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Learning Witchcraft: Training the Mind

Updated on August 19, 2016
WiccanSage profile image

Sage has been a Witch for 25 years. As a teacher and writer, she enjoys writing informative articles to teach others the Craft of the Wise.

How to Learn Witchcraft

The most important tool in Witchcraft is not the athame or the wand, it’s not the cauldron or the herbs, it’s not even the book or the spell— the most important tool in Witchcraft is the mind.

There are many definitions of Witchcraft, but the one I like most is that it’s a spiritual art rooted firmly in psychology and nature. It involves psychology because it requires you to have control over the mind—the ability to focus, to enter different states of consciousness, to visualize, to create essentially a self-fulfilling prophecy through positive, deliberate brainwashing (for belief not only that you will achieve your goal, but have on some level, is essential). To utilize nature-- which includes learning about and working with things such as herbs, roots, crystals, etc.— requires knowledge. To work with energy—that is to learn how to raise natural energies and direct them toward achieving one’s goal— requires knowledge, skill and developed mental discipline in psychic arts.

It is because of this that a student of The Craft should not begin by seeking spells or by gathering tools. In fact, once you’ve studied you’ll know how to construct your own custom-designed spells. With proper study, anything you have on hand can become a potential tool—and if there’s nothing on hand you can work without them. A student of The Craft should dive into two main activities: studying, and training the mind. This article deals with the latter.

Becoming a Witch

Witchcraft is something you develop from within.
Witchcraft is something you develop from within. | Source

Mindful Meditation

Training the mind all begins with starting a meditation regime. The more consistently you keep up with the routine, the more you will benefit from it. If you’re completely new to meditation, it can begin with just 5 minutes per day of focusing on your breath and putting your awareness in the moment. This is the traditional form of meditation, known as mindfulness. You don’t need to force yourself to clear your mind; you don’t need to think about anything—you simply let yourself be firmly rooted in the moment and let thoughts just drift by, as if you’re a tree at the edge of a flowing river. Acknowledge the thoughts as they go past, just don’t let them carry you away.

You can begin to expand the amount of time spent in meditation little by little over the first few weeks until you can do it for up to 30 minutes.

The Power of the Mind

Creative Visualization in Witchcraft
Creative Visualization in Witchcraft | Source

Creative Visualization

Once you’ve learned to meditate mindfully, you can move on to visualization. For some people, it’s hard to get a mental picture of something, but visualization doesn’t have to be actually visual. If you prefer, you can focus on an emotion, a physical sensation, a sound, a scent or whatever works for you. The key to visualization in magic is being able to experience the expected results of your spell in some way in your mind-- to take your mind to that place in which you have your goal.

For example, if your spell is for financial prosperity, you can visualize an actual image of money in your wallet, or just see the color green (or gold, or whatever you associate with wealth). If you are more of an empath than visual, you might conjure up and hold onto the emotion you would feel if you had the money you needed (joy? Relief?). If you are more auditory than visual, you might imagine the sound of your voice counting your money, or paying your bills. If you’re more of a kinesthetic (tactile) person, you can try to hold on to the memory of what money feels like in your hands—or perhaps the feel of something you associate with riches, such as how satin sheets feel on your skin or how lobster and champagne taste on the tongue. Perhaps your strongest sense is olfactory, and the smell evokes the most powerful sensory experience: the scent of money, or the finest perfume you've ever whiffed, or perhaps something earthy like patchouli indicates prosperity to you.

Start working on holding on to your visualization (which ever sensory experience you choose to use) for a little more time in each meditation until you can work your way up to 20 or 30 minutes.

Bring Tranquility into Your Life

Calm your mind.
Calm your mind. | Source

Poll for Witches

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Try this Guided Meditation!

Work On Your Vibes

Altered states of consciousness
Altered states of consciousness | Source

Raising Vibrations

One of the most difficult steps in mental training for Witchcraft is to hone your psychic awareness. Namely, you need to reach a point at which you are able to sense energy so that you can begin manipulating it and directing it. Being able to achieve a meditative state will help you raise your vibrations so you’re able to do this.

Another major factor in raising your vibrations is to keep your thoughts positive. Believe it or not, negative thoughts are like an anchor that just drag you down to a lower vibrational frequency. The more you allow yourself to fall into negative thinking patterns, the lower your frequency goes. Hating the world, hating yourself, telling yourself you can’t do it, complaining about everyone, blaming problems on everything, being argumentative, judgmental, fighting with people-- this all lowers your vibrations to a point at which it will be difficult to sense energy, let alone control it.

This is where the mindfulness comes back into play, and recent studies confirm this. Being mindful and living in the moment is when we are at our most content. It’s a way to find a center of inner peace.

If you find you have a bad attitude in general, try being mindful during your waking hours, or use positive affirmations while you meditate. This is a way to essentially ‘brainwash’ yourself into having a better attitude, so that you can raise your own vibrational frequency.

Once your vibrational frequency is raised, you’ll find you’re able to better open your chakras, your ability to sense energy will dramatically improve and thus you’ll be ready for the next big step: learning to work with energy (for this is what the entire spell is designed to accomplish: raising, manipulating and directing energy toward the goal).

Before you get any book of spells, before you buy any candles or try any ritual magic, start at the beginning. Strengthen and hone that tool that’s going to make the difference between success and failure every time: the mind. These are the first steps on the road to practicing Witchcraft.

Connect with Something Greater

Learning Witchcraft
Learning Witchcraft | Source

© 2013 Mackenzie Sage Wright


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    • karthikkash profile image

      Karthik Kashyap 3 years ago from India

      You hit the nail exactly on its head. I started off witchcraft the same way you told: candles, spells and all. But yes, as I started studying it deeper, I realized that it is more to do with our energy and thought patterns than the words/spells or the props. Meditation is the best way to start increasing one's energy.

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 3 years ago

      I think a lot of us start off that way because a lot of the popular (but not so great) books would have you believe that-- that's how they sell books, marketing 'fast & easy ways to get what you want!' Thanks for your comments, I appreciate it!

    • profile image

      MysticMoonlight 3 years ago

      Nice Hub. Really great reminder of how important it is to focus and strengthen the mind. You make a great point about too much emphasis being put on tools and books, etc.

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 3 years ago

      Thanks MysticMoonlight, I appreciate your comment!

    • kalinin1158 profile image

      Lana Zakinov 3 years ago from California

      Great hub! I especially liked the part about raising vibrations. It can really be a challenge, but I find that regular meditation does help. Thanks, voted up!

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 3 years ago

      Definitely for most people meditation really helps; few of us are born spiritual prodigy who does everything right naturally without training, 99% of us are going to have to work at it. I appreciate your comment!

    • savvydating profile image

      Yves 3 years ago

      That's very interesting about vibrational frequency. It is a phrase I use often about my son. When he walks into a room, the vibration goes up. Everyone feels it. Consequently, I like what you've written here. It makes sense that all good begins with one's mindset toward positivity.

      Great message. Up & useful.

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 3 years ago

      Thanks savvydating; I appreciate your comments. Your son, I have known people like that and they are usually pretty special people. The state of mind is so important for so many things in life. Thanks so much for stopping by!

    • temptor94 profile image

      Ritu Temptor 17 months ago from India

      Wonderful hub! I tried meditation many times before but was unable to continue it for long with full sincerity, maybe because I was forcing myself into it. I am really interested in learning Wicca and your advise on trying to let thoughts drift through the mind sounds very inspiring. I will give it a try. Your talk about higher frequencies makes lot of sense.. its when people find us more approachable and are therefore more amiable to us when we ourselves are in a positive mood and vice versa. Something like positive attracting positive.

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 17 months ago

      Thanks so much, temptor; I appreciate your comments and I'm glad you've found my article here helpful. Mental discipline is essential for much spiritual work, particularly psychic work and magic. Best of luck to you on your path!

    • profile image

      Una 15 months ago

      Great Hub! Thank you for the many lessons. I appreciate your time and effort and most of all, you sharing your wisdom. Thanks again.

    • profile image

      Prophetessdyer 6 months ago

      I have to give credit where credit is due. I truly enjoyed this article. I am not a witch but this article will help me with some personal things I'm dealing with. However, I would gladly love to have some witches as acquaintances. I am blown away with this article!!!!

    • profile image

      Alice 6 months ago

      Is it okay if someone took notes from this? My cousin is into this and copy's notes down in her Book of Shadows so that way she can re-read them

    • profile image

      Xavier DAH 6 months ago from Utah

      you are my favorite author on this website i find it all very interesting and find myself eager to read more I've been reading your stuff nonstop for about 2 hours keep posting

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 6 months ago

      Hi Alice; thanks for asking. I certainly don't mind people taking notes or saving my articles for their own personal use. As long as they're not reprinting it and redistributing it on their websites and in their books, personal use is fine. Thanks for asking though, I appreciate it.


    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 6 months ago

      Thanks so much Dark DAH!

    • profile image

      Alice 6 months ago

      I am new to Wicca and started learning maybe three to four days ago. I am not new to meditation however, just now I was laying in bed and learning a howl from outside, it seemed to, I don't know exactly, but it seemed to stir something in me so I got up and turned on my light and sat in the, what I guess one would call the 'middle' of the floor, and got into the meditation position and closed my eyes, my hands on my knees. I breathed out threw my mouth, in threw my nose, breathed out threw my mouth, in threw my nose until I felt a cold tingling sensation run up my arms and spine, I breathed in my nose again and smelled something like corn and stinky feet, but for some odd reason the smell seemed to be almost...alive? It had a warm, blood, animalistic-human feel to it. I then felt a not cold but not warm tingling sensation run all over my body, I then noticed my body had begun to rock, slowly back and forth, back and forth, as if you wouldn't notice it anywhere else. I saw two red strings pulse behind my lashes then I was back to breathing then opened my eyes, now I'm in bed. So um...what has happened?

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 6 months ago

      Hi Alice; wow, some experience and it would be really hard to tell from a brief description, plus it's always hard to get into someone's head (especially someone you don't know) to try and find the meaning of a vision/experience. The first thing that popped in my mind is you had an encounter with a ghost or spirit guide (perhaps animal spirit guide)... unusual scents, the energy you felt, etc. definitely sounds like some kind of entity to me.

      If you feel uncomfortable or frightened you could always throw up the shields for a while. You might want to do some visualizations on another day to see if you can't get answers about this.

    • cherrycrime26 profile image

      January Moon 5 months ago from NY, Now Living in Atlanta Ga

      Yessss, great article, once I begin meditating daily, the information I needed was in mind, I love the craft!

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 5 months ago

      Thanks CherryCrime!

    • profile image

      Deerest1n 5 months ago

      As a child I used to naturally go into meditation not knowing what it was called. The longing for other places was strong in me. I distinctly remember when I was 12 years old I stretched out on the floor and listened to classical music on the radio. I let myself float into the music and asked the question "how small am I, show me". I had more than a moment of panic where I felt myself shrinking as I was shown the enormously constant growing universe. I remember fighting down the panic to not break the connection. I was left knowing in comparison, that I was minute to the growing universe yet an integral participant. I found great comfort that the universe was and will always be growing. I don't understand why the growing of the universe holds importance but it does.

      Now that I am in my 60s I find myself desperately wanting to get back to the experience of "how small am I, show me". My mind has become over ruled with adult worries and is harder to quiet. I order the book Quiet Mind to help me get back on the path. Do you have other recommendations?

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 5 months ago

      Hi Deerest; thanks so much for sharing your powerful and beautiful experience. Learning to get back in that state of mind will require a bit of effort, but you've been there, so you will probably get there easier than others just starting because you know what you're looking for. Just start a daily meditation regime, practice mindfulness, and keep it up. There are a lot of great guided meditations on YouTube as well that you might find helpful. Start small/short meditations, and work on going deeper/increasing the length.

      Bright blessings to you! ~Sage

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      Angelina 4 months ago

      As i was a child my mom used to constantly tell me to practice meditation to get a hold on your emotions and be patient and excetera excetera As i grew up entered into a teen phase i dealt with not just concentration problems regarding studies but also emotional stresses .. Confused and depressed mind.. Once again my mom told me the same thing meditation and i refused to follow it... But as i grew up i jave realised the importance of meditation and the power behind it.. The strength it gives.. This article truly inspired me more to regularly follow the path of meditation... I have been following this since few months and there is really a positive effect on me... Now at this point of time looking at the article i got to know more about it like raising vibrations and stuff.. Thank you for guiding us...

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 4 months ago

      Hi Angelina, thanks for commenting. Glad to be inspiring. Meditation in my opinion is good for everyone, regardless of what they do/believe. Good luck with your studies!

    • profile image

      Stephanie Velez 3 months ago

      I am new to this art... And by new I mean I started learning more about this today. I have even taken notes from this article and I will be starting the meditation today. My family has done some sort of spell casting, from my mom and my grandmother. I've learned about these abilities that I have a while back but I am just now noticing it all. I can sort of read thoughts. I say things that people are thinking before it is said and I have done this with MANY different people. I also see white and darks balls/figures. Sometimes I sense what is there and it always freaks me out.... Until now. I want to learn how to focus and harnest the energy. This article has great pointers and I'm excited to get started!

    • profile image

      Aniri 2 months ago

      Dear Sage, I am very new to this too and would like to learn. I am afraid I am not religious and don't believe in any gods and deities. I guess I would like to be what is called 'secular' witch'. However, I do believe in energy and science. I would be very interested in reading something about the general philosophical principles of magic and its relationship to modern science (quantum physics and the like). Would it be possible for you to recommend me some intelligent books/articles on this topic? Thank you.

    • profile image

      Anna 2 months ago

      Dear Sage,

      I remember ever since I was a little girl I've always felt like there's a presence around me. I've always been curious of this sort of practice, but Every time I've tried I always feel something suround me and it frightens me. I constantly feel either one presence or multiple as if it's/they are watching me. I've had a few spiritual encounters in my life and I never understood why I constantly feel some sort of presence around me. Whether it's day or night. The presence I always feel frightens me and I'm worried if I engage in this practice it will open a gate to darkness. My great grandmother used to do tarot cards and accurately predict things in the future. I myself have done tarot cards and I have been accurate Every time as Well. How can I set aside this fear ?

    • profile image

      Karen Kat Mosher 5 weeks ago

      I had no idea where to start responsibly.

      Exactly what i needed.

      Thank you

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