Welcome, beginner witch! I’m so excited you’re here and looking to expand your spiritual path and knowledge. This post will be for beginners looking to know where to start. This post is meant to be comprehensive but not overwhelming.
Please don’t feel you need to learn it all at once! Instead, read this post and start with whatever resonates with you most. It’s your spiritual path; allow yourself to be a beginner and have fun!
Please note that I make every effort to ensure this information is correct and accurate through my own experiences and referencing sources throughout AND at the bottom of this article.
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Paganism vs Witchcraft vs Wicca
The difference between Paganism, Witchcraft, and the Wiccan path can often confuse a beginner witch, so I think it’s the best place to begin.
Pagans celebrate and worship the natural cycles of the season. They believe Nature is sacred and contains deep spiritual meanings. Pagans incorporate Nature into their daily lives and often celebrate Pagan holidays.
Some Pagans incorporate Witchcraft or Wiccan beliefs into their practice, but others do not. This is a personal preference depending on each spiritual practitioner.
Someone who practices Witchcraft will refer to themselves as a witch. Any person who wishes to practice witchcraft can do so; this includes men, women, or whatever identity you prefer.
Witches incorporate magic and spellwork into their practice, including curses and hexes. Some Witches will include Wiccan beliefs into their practice, but others do not.
You do not need to be Wiccan to practice Witchcraft! This is often confusing because most modern-day publications and books refer to Witchcraft and Wiccan beliefs interchangeably. If you’re new and learning, it can be hard to distinguish which practice is which.
Do your best to be skeptical of any publications or books you read, and ALWAYS check who they use as a source! If they aren’t citing their sources, I would not recommend you follow their advice.
Gerald Gardner developed Wicca in the early 1950s and combines beliefs from Aleister Crowley (Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and Ordo Templi Orientis), Johannes Trithemius, Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa, Francis Barrett, and other western witchcraft traditions. It also pulls from Celtic and Middle Eastern celebrations.
Wiccans refer to themselves as Witches and celebrate the Wheel of the Year sabbats and esbats (moon cycles). They follow the Wiccan rede “An ye harm none, do what ye will.” This means they don’t typically perform hexes or curses and believe whatever magic you put out (positive or negative) will come back to you times three.
The Wheel of the Year term and concept were used by Gerald Gardner when creating Wicca. Gardner and his coven were attempting to modernize ancient Pagan and Witchcraft beliefs.
I’ve attempted to give a simple explanation for beginners. If you’d like to learn about Wicca and Gerald Gardner, check out Discover the Fascinating origins of Grimoires and Wiccan Book of Shadows (under the section – What is a Book of Shadows?) and Ostara and the Spring Equinox (under the section – What is Ostara?).
Types of Witches
People practice magic differently; they have unique beliefs or spiritual paths. It’s up to you to decide what resonates with you most.
Here are a few of the most popular types of witches, however, there are many more you can read about here.
Note: this can be a controversial topic in the witchcraft community primarily because some people feel choosing a label will force you to limit yourself, and you may miss out on spiritual knowledge. As you advance in your spiritual practice, you must have an open mind and avoid limiting yourself. If you choose a witchcraft label, remember you can change it any time!
One of the most popular types of witches is green witches, sometimes known as garden witches. Nature gives them a sense of power and is deeply ingrained in their spiritual practice. They have a solid connection to the earth and are in touch with the seasons.
Another common kind of witchcraft is eclectic witchcraft. This describes someone who enjoys figuring out which beliefs and explanations make the most sense to them. They are ready to adjust their practice to fit their needs as they change throughout their life. Basically, these kinds of witches combine various magical methods to deepen their connection and spiritual beliefs.
Ceremonial witches are another name for religious witches. They often practice magic in a precise, organized manner and frequently include a god, goddess, spirit, or other entity in their rituals. Religious witches use their deities or gods in their magical practices and gain strength from rituals and ceremonies.
Religious witches are frequently found in covens, groves, or other groups where rituals and beliefs are kept secret because they feel that doing so makes their magic more sacred. These witches often favor magic based on ancient wisdom and respect an older form of magic.
Beginner Witch Divination
A beginner Witch may believe divination is only used to predict the future. This can be true; however, many spiritual practitioners use divination for self-analysis, introspection, and shadow work.
There are many types of divination, but here are a few of the most popular types to get you started!
Scrying is a traditional method of divination in which the scryer looks into an item or reflection to receive signs, messages, or visions from the spiritual realm.
A beginner Witch can try scrying with fire, mirrors, smoke, water, crystals, or other reflective surfaces. Understanding and interpreting symbols in these reflective surfaces are essential to scrying.
Elder Futhark Runes are a written alphabet used by the Germanic people of Europe. Runes are estimated to have been used as early as 150 AD, though this assessment may be conservative.
The Norse runic alphabet consists of 24 letters divided into three categories of 8 runes each, called Aetts. These symbols are often carved, burned, or painted onto stones, wood, clay, and other surfaces for divination. These are sometimes referred to as Rune Stones.
However, runes are also used in sigil creation or with talismans for different magical purposes.
Ouija Boards can be pretty controversial in the Witchcraft community, and some practitioners will not use them. However, Ouija refers specifically to the brand created around the late 1800s.
Spirit Boards significantly predate the Ouija Board and have roots in China and Greece as far back as 600 BCE. Some early instances are alectromancy (or alectryomancy), an ancient form of divination using roosters.
Ouija Boards did not have any negative connotations until 1973, when the movie The Exorcist was released. In it, a young girl is possessed by a demon after using a Ouija Board.
Ouija, Spirit, and Talking Boards are fascinating! I encourage you to learn more about The Ouija Board: Everything You Need To Know.
Tarot is a prevalent form of divination consisting of 22 Major Arcana and 56 Minor Arcana cards. Each one holds significant meanings when pulled depending on upright or reversed positions.
The Rider-Waite deck is one of the most popular decks. However, feel free to use whatever deck resonates with you most. When you purchase a tarot deck, it typically comes with a guidebook specific to the deck.
Some people prefer a more intuitive type of divination deck and will purchase a set of Oracle Cards. These decks are less traditional and can be great for beginners who feel overwhelmed by Tarot Decks and their many meanings.
Pendulums are crystals, wood, stones, metal, glass, or other objects attached to a chain. Holding a pendulum by your fingertips will give you yes or no answers.
Some spiritual practitioners use a pendulum board with their pendulum for more in-depth answers. Learn more about Pendulum Boards for Beginners.
The Celtic Ogham alphabet is often used for divination in a similar way the Elder Futhark Runes are used by burning onto wood called staves. However, there’s no evidence to suggest ancient Celtic people used Ogham symbols for divination.
Oghams were often used as an Irish alphabet to mark graves, indicating land borders, and connect with Nature or ancestors. However, there’s no evidence to suggest ancient Celtic people used Ogham symbols for divination.
While there’s no evidence to suggest ancient Celtic people used Ogham symbols for divination, they still hold intense sacred magic and can be used in your divination practice today.
Beginner Witch Spells
When you’re new to Witchcraft, spellwork can be incredibly overwhelming and kind of scary. Here are a few easy spell ideas to help get a beginner Witch started!
Candle magic creates a certain kind of energy, sets an intention, or forces a desired outcome. It’s essential to make sure your intention is something you truly want because candle magic is strong and works fast.
A spell jar is a physical manifestation of your spellwork. These tiny jars (sometimes called witch bottles) help witches add strength and power to their intentions.
Spell Jars can be used for abundance, protection, or any desired outcome you may have!
Charm bags are little sacks or pouches containing charms, crystals, herbs, or other items loaded with magical energy for a specific intention or outcome. Charm bags allow you to travel and carry them with you, which can be great for particular purposes like protection or if you need a boost of courage.
Beginner Witch Symbols
Witchcraft symbols can be broad and apply to many different spiritual practices or religions. Here are a few popular symbols for beginners; however, if you’d like a more detailed breakdown check out Pagan, Witch, and Wiccan Symbols.
A commonly misunderstood symbol, the pentagram represents protection, harmony, balance, knowledge, guidance from the Universe, and the five elements. Apples, flower petals, and starfish are a few instances of this beautiful symbol found in Nature.
Until 1861, the pentagram had only positive spiritual meanings until French occultist Éliphas Lévi wrote a book describing a goat head detailing the pentagram’s orientation and outlining a depiction of Baphomet. Christians even used the pentagram during the Middle Ages to repel evil and witchcraft.
Learn more about the Pentagram Meaning: Everything You Need To Know About This Powerful Symbol
Sigil is derived from the Latin word sigillum, which means seal or signet. Creating a sigil involves developing an image to help your subconscious mind achieve a desire or goal. Using sigil magic can enhance your spiritual practice.
Sigils can be made in various ways, which is terrific because you can choose the one that feels right for you! Remember to use any colors, symbols, or letters of your choice when constructing a sigil. There is no wrong way to make a sigil! Let your intuition guide you!
Since ancient times, people have viewed Nature’s geometry as sacred. Scientific and spiritual minds can see the patterns formed mathematically, musically, and intellectually in Nature.
The study of the energy patterns and symbols reveals the universe, creation, and life itself. The belief that the entire universe is connected is known as Sacred Geometry. Every natural design or symbol indicates something new about the chaos of creation. This is because synchronicities are simple expressions of harmony in Nature.
Learn more about Sacred Geometry Symbols, Patterns, and Meanings For Beginners
The Theban alphabet is sometimes called the Honorian script or the witches’ alphabet. Its origins are unknown, and it’s believed the creator did this on purpose because they wanted to remain hidden.
Some believe using the Theban Alphabet will increase the power of your intentions or spells. The Theban alphabet is most often used by Wiccans, but these symbols are not exclusive to their practice.
Norse symbols can be utilized to deepen your spirituality, provide protection, and help you connect with Norse gods and goddesses. It’s crucial to remember some Norse symbols have become lost throughout history, and we can only make educated guesses about their meanings.
The Poetic Eddas are Icelandic oral writings recorded between 1000 and 1300 C.E. The Eddas are the primary source of information on ancient Norse symbols, Paganism, and mythology. The poems are tragedies, with detailed depictions and emotional experiences of Gods and mortals.
Some of these symbols include Aegishjalmur Helm of Awe, Gungnir Odin’s Spear, Thors Hammer Mjölnir, Valknut, Vegvisir, Yggdrasill and more!!
A practical and creative way to include Elder Futhark Norse runes into your spiritual practice is through bind runes. This involves layering and binding two or more Norse runes on top of one another to form a unique symbol capable of powerful magic!
Contrary to popular belief, there’s no evidence showing ancient Germanic people used bind runes.
Bind runes attach spiritual energy into material objects and can be used for enchantment (binding something like an amulet or object) or enhancement (enhancing a person or object’s natural abilities).
Beginner Witch Grimoire or Book of Shadows
A grimoire is a collection of magical ideas and occult topics such as herb uses, rituals, symbolism, spells, magic elements, and other spiritual issues and beliefs you find valuable to your practice.
It’s kind of like a giant recipe book full of the information you find helpful to your spiritual beliefs. It can be an elaborately bound book, a simple journal, or entirely online. What’s important is that it works for you!
The terms Grimoire and Wiccan Book of Shadows are often used interchangeably. You can read about the differences between them here.
Alchemy, medicine, magic, and astrology are just a few subjects that have used magic element symbols over the years. They represent some of the most simple but crucial ideas of Nature spirituality.
Elements provide harmony and balance through the vibration and energy of the universe and Nature. They represent the natural world, the seasons, and intense spiritual power.
The origins of the element symbols lie with the Greek philosopher and physician Empedocles (495 – 430 BCE). He believed the elements were the root of all creation, which he called rizomata, meaning “roots.”
Beginner Witch Moon Magic
Many Pagans, witches, or spiritual practitioners choose to hold rituals or celebrations during the full moon because it is a period of enormous energy.
Full moon rituals occur during a full moon night (called Esbats by Wiccans). This allows the spiritual practitioner to leverage the moon’s spiritual energy, strength, and intuition during this powerful lunar cycle.
Every Full Moon has its own unique intentions and properties, so be sure to check out monthly information and correspondences! This is an excellent time to create Moon Water and find creative ways to use it!
- January Wolf Moon
- February Snow Moon
- March Worm Moon
- April Pink Moon
- May Flower Moon
- June Strawberry Moon
- July Buck Moon
- August Sturgeon Moon
- September Harvest or Corn Moon
- October Harvest or Hunter Moon
- November Hunter or Beaver Moon
- December Cold Moon
Beginner Witch Altar
A Witches altar is a sacred space to perform magic, rituals, meditation, and spiritual practices. Your altar can be tiny (I’ve seen many witches place theirs in an Altoid container) or take up an entire room! It’s entirely up to you!
Your altar can contain crystals, symbols, candles, divination tools, journals, artwork, books, grimoires, herbs, mortar and pestle, statues of any Gods or Goddesses you worship, and more!
If you’re in the broom closet (a witch who keeps their practice secret), it’s okay not to have an altar. It’s more important for you to feel safe practicing your beliefs.
Numerology for Beginner Witches
Depending on your spiritual beliefs, numbers are how the Universe, angels, ancestors, and our spirit guides speak to us. Each number has its own energy, frequency, and vibration to utilize communication similar to crystals and colors.
Keep your eyes and ears open because numbers always appear to you. These synchronicities are not random, and you’re meant to see them. You may see them on book pages, receipts, license plates, and more!
Animal Symbolism for Beginner Witches
Animal symbolism frequently appears in the traditions of earth-based spiritual practices. Animals can appear in dreams, visions, synchronistic situations, or many other ways.
Spiritual communities and practitioners frequently try to link all animal symbolism to Native American ceremonies and beliefs. Most of the time, these assumptions are entirely inaccurate or overlook other cultures’ spiritual meanings like Celtic animal symbolism.
Follow Witch and Pagan Creators
Following different Pagan and Witch creators allow you to learn from many different paths and ideas. It can help you discover information you’d never thought to research and can be a fun way to connect with people like you.
The Peculiar Brunette
Ha! Shameless self-promotion! I make videos about Paganism, witchcraft, moon magic, symbolism, and more! You can check out my YouTube channel here!
I cannot say enough good things about Hearth, and she’s an excellent place to start for a beginner witch. Hearth is a British witch who makes in-depth videos about witchcraft.
The Norse Witch
Bente is a Norse Witch (which I’m sure you gathered from her channel name). I just recently discovered her channel, so I’m still working through watching more of her videos, but the ones I’ve seen so far are very well done. You can tell she knows her stuff!
Chaotic Witch Aunt
I originally discovered Frankie on Tiktok, but I often watch their YouTube videos. Frankie is one of my favorites because they cut right through the BS and keep things realistic. I also love Frankie’s ability to educate others on decolonization practices and being inclusive in your spiritual beliefs.
The Witches Cookery
Bex is a German witch who makes beautiful videos that always keep me connected to the seasons. I love hearing her talk about local mythology and folklore. As her name implies, she cooks a lot of magical food.
She is of the Woods
I’m not sure if April identifies as a witch, but her YouTube channel is excellent for those who want to learn Herbalism! I can’t tell you how much her videos have helped me. She doesn’t have a lot of fancy camera work, but that makes me love her more! You can tell she knows what she’s talking about! I’m currently making Sage Infused Honey so I can make her Slippery Elm Balls for the Autumn and Winter cold/flu season.
Final Tips for Beginner Witches
Here are a few final tips and points I think are essential for a beginner Witch to know.
It can be easy to want to jump in and learn everything you can about different spiritual beliefs and ideas to know what’s a good fit for you. However, it’s important to note some practices are closed.
This can be an intense topic of debate within the Witchcraft community. A closed practice means you must be born into the practice or go through an initiation process to use magic with that spiritual belief. Some examples of closed practices are Voodoo, Hoodoo, Santería, and Brujería.
To avoid cultural appropriation in your practice, it’s best to begin by learning about your heritage and ancestry. What beliefs, customs, and traditions did your ancestors practice? Which Gods and Goddess did they worship? What did their average day look like? Finding answers to these questions will help you get started.
Be Respectful of Different Paths and Cultures
Be respectful of different spiritual paths and cultures. Some practitioners use curses, hexes, blood, taxidermy, spit, and bones. If that’s not for you, that’s cool. Don’t judge or tell anyone else how to practice their beliefs.
Refrain from using terms like black or white magic because there are clear negative racial connotations with those terms. Instead, use the terms left-hand and right-hand paths. This is also sometimes referred to as destructive and constructive magick, respectively.
The term baby witch is often used by beginner witches who are new to their practice. This phrase is often met with debate in the witchcraft community.
Those who enjoy using the term feel it helps them connect with other beginner witches who are learning. However, opponents feel describing yourself as a baby is childish and takes away from your spiritual power.
Personally, I think you know yourself better than a random person on the internet does. Feel free to call yourself whatever you want. I just think it’s important to mention, so you’re aware of both perspectives.
Cleansing your crystals, home, tools, altar, and sacred space is an essential practice in witchcraft. Remember, many of these things encounter various energies, including negative ones. Due to this, many Pagans and Witches cleanse often.
Where To Find Sacred Texts
A beginner Witch often looks for ancient sacred texts, and buying or finding them online can be difficult. The website Sacred Texts has almost every written text you can think of!
I find their menu hard to use, though. When looking for a sacred text on their website, I simply type into Google site:www.sacred-texts.com (add a space) and then whatever topic I’m looking for.
For example, if I’m looking for the Norse Prose Edda, I’d type this in Google Search: site:www.sacred-texts.com Prose Edda.
I hope this article was helpful for every beginner witch! Lots of love to you and remember as always…