Who wants to be able to do real magic? Make me levitate bitch!
Seriously though, if you've been paying attention, you might've noticed Sephora made an announcement that they're going to start selling beginner witch kits. For people who actually practice witchcraft as part of their lives, this has caused a lot of controversies.
It seems like a lot of people didn't know witchcraft was still a thing in practice before hearing the announcement. While real witchcraft might not be the flashy kind you're used to seeing in movies, it is pretty interesting! Let's dive in!
1. Witchcraft Isn't A Religion (more here: source)
Witchcraft itself isn't a religion, it's a practice. @lapiscat hammers home that anyone can practice witchcraft. In order to start being a witch, you just have to take an interest, explore the craft, call yourself a witch and start practicing it actively. You could hypothetically be a Catholic witch or an atheist witch.
But where exactly do you start exploring? Well, there are starting off points that each come with their own info: the history of witchcraft, crystals, divination methods, herbs, dreams, dream journals, grounding, celestial bodies, the elements, altar tools, deities, mediation, sigils, talismans, different alphabets, types of spells and types of magick.
2. You Need A Grimoire (more here: source, source)
Remember when you were a child and got really into fake magic books in movies? You loved the accurate, artsy drawings of plants and thought the magic recipes were cool. Whenever someone wrote in one they used pretty cursive handwriting.
Guess what, it's even cooler now because it's called a grimoire. That's the coolest word that's ever been in my god damned mouth. A grimoire is also known as 'a book of shadows'. It got cooler. Thanks @moonchildmorticia
A grimoire acts as a witches diary. It has a bunch of your personal notes, spells, the information you've gathered, correspondents and little cheat sheets. Examples of the latter include lists for what certain things mean, like tarot cards or astrology facts.
3. Witches Use A Lot of Tools (more here: source)
You don't need to have a super expensive store of tools. But being a witch isn't just your grimoire. Here's a quick list of things used in spells. Their relevancy alternates based on what sort of magic you're practicing:
The Altar - The altar is the place a witch does magick work. It can be a shelf or tabletop if you're on a budget. Experts recommend purple if you want to cover it with cloth since it's supposed to attract spiritual fulfillment. Purple cloth can also be used a sort of "to go" altar f you're traveling.
The Pentacle - The pentacle was worn as an amulet in pagan times for spiritual protection and to ensure a safe, happy homecoming. The five points of the start represent the five elements (moving in a clockwise direction): Spirit (the top point), Water, Fire, Earth, and Air. The negative connotation associated with the pentacle in movies do not exist within witchcraft as long as the pentacle remains upright.
When witches cast spells, they keep the pentacle on the altars or themselves. You can also draw the pentagram symbol. The pentacle is placed in the center of your altar and other items are arranged around it. The size of your pentacle does not matter.
Candles - Candles represent fire and air in witchcraft.
Incense - Incense is burned during spellcasting to boost potency.
Soil and Water - These substances bring balance and harmony to the workspace. A small bowl or eggcup is enough.
Salt - Salt is a source of protection and can be used in a lot of banishment spells of anything evil in witchcraft.
Extras - Extras include a chalice which is used to hold magical water, a cauldron for infusions and potions, bells for banishment, an athame or a ceremonial knife, a crafted wand, a broomstick to sweep away fertility and feathers.
4. There Are Lots of Different Witches (more here: source, source)
There are so many different witches I'm still probably missing some with a list this big. Witchcraft can be eclectic, which basically means it you can draw stuff from different practices. So new types of witches are technically being invented every day. Witch is also a non-gender exclusive word. Guy witches are still called witches. There's not an alternative like "warlock". In fact, a lot of witches find being called a warlock offensive.
Here are a few witches:
Kitchen Witch: (Cottage witch, Hearth witch) They work mainly within the home by providing it with protection and keeps the house clean. These witches also make the meals and add there own special magick to it.
Hereditary Witch/ Family Witch: Are witches who get their tradition passed down to them by their family, and they are born into the practices of their witchcraft.
Green Witch: Green witches work with nature.
Eclectic Witch: These witches their own practice based on information and traditions borrowed from different practices and religions into to make a path that works best for them. (Make sure you are not stealing from closed religions!)
Purple Witch: Are witches who practice energy work, psychic abilities, and psionics.
Elemental Witch: A witch that works with the elements (water, earth, fire, air) in their day to day practices.
Hereditary Witch: A witch that is born into a family of practitioners. They create and continue their families rituals and ceremonies. They commonly have a family grimoire or book of shadows that they pass down through generations.
Sea Witch: A witch that uses the sea and its materials in their practice. Gets their power from the energy of the sea. Incorporates shells, salt, saltwater, driftwood, etc into their practices. Works with sea deities.
5. Cleansing Is Super Important! (more here: source)
Cleansing removes negative or unwanted energies, spirits, and imprints from an object or space. These energies can interfere with magic, so witches have different rituals to get rid of them they like to call cleansing.
When it comes to bad energies that can come from the spellcaster, cleansing methods can be made up, since getting rid of the bad energies is a matter of changing your mood. Examples include cleaning yourself, singing, drinking tea, lighting a candle and more. When it comes to more ritualistic energies, however, like those preexisting in a house, witches use things like bells, incense, and salt.
6. The Existence of Cleansing = Witch Self Care Tips (more here: source, source)
The entire point of cleansing is to keep bad energies from a witch's life and spellcasting. While witches cleanse regularly, they also try to prevent bad energies in the first place. That means self-care!
Here are some cool witchy self-care tips:
- Some witches adorn themselves with symbols that contain a lot of personal value.
- Long baths were the witch visuals themselves drifting through space or the sea is a favorite.
- Doodling constellations to calm down during anxiety attacks or hard situations is another method.
- Some witches keep glow-in-the-dark stars on your ceiling to recreate the sky.
Walk, sit, or lie down outside. Watch the plants dance in the wind and
listen to your surroundings
- Listen to music that represents their intent energizes some witches.
- Witches put stock in doing good in the community and having positive energy come back to them.
- Interpreting a tarot card for each day
7. Never Stop Learning
It was super fun researching this article, and I feel like I've barely touched the surface. If you want to learn more about a new community, you should look into it for yourself. Comment below if you want more articles like this! I'll see you in the next one.