledge to your life? What do you wish to gain from researching this area of interest and how do you plan to utilize that information? List a few simple goals for yourself and create a reasonable time frame of expected completion for each.
- Dedicate a specific folder, notebook, binder, etc. for your research (if you don’t like using paper, you can also type up documents and save them as files on the computer or use a note taking app). Nothing fancy here, the point is to have an organized place to keep your information. Starting out with the objective in mind to create a beautiful lavish book for yourself is a temptation, but this can lead to a lot of perfectionist-derived frustration when something gets screwed up, and the overall lack of any legitimate progress or organization of your research. It’s better to have the information there at your fingertips first before diving in to more creative pursuits.
- When doing your research, jot down anything that captures your attention and seems worth noting. Don’t be afraid to make some personal illustrations, diagrams, and charts to organize your information. That chart is fine looking a little crooked and wonky dear. The point is for you to be able to comprehend the information better, you’re not publishing a text book here. (Yet)
- Once you feel like you’ve reached your previously established goals with one particular topic, you can either continue researching that topic and set a list of new goals, or move onto a different topic and create a new outline for yourself. There’s no race here, no finish line. Pace yourself and don’t be disappointed if you didn’t reach your goals when you initially wanted to. Re-evaluate to come up with a new set of goals with a little more leniency. This is about personal growth, and that looks different for everyone.