To all new witches…
Put down the purchased spellbook, stop hoarding candles, resist the urge to pilfer the family spice rack for ingredients you think you need, don’t feel bad because you can’t afford the beautiful wand your friend has and you think your magick won’t be as powerful, please for the love of goddess don’t insist to everyone that your spirit animal is a wolf, lion, hawk, or bear just because you think they’re cute/powerful. Just stop. Breathe. Relax.
Go outside and look around you. Take long walks through your neighborhood every single day no matter what the weather. Linger in the places you feel drawn to, whether that is an abandoned lot with glass on the ground or a pristine mountain waterfall. Listen to how your body feels in different environments. Pay attention to the places that lend you strength. Pay attention to the sad places that are in need of healing or sympathy. Get to know your local environment intimately. Dream about these places. Write all your feelings down.
Study the minerals, plants and animals around you. Collect local crystals if you can. Find a place where you can mine for them yourself. Identify local trees and herbs. Find plants that call out to you. Listen to them. Spend time with them. Learn from them. If something is out of balance you will be able to recognize it. Notice what animals live near you, which creatures you are actually going to be around every day. Watch a single spot outdoors in all seasons, all times of day, to learn the secrets of the animals there. Then you’ll know which ones you really identify with. Pay attention to your dreams at this time and you may be contacted by other familiars and Gods/Goddesses who will lend their energy and wisdom to your work.
Read your witchcraft books to learn from others in the craft, but also read books on natural history, geology, field guides, local naturalists, Ed Abbey, Thoreau, Emerson, Rachel Carson and Darwin. Read and study local legends and find out who used to live where you do. Research local First People beliefs. Learn to read the land itself.
Craft your ritual tools with your own hands, from materials you collect yourself.
Leave magickal offerings but also do practical things for the other species around you. Pick up trash on your street, clean up a local stream, donate money and time to the causes you believe in. Volunteer locally and in exotic places that you wish to experience and learn about. Clean up that abandoned lot and start a community garden. Back up your spirituality with sweat and hard work.
Do all this and more and you will become wise no matter what your path is or where it takes you.