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The Eternal Craft: Unveiling the Lifelong Journey of Witchcraft

Most of us are drawn to the Craft through an inexplicable pull—a curiosity sparked by nature’s beauty, a meaningful coincidence, or even a book or movie that stirs the soul. These first encounters in our journey of witchcraft are our gateway into a deeper, mysterious realm that seems both ancient and familiar.

As seekers on the mystical journey of witchcraft, we often find that the path is as winding as it is enlightening. Far from a destination, witchcraft is a lifelong exploration—a vibrant tapestry of experiences, practices, and teachings that enrich our soul and broaden our understanding of the world and ourselves. As we traverse this sacred landscape, we encounter a myriad of tools, techniques, and paths that serve as both milestones and gateways, offering new challenges and revelations at every turn.

The Journey of Witchcraft

The Early Steps: Foundations and Fundamentals

First Encounters
As a child, I was a daydreamer and very intuitive. I had imaginary friends and I believe I had great potential for astral travel, divination, and other spiritual gifts; however, like many children, I was chastised for always “having my head in the clouds,” and so I put my magical thinking aside for 40 years.

In 2021, during the pandemic, my husband and I went to a witch shop near New Hope, NJ, and I picked up a book, Daily OM: Inspirational Thoughts for a Happy, Healthy, and Fulfilling Day, by Madisyn Taylor.

My soon-to-be husband and I found a nice spot on the grass, under the trees, and I opened the book to a chapter titled “Let Yourself be Carried – The Flow of the Universe.” The message inspired us both and we began a simple daily practice of reading each morning as we let ourselves be carried into the flow. I added a second book that was recommended to me by my local bookstore, Reads & Company, Raise Your Vibration: 111 Practices to Increase Your Spiritual Connection, by Kyle Gray.

Over the next year, I used the books together as a tool to teach us both how to become more thankful, and more mindful, and we began working to heal our chakras. This led us to learn about crystals, energy work, shadow work, divination, and more.

While I am sure that there are many paths that lead to witchcraft, I am happy with the path I chose and feel that it is helping me build a strong foundation as I explore the various paths along my journey.

Essential Tools
In those early stages, we often start by gathering essential magical tools. The wand chooses the wizard, as they say, but so do the cauldron, athame, and chalice choose the witch. These instruments become extensions of our will, conduits of our energy.

I will admit that I did go a bit crazy gathering my “essential” tools at first. I began subscribing to every witchy subscription box I could find, I bought books by the shelf-full; and I gathered enough shells and feathers, to create a full headdress.

I have been pairing down lately to things that I find are the most useful and that really resonates with me. I have been taking the time to do more research before I purchase a book, and I have been putting more importance on the quality rather than the quantity of the tools I use in my practice.

witch-tools
I love these shelves where I display some of my witch tools, spell jars, dried herbs and flowers, crystals, and some of my favorite jewelry, keepsakes, and mementos.

Simple Spells and Rituals
Our first spells are often straightforward—perhaps a love charm, a prosperity spell, or a simple protective ward. Through these early rituals, we start learning the fundamentals of spellwork, from casting a circle to invoking the elements.

Some of my earliest spells included some simmer pot recipes for a happy home life, some honey jar spells to remind me to stay sweet and positive, and a spell to remove negativity from our home. I also did some cleansing and protection rituals.

When I felt a bit more confident, I did a spell to manifest a house … or two. But that’s a whole different story, which I still need to finish to actually include the spell!

Expanding the Toolkit: Intermediate Practices

Introduction to Herbology
As we grow more confident in our abilities, many witches feel called to explore the magical properties of plants. Herbology transcends mere potion-making; it’s a way to connect deeply with the Earth, understanding the subtle energies each plant carries.

My daughter is very into herbology; next year, we will probably collaborate on a new layout for my witch’s garden that will include many more herbs that we can use in our craft.

Crystal Magic
The pull of Earth’s treasures often leads us to the world of crystals. Beyond their beauty, each stone holds a vibration, a unique energy that can amplify our spells or bring balance to our lives.

While I do have and use crystals on my altar and in spells, I realize that I still have a lot to learn.

Divination Techniques
Whether through the Tarot’s intricate symbolism, the casting of runes, or the reflective surface of a scrying mirror, divination becomes a key aspect of our magical practice. It serves both as a tool for guidance and a method for developing our intuition.

After conducting a cursory examination of the various divination techniques, I am currently studying the Tarot and hope to unlock some of its mysteries over the coming year.

Eclectic vs. Tradition
At this point, you may find yourself drawn to a particular magical tradition—be it Wicca, Hoodoo, or Hedge Witchery—or perhaps a blend of many. This is where your practice starts to take on a unique flavor, tailored to your interests, heritage, and spiritual leanings.

I am still in the exploratory phase and am not yet ready to commit to any one particular path … nor do I have to as far as I am concerned. After quitting school in the 8th grade and not attending college until I was in my late 20s, I graduated from my community college with 64 credits and four degrees … thanks to a loophole that allowed me to use electives to take required courses for other degree programs. I am approaching my journey of witchcraft in much the same way … after “being asleep” for so many years, I hunger for not only depth but breadth of knowledge.

Walking Multiple Paths: Advanced Techniques in the Journey of Witchcraft

High Magick vs. Low Magick
As we delve deeper into the Craft, the distinction between ‘high’ and ‘low’ magick begins to reveal itself. High Magick often involves ceremonial practices and complex rituals, while Low Magick is usually more improvisational and connected to everyday life. Both are equally valuable and powerful.

I am still in the beginning stages of learning about these disciplines and have not yet formed an opinion over which is more “for me” so to speak.

Ancestral Connections
For some, witchcraft becomes a pathway to connect with ancestors and long-forgotten traditions. Through rituals, offerings, and perhaps even mediumship, we form a bridge to the wisdom of those who came before us.

When the veil is at its thinnest, Samhain is the perfect time to make connections with our ancestors on the other side. Later this month, I will be attending an ancestral celebration that I hope will teach me more about how to connect with the other side.

Sabbats and Esbats
The Wheel of the Year turns, and we celebrate the Sabbats and Esbats, aligning ourselves with the cycles of nature and the phases of the moon. These rites deepen our connection to the Earth and its seasons.

Although I have begun celebrating some of the Sabbats in my journey of witchcraft so far, I plan to do so in earnest this year, beginning with the Witch’s New Year, Samhain.

Sacred Geometry and Sigils

For those who find themselves drawn to the intricacies of sacred symbols, the study of sacred geometry and sigil-making opens another expansive avenue. These aren’t mere drawings but powerful symbols infused with intention and meaning, capable of effecting change on a cosmic scale.

I have drawn a few sigils and find them to be something worth exploring further in the future of my journey of witchcraft.

Ethical Considerations

The Wiccan Rede or Other Ethical Guidelines
As our powers grow, so does our responsibility. Ethical considerations, such as the Wiccan Rede’s simple yet profound “An’ it harm none, do what ye will,” become integral to our practice. For others, it might be the concept of the Threefold Law or their own personal set of ethics.

I personally do not think in terms of right or wrong, or black and white, and prefer to see the many shades of gray instead. I have my own code of ethics that I have always lived by, which involves striving to be a better person, leaving things better than I find them, putting myself in others’ shoes, and not purposefully causing any harm. I am spiritual, but not religious; I believe in energy and the universe. I do not believe in heaven or hell, but I do believe in reincarnation and some type of afterlife.

Most importantly, I believe that everything matters. I will write more about that at a later time.

At the end of the day though, I can see that rules and guidelines can help those who walk the gray line understand the possible consequences of crossing it. But, I also believe that if someone has already made up their mind to cross it, the guidelines won’t help change their mind.

Community and Solitary Practice

Finding a Coven vs. Solitary Practice
Some find strength in community, seeking out covens or magical groups to share experiences, rituals, and learning. Others choose the path of solitary practice, finding empowerment in the intimacy of a personal, individual journey.

I have found a “coven” of like-minded women that I hang out with from time to time; however, I prefer to practice alone, with my husband, or with my daughter and granddaughter.

Mentorship and Teaching
As we accumulate wisdom and experience, the Craft often calls us to share what we’ve learned. Whether through formal mentorship or simply by setting an example, teaching becomes a sacred duty and an honor.

And, that is exactly what we hope to accomplish with Grandma’s Grimoire!

Lifelong Learning and Personal Growth

Journals and Books of Shadows
Documenting your magical journey is not just nostalgic; it’s an invaluable resource. Journals and Books of Shadows capture your evolution, experiences, and spells, serving as a personal grimoire that can be revisited and even passed down.

Workshops and Classes
The lifelong journey of witchcraft is one of continuous learning. Workshops, classes, and seminars offer the chance to expand your skill set, meet like-minded individuals, and deepen your practice.

Spiritual Retreats
Sometimes, we need to step back from everyday life and immerse ourselves in the Craft. Spiritual retreats offer this opportunity, be it through solitary woodland escapades or organized events with fellow witches.

The Inward Journey

Shadow Work
Witchcraft isn’t just about manipulating external energies; it’s also about mastering our inner world. Shadow work, a practice of confronting and integrating our hidden aspects, becomes a crucial part of this inner mastery.

Meditation and Mindfulness
A peaceful mind is a powerful tool. Through practices like meditation and mindfulness, we sharpen our focus, enhance our magical workings, and achieve a balanced state of mind.

Witchcraft in the Modern World

Digital Witchcraft
In this age of technology, the Craft has also found digital expressions. Online covens, digital Books of Shadows, and even apps for divination demonstrate how witchcraft is evolving with the times.

Social Issues
Witchcraft can also be a force for social change. From community healing rituals to activism imbued with magical intent, the Craft empowers us to make a tangible impact.

Conclusion

Witchcraft is a winding path of endless discovery, offering an array of practices, philosophies, and mystical experiences. Each step, whether outward in the form of new skills or inward in the form of self-discovery, enriches our practice and our lives.

Whether you are a fledgling witch or a seasoned spellcaster, remember: the journey of witchcraft is lifelong, magical, and entirely your own.