So, you want to be a witch? Welcome to my Witchcraft for Beginners guide! I will be updating this blog periodically, especially if I find any new useful resources for new witches.
In this blog post, I will be sharing my best tips about witchcraft for beginners. I’ll break it down into categories including witchcraft resources, books and supplies for new witches. I’ll also feature my favourite witchcraft apps and blogs for the modern witch!
Important Disclaimer: Witchcraft is not a trend. It’s not an ‘aesthetic’. It takes years and years of practice and study. It’s not easy, it requires a lot of work.
So, You Want To Be a Witch? A Few Questions You May Have…
- What is Witchcraft?
- Are Witches Real?
- How Do I Become a Witch?
- Is Witchcraft a Religion?
- Are Wicca and Witchcraft the same thing?
I’m going to very briefly answer these questions (let me know if you’d like some more detailed blog posts), and point you in the direction of my favourite online and offline witchcraft resources!
- Witchcraft is a practice.
- Yes. Although perhaps not in the way you’d imagine from the movies and pop culture! We don’t fly around on broomsticks.
- Of course, you can become a witch! It’s a spiritual practice, a commitment to personal development, to the Earth and to her people (and all living creatures). Personally, I believe in deities. You may not believe in deities at all. Witchcraft is not just for women. Witchcraft can be practiced by anyone. It’s important to remember that it won’t be easy, and witchcraft is not just a ‘fun trend’ or ‘aesthetic’ you’ve seen on the internet.
- Witchcraft itself is not a religion. It’s a practice, often used as a part of various Pagan religions. Wicca is a religion.
- Wicca and Witchcraft are not the same.
OK, so now we’ve covered the basics, time for the witchcraft resources I recommend.
I’ve picked up most of my witchcraft knowledge from books. My collection is pretty big now (another blog post idea!), but here are a few that I’d recommend for beginners.
Note: many ‘modern witchcraft’ books focus on feminism, the ‘divine feminine’ and the Goddess. Some are quite surface-level, and I will do my best to point out which books to avoid. I recommend some of these for people just dipping their toes into Wicca or witchcraft, not for the experienced, or those further into spiritual learning.
Avoid any book that claims witchcraft is just for cis women. This is not true, and is transphobic. Also make sure to be wary of cultural appropriation!
The first thing you need to know about witchcraft is that there is no set doctrine. It focuses on magick, the power of nature, and free will. Some choose to practice in a coven (a group of witches or Wiccans), whereas others like myself are solitary. Some follow a specific path, and others practice ‘eclectic’ witchcraft. I am an eclectic witch, meaning I draw from various traditions.
The second thing you need to know is that one book or blog post will not teach you everything. Nor will one person!
Witchcraft requires study. It’ll take years and years of research, learning, and practice. I’m only 24 years old, I’ve been practicing for years, but still just scratching the surface!
Quick List of Recommended Reading
- Natural Magic by Doreen Valiente.
- Psychic Witch by Mat Auryn.
- Year of the Witch by Temperance Alden. (Preorder)
- A Spell in the Wild by Alice Tarbuck.
- Traditional Wicca: A Seeker’s Guide by Thorn Mooney.
- Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs.
The Craft by Gabriela Herstik
This is my favourite ‘modern witchcraft’ book. I devoured it in a few days, but frequently refer back for specific rituals I want to try.
This guide is great for a beginner, and for people not completely sure if witchcraft is right for them. It’s all about finding power with self-care rituals, crystals, tarot, and sex magick. If you’re a regular reader of Emily Underworld, you’ll know that I’m a big supporter of Self Care!
I appreciate the rituals Gabriela provides for a modern-day lifestyle. It’s a very accessible read.
Wicca by Harmony Nice
I mentioned Wicca by Harmony Nice in my 10 Books I WILL Read This Year blog post, and needless to say, I did read it.
If you’re interested in the Wicca religion specifically and its practices, this one might be right for you.
There are valid criticisms to be made about this book, however. I am not a Wiccan myself, but I have learned about the issues and inaccuracies in Harmony Nice’s book. Have a read of the Goodreads reviews from Wiccans to find out more information.
Harmony encourages the “positive impact that ritual, meditation and embracing nature can have on your creativity, confidence and sense of self-worth”. A message I definitely stand by.
However, Wicca is not a self-care practice. It’s a religion.
If you want to become a Wiccan, I suggest reading literature from Wiccans who have practiced for a long time. Check Goodreads reviews before purchasing books. As a starting point, I recommend Traditional Wicca: A Seeker’s Guide by Thorn Mooney.
I do recommend checking out Harmony’s YouTube series called ‘Enchanted Endeavours’ though, she’s lovely and I enjoy her channel.
Basic Witches by Jaya Saxena and Jess Zimmerman
This one is definitely surface-level. It’s fun, and I don’t think it’s aimed at people who want to seriously practice witchcraft. It features rituals for modern-day life, like Social Media and Toxic Relationships.
I did enjoy the historical and pop culture references, as well as the aesthetically-pleasing illustrations.
If you want to truly understand the history and practices of witchcraft, this isn’t for you.
To be completely honest, it was a cute gift from a friend, but I would recommend avoiding it.
The yearly Almanacs by Liz Leendertz are so useful for my practice. I picked up my Almanac: A Seasonal Guide to 2020 back in 2019 to make sure I’m ready for the new year. it’s full of information about the tides, the moon cycle and what plants are blooming during each month of the year.
This is particularly helpful for witches, as we focus on the changes and cycles in nature.
This book provides a toolkit of practical information about the outdoors and the seasons. It features each month’s nature events, including meteor showers, moon and tide tracking charts, and beehive behaviour. It’s full of folklore stories and seasonal recipes too!
No wonder it’s an Amazon #1 bestseller in astrology, garden flowers, and botany & plant sciences! It’s beautifully illustrated, and for me, an indispensable resource.
I do love to read witchy fiction to feel inspired! In my 13 Books To Read in 2020 blog post, I featured a few witchcraft-themed books if you’re interested in checking out that post. I also have a Goodreads account, so feel free to add me on there.
At the moment, I’m reading The Witches of St Petersburg and A Secret History of Witches. I’ll make sure to write a blog post featuring my favourite witchy fiction books at some point.
Obviously, these books are fantasy, but I enjoy them nonetheless!
A Book of Shadows
This is the number 1 thing I’d recommend for all witches. A Book of Shadows is your personal journal, spellbook, grimoire… whatever you’d like to call it.
I like to keep mine very creative, so I write personal diary entries, recording any Full Moon or New Moon rituals, as well as general witchcraft and astrology information.
A list of things I keep in my Book of Shadows…
- A Calendar of Pagan Holidays.
- Crystal Healing Symbolism.
- Personal Spells & Rituals.
- Herbs and their uses (blog post here).
- Affirmations (blog post here).
- Tracking the moon phases, alongside personal meditations.
Or you could make your own from any notebook. I prefer ones where I can remove the little notebooks inside and replace them. I use the pockets inside for storing any extra cards/rituals I have on separate paper. Some witches use a digital book of shadows or grimoire – there’s no ‘correct’ way! Find what works for you.
There’s nothing like spending time in nature to fuel your witchcraft journey. The Earth is our greatest resource, and it’s important to spend time, in solitude, appreciating her energy.
Environmentalism is important to many witches, including myself. Get yourself involved if possible, and go out to help clear up or plant trees!
Even if you live in a very urban area like I do (London, England), I’m sure you can still find pockets of glorious green space. I adore the parks here, they provide well-needed serenity, and the ability to be present.
Mindfulness and meditation are very important parts of your spiritual journey. Prioritise it!
Witch Casket: A Witchy Subscription Box
If you’re just getting started with witchcraft, or need a little pick-me-up, I cannot recommend Witch Casket enough!
It’s a UK monthly subscription box, filled with rituals, herbs, candles, incense and crystals, curated by some lovely witches. They also include fun little witchy lifestyle gifts like enamel pins, tote bags, and cups, which I always appreciate.
Each monthly box has a coherent theme, for example, love, the moon, or the one pictured here, fire.
Read my full review of Witch Casket here. I’ll make sure to write future blog posts featuring my Witch Caskets!
Witch Cake Candles
I’ve mentioned Holly’s magickal candles on the blog before. They’re powerful, made with crystals, and beautifully illustrated.
She makes candles inspired by goddesses from the Hellenistic pantheon, as well as unique, seasonal candles. So far I have burned Aphrodite and Persephone; Artemis and Hecate are on my wishlist…
You Want To Be a Witch? More Resources
Learn your herbs!
Learn about herbs and/or essential oils for wellness and medicinal use.
I use herbs and incense in my spellwork, as well as candle magick and moon-charged crystals.
I’m also a firm believer in science and ‘mainstream medicine’. You don’t have to shun modern medicine to also use herbal remedies!
My Favourite Witchcraft Blogs & Websites
- Witch of Lupine Hollow.
- Mat Auryn.
- Flying The Hedge.
- The Wild Hunt.
- The Fat Feminist Witch.
- Dwell in Magic. Focused on Self-Care.
My Top 4 Witchcraft Apps
I’ll write up a full blog post about these apps and my favourite features, but for now, here are my top 4 witchy apps.
I use these witchcraft apps to:
- Track moon phases.
- Learn and practice tarot.
- Follow the Wicca calendar and keep track of upcoming Sabbats.
- To follow my horoscope and astrology transits.
You can find all kinds of resources online to help with your witchcraft journey.
Aside from the aforementioned blogs and websites, I enjoy witchcraft content on Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, and yes… even TikTok… occasionally. Make sure not to completely rely on this kind of content. A variety of sources and books is key.
Pinterest, in particular, has a lot of beautiful graphics explaining Moon Phases, Crystals, Rituals, Spells, Pagan Holidays, Supplies, as well as ‘witchy aesthetic’ inspiration.
Check out my Witchcraft Pinterest Board for my curated selection of Witchcraft Resources!
I hope this blog post has helped you if you’re thinking of becoming a witch or need a bit of help in your witchcraft journey.
I’m planning on writing a few blog posts all about how I personally organise my witchcraft supplies, my altar, and inside my book of shadows. Let me know in the comments if you’d like to read any of these!
All the best,
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