Advice for Beginners

Wednesday January 29, 2020

I recently made this post for the influx of beginners to some witchy aminos, but thought I’d share here in case it’s helpful as well. It can definitely be overwhelming when you’re new to everything and really don’t even know where to start, so I thought I’d put together a few pointers to hopefully help out on your way.

Advice for Beginners

Witchcraft vs Wicca vs Paganism

You’ll see these words a LOT, but not always with enough information to distinguish between them.

Read (Critically)

We have access to so much information! However most information regarding witchcraft is some level of subjective, and a lot of folks present their take on the topic as objective fact, which can be super confusing when you’re first starting out. Read from a wide range of resources, and know that information will be conflicting, but that doesn’t necessarily mean one’s right and one’s wrong.

Paths and Labels

Everyone’s path is different - we’re different people with different lives and different histories. That said, there are a few more well-trodden directions than others, particularly for those with a teacher, or who follow a particular tradition. Some of these might also be inspired by the types of magic you choose to practice. There are a lot of words/labels people use to describe their practice to others, and lots of newbies feel like you need to jump straight in and find labels before you have any practice to describe. If you feel super drawn to one type of practice or another, that’s rad! Otherwise, I 100% recommend not picking one (ie being eclectic) and exploring everything that interests you. You’ll wind up where you belong, and limiting yourself early on isn’t usually too helpful.


What tools do you need to start? Literally none! The only thing you 100% need is your own mind and will, everything on top of that is just a bonus. Yes, a lot of us like to buy pretty things, but you really don’t need to. If I was going to suggest a “starter kit”: a notebook (see below), a pen (for taking notes, journalling, drawing sigils), some candles (cheap white candles will get you started with candle magic), salt (table/cooking salt is fine, just don’t use salt outside), herbs (whatever you’ve got in your kitchen/garden, or can buy rosemary cheaply from the supermarket to use in place of any herb), and maybe a quartz crystal if you want to go really wild (clear quartz can be used in place of any other crystal). Otherwise, you can use pretty well literally anything in magical practice, and also find pretty well anything you need from nature (even in the city, more often than you’d expect). Unless you’ve got the money to burn, I’d recommend not buying things unless you KNOW you’re going to use them.

Magical Books

Most folks will keep some kind of book to record the things they learn, do, and experience in their practice, often called a Books of Shadows (BoS) or Grimoire. A BoS is usually more personal (eg journalling, recording spellwork) than a Grimoire (more generic and objective information), but you can more or less use the terms interchangeably. You can create your book in literally any notebook, although some folks use a binder, or keep theirs digitally. You don’t need one, but it’s nifty to keep track of info, and have something to look back on later to see how far you’ve come!

My Magical Books

You can read about my Magical Books here

Hopefully this helps start some folk on their way!