There are a ton of posts I’ve read over the years talking about those new to witchcraft and what exactly they should or shouldn’t do. Personally, I don’t want to be one of the people saying, “It’s not true witchcraft unless…”. Instead, what I really would like to do, for my first real topic, is share some tips for witches just starting out. Also, if you’re an ‘established’ witch, then you might enjoy this anyway. Some of these tips are for budget witchcraft and a little discreet magic here and there.
Some Quick Need To Knows
You Need A Centralized Focus
If you’re new to starting out, chances are these days that you’re a Solitary Eclectic Wiccan. There’s nothing wrong with that, welcome! But chances are you’re going to misinterpret the definition of eclectic. To many, Eclectic Wiccans simply borrow whatever they feel like and make their own practice out of the information. This isn’t necessarily good for those starting out. You need your focus, and then you can add to it as you research.
Research Your Authors
These days, books on witchcraft are overwhelmingly popular. Taking time to research your authors for credibility can really save you time and money. I’m not going to tell you what to believe or practice. However, you can check if the author is recommended by an author you respect (often on the book), read reviews, or check with online communities. I’ve found author biographies can be a bit difficult to navigate, but some of those are good as well.
Keep Orderly Notes
Yes, you should be keeping notes somewhere (even if it’s a list of book and page numbers of information you like). Many (solitary) witches decide to become a ‘formal’ witch, and then discover they have nothing to work from. This is frustrating, trust me, and you don’t want to have to re-read all your books to compile an organized notebook. Start with simple notes, and then go from there. Starting from something is better than starting with nothing.
Be Prepared For Change
While I said you should have a focus or tradition in mind, you should also be prepared to change. Speaking from personal experience, my ‘labels’ have changed dramatically. This is not a bad thing (nor is dwelling on a particular focus for long lengths of time). Embracing change however is something that, I in particular, don’t think there’s enough talk about. Deities may change, labels may change, definitions might become murky, and that’s just the beginning. Enjoy the journey!
Don’t Just Read ‘Witch’ Themed Books
After a bit of time, you’ll probably feel tired of reading ‘Wicca 101’ books. This is normal, we’ve all been there (or similar). Take time to read ‘hidden’ knowledge books for your particular focus. Embrace books on history, they’ll teach you far more than you possibly think. Read some fun Fiction, witches, magical creatures, or whatever you feel pulled toward. Not only that, but look for great ‘reference’ material. I purchased countless discount books on philosophy, world religions, mythology, herbs, and cookbooks. These books are great for witches afraid their parents may disagree with more obvious choices. You don’t have to be left out, and odds are, you’ll use the books for years to come.
Simplify Your Tools
I’m not sure, but I suspect expensive tools are largely a Wicca issue. The list of tools is immense and many of us (when we started at least) may not have been the craftiest of people. Until you really get a feel for what you’re going to be doing, don’t rush out to buy fancy tools. Personally, I recommend a few candles, a tarot deck, and a box to keep stuff in. There are great crafts you can do as well, and I encourage that. Fancy tools aren’t necessarily better for you, your practice, or your bank account (especially when starting out). At times, tools will also find you. This is rewarding and special, allow it a chance to happen.
Embrace Free Resources
I know, you probably imagine yourself keeping every book you’ll ever read on witchcraft. But, at times, many of us discover we do indeed have a budget. These days, there are great resources available to witches for free. Take a weekly trip to your library, check out resourceful websites, and read books available through the public domain. Odds are you’ll soon discover a great wealth of information and if you’re taking notes, you’ll get to keep it too! At times, free doesn’t mean cheap or inaccurate. It’s okay to utilize the resources others left for you.
These are only a few things I wish someone had told me at some initial starting point. While this is in no way meant to be an end all be all, I hope it is helpful. At times, I find myself still needing these reminders. It’s difficult to initially navigate where you’re going when, after everything, you’re still not sure of your destination. But, I think, in the end, embracing that fact will ultimately be the most helpful piece of advice I could ever give. Be willing to try something new. Endure the discomfort of strange ideas. Keep notes along your journey, and you’ll be just fine.