There’s a minefield facing the new seeker when first they step onto the path – where to begin is the cry often said in frustration!
Well the best place to start is here, right now and here are a few tips to consider to get you started. Pick and choose from the list as they are in no particular order.
- Your personal belief; Know thy self.
What are your belief’s, if any – do you hold with the one God or many Gods? Or no divinity at all? Reincarnation or not? Karma or Fate? Are you a witch, a mystic, a druid, a wiccan or just you yourself?
Sorting out what you do and don’t subscribe to is an important part of the path. It’s what defines us, and what we do. So OK you might see Karma banded about online and decide yeah, I know what it is, but do you? Further understanding of the subject and how it relates to you, might make you reconsider.
This is where questioning plays an important part; never feel silly for asking questions – those who know do and those who don’t stay ignorant! So check the facts, take nothing at face value, always question, check and recheck, until you’re sure.
Once you have your personal belief’s organised you might find that with time, and understanding, they change – that’s ok, nothing is set in stone – if it was, it wouldn’t evolve.
- The Moon
The Moon is very important on this path; she rules the night and the months (moon-ths) – she is the Witch Mother. The tides are linked to her; tides of the oceans and our magics.
What’s her phase right now – today? What do you know about it – how can you apply this to your life? Waxing? Brings something to you? Waning? Throw something away!
- The Sun
The Sun is also important to us; he rules the seasons and the day. He is the Witch Father. The tides of the year and our magics are also ruled by him.
Again, which quarter of the year are we in. Can that be useful to you? If so how?
- What season is it?
The seasons dictate the festivals, so getting to know the seasons is something we can all do, simply taking walks in the elements is a very good way to start to understand the year and how it’s split into the various festivals and how they, in turn are related to the agricultural year.
At the time of writing, it’s just turned from October to November, so I am reading, bloging and immersing myself in the Wild Hunt, and not for the first time either – revisiting subjects for research is a very good way to further the depth of understanding. Look at it like strands in a web, some need strengthening from time to time.
There are four very important days in the year, known as the Cross Quarter days, because they divide the Year into four – they are the two equinoxes and the two solstices. the year waxes from the winter solstice up to it’s hight at the summer solstice, when the year wanes. The spring and autumn equinox mark the half way points.
What’s the season now, today? What’s the next festival coming up? What can you learn about it? Will you be marking it? If so how?
- What day of the week is it?
Example: it is a Friday as I write, a day of Venus, Roman Goddess of Love and Beauty.
Knowing this can lead to several things; further research around the days of the week, how they got their names and which Gods they represent, furthering an understanding of which Gods rule the day and all the levels of wisdom that come with that. This then can lead into astrology, an understanding of which planets rule which day, and which Gods rule which planet. If we take Friday then we will see that today is a very good day for love spells… picking and planting the herb mint… and so on.
This can be as simple or as complicated as required, but starting off with easy simple steps is always the best…
Will you be doing anything with the God who rules the day? If so what? What about tomorrow – which God rules that day and how can you work with them?
When you have the basic understanding of the seasons, days of the week and if you do or don’t include divinity into your practise, then you are ready for your first simple rituals. Again, these are best begun simply, building as your understanding builds.
One such ritual might be a daily or weekly meditation.
Again start simple – take some time to be alone with out any interuptions. Either inside or outside find a place where you can be, either siting or lying down, but make sure the spine is straight. Light a candle and/or a little incense. Then simply sit with your eye’s closed and become aware. you might find your mind races, interrupting your quiet time. To counteract this, take your awareness to your breathing. Sit with that for a while and then come back to reality by feeling the ground you are siting on, or the chair; wiggle your fingers and toes, and open your eyes. Blow out the candle and return to your day.
If you like, join a meditation class. It’s a good tool to have, for not only does it help with concentration and awareness, but it sets the scene for any pathworkings you may do in the future. Tho’ they are two side of the same coin IMHO, some think they are not. But putting time to do this in to your daily or weekly routine is very rewarding.
What will you do in your ritual? How will you do it? For what? Which phase of the moon is is? What season is it? Is the year waxing or waning? How will you (if at all) apply this to the ritual?
As Paul Huson points out in his excellent book, “Mastering Witchcraft”, the moment someone starts on this Path, it gets noticed… I see allot of talk about psychic protection online, and again, IMHO it’s one of the first things a seeker should get to grips with – so I wrote a simple little ritual about it here. Again, this can be made as simple or as complicated as required – in time, when some thing extra is needed I can recommend the LBRP.
Do you need protection? If so, when would be a good day to begin this? Which Moon phase? Which time of the year? Or none for the former – will you wing it and see what happens?
- Get creative.
The easiest way to bring creativity into your life is by writing about your journey. A magical journal in which to keep your notes about what you’ve done, what you’d like to do, what you’ve learnt and so on. I suggest you do this in the old fashioned way; by hand, with a pen, in a blank book. There’s something wonderful about it… you can include any drawings and or print outs, leaves, etc etc
You can record your meditations, or paint them – it doesn’t matter if you’re not than good – you are doing this for the fun of it, for the joy and because you want to; so have fun!
In fact have fun with all of it! But try to be disciplined about it – but not a slave to it; work towards a balance, and try to make it, a part of you, even in your everyday life.
What can you do now, to put this in place? A doodle? A song? How about a little dance?
Finally – rinse repeat and rinse again – as Marian Green advises in her excellent book “A Witch Alone“, going over old ground is a good way to deepen your praxis – it brings new insights and understandings.