How to Become a Witch

If you have a broom and a black cat, are you a witch? Witchcraft has its basis in many different philosophies and beliefs. If you want to become a witch, you might want to familiarize yourself with what a witch is, decide on the path that you want to take, and connect with your higher self and divine energy so that you can make magic.

What Is a Witch?

The dictionary definition of a witch is “a person, now especially a woman, who professes or is supposed to practice magic or sorcery.” Some synonyms for a witch include:

  • Enchantress
  • Sorceress
  • Occultist
  • Conjurer

Witchcraft is a practice that draws on someone’s ability to make magic. However, there are many different definitions and connotations of witchcraft. Since ancient times, many cultures have folklore, legends, myths, and stories that involve strong women who used their superpowers to influence the world around them.

Every society has been affected by wise women and healers. However, early Christians in Europe believed that witches were evil. They thought that these people, who could make magic, were doing the Devil’s work. Witch hysteria continued into the New World. Most people are familiar with the Salem witch trials of the late 1600s and other executions of witches in the 13 colonies in the early 1700s.

But there are many forms of witchcraft, and the practice doesn’t have anything to do with the Devil or evil deeds. Most contemporary types of witchcraft are intertwined with faith in the energy of nature and a relationship to unseen powers.

Although witches don’t necessarily follow a particular religion, there is a great deal of spiritual power incorporated in the concept of witchcraft. The art of magic is also related to quantum physics. Therefore, you might say that witchcraft is an awareness and manipulation of spirit, science, and energy.

Ultimately, witchcraft—and any religion—is about finding yourself. If you believe in a higher power or a divine force, you know that you are part of the universe. However, you are connected to everything; you are not separate. Therefore, witchcraft is another way to discover yourself and experience a journey of interconnection with nature, the universe, and the divine.

Why would you want to become a witch? As more people are connecting with their ancestors and lineage, they’re finding that they are related to people who practiced witchcraft. Taking on the practice can help individuals carry on family and cultural traditions.

Also, tapping into unseen and unheard energies can help you feel more connected within the universe. Many people are sensitive to these esoteric energies and don’t even realize it. Have you ever had a gut feeling or heard a sound that wasn’t really there?

These experiences are indicators of sensations that go beyond the physical. Witchcraft is a way to make sense of those experiences and better understand the world and your past, present, and future.

Types of Witchcraft

Understanding the different types of witchcraft can help you decide what kind of witch you’d like to be.


Paganism is a religion that is closely associated with witchcraft. Although many people think that Paganism refers to a single religion, it doesn’t. It is an umbrella term for several different faiths that are based in nature and celebrating the Earth.

Originally, the term “Pagan” was used to describe the people who lived in rural areas and didn’t subscribe to the traditional Judeo-Christian religions. Most Pagans believed in more than one god, which didn’t fit the mold of traditional religions. Therefore, many Pagans were misunderstood or cast out by society.

However, Pagans didn’t refer to themselves as such. The term was initially used in a derogatory manner to refer to the country folk who didn’t follow mainstream religion. Pagans didn’t have a set group of rules or guidelines for their rituals. Therefore, many Christians believed that they were heathens or witches.

Contemporary Pagans, called Neo-Pagans, believe that the Earth is sacred and revere nature. All Pagans do not practice witchcraft, though. Also, some people who don’t understand the Pagan religion may view some of the rituals as “witchy” just because they don’t understand them.

For example, Pagans may believe that herbs and other plants have energetic powers. Pagans may access sources of spiritual knowledge, such as Tarot cards or runes, to connect with the divine. They may also perform rituals such as calling in an intention during a particular moon phase.

In Paganism, magic is often spelled “magick.” The term refers to a spiritual practice that creates change. It’s similar to meditation or prayer in that magick involves setting an intention and raising your energy to call in that intention.

Magick is contrasted with magic, which refers to illusion and trickery. Magick is not a gimmick, but it’s a deep way of living out your faith.

Much of the magick that Pagans perform has to do with the Law of Attraction, which is not much different than the “do unto others as you would like done to you” principle that is touted in many mainstream religions.

Those who are cruel attract cruelty. Those who are kind attract kindness. In this sense, Paganism isn’t that different from mainstream religions, and its magick is essentially a concept that’s based on meditation, visualization, using the imagination, and setting intentions.

The beauty of Paganism is that it is highly personal. There are no specific creeds or dogmas associated with Paganism. You can learn more about it and tailor the knowledge that you gain to your specific experience.


Wicca is a branch of Paganism that is usually associated with witchcraft. It’s an official religion in the U.S. and Canada.

All Pagans are not Wiccans, but all Wiccans are Pagans. Although Wicca is based on ancient principles, it’s a relatively new religion. Gerald Gardner founded Wicca in the 1950s with roots in Western European Pagan rites.

Wicca is a polytheistic religion. Its followers believe in more than one god or goddess. Wiccans do not believe in the Devil. In fact, to be a member of the Wicca religion, you must swear an oath to do no harm.

However, many Wiccans believe in magic (or magick). Their view is that magick is a natural law that may be seen, felt, or experienced. It’s not supernatural, but it’s as natural as the wind or the growth of a seed into a blossoming plant.

Ceremonial Magic

Ceremonial magic pulls its roots from Western esotericism and Hermeticism. There have been many groups under this umbrella over the centuries. Most of them combined Pagan, Christian, and Kabbalah philosophies in some manner. Esotericism is often called “occultism.”

Esotericism isn’t a religion or philosophy. Instead, it is a term that scholars have used to lump people who believed in alternative spiritual practices together. All religions have an aspect of esotericism to them. However, many groups developed secret teachings, rituals, and ceremonies, passing them along through mystery schools and oral tradition.

Sometimes, ceremonial magic is seen as a contrast to natural magic. Whereas natural magic involves the study of the way that the world works, in all of its mystery and glory, ceremonial magic has to do with the spirit world. There is some overlap, and you can certainly practice both types of magic.

One of the most popular groups that practiced ceremonial magic is the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. This was a secret society that adopted occult, metaphysical, and paranormal practices aimed at personal and spiritual development.

The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn inspired many of the rituals and ceremonies that were adopted by other philosophies, such as Wicca. If you want to cast spells or perform specific rituals, you can find a great deal of information about such topics online. However, some say that true ceremonial magic is secret, and practitioners can only uncover the full information through training and induction into a particular group.


Brujería is the Spanish term for “witchcraft.” The word is used to describe magical practices that are conducted by people of Caribbean or Latin American traditions. Some people lump Voodoo and Santería under this umbrella term. However, others say that those religions are distinct from Brujería.

Still, like Santería, many Brujería practices are derived from Catholic tradition as well as herbalism and the worship of deities. But, like many forms of witchcraft, Brujería is often associated with evil deeds. In some societies, if a child disappears or an individual comes down with a disease that doctors can’t cure, people blame the Brujas.

Solitary Magic

Some people don’t want to practice with a group or be tied to a particular philosophy. You can be a witch or a seeker of magick without adhering to a prescribed set of beliefs. The witch who operates alone is often said to practice solitary magic.

This path is often attractive to people who:

  • Are drawn to crystals
  • Appreciate the natural world
  • Have an active imagination
  • Sense things that they can’t explain rationally
  • Are magnetized by stories of wise women in myths and folklore

What Can Witches Do?

To be a witch, you don’t necessarily have to take part in any of the activities that we describe below. At the simplest level, witches do sacred work. In other words, they take meaningful action that goes beyond the physical and the ego to tap into other energies.

The practice of witchcraft can take many forms. We have included some of the aspects of occult studies that you might want to look into if you’re wondering how to become a witch.

Cast Spells

One of the most common witchy activities is spellcasting. To cast a spell, you don’t necessarily need a variety of eclectic items. You certainly don’t need a cauldron, eye of newt, or blood.

Spellcasting basically means setting an intention and connecting with the divine to see it come to fruition. If you have ever said a prayer, you have been involved in spellcasting. When you say a prayer, you set an intention and reach out to the divine in hopes of seeing change happen.

Witches believe that everything you want already exists in the universe. Asking for what you want allows you to magnetize that energy to you so that it becomes known on a physical plane.

Conjure the Dead

Necromancy is the practice that conjures the dead. People who practice necromancy can communicate with the spirits of the deceased. They often do this to foretell the future or gain wisdom. Almost every ancient civilization practiced necromancy in some form.

Because witches work with energy, it makes sense that they could connect with the energy of other humans, whether they’re dead or alive. However, some believe that necromancy is the practice of black magic.

But necromancy isn’t evil. Many Christian religions believe that it is, but they also consider any supernatural activity to be a sin because it goes against the idea that God is the only power that can work with that type of energy.

As long as you are working with energy for good and not for evil, malicious, selfish intents, you are not practicing black magic.


Casting spells and conjuring the dead are examples of rituals. A witch can perform a wide number of rituals, though, and they don’t all have to do with invoking spirits.

Many rituals are used for celebration. For example, Pagans and Wiccans may gather at the change of seasons, passing of a loved one, or wedding to worship with one another, honor gods and goddesses, and hail nature’s cycles.

Rituals can be as elaborate or as simple as you’d like. You can light a candle and offer gratitude or set up an ornate altar, recite chants, and dance under the light of the moon.

All rituals should involve the opening of sacred space. To do this, you might want to smudge the space and anyone involved with sage or another purifying herb or create an energetic boundary in the form of a circle.


Astrology is a system that looks at celestial bodies to gain an understanding of the energies that are active in the physical realm. Although astrology is considered a pseudo-science, many great thinkers, such as Copernicus and Jung, practiced astrology.


Animism is the conviction that everything, including plants, places, acts of nature, and material objects, has a spirit. Many ancient cultures believed in animism. That’s why they held rituals to celebrate the seasons and honor their sources of survival, such as the spirits of food, shelter, and fertility.

A green witch works with plants and herbs. Many Neo-Pagans believe in fairies and nature spirits.

You don’t have to work with spirits to hone your craft. However, some argue that any time you’re working with energy, such as in spellcasting, you’re working with spirits.


Wiccans, Pagans, and other witches commonly use divination as a magical practice. Divination typically involves using tools, such as tea leaves, runes, tarot cards, crystal balls, candles, the lines on someone’s hand, or pendulums to gain wisdom and answers.

One of the myths about divination is that it is fortune-telling. Divination doesn’t always allow witches to see the future. It is a way to engage with divine energy to offer guidance. You always have free will.

Practices to Help You Become a Witch

Becoming a witch can be overwhelming. There are so many avenues to take, and you’ll either get a great deal of advice or a lot of cynicism if you share your plight with others. There is not a singular way to move forward on this journey. However, taking the steps below may prevent you from getting overwhelmed and allow you to work at your own pace.

Educate Yourself

Learning about the various types of witchcraft can give you more understanding of what is possible. Witchcraft and magick are similar to many religions in that if you can get past the specific terms and labels, you may find that they revolve around similar concepts.

Therefore, educate yourself with an open mind. Some types of witchcraft and some witches claim that you have to follow specific rules. Others give you more leeway.

There are many paths and traditions that can help you become a witch. Ultimately, the type of witchcraft that you practice, and the level of adherence to dogma is up to you. Be aware that certain subsets of religions and philosophies that incorporate witchcraft do require you to undergo an initiation to join.

However, be careful when it comes to indoctrinating yourself to a certain path. There are many institutions and organizations that prey on people who are seeking to find themselves on the occult path. It’s often better to learn on your own than to pay a hefty fee to learn from someone else.

Remember that you can draw what resonates with you from everything you read. It’s ok to question certain philosophies. If you don’t relate to something, ask yourself why. Build up your library of reference books, and look at becoming a witch as a study that will guide you along your path.

Create Sacred Space

Create a space, preferably in your home, where you can practice without distraction. You might want to designate this as a place that can hold any tools that you use for your craft. However, buying things does not make you a witch. You don’t need an arsenal of crystals, candles, and incense to practice witchcraft.

As you learn, however, you might collect resources that speak to you. You might find that you’re drawn to a particular herb or crystal. If you’re meant to use it at this phase in your journey, you’ll be guided toward how to apply it.

Don’t worry about stocking up or learning about a variety of different tools. Just begin by creating your space and spending time in it.

Some people do like to burn incense or herbs to purify their space. That’s fine if it’s something that you’d like to practice.

Come back to your space regularly. Meditate in it. Journal in it. Read books about witchcraft while you’re there. As you create a relationship with this space, it will take on more meaning and respond to your witchy energy.

You’ll also notice that you naturally develop rituals while spending time in this space. Again, your rituals don’t have to be over-the-top. Simply sitting with a crystal in your hand or gazing at a candle flame could be a ritual that you start with.


As you work with the energy of the universe, you’ll start to become more sensitive to it. However, you often need to turn off the chatter in your mind and tune into your intuition to connect with those energies. That’s why meditation and other methods of quieting your mind are so important.

Give yourself time to listen every day. That doesn’t mean that you should only use your ears. Tune all of your senses toward an awareness practice. Observe the world around you. Notice what’s going on in your head.

We’re so used to stimulating our physical senses that we don’t often notice what’s actually going on internally or externally. When we do, we often judge it. You might be aware that something is painful or pleasurable. You label it as good or bad.

It’s a good idea to practice turning off those judgments. You might say something such as, “Well, isn’t that interesting” instead of reacting to an observation with an instantaneous opinion.

This applies to the stuff that goes on in your mind, too. Many witches worry that they’re “making it all up.” Your imagination is an essential part of any spirituality. It’s the doorway between worlds. Use your imagination, and have faith that the messages that you receive are meant for you.


No matter what path you take, keep practicing. You don’t necessarily need someone to show you what to do. There is no right or wrong way to practice magic. Have faith in yourself and divine guidance. It’s easy to doubt when we live in a secular society that has shunned witchcraft for centuries. The more you connect with your inner wisdom and power, the more confidence you’ll have that your witchery is working.

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