It’s the end of another summer, and the end of another month. Here is this month’s Ask Black Witch. Now, there’s going to be an extra page on this website for Ask Black Witch submission questions because I feel that I get way too few. That’s later.
I do get one very common question however which is “How do I become a witch?”
Here are a couple variations on the question:
“How can I be a witch, I really want to.”
“Will I became a witch” (I usually edit but the tense confusion made me laugh)
Now, first and foremost, if anyone wants to learn magick, please, for the love of the gods, please have better language skills. Both posters, though I am happy they read my blog, kinda had the writing skills that should be reserved for texting of a very young person (I edited the first one), if even that. When it comes to writing spells and performing them, something beyond a basic grasp of the English (or native) language is incredibly important. A lot of spell books and grimoires are written with very old English, French or simply in Latin due to various cultural perspectives of the times (for example, English was considered a lowly, commoner language so any script that was of any importance was written in Latin or French) so if you don’t have at least an intermediate grasp of the language you’re raised in, you’re pretty doomed in magick. This is for any form of magick because being a witch is a looooooot more than just the spells. You’ll be spending a lot of time reading so if your literacy is not up to par, it will be nothing but an uphill battle.
Of course, there are those who will possibly insinuate how a lot of folk magick was conducted by people who learned orally and did not read a book and, as a matter of fact, could not read themselves. That is very true, indeed. They didn’t need it very much however because those practitioners were already immersed the culture to pick it up as they lived, a culture that is very different from today. The average practitioner is not going to have access to someone that will pass on facts and information orally so books have come to replace that for the rudimentary information, which is a must to have. That also means putting oneself mentally in the shoes of the practitioners in the past so to better understand the information and practices done. Plus, poor writing usually makes me not take the scribbler seriously and I know I’m not the only one. You don’t have to be perfect in the King’s English, that’s not necessary, but at least get it somewhere past Squire so when you start running into other languages and dialects, they won’t be so challenging. Plus, don’t the gods and spirits you’ll be speaking to deserve more than shortened words, gravely mixed up tenses and misspellings?
Now that’s out the way, another way to be a Witch is to, well, be well read. There are so many different types of magick and cultures that breed them out there that it would be very wise to read up on as many things as possible. Better spells, stronger knowledge and more thorough workings come from being well read. You’ll be challenged a lot but it can be a good thing when taken with care. That does mean becoming well versed in the sciences both soft and hard (ex: psychology, biology, botany), as well as being versed in the humanities (social culture, history, literature, etc etc) because you do not want to be one without the other. Too much science and not enough humanities, you won’t understand magick at all in its cultural/human applications. Too much humanities and not enough science, you’ll not know how anything is done. You don’t want to be some know-it-all robot of a person and you don’t want to be some loopy tree hugger who likes to assume nature is always friendly. I’ve been around both types and geez are they equally useless on their own. And read good books, not dime-store drivel that promises you fame and fortune with the flick of a stick. There’s plenty listed here on Black Witch, click on the Resources category and some should pop up. Most of them are books, which mean you might have to go to the library or a university library, can’t trust the internet always.
Keep an open mind. Studying the occult does mean that you’re going to meet quite a variety of people from psions, psychics/diviners, magicians and of course your pseudo-intellectual posers, creepers and fluffy bunnies. That means you’re going to run into cultures that seem different, people that may sound crazy at first and just have experiences that just seem so wayward. No, studying the occult doesn’t mean you’re going to get kidnapped by some crazy Satanist out for a sacrifice – you might run into a Satanist, yes, just the worst thing about them is their over-inflated egos that could make Kanye West look like the picture definition of humility – you’re just going to start having interactions with people that are very much different from the norm sometimes. However, it is good to know when someone is bluffing, hence why it is good to be well read. That and keeping an open mind does not mean go completely stupid. If anyone has you trying to do unscrupulous things like doing drugs – regardless how “harmless” they think the drug is, just file that under “Druggie’s logic” -, committing crimes or simply doing things that you wouldn’t do otherwise, just get away as quickly as possible. You don’t have to become a stoner or a junkie to do magick, that is a big lie, and you don’t have to kill anything or anyone, nor do you have to commit undesired sexual acts. You can still be a normal, rational person that practices witchcraft and not do any of those things. Anyone who says otherwise is outright lying.
To be a Witch is to know and to know is to question – how else will you learn? Be inquisitive. Don’t be afraid to grill others who are trying to grill you unnecessarily and don’t lose a sense of wonder. Usually people with the best information and are the most helpful usually don’t try to pretend they are Garbanzo the Great, as if they have some deep secret the rest of the world does not know about. Unless they have some oral secret from a long ago forgotten tribe, culture or people (which, again, they wouldn’t exactly flag it as the main piece of their personality if it were true) whatever they know, you definitely can learn from someone else so keep that in mind when dealing with someone who is trying to play out their God complex. Question and wonder but know your limits too. That kind of leads to the next point which is this:
Most importantly, take care of yourself. Don’t let your mind or body go into tatters in pursuit in trying to communicate with the gods. There’s a difference in being clairaudient and simply hearing voices. Meditation is good and will keep you balanced but if you need to seek out help, go get it before it gets worse and puts a halt into everything, magickal or not. I have came across waaaaaaaay too many people who let their minds pretty much shatter because they confused their metaphysical practices with actual mental or emotional disturbances and thus refused to get help and their physical beings quickly followed. A person shouldn’t be getting into magick to serve as the band-aid to their personal problems because the root of those problems will still be there. Nothing is wrong with using magick to help manage personal problems such as being bullied or having a terrible run of misfortune but do not make the mistake in thinking that now you have magick on your side, life is going to be a total breeze. Actually, at times, it may increasingly complicate itself because of magick but that’s life, occasionally it works itself into tangles. No one said being a Witch would make life easier.
Remember, being a Witch doesn’t mean you have to be Pagan or Wiccan. You can be any religion you choose since witchcraft is a lifestyle, not a religion. And it’s up to you to decide who you share that fact with. And don’t do any spells for at least a year so you can learn all that you can and reduce any chance of major mistake. That’s pretty much it about becoming a Witch. If any readers think I missed anything, put it in the comments