The Contemporary New England Witch

The Contemporary New England Witch
Ms Faith

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Advice for New Witches from an Experienced High Priestess

Good Afternoon my Witchy Readers,

Well, I certainly got the cauldron stirring lately, haven't I? There have been some, just a few, who have taken offense to my most recent post labelled "Why Witches do not need to hex or curse."  My Goddess, you would think I took away a toy from an over tired toddler!!

My viewpoint and advice comes from over 30 years of being a magickal being, a practicing witch and a High Priestess of Wicca. But one certainly does not have to listen to my advice if they choose not to. This topic segues  nicely into today's discussion, as I am going to give some advice to those new to the path of the Witch and to the Craft.

In regards to the comments I have received, one, fairly intense and nasty individual (and that is why I did not publish their comments) asked why I think my Wiccan rules and laws applies to others, who may not be Wiccan and wish to harm and curse. To answer, they did not read my words very carefully. I did not say much about the Wiccan ways and rules, as much as I discussed Karma. Be very clear. Karma has no religion or spiritual boundaries. What you send out returns to the sender. That is not by definition a Wiccan principle, but a Universal one. It is like gravity.  Pick up a pencil, hold it in the air, open your fingers and it will drop. Every .  .  .  single .  .  .  time.  There is no religion surrounding the pencil. You don't have to believe in a pencil God for gravity to work. There is no wish or prayer or spell or commandment that will stop that pencil from dropping once you've released it. See what I'm trying to say? It does not matter what you think, feel, desire or believe. If you send out harm, it will return back to you! In truth, everything you send out returns back to you. It is a true witch that understands and respects this.

The nasty person also wanted to know how I knew the witches in the Midwest did not get the rape victim's permission to cast an evil hex on the rapist and the judge. Simple. They do not publish rape victims identities and they did not do so in this case. Again, toddlers, screaming mad, that they don't get to have their way. As far as I am concerned they can cast all of the evil hexes they choose. Just do not call yourself a witch, a wise one. You are simply a non magickal person burning black candles and voicing ineffective incantations. You have no right to compare yourselves with those who choose to do good and not evil. And yes, casting hexes and curses is by it's very definition, evil.

But now, enough of this nonsense, let me get back to my witchy readers who are truly serious about what we do and want to lean the proper ways of doing things. For those new to the path, or perhaps you've been dabbling in magick for a while there are some things you need to have in your magickal cupboard. So use the following checklist to fill out your supplies, tools and reading materials:

A witch creates magick. We do so in a magick circle. Before you can cast a magick circle you will need the following basic tools:

  • An altar (please note the correct spelling of altar) This can be a table, a cloth on the floor, a flat rock outdoors, even the railing on a deck or porch. Just a flat surface to place your magickal tools. An altar, in witchcraft, does not take on it's own sacred energy. It is simply a surface to do your magickal workings on. For instance you may use your kitchen table, cast your circle, do your magick, then put everything away and serve dinner on it. It is not a shrine, unless you choose to make it so. 
  • An altar pentacle. This is a pentagram surrounded by a circle. It can be made of metal, silver is most common, copper, brass etc. It can be made of wood, stone, it can even be on a piece of jewelry you take off and place in the middle of the altar for your ritual. 
  • Elemental representations: You will need a small bowl of salt to represent the element of earth which resides in the North. A vial of powdered incense to represent air, located in the East. A cauldron or censer with a charcoal briquette to represent fire and place it in the South, and a bowl of water to represent water and it is placed in the West. The bowls for the salt, water and incense do not have to be special, but many people look until they find something just right. You can always switch them out for a nicer bowl when you come across it. Remember, once you start to practice magick these tools will be used by you for many years to come.  
  • Candles: A Celtic (pronounced Kel-tic) based circle and ritual, uses candles set around the perimeter of the ritual space in the cardinal directions. N, S, E, W. Use a compass app on your phone if you do not know your directions. The candle colors, typically, are Green for the North, Yellow for the East, Red for the South and Blue for the West. Having a nice stand or pedestal in each corner provides a pleasant place to set your candles. These candles represent the elements, and may also be called the Watchtowers, The Guardians, The Old Ones, as well as other names. They stand for the elemental energies that we work with in a circle. So by now you see the elements are represented on the altar as well as around the circle. Inside and out. 
          You will also need candles on the altar.  My coven or group uses three candles to represent the Goddess. A white votive to represent the Maiden aspect of the Goddess, a red candle to represent the Mother aspect and a black candle to represent the Crone.

  • You will need an athame (which represents the God) and this is a two edged knife used to direct energy, similar to a wand. You may use a wand if you'd like. 
  • A bell, to ring before and after the ceremony
  • A candle snuffer to safely extinguish the candles (no blowing out of the ritual candles) 
This is pretty much it. You may add whatever you'd like to your altar in addition to these required tools and supplies. You may wish to put flowers, a God/Goddess statue, magickal stones and crystals, whatever makes you happy. It is your altar. 

In addition to the altar/ritual rooms tools and supplies listed above, you may wish to have a Book of Shadows. Do not go out and look to buy a published Book of Shadows. Oh, not that you will not find one, there are a few that have been published. But that is someone else's magickal workings. Your Book of Shadows is a notebook or a journal within which you record your magickal workings. These are by far, much more special and powerful, because they are yours. 

At Enchantments, in the first year of Magickal Studies, we work on five magickal goals. Five goals that everyone can relate to and everyone can see needing a bit more in their lives. These five goals are love, money, health, protection and tranquility.  Please leave healing others and doing magick for others aside, until you learn more. A lot more. Do spells, only for yourself. 

To start stocking your magickal cupboard you will want to have some oils,herbs and candles for these five magickal goals. 

Love-  For love spells you can use oils of Rose, Ylang Ylang, Cedarwood, and Cardamom to name but a few easy to acquire oils. Herbs to use can be:  Garden sage (as found in New England also called Clary Sage) Lavender, Jasmine, Geranium and Cinnamon.  Candles for love spells can be red, pink, and gold. 

Money and Abundance- Oils for money and wealth spells can be Patchouli, Bergamot, Chamomile, and Galangal. If you have a hard time finding these oils, the same herb as the oil can be used. Candles for money and wealth are green, gold and silver. 

Health and Healing (again stick with working magick on yourself. If you are not a licensed doctor you have no business trying to heal someone who is sick) 
Oils for health and healing:  Calendula, Arnica, Clove, Frankincense and Corn Oil to name a few. Some herbs useful for health and healing are Eucalyptus, Rosemary, Peppermint, Orange and lemons (the actual fruits) and Cinnamon. For candles, the colors of blue for emotional health and healing and green for physical health and healing. You may use both candles at once if you are in need of both emotional and physical healing. 

Protection-  Oils, geranium, frankincense, cedarwood and sandalwood. Herbs for protection: Angelica, Bay leaves, Carob, Caraway and these can be carried with you. Candle color for protection is the traditional black candle. Important while burning to visualize a white ball of light or energy surrounding you. 

Tranquility- Oils for tranquility are lemon balm, lavender, patchouli, balsam fir, chamomile are all excellent for calming and relaxing. The same herbs can be used in spells calling for tranquility. Candle colors are purple, blue and silver. 

Some excellent reading materials to help you start on your way to practicing witchcraft: 

Mr. Scott Cunningham, who passed away in 1993 was and still is one of the most published authors in the magickal realm. His books seldom go out of print. He was the first to come up with encyclopedias for the magickal properties found in natural items such as his encyclopedias for "Crystals,Gem and Metal Magick ", "Magickal Herbs" and "Incense, Oils and Brews" and these are still excellent references and I highly recommend them. 

I also recommend  "The Witches Bible" By Stewart and Janet Farrar, "The Power of the Witch" by Laurie Cabot, and "The Encyclopedia of Wicca & Witchcraft" by Raven Grimassi.  These are books still available today which will get you started and answer a lot of questions about the magickal world. I could, indeed, recommend older books published in the 1960's and 1970's and perhaps in a future discussion I will. But those are primarily for historical purposes and while they give an excellent history and discuss witchcraft in ancient times up to modern times, the books I have mentioned above will actually allow you to start making magick and casting circles, conducting rituals and all the rest a new witch is looking to do. 

I will also recommend my book "Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts, First Year Magickal Studies" which covers a good part of the first year curriculum at Enchantments School. This is available on my website by mail order and also in Enchantments Witch shop. 

Well, today's discussion  started with a bit of magickal ethics in working magick, covered some basic tools, supplies, ingredients and books a new witch would benefit from having in her magickal cupboard and now all that's left is to start! I have, sadly, met too many people who have read up on the magickal life, waiting and wanting to start practicing but hesitating from doing so because of all sorts of fears, worries and doubts. Put those aside and simply get to the business of working magick and before too long it will be a lifestyle. A way of living and not just something you do occasionally.  And that, my witchy reader, is a wonderful thing! 

Peace and Happiness, Ms. Faith 

© 2010-2016 Faith M. McCann. Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website. Please note that the copying and/or further distribution of this work without express written permission is prohibited. 

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