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13 Things New Witches Should Know

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I have been practising witchcraft since I was in my mid teens it took me years to find out some of these things on my own. Back in the day there was no Youtube or Internet so if you didn't know any witches, you had to search out what you could find from the library or bookshops and if you were lucky you could find an Occult store near you.

Many Blessings Witches. For those that don’t know me I’m Lady Amaris.

I am the leader of my Coven the Circle of Heka and I have been practicing magic for over thirty years.

Wow, I feel old, yes it has been a good while since I started out on the path, but I still remember what it was like, so here are 13 things that I think new witches should know, or at least keep in mind.

1. Research, research research.

Start with what interests you and go from there.

When I started out, witchcraft information was not easy to find, especially in Perth, Western Australia. And I am a little jealous of new witches these days as there is so much accessible information, and in a way that can be good and bad.

To much choice of information can be overwhelming and not all information is of good quality.

So your mission is to learn to discern.

Read as much as you can, from different points of view, and different traditions.

Look at history and historical information as well. Don’t just read one book and think you know all there is. Knowledge is Power and the more you know the more you grow. Try to make sure your research is well rounded, and don’t believe everything you read, just because it was written in a book.

Anyone can write a book these days, so learn to discern good quality information from fantasy and fluff. Don’t be too worried in the beginning, as this will come with time.

Our Coven website is a good place to start. https://circleofheka.com.au

2. Learn the foundations and practice them.

Witchcraft is a practice, and as such, there are some things that you will find as core skills that will need to be cultivated to practice effectively.

Different traditions will have different emphases on these skills, but the main ones are:

Meditation.

Quieting the mind. Now this does not have to take the form of you sitting crossed legged and chanting Om. Nor does it require you emptying your mind and thinking of nothing. You can go for a walk in nature, sit and focus on clouds in the sky, do some Tai Chi. Whatever it is, it’s about, breathing, being in the moment, and concentrating on one action, or one thought.

The other side of meditation is Focus Exercises, keeping your attention on one thing, such as a candle or one thought and pulling your self back when your focus wanders. The aim is to lengthen the time before you lose focus again. The next is Visualisation, now this can be hard for many people and like meditation there are different ways people approach it.

I have a few videos on this and I think I will revisit the subject in a new video, because I find it can be a stumbling block for many.

Cleansing and Banishing.

Learning how to effectively cleanse yourself and a space, how to banish an energy. This is kind of one of those things that you need to practice until it is in your DNA and you can do it without thinking. So that in the future if you are put on the spot and need to banish something, you can do it, without just staring at it like a dear in the headlights.

Energy.

How to feel it, move it, control it and ways to generate it. As well as strengthening your own Witch Power.

Divination.

Start to work with some form of divination, and it does not have to be tarot cards. There are pendulums, runes, dice, I ching, throwing bones, scrying, tea leaves, magic 8 ball. You name it, someone has used it for divination.

Give them a go, find the method that jells with you and work it. Use it to help open up your intuition, lift
the veil of the unseen in situations and expand your knowledge of yourself.

Now I know that for some, all of this sounds boring, “Can’t I just skip over all that and get into the good stuff?” Sure, you can do whatever you want, but believe me, spending the time cultivating and honing these skills will mean, a greater appreciation of all things witchy in the future.

3. Financial cost – Flashy tools are nice but not necessary.

Now the internet, especially social media has given everyone an unrealistic expectation of a lot of things witchcraft. Right now it is fashionable, with many mainstream businesses jumping on the bandwagon, selling witchy inspired nick naks and such, for those who want that witchy esthetic and those that feel they need all the things, before they can start.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love looking at altar tour videos, and witchy tools hauls.

But, many of those are from people who have been practicing for a while and have amassed lots of stuff, over that time. If you can afford it, great, get all the witchy things. But having all the witchy things, does not make you, win at witchcraft, or make you a better witch for that matter.

It can be a real hindrance to new witches, as they believe they can’t do this or that until they have this particular tool or that particular herb.

No.

Witchcraft does not need to be expensive, and you don’t need all the things to get started. Use what you have around you, the stones in your back yard or park near you, leaves, sticks, herbs from the garden or kitchen, a kitchen knife that you only use just for magic.

Things from second hand stores, or say a plate or cup from Kmart, candles from a supermarket or discount store, use what works. A pentagram printed on something does not make it inherently magical, you do, by using the item, where-by over time it becomes a magical object.

You can make your tools, wands are the easiest. While you do, you can put your energy and intention into it. Remember you don’t need all the things straight away.

Take your time and get what you need, or what you like, when you can. Books can be expensive as well, there are a few things you can do. Libraries sometimes have a lot of spiritual books that you can borrow, on crystals and herbs.

Look at book reviews and buy the books that have the most bang for your buck. Now I like to touch my books, but physical books are expensive, so ebooks can be cost effective in the beginning, but I would suggest if it is a book you love, when you can afford it, purchase a physical copy.

4. Spells and rituals – when to start, start small, don’t run before you can walk.

Most people when they become interested in witchcraft fall into two camps, the ones that need to know and research everything before they start and the ones that know nothing and blunder through anyway.

Both have there pros and cons. Yes you should research before you start, and have a bit of an idea of what you are doing and the big one, why you are doing the spell.

Is this the best way of going about solving my problem? Do I need to do a spell, or is a mundane approach the better solution?

Have you researched the spell you are doing, the ingredients, the moon phase, or planets being used, and you know why they are being used? Cool, then go ahead, give it a try.

The ones that blunder through straight away, great you are getting your hands dirty, but, do you know what you are doing, and why you are doing it?

Do you have the right intentions, energy and focus for the spell or ritual? Or are you just copying what you have seen, another witch do, with no idea what you are doing and why. Lastly are you trying to contact a Spirit or Daemon and have have just bitten off more than you can chew?

The thing here is, don’t be afraid to do the spell or ritual, it can be one of the most exhilarating times of your witchy life. Start small, don’t go running ahead to get to the juicy stuff, and wind up getting
in trouble.

It is kind of like learning to drive a car, you have to learn the basic road rules, then you have to learn how to physically drive the car, normally learners have a speed limit to follow, as they practice, how to drive safely without hurting themselves or others around them.

Then when they are ready and skilled enough they can if they like, learn how to drive a rally car, high performance race car or a truck. You don’t just hop into a race car and start driving without at lease knowing what you are doing and how to control the vehicle.

Same with witchcraft, I know it seems sexy and mysterious to work with spirits, daemons and deities, but if you don’t know what you are doing, and have not mastered the basics, you are likely to get your head bitten off. Figuratively and at worst literally.

Please don’t call upon anything you are not strong enough to banish.

5. Perfection is impossible – witchcraft can be messy

You can research, study and read a thousand books, but the real learning is in the doing. Witchcraft can be messy, there are herbs, and oils, candles, dirt, stones, hair and fluids.

And you will not know what works for you until you try. No two practices are the same, and comparing
yourself with another’s practice is never wise.

Waiting for the, perfect time, the perfect tool, the perfect setup, is just stunting your growth as a witch.

Perfection is not achievable, it is stagnation.

Get in there, get your hands dirty, try things, experiment, fail and then try another way. Learn and grow from you mistakes.

6. Simple Spells can be more effective than big elaborate ones.

More is not better. You can get a lot done with very little. The thing to note is you need to know the rules, before you can break the rules.

You don’t need all the bells and whistles, and just because the spell came from a grand grimoire, does not mean it will work for you.

This forms part of your research, in spell crafting. Look at spells online and in books, what are the common ingredients used in most common spells, and why are they used?

Now after your research and practice, you say to yourself. “Do I need all of that guff, or can I pare it down to its core components?”

Do I need all the pomp and ceremony, do I need to cast an elaborate circle for a simple spell, have 20 coloured candles, 5 gold rings and a partridge in a pear tree?

The thing is, bigger is not always better, and if you get results with less, then why do you need more.

But don’t just cut things out for the sake of simplicity. In the beginning, you will have to do the elaborate ritual circle casting, to get the fundamentals and to learn the skills needed for spell and rituals, then you can tweak to suit your style.

Remember, you have to first know the rules, in order to break the rules.

7. Safety First – People, Fire, Deity and Spirits.

Well there is the obvious, never leave a candle unattended.

Don’t bite off more than you can chew, know your limits.

Know the protocols when calling on deities, spirits, demons for the first time.

Understand the herbs you work with, doses, effects and contra indications.

Essential oils can be harmful if used excessively, understand which oils and herbs are harmful to pets, children and when pregnant.

But something I don’t hear people talking about is safety from people.

Now this can take the form of shielding and protection work, but it is really more mundane than that.

What is the meme? Spirits don’t scare me, it’s the living you should be afraid of.

When you are new to the craft, its great, its spiritual, you want to learn cool witchy stuff, and interact with spiritual people, yay. That’s great, but please keep your head on straight.

Just because someone is in a spiritual environment, be it a witch, a teacher, healer, psychic, what have you. Does not automatically mean they are a good person or have your best interest at heart.

Many prey on people new to spirituality, with unsolicited requests to give you a psychic reading, healing etc. Some are just straight up predators, use your gut intuition, don’t do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable, or be pressured to do anything, with coercion such as, “If you were really spiritual you would”.

Remember being in a spiritual community does not automatically mean you are a good person.

The next thing, is going out into the wilderness for rituals, or just to be one with nature.

Be safe, in Australia, we have snakes, meat ants the size of small dogs, spiders as big as dinner plates, oh and Drop Bears.

So you need to be mindful of where you are and what is around you. Make sure someone knows where you are and what time you will be back, and if possible, try not to go out alone, as it is not just animals to watch out for, but people, not everyone is nice. Please don’t put yourself in danger by being alone in the middle of nowhere.

Being careful also relates to looking for a coven.

You are new and you find a coven near you, and you are worried that this is your only chance to learn and do some real witchcraft.

Stop, and wait. There is no need for you to start in a coven straight away, I didn’t.

I have a video coming up in regards to things to look for when searching for a coven, so keep and eye out for that.

8. Haters and Gatekeepers

You are never going to please everyone, and there is always someone that will tell you, you are doing it wrong. Each to there own, but what is the saying? Haters gonna hate.

Most of the time, these people feel a lack of control in their own lives and feel that telling others what they can and cannot do gives them the feeling of control.

Others in my experience, develop this need for control, after coming from or growing up in an organized religion and then begin practicing some variation of Wicca (which is seen by most as the Religion of Witchcraft) and they forget that witchcraft is a craft, with many traditions, that don’t have a dogma.

There are different cultures and flavours of witchcraft, wicca is not the only flavor. Not hating on Wicca, it is just an observation, in my experience many witches telling you are doing it wrong, or you should not do certain spells, identify as Wiccan.

Gatekeeping can be the same, but should not be confused with Initiation Covens and information given to different levels within the coven. There are many cultural traditions that are closed, family traditions, such as some forms of Strega, and others that require initiation into the system before you can practice, with the spirits and deities of that tradition.

But you must remember that witchcraft (the craft of the witch) comes in so many different flavours, every culture on the planet practices some form of it.

Witchcraft at its core, is the practice of magic, and no one owns magic.

So if you are interested in a tradition, research and study, and have an understanding of the culture and history around that flavor of witchcraft. Always be mindful and respectful of how other cultures use magic, and remember that what other cultures find normal and acceptable, you may not.

Don’t let the Karens, bully and intimidate you, or make you doubt yourself. Their way, is not your way, and your way is not theirs, and that is what makes witchcraft great.

Witchcraft is a personal practice, and as we are all different, so is the way we practice.

9. Take your time, It is not a race.

The path you tread is a long and winding one that lasts a lifetime, maybe more.

You will never now everything about a particular subject in the craft, there is always more to learn. As we tread the path we are continually switching from student to teacher and back again, as we come to the realization that we have come so far and we still have so much to learn.

It is a crooked path, and winding path, not a paved freeway. The path winds, and sometimes backtracks over itself, showing new perspectives from old footprints.

Its not about getting everything – knowledge, power, enlightenment straight away, with just the utterance of this special incantation. It’s the journey, on the path, the blood, sweat and tears, the wisdom gained, from doing the work, from treading the path.

Don’t rush, take your time, look at the scenery and stop to smell the roses once in a while.

10. Intention is not all there is to magic.

“Its all about the intent, that’s all you need”. I have heard this quite a lot, and I think it comes from a more new age influence than old witchcraft. Intention is part of it but it isn’t everything.

How many times have you heard someone say, “Well I didn’t intent for that to happen”.

Intent is part of the recipe but not all of it.

Firstly you need to look at the possible results of your spell and the easiest way it will manifest, in your life, as magick follows the path of least resistance.

Is it say a money spell and you are thinking/hoping, I don’t know, a lotto win, money falling from the sky, and what happens is you are asked to work overtime, or the old chestnut, you have an accident and the insurance payout is what you asked for in your spell.

Alternatively at work, you do a spell to get a bossy or toxic team leader to leave you alone and you end up losing your job, clearly not your intention.

The intention part of your spell is your goal and the process of weaving it so it manifests as closely as possible to your desired outcome.

The other part of what people are taking about when they say intent, is the energy put into the spell, your own, deity, nature, the universe.

But it is also the energy you put in after the spell.

Are you working towards the goal in your mundane life, real world actions?

If it is a job spell, are you sending out applications? A Love spell, are you getting out there and going on dates, or are you expecting prince or princess charming to climb up to your lofty tower and save you from the single life.

Weight loss spell, are you eating healthy, and exercising, or are you sitting on the couch waist deep in potato chips expecting the spell to do all the work.

Magic travels the Path of least resistance, don’t make yourself the resistance.

The third part of the intent umbrella term is focus and visualisation, results will be spotty at best if you have the attention span of a goldfish and your visualisation skills are pore.

So when other witches tell you that you only need intent, that is kind of true, if you are a master of weaving your goal into physical existence with just focused energy and visualisation.

Not many of those witches around, and they have developed that skill after years of dedicated practice.

For the non demigods amongst us, using something physical helps us focus that intent into the physical world. Now this can be as easy and cost effective as using a stone from the garden, a leaf, or pen and paper.

If you want to get a little fancy you can use a candle and/or herbs and roots that align with your intent, and add power to your spell. This anchors the energy to the physical world and helps to make it real. Using just intent alone, runs the risk of your spells staying in the mental realm and never truly manifesting.

This is the same as performing ritual and spells using herbs and candles, spell jars etc, without focused intent, at the end of the day, all it seems to amount to is some expensive cosplay.

11. Deity, Spirits Ancestors, Oh My.

Again you look through social media and everyone has a deity.

I work with Hekate, I work with the Morrigan, I work with Hel, Medusa, Hern, the flying Spagetti monster. Everyone seems to have one, and I’m practicing witchcraft so I must need one too.

No, not really, many witches don’t work with deity at all, and like I have said before, you don’t need to have all the bells and whistles right at the beginning, or even at all.

Let your path progress naturally and organically, if a deity makes themselves known or you are drawn to one, then research everything you can on them and then you can write a ritual to contact them.

I suggest forming it like you are having a very important person over for dinner. You are going to be formal, have the things you know they like, you are going to be polite and respectful.

Don’t expect to see a result straight away with your contact. The deity may be checking you out and looking at what your commitment to the craft and them is, or you need to develop your intuition enough to hear them more clearly.

So it may take a few attempts at communication before you see a connection. This would be the same process with Spirits and Ancestors. Now you need to take into consideration that the deity, spirit or ancestor, may not what to work with you at that time, or at all, and that is cool. You should not try and make a spirit, deity or ancestor work with you, as it may not work out as you would like.

The one thing I would say, that personally as a witch, I work with deity, spirits and my ancestors, I don’t worship them, and that is a huge difference.

But again each to there own, you do what is comfortable for you and your practice.

12. Grimoires, BOS and Journals.

Write stuff down. What you are learning, your spells, meditations, experiences. Not only will it help you to remember, the information you are learning about. But it becomes a record of your journey as a witch. At times when you feel stuck, and feel like you have not progressed, you can look back and see how much you have learnt and how far you have come along your path.

Writing down spells and rituals, results and failures, helps you to tweak and refine your path that is truly your own. Now like with most things, social media, you have some witches with beautifully bound Grimories or Books of Shadows, absolute works of art. As a new witch, starting your book this can be very intimidating, as you may have the idea that it needs to be perfect. Which results in you not writing in your book for fear of messing it up.

Well I’m here to tell you, you don’t need a fancy book to start, any notebook will do.

I have many many notebooks, I call my Books of Scratch, filled to the brim with witchyness, posted notes, photocopy reference images, leaves, flowers, you name it. I also have folders full of my quick reference information, ones for rituals, ones for spells.

So creating and having a grimorie straight away is not necessary, specially if the whole idea of creating one stresses you out. Start small, and as you go your style will evolve, go with what works best for you, how you organise your information in a folder with movable sections and the information you feel should go in your Grand Grimore.

13. Don’t be a sheep be a Goat.

It is so easy to get caught up in the latest witchy trend, social media is rife with this, Tik Tok anyone.

Creating a monkey see monkey do effect. This saying refers to learning something by mimicry, without understanding why it works or concerned about the consequences.

Just because everyone seems to be doing it does not mean it is right for you or has a place in your practice.

Take the western worlds obsession with burning californian white sage for absolutely everything.

House feels funky, burn some sage, I think I see a ghost, burn some sage, its Wednesday, burn some sage, dog farted, burn some sage. Seriously, put the sage down and slowly back away.

Contrary to popular belief, Sage does not work for all situations, besides, there are cheaper, more effect things out there you can use instead of sage.

Hauling your crystals out so they can charge under the full moon, I’m not knocking it, and its nice if it works for you. But for me, crystals are found in the earth, they don’t go out for a stroll on the full moon to recharge and then dive back into the earth when they are done.

Maybe if you feel they need a recharge, try a dirt bath instead of a moon bath and give them some alone time. My crystals like that, maybe yours will too.

All I am saying is it is nice to belong and doing what is in vogue and trending gives us a sense of being part of something.

Try not to follow the herd, understand what you are doing and why, cultivate your own practice, follow your own path. For me, a witch is someone who thinks for themselves and is not swayed by the peer pressure of popular culture.

One more as a bonus, because clearly I can’t count.

13. Keep Silent

This is one that I have not seen anyone talk about, when giving tips and advice to beginners, but I know it is one of the most important. Coming from what is known as the witches pyramid or the 4 pillars of the Magus. To Know, To Dare, To Will and To Keep Silent.

Social media seems to have blown the Keep Silent part out of the water. Talk, talk, talk, let me tell you something and I just want to say this.

Many voices all fighting to be heard, most not really thinking about what they are saying and forgetting, or maybe they do not know, that, in silence there is power.

Now I’m not talking about staying silent when you see someone being harmed. I am talking about not talking and just listening. A fool is known by his speech, and a wise man by silence. As a young witch I was counseled to keep my silence, talk little and listen much.

One big thing I have seen on social media is talking about the spells you have done the night before and showing a picture. Back in my day this was just unheard of, and you must remember that it was not that long ago that talking about doing a spell, or magick in general was not good for your health.

It is still like that today in many countries. Now I don’t see a problem with someone showing a working if they like, but at least wait until it has manifest.

Why?

Well as I have said previously, not everyone has your best interests at heart and your spell is in the beginning phases of pulling at the strings of the universe and weaving a new possibility into existence, it is at a vulnerable time in the life of the spell.

Telegraphing you have just done a spell for something, leaves that spell open to outside tampering, either from say a family member praying for your soul, maybe someone out of jealousy sending a little malocchio your spells way, well intentioned friends and family, constantly asking “Has your spell worked
yet? Oh, don’t worry it will”.

Surrounding yourself and them with the energy of doubt. Or it could be just other bored witches who have nothing better to do than mess with your spell, just because they can.

You have even given them a portal – the photo, to gain access to your spell.

On the spiritual side some of the benefits of being silent, is the quieter you are the more you hear.

You become aware of things in your environment, dangers, opportunities, the magic and wonder of it all, which you miss if you are to busy talking. Silence gives us a chance to get to know and understand ourselves and not worry and overthink everything.

A chance for our creativity and intuition to speak without the constant chatter of our conscious minds drowning it out. Insights require a quiet mind, because they themselves are quiet. Entering the Silence cuts off the constant flow of information and chattering thoughts, allowing us to reset, to re-calibrate, to think better and clearer. To question for a second, and reconnect with our core.

I suggest regularly spending a day, or at lest a couple of hours, switched off from electronic media, sit in nature somewhere and just be silent.

Well that is my thirteen plus one tips.

Many Blessings

Lady Amaris – The Circle of Heka

Picture of Amaris

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