How to learn magick: Tips for baby witches

So you’ve decided to study magick, witchcraft, the occult. You’ve made a great decision. The world is a magical place; you’ll be doing magick for the rest of your life, might as well do a good job of it.

I’ve spent over 20 years bumbling through classical witchcraft, chaos magick, and traditional ceremonial stuff, making every possible mistake along the way. Mostly, these mistakes only cost wasted time.

If, by throwing a few hundred words down, I can save you that lost time and spare you the frustration, this will be a good blog.

Building your magick toolkit

The biggest obstacle facing today’s baby witch is the sheer amount of info out there. If anything, the internet gives us too much choice, it’s overwhelming. There’s also a lot of misinformation out there.

You don’t need to know it all. To start seeing a real benefit in your life, you only need to cover four bases:

  • One form of meditation 
  • One form of divination
  • One form of quick or ‘low’ magick
  • One form of deep or ‘high’ magick

That’s it. Four things. Suddenly, the whole subject seems a lot less scary. How you fill those slots in your toolkit is up to you.

Meditation is the root of all spiritual practice. It’s vital that you dedicate some time each day to your own thoughts and feelings. The form you use could be as simple as focus on stillness and breathing, or you could incorporate yoga and mindfulness techniques.

Divination is anything that gives you a fresh perspective and unlocks new ways of seeing the world. I use tarot cards but you might prefer runes, the I Ching, automatic writing, whatever you like. Experiment with a few techniques before you decide which you vibe with, then focus on mastering that one.

Quick or ‘low’ magick is anything you can do on the go in roughly 10 minutes or less. I prefer sigils from the chaos magick tradition, other examples include glamours, folk spells, candle magick, even common prayer if done right.

Deep or ‘high’ magick is anything that takes longer than, say, 15 minutes end to end. If you work with non-human entities of any sort, this is typically where you’ll get that done. Invocation and evocation, moon rituals, formal offerings to the gods. All that good stuff.

So long as you can do one thing for each of those four categories, you’re golden. This also helps build focus and discipline for later.

Accept what magick is for… and what it’s not for

At its best, the occult empowers us with tools to change what we cannot accept, and the wisdom to accept what we cannot change. Both of those are equally important.

You know the stories about the wicked witch living in the woods, or the wizard who went too far in pursuit of forbidden knowledge. This is the fate of anyone who relies too heavily on occult techniques, they disconnect from the world and other people.

If you encounter an obstacle in your life, try to tackle it using mundane, non-magick means first. Ground yourself in the reality of a challenge, doing so will help later if you end up needing to reach for the wand. 

And, of course, some ideas are always going to be bad ones. Love spells are not recommended. Killing your ex’s new partner is also probably beyond your spiritual talents and just makes you look like a lunatic if anyone finds out.

A sucker is born every minute

The oldest magic spell is still the most widely used today: parting a fool from his money. The world of witchcraft is home to any number of teachers, life coaches, gurus, and good old fashioned con artists.

Think carefully about mixing spirituality with your finances. Sure, if your mate is doing tarot readings there’s no harm in bunging them a tenner and helping them out. But by this point most everything you’ll need to know from ‘a teacher’ is available for free online.

It’s possible that some self-proclaimed guru might know something worth paying for, that’s your decision. Most, however, are either scammers or recruiters for cults.

Accept that something is real

There’s a worrying trend across all schools of magick of leaning heavily into the idea that there’s no objective basis for reality in the universe. I don’t have space in this blog to go into why that’s a bad idea, but in the plainest possible terms: it makes you sloppy.

If time isn’t real, do you really need to meditate every day? Do the words of the spell matter if language is just a made-up construct? You can already see how this mindset encourages laziness.

Sure, we might all be trapped in the Matrix. We might be the dream of a mad god. The universe might be a complete illusion. But something, somewhere, on some level exists and is real.

This fact should provoke feelings of excitement and adventure. There is something true and good out there, it’s our job to find it and align our lives more closely with it.

In reality, this also causes a massive headache because it means it’s possible for us to be wrong about occult matters. Always remember, your current idea about something might be the wrong one.

And that, I think, is enough for now. Thanks for reading, you might have questions; you might be asking just what is magick anyway?

But until we speak again, congratulations on making a life-changing decision by beginning your own spiritual journey. See you on the path.