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What to do Before You Start Practicing Magick

Updated on February 6, 2016
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Jo is an eclectic witch with a degree in Psychology and an obsession with novena candles. She primarily practices hoodoo and angel magick.

Where to Start

Witchcraft comes in just about as many systems as the number of people who practice it. Everyone has their own path, but there are some fundamental tools that will help you regardless of what spiritual path you choose. The most frequently asked question I get is how to start practicing, especially for those who are young or unable to come out of the broom closet yet, but still want to learn the skills they'l need to foster a strong spirituality.

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Meditate, meditate, and then meditate some more

I have to admit, this is the piece of advice that irritated me the most when I was first researching magick and witchcraft. From brujas and sorcerors to new age gurus, it seemed like everyone was saying the same thing: learn to meditate before you start spellwork!

After quite some time, I've found that this advice was ubiquitous for good reason: it works. Spellwork is 10% preparation and 90% manifestation. You've probably heard that term used before, but I'll simplify it for you. Manifestation is simply the ability to alter your physical reality by visualizing the change you want to experience. From overcoming self-defeating behavior to improving your financial situation, you can move mountains with the power of positive visualization. Manifestation really is at the core of all magickal systems, and the best way to become a powerful manifester is to -- you guessed it -- meditate.

Improve your divination skills

Everyone has a form of divination that appeals to them, although some are restricted to certain practices. As soon as my third eye began to open, I received dreams of runes long before I even knew what Asatru (the path I now call my own) even meant. There are limitless forms of divination, but the most popular utilize some form of physical medium that allows you to interpret the intuitive information you receive during the divination process.


Common Forms of Divination

 
 
 
Pendulum
Tarot
Mirror scrying
Oracle cards
Runes
Astrology
Crystal balls
Ouija boards
Numerology

Go earthing

Yes, I said earthing. Earthing is a term used to refer to the practice of being in direct contact with the earth. Oneness with nature should be familiar to anyone considering a pagan path, but earthing can be practiced by anyone, from atheists and Christians do devout witches. The principle behind earthing is that we as humans are living outside our intended sphere, in oneness and constant contact with nature. While we once ran barefoot through the fields, taking in the refreshing, grounding energy of the earth through our skin and the warmth of the sun through our pores, we now sit inside all day, locked in artificially-lit cubicles.

By getting outside at least once a day, kicking off your shoes, and feeling the cool earth between your toes, you will immediately start to feel more connected to the natural world as it resides within you. This simple process will reinvigorate your mind and body, cutting away all the mental clutter and negative vibrations that make it so difficult to excel in sipritual pursuits like meditation and divination.

Develop a relationship with your deities

Disclaimer: you don't have to worship or even believe in a god or goddess to practice witchcraft. I know many perfectly fulfilled and effective witches who are completely atheistic or agnostic. However, if you are so inclined, developing a relationship with your deity or deities is a good idea well in advance of putting theory to practice. It's important to remember that most witches consider witchcraft itself to be separate from religion, but many of us do have faiths that encourage and work closely with the practice of witchcraft. For many, witchcraft is a form of faith expression, a beautiful way to connect with the ones you worship and in doing so grow closer to them, yourself, and the natural world.


Read, learn, ask

Education is by far one of the most important aspects of preparing to perform magick. Before you ever cast a spell, you will need to know when (sun and moon correspondences, deity days, etc.), why (the significance behind the herbs, stones, and other items used) and how (the flow and form of the spell). There is no right or wrong answer to any of these questions, but the simplest way to learn to craft your own spells and practice your own path is to learn from others. Don't take anyone's instruction as the end all, be all of witchcraft, but you can certainly learn from what others have done. Just remember not to copy another's spell verbatim, but rather to take inspiration from their general structure and add your own personal element. Customization is the key to an effective spell and powerful magick, but you can't play improvisational jazz without first knowing how to play the standards.

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    • modernalchemyst profile image
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      Josephine 15 months ago from New England

      @Alexis Cogwell, sorry, sometimes it's hard to tell who's a guest! And yes, it certainly is. :) Plenty to learn even after you've been at it for years!

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      Ashley Cogdill 15 months ago from Indiana/Chicagoland

      I'm not a member, but this was very interesting, as witchcraft has always fascinated me! :)

    • modernalchemyst profile image
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      Josephine 15 months ago from New England

      Shawna, thanks for commenting and welcome to the practice! I actually have an introductory series of Hubs coming up, simply because I don't think there are enough resources out there that really get into the details of what it takes to start practicing withcraft (especially affordably.)

      That said, I'm not a Wiccan so I can only explain in terms of what I know as an eclectic witch. I highly recommend that you check out WiccanSage here on Hubpages as she has many very informative Hubs about Wiccan rituals, practice and the like. There are some Wiccan Youtubers who might be helpful too, like CharmingPixieFlora and TipToeChick. But if you have any specific questions about altar setup and the like, and don't mind the perspective of a non-Wiccan, feel free to post them here and I'll answer as best I can! :)

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      Shawna 15 months ago

      I don't see any replies but I'll ask anyway. modernalchemyst.... I'm new at researching Wiccan ways and rituals. I appreciate that it is based on positive rituals/spirituality. I did jump in and bough some herbs and other ritual tools for an Alter. But still needing to understand, step by step, how it all is setup, used, and lifestyle. This was a very interesting artlicle too.

    • modernalchemyst profile image
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      Josephine 2 years ago from New England

      I learned a lot from Youtube, to be honest. Channels like TheShoeWhisperer, Katz0411, CharmingPixieFlora, Pagan Perspective and TipToeChick really helped me out. :) Advanced Candle Magick by Ray Buckland is one of my favorites, too. If you can tell me a bit more about the type of magic you're interested in, I can make some more tailored suggestions. I know it's hard to get a feel for when you're starting out, but as an example I chose to focus on hoodoo and candle magic in the beginning. There are so many options, it's good to narrow your scope at first and expand outward from there. Hope that helps! :)

    • Knight72 profile image

      Knight72 2 years ago

      I'm looking to start practicing witchcraft. I've started searching the internet, but am unsure of what resources are really useable. Would you be able to recommend a website or book for me to begin my search? I would be very grateful for anything you might be able to recommend. Thank you!

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      MysticMoonlight 3 years ago

      Great, sound advice and reminders you've mentioned here. Voted up :)

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