Simple Witchery: Don’t Be That Witch

Simple Witchery: Don’t Be That Witch January 2, 2024

As an elder witch, I try not to let little things bother me. I’m too old to be wasting my energy and squandering my power. Still, there are a few things I see in my wanderings around witch spaces that poke at my peaceful composure like a devil with a pitchfork.

Here’s my trifecta of behaviors to banish if you want to advance in your craft, increase your power and just be a really cool witch.

Ditch the dark and dangerous witch stereotype. Public domain image by Victoria via Pixabay.

You’re a  Witch – with a W

It’s not spelled with a B. You know the witch I’m talking about, who never misses an opportunity to tell everybody how dark, devious and dangerous she is. “Mess with me at your own risk.”

These witches use aggressive language meant to intimidate and dismiss others. In the worst case, they humiliate and bully with insults. They look for weak spots to poke a stick in, before somebody can expose their gaping wounds. They are the mean girls of the witching realms. Either you follow their lead unquestioningly, or you can hit the road.

In social media groups, they manifest as one of two demagogues—the administrator who brags about how easily they banish members from the group for even the hint of an infraction, or the member who flounces out in a self righteous huff over some perceived slight, leaving a dire warning behind.

There is a vast chasm between power of and power over. One is self control, the other is abusive control. The self-proclaimed badass witch is on an ego trip with the shadow sitting in the driver’s seat, large and in charge. They are on their own journey.

Don’t diminish your power by calling yourself a baby witch. Public domain image by behrouz sasani via UnSplash.

You’re Not a Baby Witch

I’m pretty sure I never used the term baby witch for myself, even in my earliest explorations into the craft. Nor do I apply it to others. If any witch self-identifies as a baby witch, so be it, but I refuse to reinforce that infantilizing characterization.

Babies are helpless, in need of total care and nurturing from the adults around them. While their brains are little sponges ready to absorb any new information, the information they are capable of processing is rudimentary. I don’t devalue the beauty in that very basic learning process, but there is a difference between learning how to drink from a cup, and understanding the symbology and use of the chalice in ritual. The first is the task of a baby, the second is the work of a novice seeker.

Perhaps more importantly, the term baby witch denies novice witches personal agency, as Sidney Eileen explains in Words Have Power – Why “Baby Witch” Is Problematic.

Words definitely have power. Just think about that for a moment—if we don’t believe in the power of words, then what good are spoken spells? The words you use make a difference. The word you choose to define yourself creates an energy. Do you really want to be a baby?

If you’re new to the craft, just dipping your toe into the magickal waters, there are better descriptors you can choose. You are a seeker, a novice, a newbie or a beginner. You are not a baby.

Your ability to manifest desires depends on the work you put into your craft. Public domain image sourced by the author from Mystic Stock Shop.

Don’t Be A Lazy Witch

There’s a difference between simplifying your witchcraft, and just being too lazy to do the work.  As Gretchen Little said in Embracing Imperfect Witchcraft, “I believe it’s (witchcraft is) less about following rules and more about how much time you’ve spent on cultivating your personal power.” That same belief is what set me on the path of Simple Witchery.

We’ve all encountered the lazy witch. They ask for a spell to do this or that, they want to know what they can do with an herb they have, or wonder if everything they see is a sign. And it seems they all want to know how they can vex or hex someone who has done them wrong.

Of course, if you are in any witch groups (online or in person) it’s okay to ask questions. Most experienced or elder witches are happy to guide you, but don’t expect them to do your homework for you. Effort and Experience = Efficacy. Your ability to achieve a desired result is in direct relation to the work you put into it.

Lets look at if a different way. Growing up in a family that embraced mainstream Christian religion, I often heard the adage, God helps those who help themselves. The secular equivalent is, the results you get are equivalent to the effort you put in. For an example, you can’t pray to god for a job, or if not praying then hope for a job, but just sit around and do nothing to get a job. Okay, once in a while, somebody might come along of the blue with a job offer, but most often, we have to make the effort to seek and apply for work.

Likewise witchcraft cannot do for you what you won’t do for yourself. And just like the miraculous job that drops into your lap, you might have some hit and miss success with your lazy witchcraft, but you’ll never really grow in your power.

The most important component for manifesting your desire, is the personal energy you put into attracting it. When I put time and effort into researching what herb best serves my purpose, when I look for examples, but still craft my own spell, when I stop relying on others’ interpretations and ask myself why a particular rock on a beach full of similar stones might be a sign, I’m building that cache of energy that goes into the final working. Over the years, that energy is stored, and like a battery, it charges all the magick I do.

The bottom line is you can be a dabbler, or you can become an adept. By definition, a dabbler is an amateur, trifler or tinker—one who isn’t seriously committed to the practice at hand. A dabbler doesn’t put forth sustained effort and tends to pick and choose the easier or more dramatic aspects of the craft for their practice.

A group can offer support for new witches. Public domain image by Sierra Koder via UnSplash.

A group can offer support and be a place for fun and companionship for new witches, bon’t rely on witch groups, especially online, for your primary source of information. You may find that there are dozens of witches more than willing to answer all your questions, some in great detail, but you don’t know who they are, you don’t know if their information is from practice and experience, or something they just googled. And in many cases, you could end up more confused by all of the conflicting advice.

A good mentor will tell you where to look for answers. If you’re inquiring what herb helps with increasing luck they might suggest you look at mint, or cinnamon. When you do this, you’ll probably notice there are a few others consistently mentioned and that each one has a slightly different nuance—to attract general prosperity, increase wealth, or support health. You’ll learn what herbs you can use interchangeably, depending on what you have available. All of this is charging your witch battery.

There’s a mistaken notion among younger witches, that elders don’t want to share their knowledge. Or that because it was so much harder for us — we didn’t have the internet, and the few books that were available were hard to obtain — that we want it to be hard for them too.

Far from it. Like the stories of Baba Yaga and Vasilisa The Beautiful (or Brave), the crone witch knows that the real magick is in what you learn, not what you are told.


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About Willow Rose
Willow Rose is a writer, artist and wildcraft witch living in northern WI. After more than 30 years of practicing and exploring many paths, she is distilling her magic to its purest form—practical magic for everyday enchantment. You can read more about the author here.
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