I get quite a few questions over on my Instagram account. One that I get quite often is “How do I know what type of Witch (or magical practitioner) I am?” Certainly, this can be a difficult question to answer for many upon the crooked path. Especially, if you are brand-new to Witchcraft or the Magical Community. There is a flood of information on the web, on social media, and at the bookstore. This can lead to confusion and frustration. So where do you start? How do you find what type of magic and witchcraft is right for you?
Many years ago, at the beginning of my conscious Witch path, witchcraft was still considered taboo in many places. Even here in the U.S. and especially in the South. Just to claim the word Witch was a really big deal for some people (including me). However, what type of Witch I was, never really crossed my mind. There was not being a witch, and then there was being a witch. Time passes and with it, Witchcraft evolved. Now the question isn’t whether you are a witch or not, but what kind. To be honest, I love that we have evolved and that we are still evolving and growing.
So, in the case of my own witch history, I was an initiated witch long before I knew what type of witch I was. It was after many years of practice that I looked back and I could see patterns, places where I leaned, and one specific common denominator, water. So, for me, it made sense. I was a Water Witch and Water Priestess. I also had a strong draw to Avalon and my practice revolves around the Celtic Water Mysteries (which are vast and varied) and so I also identify as an Avalonian.
Looking back at my practice, I found that most of my rituals were at the water, focused on water, or were near water. Many of my pivotal rituals took place on the seashore or near water. As a child, I also spent much of my time in the water. Ocean, Spring, River, and Swamp were my home. If there was water, I was in it. The spirits and deities that I was drawn to, or that called me all had one connection… water.
When it came to finding my way to Avalon, I never searched it out. Avalon found me and called me home. I remember hearing the word for the first time and every fiber of my being just said “Yes”. I had no idea what it was, but I somehow just knew this was the path for me. You can also have more than one specialty or path. My own magical practice is 3-fold. I am a Water Witch, Water Priestess, and an Avalonian. They all overlap, there is no defining boundary between them. So, when considering your path don’t get too hung up on being one particular type of witch. You can walk a few magical paths at a time (I do believe they should parallel or be complimentary).
You do not need to be a hereditary witch to start. You can absolutely be a first-generation witch. In fact, a strong majority of us are first-generation. I remember being dumbstruck when I met my first 2nd generation, adult witch. In my witchling days, it was pretty rare. Now, things are much different! So don’t be intimidated if you are the first generation. For the majority of us, we only have 2-3 generations in our family. Though there are exceptions, it is certainly not the rule.
Now, all that being said you may have inherited certain magical or psychic gifts. Though, again this is not necessary. Having psychic gifts doesn’t even make you a witch, but it certainly can help you in your magic. We all have natural leanings or abilities. We see this in the mundane/physical world. Some people are good at math, others at painting, and still others dancing. We are all different, so our magic will be as well. Even those in the same coven or tradition that follow the same path are not on the same exact path, but parallel paths.
I hope knowing a little about how I became a Water Witch will help you discover your own particular genera. Once you have established that you are a witch, begin practicing. Practice as much as you can with many different types of magic and ritual. In short, explore and practice everything. While you are doing this keep a journal. Write down what you loved and what you hated. Be sure to make notes on spells and rituals that were successful and others that failed.
Sometimes your work will fail for various reasons. Failing at a candle spell doesn’t mean you aren’t a Fire Witch. However, when you look at your spell work over a long period of time and you see that every prosperity spell you cast turned bad real fast and every love spell you cast worked too good, then you will have a clue as to where your natural talents lie. Now, I will say that if every prosperity spell you cast turns up bad it would be best to keep practicing and to perhaps look at some other aspects of your life. It is always important to be a well-rounded witch. So be sure to put in extra practice on those things you aren’t that great at. Just because you fail at it doesn’t mean you should walk away from it. My point is that you are going to find things you are good at and things you love, pay attention to that!
I also want to caution you about searching out and forcing yourself into a particular path. It is quite possible you are just a well-rounded witch. It is also possible that you may be a Ceremonial Witch, a Folk Witch, Elemental Witch etc. You may be a type of witch yet to be discovered or even recognized. It took many years of hard work to get “Water Witch” recognized as an actual path and still some like to cut us down or dismiss us. So, if you can’t find a label, that is ok too!
I think it is also important to remember that you don’t have to fit yourself into a box if you don’t want to. You may find out that you do fit into a certain box and it will still be your choice as to if that is your path or not. You may also find over time you change, and that is ok too. You don’t want to put limitations on your path or your craft. So, if you do choose a label, be sure that it is flexible!
With all that in mind here are a few journal prompts for you to explore your path. Below the journal prompts, is an outline for a vision journey you can take at your home altar (or in nature) I have only bullet-pointed each point on the journey so you can easily remember and find your way.
- What do I love to practice right now?
- What practices feel natural?
- What practices feel uncomfortable or foreign?
- What rituals have left you feeling unsettled or unhappy? Can you find a connection between these? Were they all one particular style? Pantheon? Or theme?
- Do you lean more towards crystals or bones?
- How do you feel about plants?
- Do you already have a collection of strange things? What are they and are they somehow related?
- What type of divination are you naturally good at? What type do you like?
- What is your favorite element(s)?
- What connects your practice?
- Where is your practice disconnected?
- What do you feel is missing?
- Where can you strengthen your practice?
Pathfinding meditation outline.
- Be sure to start by grounding and focusing on your breath.
- Enter into the Vision Journey the way you usually would.
- To do this you will want to visualize yourself walking down a path.
- After some time, you come to a point in the road where it forks in many different directions.
- As you observe these paths you see in front of you a signpost with signs pointing to all the different roads.
- What do the signs say?
- Which one is the biggest?
- Which one feels the most distant?
- Which one do you want to take?
- Which one scares you?
- Which one jumps out at you?
- Are any hidden?
- What does the road look like down that particular path?
- Pick one path and walk down it. Start to explore what you see on the path. What comes up for you? What do you see? How do you feel?
- When you are done, return to the road sign and return the way you came and come back into this time and place.
You can take this vision journey many times. Each time pick a different road that seems appealing and see what comes through for you.
You may also wish to check out this brand new book by Lidia Pradas. It is a fun guide to explore some of the diverse Witch Paths out there! https://www.amazon.com/Path-Witch-Rituals-Practices-Discovering/dp/1589239830