A path is the journey that someone takes as they practice witchcraft. Some use it to describe their past, present and future on their magickal journey. Others use it to represent what they would consider a “label” to themselves and their craft. In general a path in witchcraft is a word to describe that specific witch’s journey, views, experiences, focuses and future goals that surround their own personal magickal practice.
Everyone, absolutely everyone, has a different path because each person is an unique individual with unique interests, hobbies, views, practices and choices. This is why your path may vary so greatly from others around you, your friends and even your mentors/teachers. There is nothing wrong with this because it is your path, not their path.
How do I know what my Witch Type/Path is? Is there a test I can take?
No, there isn’t a test you take to determine what your path is or what type of witch you are. There is only one thing that determines that: you. You are the one who chooses your path and what you wish you focus on.
You don’t have to be any specific type of witch at all. You don’t have to be a storm witch or a green witch. You can be whatever you want. If you want a label and to focus your path onto one thing, then do it. If you want to be labeled as more than one thing, go for it. Do you just want to do whatever you want and have no labels? That’s perfectly fine too!
You decide what kind of witchcraft interests you by:
Researching: research every single thing you can find! Save your sources, read through articles, take notes and compare them to other articles, posts, blogs and writings on the same topic. Look at the differences but also examine who is writing: a person who is an atheist witch will have different views on the spirituality and morals of something compared to a Wiccan witch or a Christian witch. Examine who is writing the post, and take their views with a grain of salt and not as solid fact because everyone differs. If you agree with their views that’s great! If not, take it as something to consider. Research the scientific and medical relations of things as well, what I mean by this is each herb is a medicine and like medicine and drugs it has side effects, research it before ingesting it or using it. Research your crystals and stones to ensure you don’t ruin them or harm yourself with them. Science and witchcraft come hand in hand, remember that. It’s not fun sending yourself to the hospital because you overdosed on a herb you didn’t research well enough.
Cater to Yourself: By this I mean look at what you as a person enjoy doing: your hobbies, your likes, your dislikes, your talents, your interests, etc. Use these in your craft, take these and put them into your craft. Are you interested in art? Use art supplies, drawing, painting and sigils in your craft. Interested in singing? Sing your spells and incantations, use song lyrics for spells, sing to cleanse a space or attract things. Enjoy collecting stickers? Use stickers to seal spell jars and sachets, use them like sigils and stick them to things, buy stickers that relate to correspondences via color, shape, or imagery. You can use anything you want in your path. If you are passionate about gardening, then your path can bring in gardening and plants into it. If you are passionate about cooking definitely bring kitchen magick into your path. If you just love reading, bring literature, writing and spell books into your path. Bring in your interests, make your path full of things you love. Don’t force yourself to be the “dark mysterious witch” if that is not what interests you. Why bring in tea magick into your craft if you hate tea? Your path is meant for you to enjoy it, it is to cater to you. If you like pink, glitter, candy and soda then use that! Use those things, because they are important to you. That means they hold magick in them, because they are special to you. You will find more success in doing things you love and working with tools you associate with.
Follow Your Own Beliefs: This is a big one, some people in our community will try to push that you have to worship a certain religion or deity. You do not have to worship anything or anyone to practice witchcraft. You do not have to be part of any religion, all who tell you otherwise are gatekeeping. If you wish to be Wiccan then be Wiccan, if you wish to be Pagan then be Pagan, if you wish to be Christian then be Christian, if you don’t want to bring religion into your craft at all that’s fine too. It is your choice what your beliefs are, and don’t let others tell you that you are wrong but give that same courtesy to others. Others will likely have different views and beliefs than you and so you should also give them the same respect for their beliefs as you expect them to give you. If you do wish to work with a deity or religion, research it and look into what it is like to be apart of it. Ask others who worship this deity how they do and their bond with them, this can help you figure out your own way to worship.
Why can’t others just tell me how to find my Path? I don’t want to research.
Well, that isn’t how it works I am afraid. Other people don’t know what is important to you in your core, they don’t know what holds your interest or what holds your passion. They can’t just tell you everything about your path. They can give you advice based off of their own experiences however, but this is not the same as them being able to instruct you as to what to do.
Research is apart of witchcraft, that’s just a simple fact. Yes you can ask around to people what things may be or for help but think of it like this: People don’t like feeling like google. Asking someone what the correspondence of a crystal is can get quite annoying if you or just several others keep doing it when you can easily search the phrase: “Correspondence of ____ in witchcraft” and find exactly what you need or to simply search that user’s blog for that specific crystal. Research for yourself, it is your responsibility to do if you wish to use witchcraft. You walk your own path and that means you are responsible for your own lessons. People have out there tons of amazing resources that you can use.
Common Falsehoods, Lies, Red Flags and “Dishonest Truths” about Witchcraft/Paths:
You have to be Wiccan/Pagan: As spoken about up above, this not true. You can follow whatever religious practice or belief you desire or none at all.
Cursing is Bad!/Three Fold Rule: This is another popular thing people will throw out at new witches to try to scare and shame them away from cursing, hexing and other acts of baneful magick. As a whole, this is a personal opinion. If you choose to curse that is your choice and others have no right to tell you that you’re a bad person for it. But, if you chose not to curse yourself, then that is your choice. Don’t drag others down or insult them for their choice.
You can only be one type/kind of Witch: No, you do not even have to label yourself as we talked about above. If you wish to label yourself as a “Sea Witch” or “Cosmic Witch” or “Green Witch” then do so. If you wish not to just focus on one thing then that’s perfectly fine! A lot of witches don’t label themselves as a ‘specific type’ of witch.
You have to use crystals/herbs/tea/etc: Nope, you are not required to use any specific ingredients, you don’t even have to use any ingredients at all if you don’t wish to. Use what you have hand and what you like. If you have a lot of candy, make candy spells; if you have a lot of crayons, make drawn and colored spells; if you have a surplus of toilet paper rolls, use those as poppets or for spell containers.
You have to have companions/familiars: Nope, you do not have to work with spirits or animals or anything like that if you don’t want to. Before you do get yourself a companion I recommend heavy research into spirit companions and make sure you have a way to communicate with them.
“Only women can be witches!”: Nope! Any gender, sexual orientation, race, etc can be a witch. If you practice magick and you want to be called a witch, guess what you’re a witch. If anyone tells you otherwise they are not worth your time.
You have to be trained/in a coven to be a witch: Nope! You can be self taught and you can work alone. Beware of toxic covens too, there are some out there who try to gender-shame and can be quite toxic in general. If you wish to be apart of a coven ensure that the rules of the group are ones you are okay with and that you aren’t pressured into behaving a certain way.
You have to have “witch blood” if you want to be a strong witch: huge lie right here; your bloodline and family history does not weaken or strengthen your magick. You don’t need to be from a long line of witches to be a witch, you don’t have to be “born a witch”.
Tech Magick/Emoji Magick/Pop Culture Magick/Modern Magick is terrible and is ruining true magick!: You will see this a lot on tumblr I am afraid. Lots of people trying to tell other witches that their paths/craft is not “true witchcraft” since it is not based on traditional witchcraft or religions. Don’t listen to them. If you want to practice modern magick and pop culture magick that is your choice and you are valid in every way!
If you’re mentally ill/disabled/sick you can’t be a witch: Spoonie witches exist and there are plenty of them! Just because you have found that you may not be as energized as other witches means absolutely nothing. You are valid, even if you use simple and basic magick due to low energy levels you are valid! You are still a witch.
You can only be friends with/date other witches: big red flag here! If anyone is telling you this, whether it is a mentor, teacher, friend or coven member/leader you need to find someone else fast. This is majorly toxic behavior used by some witches in this community to make you cut ties with others. It is an abusive manipulative tactic that you have to be aware of and avoid. You can be friends and date whoever you want (obviously within legal terms), whether they are a witch or not.
True witches practice magick everyday: Nope! You can take breaks! Especially when you have other things going on, you are tired or you just aren’t mentally/emotionally able to do witchcraft. That is perfectly fine. Take breaks, rest up, focus on other things - its okay. Take care of yourself. You aren’t being a ‘bad witch’ for taking breaks.
Everything is related to the supernatural!: No, the mundane is a thing. Not everything you see will be a mystical sign or message. Not everything that happens to you is because of spirits, curses, spells, etc. Rule out the mundane first such as medical problems or common sense/reasoning before you go leaping onto it being some great supernatural occurrence. Once the mundane is ruled out then you can consider other things.
Magick is better for you than medicine/doctors!: NO NO NO NO. Magick can aid in medical things if properly researched but never EVER substitute medical procedures, doctors or medicines for magick! Go and take care of yourself!
This is just a little thing I’ve done a couple of times, and it worked nicely. Many witches collect dirt or detritus from important locations (graveyards, courthouses, colleges, etc…) for use in spellwork. I find it works great.
The problem, of course, is that you often get weird looks and could run into trouble while doing it! First of all, only do it in areas you’re allowed to be - don’t trespass, obviously!
The thing is, though you’re not trespassing, some onlookers might still cause trouble for you, especially if you’re in a very conservative/uptight area of the world.
My method for handling this is simple. I carry a small clipboard. This serves two purposes: I can write where and when I got the material using the clipboard, and people (seeing the clipboard) assume I’m a student doing a project, so they don’t bother me or think it’s odd!
Thus far, while doing this, nobody’s really approached or noticed me much. It’s great! Letting someone assume I’m doing something else feels okay to me. There’s obviously a ton of other things (magical and mundane) that you’ve got to consider and think about when collecting soil, but this makes it easier.
Another thing I’ve done: instead of collecting soil, collect leaves! This works best in autumn, and you’ll want to consider what species of leaves you’re getting.
Nevertheless, some dried leaves from a place are just as tiedto the land as the soil itself, in my opinion. If, while doing that, someone approaches you, you can just say, “I’m building a leaf collection!” It’s true, after all!
But I’ll have you know that a ouija board once told me exactly where my boyfriend was hiding his dope & syringes in my house so that I could find them, confront him with undeniable proof of his relapse, and force him into rehab again.
Try and tell me that’s not the coolest shit ever.
Straight up, I love my ouija board and I love the poltergeist that lives in my house, he’s chill as fuck.
Satanism to me is not just about dabbling with Spells, sex orgies, posturing or feeling evil ~ it is about the highest forms of knowledge of the Black Arts, it is the desire to Commune and Merge with all of the Demons of Hell, it is an understanding that the desires of the flesh are Satan’s Rituals but that those desires that reside in the darkest reaches of our unexplored subconscious are His gifts, it is about adversity and rebellion against the conformist and the Orthodox, it is being a libertine, a natural force able to morph from the Poet to the Predator in the blink of an eye, it is about being a traveller of the Isolate Path and the search for others of the true Infernal Kindred who understand the Dark Soul within you!
There is a dark beauty is true Classical Satanism which is lost in the pale reflection of Rational Satanism, to those who see this path as an excuse for orgies and acts of violence ~ the Satanist answers only to themselves and the Demons of Hell and yes the fulfilment of lust, wrath, revenge, desire and all experiences are the nature of the Satanist ~ but there is so much more when we cast off the shackles and determine to enter the Dark Sanctums of Satanic Rites and transcend the Gateways into Hell!
Explore and know the Dark Gifts of Satan ~ for they are rapturous and indeed many!
I am of the belief that every individual has a set path, or rather, a Will which must be carried out. I hate the idea of destiny, so I like to think of it as a goal which you set a path towards- each action being the laying of another brick rather than simply following bricks already laid out.
The hard thing is the fact that many of us start off so socialised, so fearful of various things that we simply cannot tune into our beings and ascertain just what this path is. One of the purposes of magic is to strip away the layers of yourself one by one and analyse them removing anything which does not serve you, or rather, re-purposing parts of yourself so that your entire being serves you.
When we stray from crafting the path of Will and start crafting paths in other directions the instigator of that Will (Be that your higher self or your Holy Guardian angel- which are two separate concepts in my opinion.) will call you back. First this may be urges which you can only subtly detect. Later on it will be failings in your new paths, and later on still it could be so disastrous that you are thrown into a pit of despair with seemingly no place to go other than backwards. This is a form of tough love which is ultimately for your own betterment, even though it could take years to realise it.
My first experience of this was around 4 years ago, I had already been practising magical techniques but I got involved with a lineage of the A.’.A.’. and signed the probationer oath. I was young, but very mature for my age. I thought I was ready. I was not. I passed the grade but it stirred up forces inside of myself which I did not know existed. Couple this with some extreme life changes and I was certainly in the disaster zone, and I can honestly say I am only just out of it now. I was angry and bitter for a while. I hated magic, I hated what I was spending my time doing and I hated myself.
What I really hated was my life. Why did I hate my life? Because it wasn’t my life at all, but rather a life I was living out of necessity and wanting to please others rather than pursuing my Will. I immediately started taking actions in order to get on what I perceive to be the right track again and things started to become better. I have had a much better experience of life since then and as to paraphase Crowley it is as thought I have the inertia of the universe to assist me.
To summarise, listen to your gut not the opinions of other people. Ensure you have no fear about following a path you deem correct for you. And don’t be fooled- stray from the path and the inertia of the universe will turn to the force of the universe and will bounce you back on to the path arse first!
If you are meant to do something you will eventually get around to doing it, the circumstances between then and now will drastically change depending on yourself and your own attitude.Remember every hardship is another step on the path, the path may wind and curve, even go the opposite way, that’s okay, so long as you eventually arrive at the Emerald city. Follow the yellow brick road!
A Halloween Love Ritual to Call a Reluctant Lover Into Your Dreams and Your Life
You will need:
A red candle
A large round mirror
Halloween night, just before midnight.
Light the candle and place it so it shines in the mirror. Sit facing the mirror, saying, “The fruit is so sweet, so is my love, at the alter to meet. Love do not tarry, but marry me soon.”
Take a bite of the apple and repeat the spell words.
Put down the apple and brush your hair a hundred times, still looking into the mirror and saying, “Love I ask you walk with me, in dreams and in reality, that joined may we be eternally.”
Put down the brush, saying, “Love show yourself within this glass to me, and walk with me in dreams that we may be, joined in love eternally.”
Stare into the mirror, blow out the candle, blink, and in the afterglow you may see in the mirror your true love next to you. if not, close your eyes and the image will come and you can speak the words you wish to say.
Go straight to sleep and next morning leave the apple outdoors.
- “1001 Spells: The Complete Book of Spells for Every Purpose,” by Cassandra Eason
Andrew Logan Montgomery’s
WALKING THE CROOKED PATH, some thoughts on Qutub.(2013)
Andrew D. Chumbley died suddenly, on his thirty-seventh birthday, of a severe asthma attack. There is a qabbalistic irony in that I think he might have appreciated. Thirty-seven is the number of the Perfected Man, the seven spheres of the tree of life below the abyss crowned by the divine triad above. It is Adam before the Fall. For a man who had so obviously mastered very deep arcana, departing the world after thirty-seven solar revolutions is an eerie coincidence. This doesn’t mitigate the tragedy of losing him at such a young age; it would have been extraordinary to see what he might have produced next.
I never knew the man, but I knew his work, and would comfortably place him alongside Austin Spare or Aleister Crowley in the list of the 20th century’s greatest occultists. This was not another self-help, mass market, Llewelyn New Ager. Chumbley had tapped into very deep magic, terrific and terrifying, awesome and awful. His Azoetia is probably the first genuine grimoire written in centuries, and his second work,Qutub, is a black jewel. Both are now nearly impossible to find, commanding prices of one to two thousand dollars when you do, despite being less than twenty-five years old. It’s hard to imagine any occultist in possession of them being willing to let go.
Qutub is, like the Emerald Tablet or Crowley's Liber AL vel Legis, a work of extreme brevity but tremendous depth. It’s seventy-two verses took a year to write and one could profitably spend ten times that puzzling them out. As Crowley said in his “Initiated Interpretation of Ceremonial Magic,” the world of magic is a mirror, and Qutub explores this riddle in slowly spiraling mysteries. Magic is both a mask and a mirror, a projection and reflection, a lie and the truth, and the point where these opposites merge into one. That place is Qutub, the Arabic word for “point." The verses of this meditation are designed to bring you there.
Qabbalistically speaking, "nothingness” or “zero” is a kind of code word for God (or “ultimate reality,” if you prefer). God contains all things, and thus nothing is all that can be said of it. It cannot be said to be “good” because that denies it “evil,” it cannot be said to be “male” because that denies it femininity, it cannot be said to be “light” because that denies it darkness. This is why the Buddha called it nirvana, and why the Hebrews didn’t give it a name. God must contain all opposites because it is the source of all opposites. Aleister Crowley nicely summed this up as n + -n = 0. If you take all opposites and add them together, they become nothingness, perfect, without definition or limits, eternal and unchanging. Nothing lasts forever. Nothing is perfect. From the Qabbalistic perspective, by stripping God of its “darker” attributes and assigning them to Satan, the Christians are committing a very serious kind of blasphemy. God must be the totality of being. They are cutting it in half. (I have always found useful here the notion of “nothing” as an empty sheet of paper…because it has nothing on it, it has the potential to become anything. Once you start to write or draw on it, you start limiting it, defining it, and stripping that unlimited potential away)
The Point then is that first breath God took before it said “let there be light." A point exists, but is without length or breadth; it is unity, but right on the very doorstep of being nothing itself. After that breath, the moment God says "let there be light” we now have “Two,” the duality of light and darkness. But that initial “One” is the very first stirring of creation before that happens.
Qutub then–which enumerates to 111, also the number of the Tarot Trump “The Fool,” symbolizing the beginning of the Journey–is the start and the finish, the initial step out the door and the moment of arrival, the alpha and the omega, if you will. It is where something comes from Nothing and returns to Nothing. This is the sense in which Chumbley uses it. It is a cosmological code word for the ultimate mystical experience, the dissolution of the ego and the sense of becoming “one” (or Nothing) with everything, as well as the act of creation.
This is all pretty standard mysticism. A Sufi, a Buddhist monk, a Hindu ascetic, and a devout Christian contemplative could all relate to it. But Chumbley takes us there along the “crooked path,” a phrase which at once reminds us of both the Qabbala’s “lightning strike” of creation and something more sinister. And by “sinister” I mean the Latin for “left-hand.”
The Left Hand Path (properlyvamamarga) is a Sanskrit concept that arises in some tantric practices. Without getting side-tracked, what it amounts to is a “short-cut” to enlightenment through antinomian practices. If the goal of the Right Hand Path is to overcome the Self through bhakti (love and faith) or karma(work and meditation), the Left Hand Path seeks to do the same through jnaya(knowledge and experience). Byintentionally breaking taboos, not out of animal weakness or by accident, the seeker breaks down all barriers between him and the Infinite. He overcomes the Self by dissolution. Thus in India the tantric would do things like eat meat, drink wine, or engage in ritualized sexual activity with “unclean” women. The point was not to party, but to unwind the Self and undo identity.
The term shows up in Western esotericism in a somewhat bastardized sense, but with some similar characteristics. Here it takes on more Jungian dimensions; the merging with the Shadow. It attempts to reach that essential state of Nothing by embracing the negative and darker characteristics of the personality as a lover; again, n + -n = 0. The Seeker makes a bride of those things in himself he has been taught to reject. This is in defiance of conventional religious law, which keeps the individual divided from himself, told to embrace only the “good” within him and reject the “bad." The Left Hand seeker embraces both in an attempt to know the totality of experience and being, and from this vantage point sees opposites reconciled.
Thus Qutub invokes some very dark characters in its verses. Chumbley himself says of it ”…this work treats the Arcanum of the Opposer, a magical formula of the Crooked Path concerning the Powers of Self-overcoming.“ That Opposer–again the Shadow–is encountered in the work at various turns as Lilith (the first wife of Adam from Jewish folklore who refused to obey and was replaced by Eve), Iblis (the Islamic satan), and Melek Taus (or Malik Tawas, the "Peacock Angel” of the Yezidi religion, believed to be a Lucifer that rebelled but was later forgiven and redeemed). But this is where we must remember magic is a mirror…if you look into the darkness and see only evil and sin, that is because your brought them there with you. As Chumbley says at the opening of the book, “he who is illuminated with the brightest light casts the darkest shadow." This is precisely why the Peacock Angel is the epitome of transformative redemption.
The whole of Qutub has a very intentional Arabic, "Sufi-esque” vibe. Indeed, one of the “non-dark” figures invoked by the poem is Khidir, a sort of Sufi “saint” or “boddhisatva” who appears in many guises to help people discover the Infinite. Qutub is a shadowy reflection of the poet Rumi, who wrote of God as the Lover and the Other. My old mentor, the Sufi and religious scholar Seyyed Hossein Nasr, often cited the Sufi teaching that there were many revelations and many paths, all leading to the same center. This imagery is referenced again and again by Chumbley as the poem unfolds, as are many other images drawn from Arabic and Persian mysticism. Looking for the center is like seeking an oasis in the desert.
And where does the poem lead? What is the destination? “The main purpose of magical practice,” Chumbley tells us in the poem’s commentary, “…is to refine, develop, and eventually to transmute the Entire Being of the Magician, this process being in accordance with his Will, Desire, and Belief. It is to recreate oneself in a form aligned unto one’s True Nature. …Although the (magickal) Current (which originates and flows from the center) affects all Nature, it has conscious direction through the Initiate, who, being possessed of the Gnosis, actively works to manifest this Current: to become Magick Incarnate. This is the subject of the poem Qutub." We seem to be seeing a variation here of Thelema and its doctrine of "True Will,” a concept far too large to properly enlarge here but which, in essence, states that all things in the universe have their own path or trajectory proper to them, determined by composition, position, and in the case of sentient beings, disposition. It is not fate or destiny becomes it does not claim to know the end, but merely the proper direction one should head in. For Thelema, the main thing is to discover your True Will and to do it, and thus you will have the “inertia of the universe behind you." Chumbley’s own Arte Magickal seems to embrace a similar line, with the magician discovering his True Nature and embracing it, taking his rightful place in existence. In doing so he becomes the current of magic flowing from the center of all things into the world, he becomes the very path he walks upon. Those familiar with the Tao Te Ching or certain schools of Buddhism will recognize the concept.
But the question we are left with, is “doesQutub deliver?” Can it actually help one discover himself and follow his path? This is a valid question for any esoteric document, and the answer is always the same; “yes…and no.” Chumbley is very up front with this in his commentary;
“…The mystical and symbolic language of the Poem is, in a literal sense, occult; it simultaneously conceals and reveals the sum of its meaning by way of cipher. The eternal nature of Symbols is revealed facet by facet, moment by moment. In being cast out before the Mind their timely significance is divined and, like a mirror, will reflect the Beholder. Do not blame the mirror for that which it reflects. Look Beyond–Look Within!”
In short, this is not one of those New Age works that crowd the shelves at Barnes & Noble. This is not force-fed consumer illumination. Qutub is challenging and will unlock only for the right people, something that can easily be said for theTao Te Ching, Liber AL vel Legis, or a thousand other esoteric works. But it is a genuine work of esotericism, and a very powerful instrument for self-realization, something few modern books on the “occult” can actually claim. For this reason I cannot but recommend it highly for the serious student. With time and contmeplation, Qutub not only unlocks its doors, but yours.