QUESTION - I was raised in a Christian home, but I've never felt like I really belonged in that faith, and I don't think my family has even considered the possibility of me not remaining a Christian my entire life - they see that as a catastrophic worst-case scenario that couldn't ever happen because they've raised me "the right way." I feel this kind of pull towards magic that I can't really explain, it just feels like all the pieces falling into place after being so confused about spirituality and religion and stuff like that my entire life. I just don't know how to start. I guess I want to know how to determine which path is right for me, and what I need to do or believe to be a witch. Sorry if this is vague, but I'd really appreciate advice.
ANSWER – Many people involved in any faith or spiritual path talk about how it seemed like the Universe conspired to draw them toward that path by a series of events and signposts that pointed them in the right direction. Sometimes this is like the Christian’s Road to Damsacus moment, sometimes it is just a gentle nudge to change course. One witch eloquently expressed it as her life being put into a vice with the screws getting tighter and tighter until she burst out of her confined way of life and actualised herself as the witch she was meant to be. So I really get where you are coming from here.
I think what is really important is that you get this the right way round. It worries me a bit that you say you want to know what you need to believe to be a witch. Witches all believe very different things so what makes more sense is you sit and work out what you do believe in and get those personal beliefs firmed up in your own mind before progressing on your path. Embarking on a craft path is about being true to yourself and looking inward toward what parts of yourself need to be expressed and developed.
In terms of what you need to do to be a witch I’ve added a few links at the bottom to get you thinking. But what I think would help you a lot is to buy a notebook and start keeping a craft/spiritual journal. This can be a really useful tool in starting to shape in your own mind what attracts you to witchcraft and to help you define your own beliefs to yourself. The best way to do this as a beginner is to start reading around the subject of witchcraft and then use your journal to organise your thoughts on what you are reading and to start to explore how witchcraft can relate to you and your own life.
I would certainly emphasise very strongly that if something is pulling you in the manner you say witchcraft is it is a voice best not ignored. I can appreciate that it will be a hard road ahead for you if you choose a path that is very different to those close to you. But I honestly believe a person’s first obligation is to what makes them whole and completes them as a person. If you believe for you this is exploring witchcraft then my advice is to do it. Living your life for other people is the path to unhappiness.
Can you make me a witch?
How to become a witch?
Was I born a witch?
Suggestions for a lone witch just starting out?
QUESTION - I want to cast a healing spell for my mother. She often gets very strong headaches that render her incapable of doing anything other than lying down in the dark. She currently takes migraine medication however that only helps so much. My question is not so much how to help her but rather how to ask her. I hold a very strong belief that you should not cast a spell on anyone unless you have previously gotten their permission. My mother does not know that I practice witchcraft and although she may be a little surprised, I doubt that she will have much of a problem with it as she is rather open-minded. At the same time, I don't really want to be like, "Hey Ma, I'm a witch. Can I cast a spell for you?". Any suggestions as to how I can ease into asking her?
Also, why does it require you to give a name when you ask a question, even if it is not your real name?
ANSWER – A name can often help quite a bit with a question. It may indicate if a person is male/female and a name, even a made up one, can give clues about a person. Jane Smith for example portrays herself in a very different manner to SilverHawk WolfsBane. It also feels more polite if I need to send an email back to address it to a named person rather than “Oy you”. The reason I go to some length to explain that it need not be a real name is to protect our readers from the fact that putting personal information on the internet can be abused by confidence tricksters and criminals. It also underlines the point that the sites that do ask for your name, address and credit card number may well not have the moral scruples of WPF and are looking to exploit their readers or extract money from them.
I think it is great that you have such a good relationship with your mother as many young witches are not fortunate enough to have open minded parents who accept their interest in the craft. I think such a well established relationship will take your revelation about your interest in witchcraft in its stride but I do have a few tips for how to broach the matter…
My first suggestion is that you avoid labels. Unfortunately there are so many stereotypes and negative associations with so many of the labels involved with witchcraft (witch, spell, magic..) that people with limited understanding of the craft can often form the wrong impression when these words are bandied about. Rather than telling her you are a witch, tell her you have started to do some work in the general area of the craft and resist putting a label on yourself. Focus on what you do rather than what you are.
The same goes when you make your offer of help. Don’t throw the word spell at her as it will conjure up all sorts of mental images that probably don’t relate at all to what you want to do. Explain that with the reading you have been doing and the direction your personal path is taking you feel you might be in a position to offer some help and support. If you introduce your topic in language that your mother is comfortable with and can easily relate to then you will find she is more amenable to the nature of the help you are trying to offer.
I always feel that a working like this is at its most beneficial when both the witch and the person being helped are involved with the mechanics of the spell work. Get your mother talking to you and get her involved in her own healing process. If you go down the route of a healing oil for example get her to contribute suggestions as to what scents she finds relaxing rather than pulling off a list of correspondences. Get her to talk about why she gets the headaches. You will want to handle stress differently to dehydration headaches for example. There is a benefit here involved in the discussion as it may be your mother ends up diagnosing herself when given the opportunity to sit and really think about the cause of all this. At the very least it will out you in a position where you can be precise about your spell work and target the cause rather than treat the symptoms.
QUESTION - I am very new to witchcraft and to neo-paganism. I have only been personally referring to myself as pagan for about 4 months now. Although I do plan to be a witch, I have not yet cast any spells nor do I intend to in the near future. I have cleansed a few things in the moonlight to be placed on my altar because I like the idea of cleansing an object of any negative energies and quite frankly, it just feels right. However, I have found that many sites suggest that along with cleansing must always come charging. From what I have so far learned, I kind of hate the idea of charging anything.
I have diagnosed anxiety and it is not uncommon for me to feel as though I have all of this pent up energy coursing through me that cannot be properly released. I imagine this being how an object would feel if it was "charged". I don't really think that an object would need to be charged in order for it to be powerful. Instead, I think that just my intent and my touch would be able to give it magickal energy.
Can you try to explain what exactly charging is? I have found many articles on how to charge something and why you should but not so much on what exactly charging is.
ANSWER – I find this question very interesting because at the beginning of your question you speak very confidently about what feels right to you (the cleansing) and justify doing it on the basis that your intuition is speaking to you. Yet toward the end of your question you feel obliged to do something (the charging) that very obviously doesn’t feel right to you on any level, because you have read that other witches do it.
You got it right at the beginning. Yes there are certain practical craft guidelines that most witches follow that we have learned from passed down wisdom which generally tend to work. But intuition is still your most powerful guide. If something feels right, chances are it is and if something feels wrong then chances are it won’t work for you. Craft work is at its most potent when a witch understands why she is doing something and when she believes what she is doing is going to work. If you cannot align an action with your own understanding and intent then to be honest you might as well not bother doing it. Witches who just “go through the motions” rarely end up with any success.
Charging is best described as the transference of energy. It is basically taking energy from one source and transferring that energy into an object. It’s not actually all that different to charging up your mobile phone from the mains except the energy used in magical charging is more concerned with changing or enhancing the essential nature of the object. Magical charging will concentrate energies for a specific purpose and is most commonly used to project positive energy into an object. This could be to give an object power (think charging up crystals for healing work), a purpose (think charging up a wand or atheme) or it could be for storing different types of energy as a basis for future spell work. I’ll give you a personal example, I often tie knots in string to capture the energies of different emotions and moods which can then be burned during relevant spell work to release those energies for an intended purpose, This is essentially charging the string. I am drawing the energy from myself and storing it into the newly charged piece of string.
I rather like your comparison to a charged object being jittery with anxiety. Perhaps what you need to do is use another word rather than charge. Instead of thinking about charging with all the connotations of electricity and crackling energy think instead about gently infusing an object with a sense of purpose. That’s if you bother doing it at all. If the idea doesn’t work for you then you might be better off ditching it. You can always come back to the concept if you find a need for it later.
QUESTION - Hi, it seems that I have the worst luck in relationships. I have a friend who I truly love however they are in an abusive relationship and won't leave because their thinking is it is better for the kids to have 2 parents (even when my friend says they are miserable). Right now the friend’s current partner has stopped us from talking and threatened to go to the police saying I'm stalking them. So I've broken off all contact with my friend. Yet my heart is hurting and I'm worried for my friend. I'm open to any ideas magically that can help this situation for my friend and then for myself. Thanks...
ANSWER – I think one of the hardest things in the world is watching somebody make mistakes and not being able to save them from what you can clearly see is a looming disaster. However, well intentioned as we all are, every individual has the right to make their own mistakes and there is a very fine line between help and interference. I’d also caution that nobody really knows what goes on in any relationship except the people actually involved in it. The situation may be more complex than you have been led to believe. Although hypothetically I do agree with you that a couple staying together for the sake of the children is unlikely to be a positive solution for any of the people involved if your friend genuinely believes she is doing the right thing then who are we to tell her she isn’t?
I’d also comment that what is an abusive relationship for one couple might be defined very differently by another. People have individual tolerances and what is acceptable for one person might be anathema to another. Take domestic violence for example. Some women will leave the first time they are struck by a partner, for others the road will be a lot longer and involve many more incidents and possibly outside support. Neither woman is right or wrong, both are entirely entitled to react as feels right to them. But though they have the right to decide for themselves you and I do not have the right to tell a woman who chooses to leave that she should give the partner another chance nor to tell a woman who decides to stay that she is obliged to leave. The danger with magic is that sometimes in the desire to help, enthusiasm takes over and free will becomes overlooked.
I don’t think you can go storming into this one employing magic to the effect of imposing your own views onto another person’s relationship. That isn’t to say that I don’t think there is a magical opportunity here but any decisions have to come from your friend and be hers alone. So rather than casting with the emphasis on bringing about an intended result I think it would be more appropriate to cast in the supportive sense of helping this woman to become stronger and helping her to clear her mind, see her situation objectively and reach a rational choice as to where she goes from here. If you end up not liking the choice she makes then I’m afraid at that point you have to step back as you will have done all you can.
It’s a bit tricky as you are not in a position to speak to your friend face to face or to hand her any object we could have worked with as a basis for the spell. What you could do though is make use of the mail which can be an interesting method of spell delivery. This is what I would suggest:
Get several sheets of notepaper and write on them clearly and specifically the thought processes you want your friend to go through. Remember you are not trying to influence her decision but her mind set. Detail her clarify of mind, her rational ability to make decisions and her choice to choose a happy life. Keep each of these paragraphs short and if possible memorise them.
Next, using a different piece of paper, write your friend a friendly letter hoping she is well. Don’t make any reference to her troubles, don’t criticise the husband and ensure you phrase the letter in a manner that would cause no trouble if read by anybody else.
Take your first sheet with the intention written on it and burn it in a candle flame. As you burn it speak the words aloud from memory and focus your thoughts on your friend approaching her troubles with a calm and positive frame of mind. Picture her mind clear of clutter and focused on deciding what will bring her the most happiness. Hold the letter you plan to send in the smoke from the burning paper and visualise the letter infused with the thoughts you have been holding in your mind throughout the process. The success of this spell will be in the strength of the visualisation so try to hold a very clear mental image in your mind of the calm and positivity seeping with the smoke into the letter.
Post the letter and keep repeating. This works on two levels. On a peripheral level your friend knows there is somebody outside the marriage who is non judgemental and there to support. On a magical level the support is provided by the reinforcement of the suggestion that her mind be focused on making the best decisions for her future.
(In terms of yourself, you don’t give me much to go on. Write back and explain why you have such a tough time in relationships and we’ll tackle that separately)
QUESTION - My friend touched a crystal that belongs to someone else. It burned her hand intensely and she says it still burns. The owner of the crystal has a dark aura about him that I have noticed. I have tried cleansing and pulling the energy from her, but it feels as if she is marked. Very strange. The energy is red with a black center and a distinct shape. I have tried all I know, including cleansing with white light, salt, and water. Any suggestions?
ANSWER – The steps you have taken so far seem eminently sensible. I can add three more suggestions. Firstly depending on your friend’s spiritual beliefs you could try blessed water. This is basically water infused with the blessings of the Gods. Not something I would suggest for someone who doesn’t have a belief in deity as it is important to recognise people’s own beliefs when attempting anything that touches on healing work but for somebody open to the idea of the Gods blessed water can be both a powerful tool for the mind to psychologically assist in the healing process and also for the genuine benefit such blessings can bring.
Secondly I’d suggest trying to counteract the crystal with the healing benefits of other crystals. Quartz is a very neutralising stone and may help held closely to the skin of the affected area. Other stones I’d suggest trying include Aqua Aura, Howlite, Kunzite or Tourmaline.
It is important not to overlook the fact that some crystals do react with human skin and can produce unpleasant results. A description of the crystal may have been helpful here. A piece of solid sulphur for example can cause extreme skin irritation in some people. It’s always a good idea to look for practical causes as well as less mundane explanations. I’d go back to the crystal owner, ask him what crystal it was and then do a bit of research on the internet. If it turns out it is a stone that can trigger any problems then a visit to the doctor would make good sense.
If you do confirm the owner of the stone is hostile (and this is a big if as it is highly implausible that anybody would waste this kind of energy on a stranger) then I do have a counter spelling suggestion that will work to break the impact. A simple charm on a crystal of your own which you then persuade him to hold would potentially weaken him and allow you to manipulate his energy as he is manipulating your friend’s. I saw a similar idea described brilliantly in a children’s fiction book once where the protagonist used a simple hand stamp to “mark” her victim. I can’t think of a better way of claiming power over somebody than stamping their hand with a personalised stamp and carefully blended oil mix. Unfortunately this isn’t very socially acceptable and probably constitutes assault so it isn’t something I can suggest!
Image - WPF owned
QUESTION- You very kindly answered my email regarding my husband's exwife- I used the word banished without considering the word's meaning- such a newbie.
I would like to try the mirror and poppet to reflect back her anger. Do you offer some sort of lesson in such a thing? And I am wondering if the cost? You are right, doing no (or as little) harm is important to me. I just want her to get on with her life and hopefully find happiness.
ANSWER – Ah yes, I remember the question, thank you for getting back in touch. I’m afraid our website doesn’t offer any paid services at this current moment in time but I will certainly be glad to talk you through how I would go about casting such a spell and to my mind these things work better when cast by an involved party rather than a third person anyway.
(Shouldn’t take too much recall as I did one myself only three weeks ago and the target is being suitably respectful these days, lol)
The poppet itself can be made of anything you feel comfortable with using and you have to hand. Some people like to sew a cotton poppet, others like to work with melted wax. My own preference is plasticine as I like to say a few well chosen words about manipulating the person while I’m moulding the likeness out of the plasticine.
The key thing when doing any work with a poppet is to reinforce the link between the poppet and the person it is representing as much as possible. This can be achieved in lots of different ways. You can add their hair, nails or other body parts to it. You could carve their name on it, wrap the poppet in a scrap of the person’s clothing or even attach something personal like a piece of thread to create a link to them.
(I did an interesting variation of this recently where the only thing I could get belonging to the person was a business card so I fastened that to the poppet.) The only important element is that in your mind the finished poppet is a firm link to the person in question.
Next I suggest you buy a cheap compact mirror, one of those that folds closed and has two mirrors when opened up. This will become the symbol for the reflection of the anger.
Next you need a symbol for the pain and distress that you want reflecting back. I almost always use hypodermic needles for this purpose but a sewing needle would work just as well. It’s very important to understand that you are using this as a symbol of pain and not in the more “Pop Voodoo” sense of creating actual physical pain or damage with the use of the needle. Your target will not suffer a heart attack because you have pierced them through the heart with a needle.
(To give you a better idea one spell I did along these lines that involved an awful lot of needles in my poor long suffering poppet resulted in loss of job and breakdown of marriage. Had the spell been designed to cause physical damage he’d have sunk like a stone the next time he had a bath due to the amount of holes I had poked in him!) My point being that you need not worry you are going to cause undesired damage. Intention is what drives magic and as you do not have the intention to cause physical harm you will not cause results that you don’t want your target to experience.
Now take a symbol of yourself, I do like the idea of using a button for this as it needs to be something small that you can place it the mirror compact. Anoint the button with an oil known for its protective properties – I’d suggest Niaouli but have a look at the oils section of the website if you only have a limited few at home.
Stand the mirror up and place the button in front of the mirror (might be easier to fix it on if you can, a bit of blu tak would work). Hold the poppet in front of the mirror toward the button and visualise the hate and anger and negativity projecting out of the poppet. This is the real key to the spell. The better the visualisation, the more you can sustain in your mind an image of what they are putting out toward you, the more likely this spell is to work well.
Now visualise the negativity being projected hitting the mirror instead of you. (Try visualising as a simple image like a beam of light. If it takes that kind of physical shape in your mind it will help strengthen the power of the spell). Affirm the visualisation clearly out loud, stating that anything sent out to you will be reflected back to the person sending it. Name them, get the wording of your spell as specific as possible. As you visualise the anger, hate and pain being reflected back, poke your poppet decisively with your needles. Imagine them suffering the same levels of frustration and anguish that you have experienced while you do this.
Hold this focus for a few minutes and then remove the button, take the poppet and place it inside the folding mirror so they are front and back to a mirror when it closes. Tie the mirror closed with a piece of string and place somewhere safe.
I hope this works for you. Please let us know the outcome of this one!
Image - Property of WPF
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