What I Wish I’d Known about Being a Witch When I Started

What I Wish I’d Known about Being a Witch When I Started September 21, 2022

I remember the early days of my witch-ventures. I read all the things, all the books, signed up for those mailing lists that sent you pages you could put into a binder, wrote about how I felt about the moon – and much more (now) embarrassing things.

(Heck, I even helped write a college newsletter with a group called the Tri-Pents. I don’t share the magickal name I had then. Oof.)

I thought being a witch looked a certain way, so I tried to be that way. It was hard when being a Witch wasn’t really celebrated in the Midwest. At the same time, I lived in a city that had multiple New Age and witchcraft shops, as well as a few notable witches who sometimes let you in the outer court of their Samhain ritual. (Yep. It was in an attic.)

All of this to say that I wish I hadn’t put so much pressure on myself. I wish I knew a few things — and maybe you need to hear these too.

At the same time, you may not agree with me — and that’s pretty witchy too.

Image by Peggychoucair from Pixabay

You Don’t Need to be a Certain Witch

I don’t care what Buzzfeed says, you don’t have to be a certain kind of Witch. You don’t have to fall neatly into a category of plant witch, cottage witch, vegan witch, etc. You can be a combination of all the things — or just delight in whatever seems like fun at the moment. You can change. Again and again.

You Don’t Need to Know Everything

Now, I’m a big fan of reading books to learn more. (And I have some on my website…) But I was so concerned that I was going to be ‘tested’ or found out that I didn’t know the exact timeline of witchcraft that I stressed out. I hid a lot of my magick for so long because I was afraid that I didn’t know enough. Guess what? More than two decades later, I still don’t know everything. I know what I know at this point and I’m sure I’ll know more in the future. Get out of the race to know ‘everything’ as a Witch.

You Don’t Need a Deity (or to Wait for One to Choose You)

I get it, people who talk about deities are pretty cool. (Ahem.) But if you’re not into deity work or you don’t have one that’s really singing your song, you don’t have to work with one. Really. You are no less of a Witch or a person if you don’t have Aphrodite banging down your door. Metaphorically speaking, of course. You can work with one deity, many deities. None. Only one once in a while. Really, see what works for you.

You Don’t Need Cool Witch Toys

I love stuff. I love fancy new candles. Things that smell good. Pretty new necklaces and rings I only wear in ritual. I love surrounding myself with the accouterments of witchcraft and magick. You don’t need any of it to be a Witch. All you need is yourself and a willingness to suspend disbelief. A curiosity about the world. A desire to know and dare. The rest is a bonus.

You Will Make Mistakes

I mean, yeah. I have made mistakes in rituals (when I completely forgot a song I was supposed to sing and just made something up), in groups (oof), and in my personal work. I have done spells that DID NOT turn out the way I wanted. But I learned from them. I learned about being specific. About knowing what I actually want versus what sounds good. About letting my emotions get in the way and influence things in ways I wish they hadn’t. I wish I’d just felt the feeling and let that be the spell sometimes. It would have changed me and changed my action.

You Will Have Fun (and Frustration) as a Witch

I have met some of the most amazing people through witchcraft. And I have faced group dynamics in all of their…glory. Confusion. Sadness. Power struggles. This is not to say you can’t have fun without a group, but I will say my magick is better for being willing to hold the hands of others. Even if it wasn’t forever.

You Will Keep Learning (and Figure out What Works for YOU)

Thank goodness. Keep following the thread of your desire. Keep following the thread of possibility and wonder. Remember that awe is divine. That being serious is a way, but not the only way.

“Let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and humility, mirth and reverence within you. And you who seek to know Me, know that your seeking and yearning will avail you not, unless you know the Mystery, for if that what you seek, you find not within yourself, you will never find it without. For behold, I have been with you from the beginning, and I am that which is attained at the end of desire.” — Charge of the Goddess excerpt, as written by Starhawk.

What do you wish you’d known?

What do you want to know about? I’m always looking for a blog idea…

And yes, I think this will need to be a multi-part blog since I have already thought of more things…


About Irisanya Moon
Irisanya Moon (she/they) is an author, witch, international teacher, and Reclaiming initiate who has practiced magick for 20+ years. She wrote 7 books (so far), including Pagan Portals (Reclaiming Witchcraft - 2020, Aphrodite - 2020, Iris - 2021, Norns - 2023), Earth Spirit (Honoring the Wild - 2023, Gaia - 2023), and Practically Pagan: An Alternative Guide to Health & Well-being - 2020. Irisanya cultivates spaces of self-care/devotion, divine relationship (whatever that means to you), and community service as part of her heart magick and activism. You can read more about the author here.
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