How to Become a Witch

I've decided to dabble in teaching in hopes of making my own cyber-coven and network.

No witch hunters allowed!

Chapter 1

The Interest Phase

My pagan name is Nymphire Blood-Willow, and I shall be your guide.

There are some issues that should be discussed right here at the start. The first thing that you should know is that much of the knowledge that we possess about Witchcraft and its origins is a combination of archaeological data, the myths and legends that have been passed down, and some historical documents that have been translated. The rest is the "best guesses" of scholars who are working on "bringing it all together." In other words, no one can say for certain what the Ancestors really did or why. It ain't all cackles and pixie dust, as I sometimes say.

That does not mean that I have no knowledge; I certainly do. Just that I do not have the 100% historical knowledge of the origins of the Modern Craft. I wasn't there. Or at least, I haven't uncovered THAT past life yet. Different interpretations will abound both in written materials and in any teachings that you may encounter though this. There will never be only one Way of practicing Witchcraft. Get used to it. No one has the "one true answer"...and any teacher worth his or her salt will tell you this up front. That being said, I'm glad you chose to read this; on the other hand, I alone cannot teach you.

You are expected to do a LOT of research on your own. Every witch is. If you can't learn things by yourself now and again, there's the door, sorry it didn't work out. If you're still here, then good for you, apprentice. This is actually a very healthy way to approach the beginning study of any Path you are considering. Read many, many books/articles on the subject-both scholarly and those that some would consider in the "fluff' category. Why? Because this is your first foray into unknown waters. You should approach it with an open mind-ready to question, probe, and ponder. I cannot stress enough how useful this first step will be. It can and will help you to formulate your own ideas about what this Path may mean to you.

Do not try to incorporate all that you read into one cohesive whole at the beginning. That'll break your feeble brain as well as mess up all the information. Look at whatever material that you are reading as a "theory" or "hypothesis". Some things will appeal to you right away. Others will seem too fantastical to be of use. Accept or reject nothing at this stage; just keep on gathering information. You are doing research; The more you read, the more a "coming together" of certain aspects will begin to form within yourself. Then you will have a foundation from which you can take the next step.

Some Do's and Don'ts for the apprentice:

DO... Read as many books on the subject as you can-on History, Myths, Poetry, Psychology and Science as well as books on Witchcraft or Magick.

DO... Make yourself a research library. Take notes or highlight passages that particularly interest you. If you have a question on what is written, place a question mark next to that passage. You should enjoy what you read at this stage-the enjoyment will actually help you to retain what you read better than struggling through dusty tomes on alchemy (unless you happen to love alchemy, that is!).

DO... start a journal. You can even call it a "Book of Shadows" if you want to. (It can just be a loose leaf notebook, These are handy for creating different sections.) Write down both the things that you have found to be of interest and the things that you would like to know more about.

DO... Look at Nature. Witchcraft and most other Pagan paths are called "earth or nature based" religions. What is Nature saying to you? Bring home rocks, sticks, leaves or other things you find that attract your attention. Now ask yourself-WHY did you bring that home? Write it down.

DO... get organized. Concentration is an important skill in Magic. Disciplining yourself to make regular entries into a journal and writing things down will help you to develop concentration. I must admit, most of us struggle with this one, but believe me when I say it helps.

DO... learn to ask SPECIFIC questions of other Witches or Pagans when you need help. And ask yourself some questions, too. "What do I think Witchcraft is? What do I find here that has meaning for me?"

DO... tell the truth. Can seasoned Witches tell if someone is "full of it"? Yes, they can and rather quickly, too! Be honest about what you know and what you don't.

DO... spend time alone to think carefully about how you feel and what you want for yourself. Some people think at the onset that Witchcraft will allow them to change other people or circumstances. But YOU will be the one who changes as you explore this Path. Do you really WANT to change?

DON'T... take it too fast. You have not made any commitments yet. You are doing research into a subject that interests you on a personal level. Jumping into a group situation at this point may hinder your development more than help it. You need to find out where YOU are going before you hit the trail with someone else.

DON'T... get discouraged. Sometimes it is very difficult to "go it alone." But the Craft is made up of individuals who bring something of value to the Path-as well as receive benefits from it. Many "old timers" have the "Grampa attitude". You know, the "When I was your age, I had to walk three miles to school every day...in the snow...with no boots...carrying my little sister...and a load of firewood..." Well, in a way that is true. It WAS much harder to be a Witch only a few decades ago. So be forgiving if they are not ready to hand you all their hand gathered "firewood" on a silver platter....you may have to walk a mile or two by yourself....in the snow...with no boots.....

DON'T... ask about joining a terraspace coven just yet. A coven is a close knit group working together. It is a difficult process to create an effective magickal unit. Most covens are not actively looking for new members, as each time a new person is added to the group, it takes time for the unit to re-adjust. There are some cyberspace "covens" that readily accept new members. If you look on it as a "training exercise", you could learn a few things. Ask around the Internet.

DON'T... be afraid because you are not part of a group. Many, many Witches find out after much trial and error that they actually PREFER to work alone. Traditionally the Witch WAS a loner...and many still are by choice. Often solitary Witches get together to talk and exchange information and then happily go back to their solitary practice. You CAN do a little bit of both.

Still interested? You impress me, apprentice. Feel free to message me about anything you have questions about, and I'll do my best to help you.

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