Focus – How to develop your Craft

batwitch:

One of the problems that a lot of people have coming to witchcraft, and something I struggle with still to this day, is a lack of focus. I don’t mean visualisation and meditation, I’m talking about the fact that witchcraft is not a single skill but a huge collection of different practices; divination by lot, scrying, natural magic, spirit work, trance, sigils, hedgecrossing, wortcunning, energy work, ritual, astrology, ceremonial magic etc. etc.  It can be daunting to realise just how much there is to learn, and to take on too much, too soon. If you set out to memorise the tarot, delve into trance and try to plant a half-acre herb garden in week one, you’re going to burn out fast. You’re also not going to achieve the results you want in any of these areas.

In any other craft, apprentices must practice the same repetitive steps before they move on to a new skill, sometimes for years before they master it. Just because magic makes some things easier, doesn’t mean learning witch crafts can be achieved instantly. There is no rush, you have years to learn these skills and it will take you years. Don’t set deadlines, just put in the hours.

  • Pick one practice you are naturally drawn towards. It might be one form of divination, working with tree spirits, traditional astrology, creating sigils etc, it doesn’t matter. Choose the skill that you desire to learn most passionately, the one you couldn’t imagine living without.
  • Seek training in that skill. It doesn’t have to be from another Witch. I’ve taken courses in Astrology, Tarot and Alchemy from practitioners for whom that is their sole specialisation. Look to other disciplines of the Occult. They have much to teach you.
  • If you are limited to book knowledge, read widely, be discerning and do the work. Reading 20 books on a subject doesn’t make you an expert if you’ve never tried the skills described therein.
  • Practice. Do the work, do it again, record your results, don’t give up when you fail. Work for yourself, work for others (for free at this point) try different methods, experiment, learn by doing.
  • Gain competency; the ability to do something successfully with some measure of efficiency. Read tarot without looking at the book, know which herb to use without having to look it up, identify Jupiter and Venus without using a star chart. You’ll know when you’re there because it will feel natural and automatic.
  • Take on another skill. Once you’ve gained the confidence of achieving competency in one area, you can probably take on a couple of new skills, although it helps if they’re not too similar (learning two forms of divination is like learning two languages at the same time – confusing.)
  • Rinse and repeat until you have a working knowledge and competency of several skills that together form your regular practice. Pat yourself on the back, most people never get this far.
  • Be humble. Competency is not mastering a skill. Don’t suddenly assume the mantle of an adept because you can do a few things passably well. Keep learning and developing those skills. Don’t even think about teaching them until you’ve been practicing for years and years.
  • Challenge yourself. There may be certain practices you’ve avoided out of fear, laziness or disinterest. Try something that pushes you harder, drags you out of your comfort zone. That is how you get beyond the beginner stuff.
  • Whenever you feel overwhelmed – too many books to read, too many divination tools, too many spells planned, too many jars of ingredients lining the shelves, bring it back to the basics. Focus on what you want to achieve and practice the skills that will get you there. Don’t be afraid to take a break from everything else to allow you to work on just one thing.
  • Breathe. You’ll get there, don’t worry too much. Don’t let anyone tell you you’re not a witch because you don’t do X. Your practice is yours to define, take pride in the effort you’ve put into it.

If you want to know what your spiritual name is, try this:

sopherielspeaks:

Here’s my advice. I can’t make promises, but if you trust yourself enough and let yourself go in this process, you might be amazed. 🙂

  1. Take a deep breath and tell yourself this will work, and you will be accurate when you decide to end this process. Say it even if you don’t believe it; just believe it while you say it. A moment of belief has incredible power.
  2. Grab a pen/pencil and a piece of paper. I’d suggest writing instead of typing (but typing can work if that’s the only option).
  3. Think of yourself as a spiritual being. You don’t have to know anything about yourself, just take a second and imagine you’re a spirit. You already are a spirit, so you don’t have to feel anything change.
  4. Write down the name you want to call your spirit. Anything.
  5. Look at it. Like it? Keep it. It’s probably your actual spirit’s name.
  6. Don’t like it? Keep playing with the letters until you like it. Then you’ve probably found your name. Play with it for days, months, however much you want!

Tips/Advice:

  • Don’t wait for something to pop into your head. Totally create something, almost like creating a name for a character! If a name does pop into your head, write that down and see how it looks though.
  • You can be nervous while this process takes place, it won’t affect it. If you aren’t settled with the name then next day, just keep rewriting it.
  • Honestly, you won’t be wrong. You are your own authority; you know yourself and your spirit the best. This is subconscious, and your spirit controls your subconscious a lot. It will give you your name.
  • Don’t research names first, but write your own name, then research and see if it’s an actual spirit. Even if it isn’t, it could still be a spiritual name of yours.

Good luck! If you want to ask me about a name, just message me. 🙂

Witch Respect

fawn-and-fang:

I respect the solitary witches who blaze your own trails, walk your own paths, and listen to your own gods. It can be a lonely, yet rewarding, life. It is not for the faint of heart. From the solitary we can all learn self-reliance and how to listen to our intuition.

I respect the witch who chooses a traditional coven. Whether it is Gardnerian, Alexandrian, reconstructionist, or another group, it requires an intense amount of devotion and time to learn a tradition. You have earned your titles and should be recognized by our community. From the members of groups and covens we can learn patience and determination.

I respect the kitchen witches who fill your homes with magick and tend the hearthfires. With the ancient elements you nourish your family and remind us all of our human history. From the kitchen witch we can all learn how to create magick from the mundane and appreciate the domestic arts.

I respect the hedgewitch who works with the spirits that surround us. It can be exhausting and misunderstood work. You have gifts that can help the living and the dead, and I admire that. From the hedgewitch we can learn how to communicate better and how to see different points of view.

I respect the sea witch who walks along the dunes at night and gathers kelp. The energy of the sea is one of the oldest and most powerful forms of magick, and is recognized in many cultures. From the sea witch we can learn to work in harmony with the elements and listen to the pull of the moon and tides.

I respect the gray witches who do not look at magick in black and white. Within magick, as within life, we are often called upon to use our own judgement in a situation. I do not condemn my fellow witches for not seeing things as I see them. From the gray witch we can learn to examine a situation from many points of view and realize that there are no rules but those we create for ourselves.

I respect witches of all genders and sexual orientation. Each person deserves to feel welcomed and comfortable in our community and does not need any more judgement than they already experience. From these witches we can all learn how to appreciate diversity and to practice tolerance and kindness.

I respect witches who are in tune with their local environment. It is important to learn about the creatures and plants who live near us and you have much knowledge. From these witches we can learn how to look closely at what is around us and how to be aware of the land we live on.

I respect the witches who are new to the craft and starting out. Most are willing to learn from elders and need to be guided by those of us who are older and have more experience. They do not need to be bullied or insulted, for we are all constantly learning. From the new witches we can learn to be teachers instead of judges and should remember the joys and mistakes of our youth.

I respect Christian witches. I support anyone’s personal beliefs. Perhaps we should view these members of the community as bridge builders. With their help we may be able to open doors and cross the divide that has separated the religions. From the Christian witches we can learn that religious tolerance applies to all spiritual paths.

I respect the witches who try to adhere to the paths of your ancestors. It is not easy to do that in the modern era and you are to be treasured. You truly connect the generations and help pass on information that would otherwise be lost. From these witches we can learn to honor our elders and ancestors.

I respect all members of the pagan community who treat others with respect. It is indeed a circle, and each of us is part of the whole.

For all the paths I forgot to mention, I respect them too, and I will probably add to this as the mood strikes me.

Most importantly, respect yourselves.

Anonymous asked: do you choose a “path” or does it kind of just happen?

windvexer answered: A bit of both I think.

I believe witchcraft is a path of spiritual evolution. It’s not primarily about doing, but about discovering.

So if you spend time discovering yourself and being true to who you are, part of your path is laid out before you.

Natural talent also comes in to play. Not every witch can have every ability. It’s not like a pokemon game where you can pick and choose your starter powers. Some things you have and some things you don’t. Sometimes we have gifts that we don’t want (think about all the people who can see spirits but would really rather not). If I have 0 ability for communicating with plants, chances are I will never be a master of herbal magic. Sure, I could spend lots of time studying it, but I think there is a point when you have to ask yourself if you will abandon your natural abilities to focus on something not meant for you.

But magic isn’t all about looking to the past and finding out what is already imprinted on you. You can choose to expand yourself and discover new things. Regardless of the hand you were dealt you always have the final say in what to do with it.

My Advice To New Witches

wicked-bitch-of-thewest:

  1. Never let anyone tell you what’s right or wrong about magic. Do your thing. If it feels right, it probably is right for you. With the singular exception that you should always pay attention to safety features.
  2. Gonna need an exotic ingredient for that spell? You really don’t. True, some herbs/materials are really awesome, but there are substitutes. I recommend researching them near the beginning of your journey.
  3. Give it time. You aren’t going to be able to see spirits after a day of practicing. Don’t feel stressed if something doesn’t come easy for you. Just keep going.
  4. You will find out that you are excellent at some aspects of magic, and terrible at others. This is normal; it does not make you less of a witch to be bad at protection spells but great at curses.
  5. Up at the top of everyone’s motives for being a witch are three things usually: power, love, success. My advice on these things is don’t strive to heavily towards power because it comes easier if you don’t force it. Don’t try to magic up love because it’s tricky and kinda creepy at times and you’ll end up wishing you hadn’t one way or another 90% of the time. Success can’t be rushed; instead of trying a big money spell or something, try for smaller successes that pave the way to larger victories. A good foundation is crucial.
  6. Never let yourself fall into the trap of trusting everything a mentor says. There are good teachers and bad teachers, but even the best can be wrong. Trust, but verify. That’s the key to good learning.
  7. Gonna talk to the spirits? Have an offering on hand, but keep a “sword” or banishing talisman near it just in case. Hey, it might be paranoid, but a little prevention is better than scrambling for a cure later.
  8. Let yourself relax. Magic is funny; the more you try to force it, the more it forces you. Just concentrate on your goal, focus on how you want it, perform your spell, and know it will work. The more calm and collected you are (unless you’re drawing on emotions for power), the better.
  9. You will most likely change your mind. Many times. The paradigm you start with may not be the one you finish with, and that’s okay. Again, what feels right is what’s right for you.
  10. Down here on earth, nobody is perfect. We all make mistakes, including witches. So you started with Silver Ravenwolf? So what? What’s important is that you keep learning. If you’re moving forward, you shouldn’t be ashamed of your past.

fancywitchery: so i’ve been hoarding my matchsticks. i don’t know why, or what significance they hold to me – and it doesn’t matter whether i’ve used them to just light a candle, or to light my hearth pillar, i just can’t seem to toss them!

anyone have any suggestion with regards to how to use these, maybe in a spell or something?

upthewitchypunx: I’ve thought about this too! I haven’t done it yet but I was thinking I could gather the up from a specific season and burn them on a holiday. The problem is I never decided exactly how to structure the spell. Here were some ideas I had:

  • Burn them all to burn away any negativity left over from the last season so it doesn’t carry over.
  • Burn them as a way to “burn” bridges so past problems won’t bother you, which is similar to above.
  • Burn them to release the protection from the last season and continue that protection into the next
  • Write with the charcoal tips on paper for blessings or wishes and burn the paper and the matches
  • If you have a fireplace or go camping your could make little firestarters for outdoor ritual. Get and egg carton and place the burnt matches in the cups and maybe a bit more small kindling and pour melted paraffin wax over them. once it dried you can pull them apart and use them as fire starters.
  • Burt matches could also be used in protection jars, negativity absorption jars, or curse jars.
  • Construct some sort of spell that, like the matches, someone will never burn you again.

Anyone else have any ideas?

shinyswablu: cries because i am a terrible pagan and witch

coyote-sings: No you’re not.

Your lack of (or presence of) prayer, altars, spell casting, or any other quantifier does not make you an awful anything.

Your deities will most likely let you know when they want attention, but believe that they also know when you are unable to do anything, also.

Spellcasting/making does not make or break a witch. It also does not make anyone more or less of a witch (or pagan.) I don’t have an altar at the moment, either, and this also does not make me (or anyone) more or less of a pagan or witch.

You are doing fine. Remember, this is your journey and your spirituality, and that means that you don’t have to measure yourself against anyone else.

duskenpath: Fallow times/times of silence happen and can last YEARS and a lot of the time ur spirits/deities have a direct hand in when and how they happen for you!

Don’t always assume a period of not feeling like you need to do anything/maintain anything/speak directly to anyone (or you can’t) is always a bad thing!

I’m in a like 3 month fallow period rn and I’ve gotten more work done on this plane than I have in MONTHS. It takes a lot of focus to divide your energy so sometimes the body diverts it like a stream to help you live here for awhile 🙂

Just think this could be exactly what ur deities/spirits wanted for you to do is focus on yourself and your life here and not sweat it because they care about u

u feel

Something I’ve Learned Recently About Spells And Results

witchcraftings:

I may do a spell and a week later, something that looks like a result pops up. But it just doesn’t feel right. It doesn’t feel like the result that was intended (not, “This isn’t what I wanted”; it’s, “Hey, this is the Universe. Hold on a sec, that was just a warmup!”).

So I’ll end up waiting, and a different result will come a few weeks later. One that feels right. The first result (or two or three) didn’t feel like they were linked to the spell. But the later result… It feels like a cord connects it with the spell. It has the same energy; the same touch and taste, sound and colour. It has the same feel.

This result holds the same mood. Coloured pink and smelling of dragon’s blood and roses. A cold vial containing warmth, set in the night. Experiencing it is like nostalgia, catapulting me back to the casting.

I don’t know if that makes sense, but it does to me.

mutant-wolf2: I hear you. I did a spell back in September, and when I heard of the results of the spell, I felt a definite *snap*. Almost like a silent “ah ha!” moment, or even that cord being pulled taut so fast it had a *twang* noise to it.

Anonymous asked: Hi, do you know what feathers can be used for? I keep finding them on my doorstep so I’m collecting them but have no idea what on earth to do with them! Thank you 🙂

oldmotherredcap answered: Feathers in general can be used for:

– Creating witch’s ladders. I like to reuse mine and add a loop at the end to put rolls of paper with wishes in them. Then sway them over an enchanted fire.
– Used in wish spells in general. You can tie wishes to the stem and set them free on top of a hill or cliff.
– You can add them into sachets and pouches.
– When cleansing with smoke, you can use feathers to help waft the smoke around a space.
– You can create feather mobiles that you can hang near windows to help cleanse a space.

If you know what kind of feathers you’re collecting, you can connect your magic to the symbolism of that particular bird.

I Prefer Matches Rather Than Lighters.

There’s just something about watching that little flame burst into life, and hearing the tiny roar of I’m alive! come with it.

I love putting the match up to the candle and hoping the flame will jump onto the wick.

And of course, there’s always the possibility that the match won’t light. No matter what tricks you use.

And there’s the possibility that the candle won’t light, either.

We have made it easier to strike a match and build a fire, but isn’t it up to the flame whether or not it wants to exists today? Or help us out? Or maybe it knows that now is not the right time for a candle to be lit.

Even when I was younger I was never fond of lighters.  Yes, I would play with them because poof!Fire! And then just as easily it was gone. But I always felt a little strange using them to light candles.

I feel like I’m forcing the flame to show up, because I want to use it for my will.  I want to light the candle because I’m using it.

It may be just the fire witch in me giving my two cents, but sometimes they don’t want to be lit. So why force it?