How to not drown in witchcraft
no, this isn’t a survival guide on how to avoid a 17th century ducking stool. Rather, some harsh truths I’ve had to face over the last 17 years.
You’re not special
You’re unique; just like everyone else. No witch is more powerful than any other; no witch is of a more ancient lineage than you. If you ever come across someone who claims to be an all powerful being or consistently needs to re-affirm a power play to make themselves appear superior to you: runaway! Trust me when I say that Lucifer’s most valued lieutenant is not sitting on a couch in South Dakota, watching Netflix in their pyjama’s whilst DMing you on social media. When you come across people who make fantastical and dangerous claims like this cut off all contact immediately; and no you don’t owe them an explanation because they’re not in a sound place to receive that explanation in the first place. Your spiritual safety comes first.
You’re never going to be an expert
You will never know everything about witchcraft, and you will never stop learning about witchcraft. What’s more, it’s perfectly okay to not know everything. Witchcraft should empower you to find your own path and journey, realistically there’s no way that journey is going to contain every ounce of knowledge and experience that witchcraft can provide.
It’s ok to walk away
Witchcraft is the practice; witch is the identity. No one can rob you of your identity or how you visualize yourself, so if you need to take a break from witchcraft whether it be a week or a year, know that you’re still a witch for as long as you wish to identify as one. Witchcraft has existed for thousands of years, it’s not going to vanish just because you stop practicing candle magic for a few months.
Beware of those who mentor you
Whether you’re in a one-on-one situation or in a coven always be aware that not everyone’s intentions are pure. If you’re in a coven or learning situation where someone constantly affirms their authority over you, leave. “I’m in charge”, “this is my coven”; these are big red flags, the goal of any community or learning situation is to facilitate the growth and nurturing of others. Covens should always be egalitarian, with opportunities for leadership and spiritual roles consistently provided. A person who’s agreed to teach you a skill or field of information should be perfectly comfortable if or when you excel them. Ask yourself does this person/group want me to be the best I can be?
The experience danger zone
At some point you will become an insufferable know-it-all, usually this occurs when someone has been practicing for 3-5 years. This is a danger zone because whilst yes you’ve been practicing long enough to have a decent knowledge base and you’ve probably carved out a path for yourself, reality is you’re still a baby witch. That hurts I know, and I’ve had it said to me at the time and it made me angry, but it’s 100% true. In all honesty 5 years is nothing when you consider what can occur in a lifetime. Does this mean you have nothing to contribute? Fuck no! You have everything to contribute as someone who’s living the experience of witchcraft; you are vital to the community, you need to be heard. But, be aware of the ego trap you can so easily fall into during this time; it happens to everyone, and all you need to be mindful of are your intentions and motivations towards others.
Your path is your own
This is so vital to maintaining a long-term practice. Reaching a place of understanding where you can walk your own way without validation of others or inflicting impunity upon those you disagree with. The witchcraft community is currently experiencing a renaissance, there’s a new generation of witches coming through and their opinions and ideologies are clashing with the old vanguard. So here’s the reality check we all need, that Wiccan lady at the crystal shop who’s been practicing since the 1960’s is never going to stop saying ‘Blessed Be’, and that high school kid who hides curse jars under their favourite tree is not going to meditate away their anger and commune with the Goddess. So where’s the balance? We have to accept responsibility for own journey and actions. By all means we need to fight to shut down racism, homophobia, appropriation and misinformation that are rampant in our community, burn that shit to the ground! But we also need to learn to forgive people when they need it and make genuine efforts to deserve it. A community is not a community if you want to go to war with everyone who’s different to you.