The Contemporary New England Witch

The Contemporary New England Witch
Ms Faith

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Back To Basics: Start Practicing Already!!

Greetings My Witchy Reader,

This is another Back to Basics discussion and tonight I am going over some of the basic first questions often asked of me by those just starting off on the path of the magickal.  Everyone needs to start somewhere and firstly there are no silly questions.

If you are interested in practicing the first thing you can do is set up a small altar. Go to the search box to the right of my blog and if you put in set up an altar you should get a few discussions where I go over some basic list of supplies and tools for setting up an altar and the basic format of conducting your own circle casting. Worry about doing it correctly, or making a mistake will only slow you down, simply start. My first circle casting was by myself in a garage without an altar or really any supplies just a circle cast and the Goddess and myself. It will always be the very best one also.

As you start to learn, of course learn the basics, the fundamentals and remember them and apply these principles to what you continue to learn. For instance a customer came in who has been studying Reiki and was putting together crystal grids for family members. She knew about the energy of Reiki and how it works, how it comes from the Divine and it goes through the body and is directed outwards and it is increased and made more powerful as it is sent to the person it is meant for.

She was disappointed at first because she was looking for a big crystal to put in the center of the grid, much bigger than she could find. I reminded her that a medium sized stone would be just as effective as it is herself that is the main tool that takes the energy in and magnifies it and then puts it into the crystal combines it with the crystal and then creates the energy "partnership" that the grid becomes. She already knew what the energy via Reiki could do, but she had forgotten and was putting all of the 'power' into the big crystal she was looking for, when it was in her, much more so than the size of the stone, and she did remember when she recalled the principles she was taught.

Next, "an it harm none" is a basic fundamental principle, so no it is not okay just because he really, really ticked you off and is a jerk, and really deserves it and just for today I am sooo not going to believe in Karma, so where is my black candles .  .  .  .   um, yeah, no.  It is never okay to harm someone unless it is in "Thy self defense it be, ever mind the rule of three".  We do have fewer rules than probably any other religion or spiritual practice, but the ones we do follow are not our rules, human rules they are Universal principles and like gravity, they do apply. Ssssshhhh, to everyone, just don't tell anyone, because that would really ruin a lot of people's day!!

Be VERY careful of the Internet, and even published authors, make sure the information makes sense to you. Nowadays absolutely anyone can put anything on a website, and yes! That includes me!! So, read, be discerning and make sure the information resonates with you and makes sense, and if it does, great! Also books, if the author has some credible history and you enjoy their writing and again if the information makes sense to you and of course if like, the Internet sites, if the information can be verified if it is historical, unless it is the authors own material, then you should be good to go.

One of the most difficult and challenging aspects for new witchlings to the path is finding out that there are several ways to do .  .  . everything! You can cast a circle different ways, set up an altar numerous ways, and conducting a ritual .  .  .well I have never seen two High Priestess' do it the same. We each have our own method, our own ways. All of them have the same basic components pretty much, but we all have our own unique flavor of doing things. So it can be a bit confusing for those who tend to have a black and white way of thinking, which means it must be done this way or that way, when you really need to be able to bend and flow, for that is the nature of the magickal world, to bend and flow.

For example many choose to use a version of casting a circle which starts in the East, whereas my circle and many who follow a Celtic/Druidic basis start our circles in the North. Is one better than the other, no, does it matter, absolutely not. Now to graduate from my course of study one must know the version we do in my school, but then you can do as you feel works best for you.

That's another really important lesson. If you come across a teacher, or mentor, Priestess or Priest of the Craft that insists you do something a certain way, it is very important that you respect them for their time and knowledge but they should be able to answer your questions as to why. I had one student who insisted on mispronouncing the name of a Sabbat and it was not a choice that some may call in say in Great Britain as opposed to the U.S. No, she was mispronouncing it badly and when I corrected her time and again she finally, in exasperation threw up her hands and said "Well, that's the way I say it". I corrected her and said, "no. If you are going to graduate from my program, there are somethings you can choose to do with your own flavor, so to speak, but mispronouncing something as significant as the proper name of a Sabbat so badly as she was, was uneducated and not working on learning it properly was lazy and not acceptable for anyone who wished to go further in my class.

Because as unique as various concepts can be there are basic fundamental principles that are the same throughout. For instance, the West always governs water, and water always governs the emotions. The North governs the earth and East governs air, the South governs fire.  One may start the casting of the circle in the East or in the North but the elements of each direction is always the same regardless. The same as the name of the Sabbats, these are cultural names that have been pronounced a certain way for centuries, and except for slight variations due to accent, they are still pronounced the same.

We are the Craft of the Wise for a reason. For those wondering, no, she did not complete the course. It was a strong indicator that she simply was not a serious student if she could not be bothered to learn a simple word, even if it were unfamiliar. I have also run into a few individuals who have had issues with spelling and are not good spellers, but that is a big part of what we do. We write by hand in our Book of Shadows, we need to write out spells and petitions and the idea that the Goddess or God knows what I am thinking is taking a pretty big risk.

Take an example, if one asks for love in a spell or petition but a poor writer writes leave instead of love. Or momy rather than money and your mom unexpectedly comes to visit rather than getting that raise you really needed!! Don't expect the Universe, God/Goddess to know your intentions and overlook your poor writing, if that were the case why write it down in the first place? We write it down because it sets the spell and has more power and effect than simply our thoughts. So yes, the written word is very important in our spells. Taking the care to learn correct spelling and taking care to spell carefully and properly also shows seriousness and dedication to your craft.

An attitude of "Well, I have always been a bad speller" as if that were some kind of acceptable excuse simply demonstrates much more to me as a teacher of exactly how far that student will go. It also is a strong indicator of how poorly that persons spells will manifest, because what we put out is what comes back, and a poor effort manifests poor results.  Now, be assured, that is not my 'personal opinion' it is what will be the end result. I have seen it many times, as I have seen the student who puts in the effort, the dedication, the hard work, the focus and who does not allow petty nonsense to sway them away from their dedicated magickal path, they end up becoming some of the most wonderful, most magickal, powerful third degree Priestesses I have ever known, or Priests as the case may be.

Initially it may be a few hours a day or a week that you can spend reading, researching, learning and bringing in the magickal bits and pieces that will accent your life, adding the magickal to it. But before long, if you wish to, you can adopt an entire new life, for it is a lifestyle where you will find you no longer 'practice' witchcraft or magick, but you are a witch. It sounds like a fine line of semantics but it can feel like a chasm for those of us who truly find ourselves living the life.

This is the most important part of this discussion. You are exactly where you are supposed to be right here and right now. You are not behind, and you are not in a race, not with anyone else. You will get there in the right time and please don't rush it, take the time and please if I can advise you anything, enjoy the moments of learning for myself now, when I can find myself in a place where I am a student, it is the best ever!!

I find it so rewarding to teach and I am always learning from everyone I encounter in my life, and that is one of the most important lessons I can pass along. If you are in a rush to "get there", to be a high Priestess or Priest, to run a coven, to even teach then you are racing ahead. Be content to learn as much as possible and all of that will come when it is supposed to. Never find yourself done with learning or you may find your magick stymied. The farther along I find myself the more I find myself researching, delving deeper and deeper as each topic opens into a new rabbit hole that takes me to all sorts of places and cultures, ancients times in history and ancient beliefs of magickal people from the past.

Think for a moment about ancient people's. I like to think they did not wait and wait and read and study and wait until they felt they were ready to start practicing their spiritual practice. Yes, many may have abided by hierarchy and may have needed to wait as they achieved rank for their practice to advance but they were practicing for many cultures at the earliest ages, in some form. 

Even if you do not know what you are doing, DO SOMETHING!  And write it down! Have a notebook, write Book of Shadows on the cover, or on the inside and write down a simple ceremony. Light some candles, place a few stones or crystals around, place some flowers, anoint yourself with some essential oil and play some beautiful music that touches your soul. Then .  .  .  DO! Sing, dance, sway, raise your arms, feel the energy, talk out loud to your Goddess or God and ask for blessings, say prayers and give thanks.

DO what feels right for you. And KNOW what you are doing is Divine and Scared. Far more Sacred than what may be written down and told to you, that which you may not understand or know, that which may confuse you or not make sense or resonate with you.

Then realize you have stepped upon the magickal path and you will never step off unless you knowingly, willingly step off. There is no other way to leave.

Live, Laugh and Always Love,   Blessings, Ms. Faith


2010-2018 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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