- fire safety comes first. does the fire extinguisher ruin your vibe? have it there anyway. Also have a bucket of water on hand in case you're holding something on fire and can't drop it.
- crystal water is all fun and games until you get poisoned. make sure that your crystal is what you think it is, also, and that you aren't putting unsafe crystals masquerading as safe ones into water you are going to drink.
- not all plants are safe for pets. your incense may not be safe for your pet. smoke exposure is not safe for pets. watch out for your pets.
- PLEASE practice fire safety I can't emphasize this enough.
- Mundane over Magickal. Do you smell smoke? It could be a spirit, but it could just as likely be a fire.
- some people are not witches. some people are frauds who will try to take advantage of you. I've seen people on Etsy who market "fertility spells" that are $500 bucks or more-- without showing or disclosing the materials they use or providing evidence that they know what they are doing.
You can look up topics for beginner practitioners to research and find many posts. Many of them say the same things and often list a variety of topics, which is nice, but I find them to be very scatterbrained. That's just my perspective, though.
Now, that's not to say those lists aren't helpful, but they don't provide any specific direction. While I do believe that anybody interested in witchcraft and magic should have enough sense of individuality to follow their own path (and the respect to acknowledge some paths are not theirs to take), I also believe there are some things that every practitioner can benefit from.
None of you have to follow this guide word for word. Hell, you don't have to follow it at all. This guide is merely here to offer a more straightforward path to begin with if you choose to take it. If you do choose to follow this guide, you'll eventually find the fork in the road to continue your personal journey.
📕 Important Information - This section is important information that will save you a lot of trouble in the future. When I say "trouble", I mean cultural appropriation and disrespecting various religions, spiritualities and practices.
➳ Different Religions & Spiritualities - What qualifies as "pagan"? What are Abrahamic religions? What are organized religions? Which concepts are modern? Which concepts have been reconstructed based on dead practices? What concepts have been around longer than modern times can say?
➳ Closed Practices - What are they? Which practices are closed? How can I educate myself on them, admire them from a distance and avoid disrespecting them?
➳ A side note, always seek resources and education about closed practices from those who are part of closed practices.
➳ Open Practices - Which practices are open? Are they modern or reconstructed? Which ones am I drawn to the most?
➳ A side note, again. A practice may be open, but that does not mean it is immune to appropriation and disrespect.
➳ Spotting Misinformation - What are some red flags I should look out for (check out the linked post for my take on some red flags)? How do I know what information is false?
📘 Most Basic Information - For this next section, you'll be learning about some basic terminology. You'll also be learning some crucial information that will be with you throughout your craft. These are some basic things that any practitioner should know.
➳ Basic Vocabulary - What are common terms I may come across? What do they mean in witchcraft and magic?
➳ Types of Magic - How many types of magic are there? What do they all do? Are any closed? Which ones are open?
➳ Cleansing - What does cleansing do? What methods are there? Which cleansing methods would work best for me?
➳ Protections & Warding - Why is this so important? What are some easy ways to protect myself magically? Which methods are most convenient for me?
➳ Banishment - What can I use banishments for? In what situations would I use a banishment? Which banishing methods would be most convenient for me?
📗 Common & Beneficial Topics - The next topics are just some common topics that most people benefit from. They aren't that difficult to research and are often something that takes a quick google search to start off. To help you understand better, here is a link to my post about where correspondences come from.
➳ How to Create Spells - What should I consider before creating my own spells? What kind of results am I looking for? What materials do I have at my disposal? What kind of magic would be best for me to use?
➳ Color Correspondences - How can color correspondences benefit my craft? What do the different colors represent (here is a link to my post on color correspondences)?
➳ Pant Correspondences - Which plants can I use for certain workings based on their correspondences? What plant can I use in placement of another, if I don't have it?
➳ Divination - What is divination? What types of divination are there? How can they be used? Is divination something that would be beneficial to me?
📙The Fork in the Road - Congratulations. You've gone over the basic topics that most people benefit from. From here, you decide what your path is. What type of path will you pursue?
Now, I'm sure those of you reading this are wondering why I didn't include some of the popular topics like history of witches, types of witches and things like that. My only answer is that I don't believe they are all necessary to start out. The history of witchcraft is complex and varies depending on country, region, etc... Labeling yourself as a type of witch is a personal choice and shouldn't be the first thing you concern yourself over. See what I mean? These things can be saved for another time, if you're interested in them at all.
Don't overwhelm yourself with the variety of topics you could study. You'll just cause burnout. Instead take small steps. You'll always be learning when on this path, so don't rush yourself.
Just an fyi - you can totally over-ward and it sucks
Putting lots of spells around you that limit energetic access to you can do some wild sh*t.
In my belief system, all our relationships are formed through energetic exchange. Our connection to our immediate environments are formed through energetic exchange. Our ability to communicate with spirits and receive their help is due to energetic exchange.
Over-warding can cause weird stuff to happen, like:
You feel out of step with your environment
People start ignoring you; won't reply to your messages even though they normally would, etc
Your psychic senses feel dull or muted
You're having more trouble with divination, or the same messages seem to be coming through again and again when normally you'd receive a variety of messages
Your spells aren't manifesting, especially spells that would bring something into your life
You no longer get the same feelings around certain environments that you normally would (such as always feeling a certain way on a hiking trail you love, but then you kinda just feel nothing)
You're suddenly going nowhere in life - opportunities are passing you by
It has suddenly become really hard for you to be able to make changes in your life which normally you'd be able to accomplish
You get the sense that you're in a cocoon and you can't quite reach the world
Yes, these symptoms can happen for LOTS OF OTHER REASONS (including mental illness) and experiencing them does not automatically mean you've over-warded.
Here is the fun lil part: Some of these are also symptoms of hexing, leading people who have over-warded to be at risk of warding even more to try and solve the problem.
Most people aren't at risk for this IMO. But if you've been doing a lot of warding and stuff doesn't feel right, you might have taken your Nemo self out of the ocean and plopped down into an aquarium made for one.
Chakra: The Navel or Solar Plexus.
Herbs: Saffron, Myrrh, & Bay leaf.
Colors: All shades of Orange and Red.
Planets: The Sun, Mars, and Venus.
Astrology: Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius.
Tools: Wands, Candles, and Cauldrons.
Crystals: Carnelian, Citrine, Coal, Diamond, Flint, Garnet, Geodes, Larimar, Lava-Stone, Obsidian, Red-Jasper, Sunstone, and Volcanic rock.
The Element Earth:
Tarot: Coins or Pentacles.
Chakra: The Root Chakra.
Herbs: Rosemary, Eucalyptus, & Basil.
Colors: All hues of Green and Brown.
Planets: Earth, Uranus, and Saturn.
Astrology: Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn.
Tools: Pentacles, Coins, Books, All Herbs, Crystals, and Salts.
Crystals: Any form of Agate, Apache tear, Aventurine, Tourmaline, Diamond, Emerald, Fluorite, Granite, Iron, Jade, Malachite, Peridot, Pyrite, and Tiger’s-Eye.
The Element Air:
Chakra: The Heart Chakra.
Herbs: Anise, Clover, and Lavender.
Colors: Tones of Pink and Yellow.
Planets: Mercury, Uranus, and Jupiter.
Astrology: Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius.
Tools: Athame, bells, feathers, broom or besom, and incense smoke.
Crystals: Amethyst, Apatite, Kyanite, Chrysocolla, Fluorite, Hematite, Moldavite, Opal, Sandstone, Sardonyx, Topaz, and Turquoise.
The Element Water:
Season: Autumn or Fall.
Tarot: Chalices or Hearts.
Chakra: The Sacral Chakra.
Herbs: Rose, Thyme, and Lotus.
Colors: All shades of blue and purple.
Planets: The Moon, Neptune, and Pluto.
Astrology: Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces.
Tools: Chalices, Shells, Pearls, Sand-dollars, and Hag-stones.
Crystals: Alexandrite, Amethyst, Aquamarine, Chalcedony, Jet, Kunzite, Lapis Lazuli, Moonstone, Onyx, Opal, Rose quartz, and Sodalite.
Don’t get me wrong, I love a good crystal necklace but you don’t get much say in what intentions it manifests and the energy it releases. Enchanting a pendant can open a whole new realm of possibilities using herbs, stones and candles to bring in all the energies that you wish to carry with you in a single necklace.
For this beautiful cicada pendant I wanted it to bring me protection, luck and power.
What you’ll need
A black candle - I used two
Protection herbs and incense: I used a bay leaf, black salt, dragons blood and lavender
For power I used snake skin and for good luck I used cinnamon - these intentions were secondary so I only used a single herb for each
Protective crystals: I used black tourmaline and clear quartz
Cleanse your space in your preferred method
Get in the right headspace: you can do this by meditating on your intentions
Set up your alter with the surrounding the pendant with crystals and your black candle. Light them up
Call on any spirit guides to aid you, and begin focusing on your intention
Touch the pendant, ask it for aid and begin envisioning your energy seep into it as you focus
Sprinkle each herb onto your pendant - setting your intention with each one. Tell your pendant what the herb will do
Do the same thing with your crystals, touch them and then your pendant. Infusing those vibes
Talk to your pendant - reiterate what you want, thank it, etc
Let it sit on your alter. Allow the herbs and crystals to stay with it until your candle finishes burning
Protection is so important! And having a pendant that you personally enchant is so powerful! Why not give your favourite necklace a little magic?
Bonus extra step:
Every morning before I put any necklace on I always give the pendant a little kiss and ask it for aid in my day. It just feels right haha
Intent is needed but even more needed is the work you put in to actually bringing your spell/ manifestation into reality.
*You don’t have to agree with me. I just personally do not think that only intent matters. That being said intent can be strong enough to cast manifestations and spells but saying “I intend to do this” is different than actually putting the work and steps in to actually physically do it*
Thinking about this a lot lately. Thoes who come from organized religions that then transform into witchcraft always try to make rules that makes them feel safe. I know I’ve done it. Especially recently I’ve treated my Goddess Hekate and Goddess Aphrodite like you would the catholic god, which I was born into and did that for more than half of my life. They’re not. We are not. As witches we aren’t an organized religion. You do NOT get to tell people how to practice. You do NOT get to tell people they’re doing something wrong.
Now this does not apply to practitioners in closed practices that see people using certain things that they’re fundamentally aren’t allowed to use. ￼
sea salt - though not technically a herb , sea salt is great for purification and cleansing while also helping to balance emotions .
black pepper - black pepper is most commonly used to protect and banish negative energies . it also tends to ward off evil .
basil - the magical uses behind this herb span out from protection to love to wealth to driving away the evil eye . basil is also sometimes known as the witches herb .
sage - sage is both a powerful and magical herb with varied different uses . these properties include wisdom , cleansing , lifting spirits , purification , healing and longevity .
rosemary - this herb is blessed with a variety of different uses — from purification to lust and love to good health to cleansing and preventing nightmares .
oregano - this herb is good for promoting joy , strength , vitality and energy .
bay leaves - one of the most common herb found in a witches cabinet — these are good for love , protection , money , success , manifestion and binding . they can also be used to remove jinxes .
lavender - most commonly used for protection , peace , love , purification and clarity . lavender can also be used to assist in mediation , divination and even sleep . pair lavender with a piece of amethyst for a great night sleep .
chamomile - primarily used in love , healing and stress reducing spells , but can also used for luck and gambling .
thyme - the best herb for attracting loyalty , affection and a good reputation . other properties include courage and strength . it's also believed to be a stimulant for psychic gifts .
peppermint - peppermint is a great herb for cleansing energy , rest , dreams , renewal and prosperity , passion , fluidity and psychic stimulant .
cardamom - cardamom is an amazing herb for love and lust , sexuality , building and reigniting intimacy .
cloves - commonly used to attract prosperity & friendship . some other uses include , banishing evil , attracting love , promoting home and personal protection , attracting money and preventing gossip .
ginger - provides protection from evil and is widely used to heat up love affairs and sexuality . some other properties include passion , love , money , luck and energy .
parsley - this herb is used for purification and protection . it can be used to promote fertility and lust .
This post is part of a series of animistic, spirit-oriented spellcasting for beginners. Go to the masterpost to see them all.
Terms, definitions, and labels are extremely powerful. They create lines and divisions. This can create blinders which prevent us from seeing the whole picture. But it's also dang useful for navigating a murky informational swamp.
I would like to provide you with a few informational labels to help you sort information into boxes for safekeeping. Do not forget, however, to discard these labels in the future once you've outgrown their use.
I find a very good way to categorize spellwork is based on their longevity and how they are expected to operate. The best way to explain this is to jump right in.
First of all, what's a spell?
For the purposes of this series of posts, a spell is a discrete pool of metaphysical power patterned to achieve a distinct goal or outcome. This combination of power and intent is meant to have a literal effect on the physical world and its inhabitants.
Like your favorite fanfic intended to be published in one part without any followups, one-shot spells are spells which are cast once, do something specific, and then that's it.
In my way of working, the major thing that makes it one-shot magic is that either:
The spell was never tied to a physical object (in the case of pure energy work or astral magic), or,
The spell was tied to a physical object (like a candle, paper sigil, or incense), but that object will be destroyed in order to release the spell, and,
The spell is intended to do something specific once and then stop.
One way to envision one-shot magic is like assigning a specific quest to a fairy knight. He gallops out of your castle and across the kingdom to achieve what you desire. When he accomplishes the task (manifests your goal), or when he runs out of his fairy bread (the energy of the spell), he disappears - whichever comes first.
Once the knight has left your castle, it's really hard to get him to change his course of action. If you realized you made a mistake sending him out, you're probably going to have to send another knight to stop him.
Also if you tell him his job and then lock him in a room he will DESTROY it trying to get out and do your bidding. This is a little more like 201 stuff but keep that in mind :)
Pros of one-shot spells:
They come in clutch when you need something specific to happen once, but you don't need it to continue happening on a regular basis. Examples include finding a job, getting Becky fired, getting a lease for an apartment you can afford, or finding the perfect pet for your lifestyle.
They are set-and-forget. Once the initial casting is complete, you do not need to go back to recharge or monitor the spell.
You can pre-cast spells and store them inside of physical vessels (again, that's the candles, incense, paper sigil, etc etc) and wait to release the magic until you're ready.
Cons of one-shot spells:
The initial spellcasting is meant to provide them with enough power to fully complete your goal. This means they can be more draining to cast, especially if you let your personal power charge them (a fix to this, however: pre-cast the spell and continuously charge the disposable vessel over time to slowly boost it).
Because the spell is not tied to any physical vessel once the casting is complete, it can be a little more difficult for beginners or those without strong psychic senses to track, monitor, or modify their spells if they choose to.
It's an ineffective way of approaching magic in your life that needs to be both ongoing and easy to manage.
As opposed to one-shot spells, continuous magic is magic which I define as being both:
Bound to a physical vessel (such as a piece of jewelry or a container), and,
Intended to provides the same effect continuously through an extended period of time.
One way to conceptualize continuous magic is like a personal assistant that stands around you at all times. The assistant constantly works to bring you the things you've asked for, or keep away things you don't like. The assistant is also open to input and suggestions, as long as they don't stray too far out of his job description.
However, your assistant will only work if they get their monthly paycheck (that's the recharging!).
Because this assistant is always around, you can put him on unpaid leave at any time or restart his employment. You don't have to send a knight to convince the assistant not to come to work that day, you can just tell the assistant that for the time being his services are no longer necessary.
Pros of continuous magic:
They are ideal when you need a magical effect to constantly work without a set end date. Examples include most protections and general prosperity spells.
Once set up, they are easy to deal with and manage. Recharging is much easier and faster than the initial casting, and often needs to only be done monthly (or less!).
If you need to pause or dismantle the effects of the spell, doing so is relatively easy, and the spell can be started up again later.
Monitoring and modifying the spell is usually a breeze.
Cons of continuous magic:
The magic radiates out of the vessel, so where the vessel is actually matters a lot. Unless you have a taglock that forwards the magic to a different person or address, it's effects will spill out around it.
Searching for, or creating, a suitable vessel is typically more of a hassle and can be more expensive than one-shot magic.
You gotta have a place to store these bad boys. Vessels can be chosen to be very small and discreet, but their density and mass is an inherent and unavoidable factor.
Sometimes you make a continuous magic vessel and forget about it, and 3 months later you're like "why is this HAPPENING" and then 18 months later you find the jar in the back of your closet and you and your brain do this GIF with yourselves:
And boom, yeah, that's it. Two categories of practical magic.
Now I know what you're asking. Are there more categories?
Twist: There's not even these categories. Remember, we must not consider these two categories to be absolute. You cannot find one-shotness or continousness in the DNA of magic.
As varied and infinite as techniques, beliefs, and intents are, there are that many categories of magic.
An astute reader may already be asking, "what about spells meant to do one thing and stop, but you don't destroy the vessel they're in? What about energy work meant to last long-term but it's never tied to anything?"
Valid questions indeed, and worthy of much consideration.
Our purposes here are to not to try and wrangle all of magic into convenient boxes; that is too grand a task for any one blog series.
Even wrangling one little field plot of magic is serious work in and of itself. Our purpose here is instead to provide foundational guidelines and suggestions for those who want to understand practical magic and get to casting it just as soon as possible.
And not even all methodologies of practical magic, either -- just the ones I'm familiar enough with to share.