Photo by Jemma
So you’re a witch? Well, when you know you know. You don’t have to have been born magickal or have cast a single spell. Sometimes you just have a feeling you’re magickal. Sometimes spotting something ‘witchy’ in a shop or online wakes it in you. Maybe watching something or reading about something magickal lights that first spark. So you googled it a bunch, and you’re pretty sure you’re a witch. Now what?
How do you ‘start’ being magickal?
Learning anything new takes dedication. Learning about magick is no different. So yes, you’re gonna have to do a lot of reading m’fraid. Or sign up to a Magick School (waves hello). Back in our day the only access to information was in the one book that existed in the library (yes we are that old). Imagine the internet printed out on bits of paper and stored in a warehouse. That’s what libraries used to be like. So finding information was super difficult. Thankfully Google Is King these days and can fetch answers right to you, you just have to know what questions to ask. Happily we’ve got some suggestions for further research below.
Which witch is which?
Some people like to figure out what kind of magick they’re into and labels can help here. However, this comes with a big steaming pot of CAREFUL because labelling your magick might seem helpful, but it can also be problematic. Let’s take a look at some of the common magickal labels.
A green or blue witch incorporates the natural world into their practice. Green witches will have a deep affinity for herbal magick, plants and will often find ‘green space’ restorative. A blue witch will have a preference for the ocean, rivers and lakes and will find water restorative.
A hedge witch is like a green witch in that their practice involves a deep study of plants and herbs and the natural world. Using, and often growing their own, herbs is part of their daily practice. A hedge witch will find being outside restorative.
A kitchen witch is a term for a witch who emphasises cooking, food preparation and meal times in magickal practice. Like a green witch and a hedge witch, kitchen witches often grow their own herbs for magickal use. Kitchen witches find the home restorative.
A ceremonial witch incorporates ritual and ceremony into their practice. Often using the voice and chanting as part of their practice. Ceremonial witches often, though not always, practice together, they find group work, outward expressions or togetherness restorative.
A cosmic or star witch is a witch who uses astrology and practises astral magick, preferring to time magick in accordance with the planets and the phases of the moon. Star witches find the night sky restorative.
A chaos witch is a witch who uses psychology and belief as their practice, avoiding dogma. Chaos witches focus on results and less on worshipful daily practice. Chaos witches find personal power and meditation restorative.
An eclectic witch could be a mix of any of the above, or a mix from something else. Eclectic witches mix lots of practices together into a personal blend. Eclectic witches may find they go through cycles of what they find restorative, sometimes using nature for a while then swapping for meditation and so on.
We are all of the above and none of the above. We are just witches. We practise astral magick, but this includes using herbs collected in accordance with the planets. Does this mean we are hedge or green witches? Our astral magick will include making potions in the kitchen at the most opportune time. Does this make us kitchen witches? Our astral magick is results based, and makes belief the central tenant. Does this make us chaos witches? If we have to label ourselves as anything, we would probably suggest we are humanistic witches…witches who focus on the potential to change and grow as people. But who knows if this is a thing? Who cares!?
So this is why it might be problematic. Putting yourself in a box might mean you don’t learn about the rest of it! So, we don’t feel the need to subcategorise. But big up to those out there who plan to research all the different ‘kinds’ of possible magick, with the idea of becoming an expert in one area. If this sounds like you, these labels are the place to start your googling.
Does being a witch mean you can’t be religious?
Not at all. A witch could choose to follow a magick based religious practice, such as Wicca. For example, you could be both Wiccan and a green witch. You could choose to follow a different religion. You could follow Thelema and be a ceremonial witch. You could be Christian and be a kitchen witch (Gasp. Can it be possible? Yes!). Or you could choose not to follow a religion at all.
We’re not religious witches. We don’t worship deities as part of our practice, but equally we are not secular either. Being human (and humanistic witches) means we do have some spirituality! Everyone will have their own approach. What do you want to do? Do you feel aligned with a particular deity, religion or practice? And is that practice open to you? If this sounds like you, this is another place to start with your research. Remember some practices are only open to members of a certain community so it’s really important to know where your ideas come from, and do your research.
Do I have to tell anyone?
Nope. If you’re not looking to practise with a group and be initiated into a certain belief system (see religions point above) then there’s no register, no leader, no One Ring….and despite what the Internet will tell you (pesky Internet, thinks it’s so good and knows everything) there’s no certificate of authenticity for your witchiness either. You can learn about where your magick comes from and keep it entirely to yourself or you can tell everyone you meet.
How do I know I’m ‘doing magick’ correctly?
Well, that is the million dollar question. The final answer for one million dollars is that there is no right way.
So if there’s no right way, how do you know if you’re doing any of it right? This will all come down to the reading you’ve done. For what it’s worth, we’re still reading. We’ve been doing it for over 30 years…so it might take you a while. But honestly? Start small. For example, you might see a particular herb and its correspondences in a book or on a website. You might see a particular date mentioned as being ‘special’ or a particular deity as being important. Understanding why that is, is a place to start small. Even understanding why one herb is used for something and not a different herb can take hours of research!
Don’t take everything you see on the Internet as the truth. Because, spoiler alert, some people on the Internet don’t always fact check, and they don’t always back up their statements. This is something that bugged the hell out of us if we’re honest when we got started. This whole copy and pass it on, and nobody really questions it (and it’s why we include everything in our course materials, every study, every book, it’s all in the footnotes of our course materials).
Googling every small detail is an important place to start because whilst you’re reading about these small details, you might find that actually it stops holding meaning for you (eg you decide it’s not something you can get on board with). Then stop. You don’t have to be magickal in the same way other people are, this does not mean you’re doing it wrong. It means you’ve researched and decided that it doesn’t work for you. If anything, you’re doing it right!
Is being a witch expensive?
Absolutely not. Being a witch is a state of mind, that bit is free. Meditation, visualisation, believing in magick, believing in making change possible, enjoying nature, appreciating the moon and stars, walking barefoot outside…all of these things are possible without spending any money at all. Access to training or access to information to teach yourself can be free, if you don’t count needing access to the Internet. Books in the library are free, if you don’t count any expenses involved in getting there.
Collecting materials for use in magick can be free, if you know where to go. For example, we collect plants locally. Finding what there is at any given point in the year takes a bit of effort (and research) but it’s more sustainable. We’re not using plants that don’t grow in our location, so we’re not adding airmiles or expense to our practice. Other ingredients for spells can be made cheaply, or found, as anything can be used in spell work if it has meaning to you. Incense, oils, candles…they don’t need to be used but if you want to use them, they don’t need to be expensive. Candles can even be virtual! Check out our article on Broom Closet magick for how, plus other ideas to run your practice on the down low and keeping expenses to a minimum.
So where should I start to be a witch?
You can start right here, we have a lot of free resources you can use and now you’ve found us you know you can come back whenever you need to. You’re welcome to read our articles, listen to our podcast, or have a look at our Casting Spells page. For those of you who would like to try Magick School, there is a link below. There are of course other Magick or Wicca Schools available. Give yourself time to learn. Learning how to do anything takes practice.
When can I call myself a witch?
Whenever you want to. Maybe that’s right now? Maybe it’s after you’ve cast a spell? Maybe it’s after you’ve done some reading or watched a tutorial? Only you will know when it’s time. You get to decide your own labels and when to use them!
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