Are you intrigued by the idea of exploring witchcraft?
With countless books, websites, forums, traditions, holidays, and new vocabulary to learn about, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.
The guide below sets simple, realistic goals that will start you down the path to a more magical spiritual life.
The ideas below are completely free, easy and perfect for beginning witchcraft as a practice in your life.
Day 1: Set a clear goal.
What do you hope to learn by beginning witchcraft as a practice?
Would you like to know more about herbs and how to use them?
Are you interested in researching your folkloric heritage?
Maybe you want to explore a more natural lifestyle in our fast-paced, throwaway consumer culture?
Spirituality tends to be serendipitous. You’ll likely learn a few things you didn’t expect to. But knowing what you want out of your practice goes a long way to getting it.
Once you decide where your focus will be, you can customize these exercises to suit your aspirations.
Day 2: Nip stereotypes in the bud.
When beginning witchcraft, you likely come to the altar with some misconceptions.
Before you get too far down the road of the Craft, take a moment to consider what your preconceptions are.
Open a notepad on your desk top. (Or, for those of you who still remember how to write with a pen, open an actual notepad).
Write down what comes to mind when you think of the word “witch.”:
Then, check out some common myths about witchcraft and see if any appeared on your list.
Day 3: Notice the moon.
Is it waxing? Waning? Full? Totally black?
Research the current moon phase and its meaning.
Or don’t. Just take a moment to look up in the sky tonight and be inspired by this beautiful cosmic body.
Day 4: Head to the library.
Your local library likely keeps books on the subject of magic and witchcraft.
If not, try looking at books with peripheral relevance, like books about classical mythology, herbalism and dream interpretation.
Pick one, and plan to read it by its due date.
Or, if you like to sit at home and curl up with your Amazon account, check out these beginner-friendly suggestions.
Day 5: Plan a morning ritual.
Start your day on a positive note by planning a simple morning ritual.
Design it according to your preferences and what you have on hand.
Day 6: Learn the Wheel of the Year.
Not all witches observe the Wheel of the Year.
But it’s so frequently referenced in witch circles. blogs, books and websites that it’s worth it to know it even if you don’t plan to celebrate it.
It takes 20 minutes to memorize the holidays and dates. Of course, learning their meanings goes much deeper, but the basic facts are enough to start with.
Day 7: Work with color magic.
You need not begin your experiments with spell craft using elaborate techniques and tools.
For example, try choosing a shirt to wear in a color that corresponds to your intentions.
For common color correspondences and other ideas about color magic, go here.
Day 8: Set up an altar.
Clear a small space on your dress or a bookshelf.
Or, if you want to keep it discreet, have some fun with your discretion. One of my favorite ideas: DIY your own secret book safe.
Choose items with meaning to you to include on your altar. Stones or natural items found on nature walks, mementos or family heirlooms, and photographs of your ancestors all make nice additions.
Day 9: Explore the Elements.
What Element correspondences to your birth sign?
Do something simple to get in touch with your dominant element. Here are some ideas to get you started:
Day 10: Give divination a try.
If you happen to own runes or a tarot deck, great. Bust those bad boys out and draw for yourself.
But if not, you need not run out and buy anything. Divination tools are, in many ways, best found in nature any way.
Here’s one that’s free and only requires you to step outside your front door:
Day 11: Research an herb you’re not familiar with.
It doesn’t have to be a super esoteric herb.
Even if you know the culinary uses of basil, try looking into its metaphysical properties. Then, come up with some creative ways to employ it in your practice.
Day 12: Go on a scavenger hunt in own your house.
While many new to the Craft think they need to spend a lot of money on ritual gear, this usually ends in disappointment and frustration.
I am a big proponent of starting with what you have.
Lots of everyday items may be used in magic. Look for these common household items used in witchcraft.
Day 13: Get kitchen witchin’.
The kitchen is the cauldron of the home and very often the jackpot of a magical household.
Start with the herbs and spices.
Choose a kitchen witch spell to try or come up with your own.
Make cooking a sensual experience. Listen for the crackle of water on perfectly heated oil. Inhale fragrant fresh herbs. Enjoy the sensation of oil between your fingers or the feeling of soft dough as you knead it on the countertop.
Day 14: Take a nature walk.
Unless there’s an active heat advisor or a hurricane, do this no matter the weather conditions.
If it’s freezing, bundle up and bring some hot cocoa. If it’s raining and hot, consider leaving the umbrella behind and get wet on purpose.
We live so much of our lives in climate-controlled structures without so much as a potted plant. Getting in touch with nature sometimes means experiencing discomfort.
Notice that when you endure this discomfort, you come home feeling refreshed, awake, and alive.
And if it’s nice, take your time and try some these ideas to make your nature walk more magical than mundane.
Day 15: Reflect on what you learned so far.
You’re halfway there! If you dedicated yourself to this 30-day exercise, you likely learned some things you didn’t know before and have a better grasp on where you want to go.
Take a look at the goal you set at the beginning of the month. How much closer do you feel to achieving it?
Day 16: Explore your heritage.
Your ancestors practiced witchcraft, whether you know it or not. If you reach back far enough in time, no matter where your bloodlines originate, someone, somewhere used something that anthropologists classify as folk magic.
Curious? Do some digging! If you already know where you came from, start there. If not, call up your oldest living relatives and ask them where their people came from. Old people love to talk about their family history. Take advantage of this!
Day 17: Assess your relationship with the Earth.
How much time do you spend in nature? How much of that time is interrupted by your screens?
Are you conscientious about things like land conservation and recycling?
If you’ve never thought about these things, don’t feel bad. Our culture doesn’t do a very good job of instilling a respect for the natural world.
Don’t know where to start? Check out 10 Ways to Live Closer to the Earth for some easy suggestions.
Day 18: Go on a witchy field trip.
You pick the destination. Here are some suggestions:
-Visit an occult shop.
-Attend a Unitarian Universalist church (where witches are generally welcome)
-Find a quiet stretch of parkland to meditate.
-Go to a museum that features exhibits on local folklore and history.
Day 19: Purge.
Go through your closets, drawers and dusty shelves. Clear out cluttered corners where the energy is stale.
Give everything a clean sweep.
Make a pile of things to drop off at goodwill.
Then, open the windows, boil a pot of water on the stove with a cleansing herb or two. Use whatever you have available (see Day 13). Try one of the following:
-Lemon, orange or lime peel
-a few drops of essential oil
Let the water soft boil for an hour.
Enjoy the raised vibrations of your happier home!
Day 20: Meditate before bed.
Start with 5 minutes, and then work up to 10 or 20 gradually. Trying to clear your mind completely as a beginner really frustrates all even people with years of meditation practice. I find that in the beginning, guided meditation helps a lot.
My favorite is this one by Kelly Howell (you need headphones for best results).
Day 21: Try something seasonal.
Preferably, an authentic local experience.
Gather wildflowers or evergreens by the roadside. Bake something using seasonal ingredients. Visit a local farm and ask about what’s growing there.
Get back in touch with the natural world. Check in with it just like you’d check in with any other category of current events.
Day 22: Explore sun magic.
While there seems to be an abundance of emphasis on the moon in modern spell work, the sun is also useful!
Read about the creative ways to use the sun in witchcraft.
Either watch the sunrise or the sunset today. Notice that taking the time to observe its majesty lifts your mood and clears your mind.
Day 23: Check the news.
No, not the mainstream political pundit talking heads on CNN.
Look into some alternative publications that feature news about witches.
The Wild Hunt has an excellent reputation for professional journalism.
Day 24: Plan out your next full moon.
Go look up the next date of the the full moon.
Make some solid plans to celebrate it.
Check out 25 Ways to Celebrate the Full Moon for some creative suggestions.
Day 25: Try chanting.
There’s a reason nearly every folk culture in the world uses some form of chanting in spiritual practice.
Look up some chants. Find sources you can actually listen to. Try one that’s appropriate.
Or, just choose a word or phrase that you find empowering. Find a quiet space and repeat it over and over.
This is a powerful way to still the mind and focus your intentions.
Day 26: Start a dream journal.
Access your deepest thoughts, fears and desires by beginning a dream journal.
Your dream journal need not be fancy. A simple composition book works. You can usually pick one up for less than a dollar.
However, I recommend keeping it low-tech and avoiding writing down your dreams in digital format.
Dreams are best recording at the very first moment of waking, and screens tend to disrupt your natural sleeping/waking process.
For more on working with dreams, check out Dream Work for Beginners.
Day 27: Decide on some personal ethics.
Your morals and boundaries are personal.
No one gets to decide for you what is okay and not okay.
Before you go further, decide what your limitations are and promise to respect them.
For example, if negative spells make you uncomfortable, don’t do them.
Never feel pressured to engage in any spiritual practice that runs contrary to your beliefs. Anyone who refuses to respect your space doesn’t deserve a place in it. Period.
That goes both ways. Respect the right of others to decide what’s okay for them and what’s not okay. Never rope someone into a ritual who expresses reservations or hesitation.
Day 28: Take a cleansing bath for the soul.
Or shower. I know bathtubs aren’t a thing everywhere. Either way, do something to make it special.
Light candles, play soft music, make your own sugar scrub. Be creative. Think outside the box.
You can even use color magic by dying your own bathwater.
If you prefer, keep it basic and try using self-massage techniques. Or simply visualize negative energy draining with the water at the end.
Day 29: Write your own spell.
It’s time to start putting what you learned to use.
Try not to be intimidated by spell writing. Don’t get caught up in the “right way” to do things.
Use your intuition to choose ingredients, timing and other elements that support your goal.
For a basic framework, check out How to Write Your Own Spell.
Day 30: Try levitation.
Just kidding. You can’t levitate.
Well, you can, but only in a zero-gravity situation. So unless you happen to have access to an electrostatic vacuum chamber, you’re stuck with the current conditions of unaltered gravitational pull.
Hopefully, your journey over this 30 days has dispelled some of the more ridiculous misconceptions and gave you a realistic glimpse into the world of witchcraft.
But really, it’s only the jumping off point.
You’re launched. Get flying.