Authors: Skye Alexander
Tags: #Body; Mind & Spirit, #Witchcraft, #Religion, #Wicca
To Ron, always
You’ve picked up this book because you’re interested in witches. You wonder about who they are and what they believe. You know being a witch has something to do with finding a deeper connection to nature and to the entire cosmos. With finding an inner power and beauty that can help you accomplish what you want in life. In the back of your mind flits the image of an ugly old woman dressed in black, riding a broomstick, but you know that’s wrong—and you want to find out more.
What does it mean to be a witch?
Witches come in all sizes, ages, colors, and personalities. They’re doctors, computer programmers, teachers, landscapers, bartenders, and flight attendants. The person who cuts your hair or repairs your car might be a witch. Witches can be male or female—no, a male witch is
a warlock, and he might get angry if you call him that, for good reason.
comes from an Old English word meaning “oath breaker” or “liar.”
The simple fact that you’re reading this book suggests that you think you, too, have witch potential. Guess what? You do. And with a little training, you can uncover your magickal power and learn to use it to shape your destiny.
Witchcraft resonates with us because it speaks to some key issues of today: respect for the environment, gender equality, and overcoming religious biases and narrow-minded thinking. It also encourages those who follow this path to discover and develop their own, unique powers so they can take charge of their lives and be everything they choose to be.
In general, most witches seek to improve themselves and humankind as a whole, and to live in harmony with the universe. This means working for the greater good—often through the use of magick—and harming none. It also means taking responsibility for your thoughts, words, and deeds because everything you do affects everything else.
Once you learn to harness your natural talents as a witch, you’ll discover that a whole new world of possibilities exists. You’ll be able to use what’s known as the Law of Attraction to improve your financial situation, your relationships, your health, and your overall well-being. You’ll also have the power to help others. And, you’ll gain a greater sense of your place in the universe.
Magick won’t help you finish a project for school or work, or make you taller, or fix a flat tire. However, it can strengthen your concentration and mental receptivity, make you more attractive to other people, or draw someone to you who can repair that flat.
It’s a good idea to take it slow in the beginning—just as you would if you were training for a marathon. That way you’ll have fun and avoid setbacks.
We’re all born magickal beings. As children we know this, but as we grow up we forget our true nature. We listen to other people whose limited views cause us to doubt our innate powers, and we get caught up in the stresses of everyday life. This book shows you how to reconnect with the magick in you. As you read these pages, you’ll learn to pay attention to your intuition and let it guide you. You’ll gain a greater appreciation and awareness of the natural world—the cycles of the moon, the energies of the seasons, your links with the animals, birds, and other creatures who share this planet with you. You’ll also discover how to incorporate nature’s tools—herbs and flowers, crystals and gemstones, and more—into your magickal workings.
You’ll come to realize that witchcraft and magick aren’t “hocus pocus.” They are your birthright. They already exist deep within you. You already have the power to tap into the energies of the natural world and the cosmos; you just need to recognize that power and learn to direct it. That’s what this book is about: reconnecting with your magickal self.
True magick lies in developing your inner potential and spirituality. This book is intended to help you on that journey toward getting in touch with nature, with the Divine, and with your own innate abilities—because ultimately, that’s the real source of witchcraft.
Snow White, Cinderella, The Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland, Beauty and the Beast, Peter Pan, Star Wars
. Most of us first discovered wizards and witches, spells and potions, and the never-ending struggle between good and evil through these stories. Fairy tales showed us a world filled with magick—one where inanimate objects like mirrors, stones, and gems can have special powers; animals can talk; plants can think; and with a sprinkling of dust, kids can fly.
Then we grew up and forgot about magick. Our lives became a little less rich and our imaginations started to shrivel as we got mired in the mundane details of our daily lives. But every now and then, we recapture some of that early magick through books and movies like
Lord of the Rings
. We find ourselves fascinated once again by the supernatural world and eager to reawaken the magick within us.
Before we go any further, let’s get rid of those ridiculous ideas some people still hold about witches. Misconceptions about witches come from ignorance and fear. For centuries, mainstream religions have encouraged negative images about witches—and during a period known as “The Burning Times” these false ideas led to the deaths of countless innocent people in Europe and the New World. In recent times, the media continue to present a distorted picture of witches and magick, further confusing the issue. For the record:
If you choose to become a witch, you’ll have to throw out all the silly and sensational things you’ve seen, heard, and read about witchcraft. At least for the time being, you’ll have to live with being constantly offended by the ignorance of people who would never think of insulting blacks, Jews, or other folks so outrageously as they do witches. Just put on your magick, protective shield and get on with practicing the real deal.
The words wizard and sorcerer can be used for either a man or a woman. Wizard derives from a term meaning “wise,” and sorcerer means “witch” or “diviner.” The word magician is also appropriate for both sexes and for witches of all stripes. Depending on the cultural setting, the term magician came to describe people adept in astrology, sorcery, divination, spellcasting, or other magickal arts.
In this book, we’ll use some terms repeatedly. Let’s clarify a few of them in order to avoid confusion:
As we go along, you’ll see that witches follow any number of paths and use lots of different methods in the practice of their craft. They also perform many types of magick for a variety of reasons. As you explore the art of the witch and learn to use your own magickal ability, you’ll discover what suits you best and what direction you wish to take in your own journey.
Like people from other walks of life, witches share some concepts and disagree on others—we’ll discuss some of these as we go along. Their ideas may be influenced by their cultural traditions and backgrounds, personal life experiences, or individual temperaments. That’s okay. You don’t have to subscribe to any particular belief system or set of rules to be a witch.
In the past, many witches learned their craft as part of a family tradition in which they were carefully trained, just as other people might learn carpentry or masonry. Villages had “cunning folk” to whom people turned for all kinds of help, from encouraging crops to grow to fixing a broken heart. Healing made up a large part of the witch’s work, and many witches were knowledgeable herbalists and midwives. In exchange for such services, the witch might receive a chicken, a measure of grain, or other necessities.
Religious concepts weren’t linked with the practice of witchcraft itself, though individual witches often embraced the beliefs of their families or culture. That’s still true today. If you belong to a certain religion or are on a specific spiritual path, you needn’t give it up to become a witch. In fact, you may choose to incorporate the ideas of your faith into your magickal practice. If you don’t hold to any belief system at all, that’s fine too. Witches can follow any religion or none. However, the lack of rules, dogma, or religious affiliation does not mean witches lack ethics.