Richtor’s Advice for Witchlings, Part 01
I’ve decided to rewrite and update the list of things I think it’s good for a new witch to know and have. It got so long, however, that it now needs to be divided up into multiple posts to make it easy on the dashboard!
This post is still just advice, my opinion and thoughts; as such, isn’t meant as a “you have to do this, no matter what” type of thing. I personally feel that all of these things are useful to at least ponder when starting out, but that doesn’t mean you need to do them. No matter what I say here, your path and your craft are your own, and it is up to you to decide ultimately where you want to go and what you want to do. I only hope that this post will inspire you, and give you an idea of what may suit or benefit you.
Now that all that is out of the way, I’ll begin…
Where to Start & Research
I am often asked “where should I start?” in regards to witchcraft, and the answer is super simple - where do you want to start? I generally reply to those sorts of questions with questions of my own. I do this in the hopes that, by answering these questions for yourself, you can draw your own conclusions and figure out a direction you’d like to go, hopefully one that best suits you and your preferences / desires. Some of the things I tend to ask are:
- Why were you drawn to the craft in the first place? What got you interested in studying / practicing it?
- What sorts of expectations do you have, if any, about what you can do with magic?
- Is magic something you just want to experiment with, or do you want to practice long-term?
- Are there any things in particular you hope to achieve by doing magic? Do you have any end goals for yourself or your craft? Any expectations?
- What sorts of things would you like to do (in regards to different varieties of spellwork [candle magic, sachet magic, etc.], divination, etc.)?
- Do you feel an attraction / affinity to any particular branch of magic (chaos magic, green magic, spirit work, hedgework, etc.)? Why? What in particular makes it appealing to you?
- Are there things you don’t want to go near no matter what? Why? What bothers you about those things?
Ideally, once those kinds of questions have been answered, it leaves one with a sense of direction, and an ideal place to begin looking and studying. Once you know what you want from magic, and what you like about it, you can then set yourself on the right path to get there and do those things. Since I don’t know you, or what you like or dislike, I can’t set you on an exact path on my own; that is up to you to decide where you want to go with magic and what you’d like to do with it. The best thing I think I can offer from a third party perspective, is things that can help you narrow down your path for yourself - no one knows best what you want or like or can do than you.
At this point begins a degree of studying. Yes, you need to do research, though how much research is entirely up to you and what you’re comfortable / capable doing. Like any new subject or craft (not just the magic kind), it is best to learn about what you’re doing. One can’t drive a car successfully without knowing how the car works, or how to control it. A scientist wouldn’t mix together chemicals without knowing how to do so properly, or what the chemicals even are. At least, a safe scientist wouldn’t. Knowing what you’re getting into and what you might be doing, and why, will allow you to proceed safely, and make sure you can avoid any accidents or mistakes. This will also provide you with knowledge that can be used to develop your craft particularly to your own tastes - writing your own spells, creating your own methods, etc. What you learn in this time of study will be like a foundation that you can then use to build the rest of your craft off of.
A lot of my information on witchcraft has been gathered on Tumblr, and I’ve made blogs to compile what I find and learn, so you may just be in the right place for learning! Tumblr isn’t extensive, however, nor should it be relied on completely for all your information. There are many other resources to be found on the internet, including blogs, other websites, and, if you know where to look, entire books in digital format. (This also depends on how comfortable you are pirating - I myself have no issues with it, clearly. Someone recently came into my ask box telling me that downloading books for free like that was wrong, actually, and I just had to chuckle. At this point nothing is going to stop me from downloading stuff the way I do, because I honestly can’t afford otherwise. I am also of the mind frame that knowledge should be free to all people, but that’s not the point here.)
The internet does not hold all there is to learn, so seeking out physical books is not a bad idea. I know it can be hard to find books, depending on your location and whether or not you can be open about your craft, but it shouldn’t be completely ruled out if you have access to them. The library has actually proved to be pretty beneficial for my own research - the selection was limited, but still far more than I expected for the small city I live in. Here are some posts of recommended reading that are a good place to start; however, don’t be afraid to try any book that appeals to you and form your own opinion on them. Also, these books are recommended based off each individual’s personal preferences and opinions, your own may vary.
- [Books and Resources (Paganism, Witchcraft and More)]
- [Book Recommendations for Witches]
- [A Few Recommended Witchcraft Books]
- [Recommended Books - Updated]
- [Recommended Reading]
- [Resources or Book Recommendations for Witchcraft Outside of Wicca]
- [Witchcraft Resources Galore]
The following book lists are pages that can be found on various Tumblr blogs; they are not rebloggable, and apparently not accessible from the mobile app.
[Here] is a list of authors you should try to avoid - trigger warning for mention of various disturbing topics. [Here] is a post that talks about why your book on witchcraft might be full of it; if you have any questions as to why that might be, feel free to ask the OP or even myself.
When it comes to studying, it is very important that you take what you read with a grain of salt. There are many problematic authors within the witchcraft community, and not just on Tumblr. Misinformation and cultural appropriation are everywhere, even among well known or renowned authors. It is highly recommended that you use discretion, criticize what you read, and fact check what you learn, if you can; sometimes I use as many as six or seven sources when checking the properties of a single herb. [Here] is a post that explains using discretion and critical reading in regards to witchcraft books.
You are not going to agree with or connect with everything you read. There may be cases where you pick up a book that you have high expectations for, and you read through the whole thing, and pick up nothing from it. It isn’t that you didn’t gain knowledge, but sometimes it doesn’t apply to you or where you wish to take your magic. That is fine. Just because you have the knowledge, doesn’t mean you must use it. And having knowledge without using it isn’t a negative thing either - some day you may want to use that knowledge after all, or it may come in handy when applied with other branches of magic, or it may help you inspire your own path…
With all that being said, there is also nothing wrong with not completing a book if you really aren’t feeling it. Again, it all comes down to you and your preferences, what you want to learn and what you plan to do with that knowledge. If there is anything that you read that makes you uncomfortable, don’t bother incorporating it at all. It is your path, your magic; do with it as you will, and only what you will.
Okay, so this first section just ended up being all about research and stuff. xD The NEXT post will talk more about keeping a grimoire, gathering supplies, and being frugal / discreet. :D
I hope this helps, or gives you something to think about!
Part 01 | [Part 02]