What does this God/ess want from me?
Am I on the right path?
What steps am I supposed to take next to honor the gifts I have?
Witchcraft is complicated and confusing…
which is why so many Witchcraft books are getting published these days. People are looking for direction. Witches with some amount of experience put together what they know and offer it in the hopes that they will help people because they too were once lost and confused. The books are meant to help.
Sometimes, though, it seems that the availability of so many resources, while wonderful in many ways, can also mean more confusion to the already confused.
I don’t know where this pressure comes from, but it seems to hit newbie Witches even harder than it hit me and other ancient Witches, when we first got started.
It seems that whenever I give a talk on my work, at least one person will ask some sort of variety of a question: Am I doing this right?
The short answer: I don’t know.
The longer answer: Nobody does.
Witchcraft is a mystery. It will always feel a bit elusive. The best Witches I know are the ones who practice their craft, confident in their knowledge of certain things (like herbs or astrology or crystals), while also embracing the ever present not-knowing. Most Witches, especially the most experienced ones, suffer at least a little bit from that imposter-syndrome, in which they wonder if they should be doing something different.
I deal with that all the time.
I’m deep into writing a book on Hekate and her influence on modern Witchcraft, all the while wondering if I should be working on something that reflects my own ancestral roots: Slavic Paganism, Appalachian rootwork, or more exploration into the Celtic Pantheon? I’ve never studied with a formal tradition. Is it time to start? If so, which one? Shouldn’t I get my astrological knowledge in better shape? That’s what my clients are often asking about anyway….should I be doing something different???
There is so much to learn in this lifetime, whether it’s about Witchcraft or not.
I thought I would read all of the unread books in our house over this calendar year and I’ve barely made a dent (helped in no part by the fact that I went out and bought a bunch more and have also been hitting up our local library pretty frequently).
Some people pursue many different initiations in many different traditions. Others don’t. We are all bombarded with that ever-present advice: Just do what works for you… It’s good advice. And it’s true.
But what do you do when you don’t know what’s right for you?
The liberating, and frustrating, truth is that you don’t have to know. In fact, you’ll probably never wholly know. There will always be a deeper level of mystery, which will always leave you feeling like you’re not quite “there.” Whether or not that’s okay is beside the point. It simply is what it is!
- Aren’t sure if the path you’re on is the right one
- Aren’t sure if any path is calling to you
- Aren’t sure if the god or goddess who is talking to you is the god or goddess that you think might be talking to you
- Are super-frustrated by it all…or super confused
Just be frustrated or confused for a while.
It’s fine to feel that way. In fact, it’s part of the journey. Just don’t let those things turn you away from Magick all together.
Keep reading. Keep trying different things. If you’ve started on a line of study, follow it through until you get to a natural stopping point (such as after a certain line of classes or a specific initiation), even if you’re getting bored or just aren’t sure. A certain level of boredom or uncertainty is part of the process. Eventually, it gives way to deeper understanding and joy.
This is different than getting the sense that something is really wrong. Be careful to note the difference between being unsure and knowing in your gut that you’re in the wrong place or doing the wrong work.
Most of all, know that if you don’t know, you’re not doing something wrong.
Accept uncertainty as part of the process.
And keep going.