In Witchcraft parlance, we often refer to the new students as Seekers. No, we don’t mean a player on our Hogwarts Quidditch team. So, what is a real witch seeker? By my definition, a seeker is awake. They intuitively know there is a deeper mystery that lies just beyond the obvious–they can feeeeel it–but they are still trying to figure out what to do about it. A seeker actively pursues answers to the biggest spiritual questions: What is the point? What is my purpose here? How can I get in on the action?
A Seeker of Witchcraft
A seeker of witchcraft is thrilled to discover that our answers match what they already instinctively knew. They choose to actively walk the path of the witch, and by gods, they won’t be dissuaded, no matter what it costs them, no matter how scary that seems.
As there are so many different cultural flavors, styes and traditions of the Craft, they’ll also be seeking just the right books, group and teachers that click with them. They may have to “seek” with several groups, before dedicating to the deep work of a particular program.
I went through the seeker phase with three different teaching covens in my day. I either withdrew because they weren’t a right fit for me, or I was rejected for clearly not being right for them. Clear discernment on all our parts was a blessing. Just namaste away. However, don’t give up seeking for the right group, because the perfect fit is out there waiting for you…eventually.
Witchcraft is for anybody, but not everybody
As far as I’m concerned, a Seeker of Witchcraft can be any sex, gender identity, or sexual preference; any age, any tax bracket, of any race, from any heritage, any creed, or any nation… Frankly, an alien from a distance star-system could show up, and still be just as likely to be a witch in my books.
Witchcraft is an open door of possibility to anybody, but it will likely only resonate with a select few. That doesn’t make the path of witchcraft any more valid or less valid than other paths; it just suits a particularly wyrd taste that won’t be palatable to everyone. Much of the time, it is the bitter pill that is tough to swallow, but for some reason we keep coming back for more. Which is why I believe that Witchcraft is an orientation.
So, Witchcraft is your thing. Now what?
Ok. You read the intro books. And there was a thing you tried… Now, OH.DEAR.GODS.YOU.WANT.MORE. You are bound and determined to seek real training with a real teacher and you are banging on the proverbial door to let you in. Finding legit witchcraft training programs can be a challenge. Now what?
Witchery happens in its own, correct time, and not a moment before. If you are having a hard time finding the right coven (or any coven) maybe there is a bigger cosmic reason for those impediments. Before you can dedicate to that level of training in earnest, ask yourself if you’ve laid adequate foundation stones to support that mission.
Prerequisites for Witchcraft Training
Before you make the leap into a training program, there is plenty of preliminary personal work to keep a seeker moving in the right direction:
Witchcraft training is intense, my people. Anyone who tells you otherwise is likely selling something that you don’t want. In order to succeed at the more advanced spiritual skills of Witchcraft, you’ll need to be well-balanced on the more down-to-earth levels, first. Eventually you will discover that to those of us who *are* witches, witchcraft *is* life. There are no exclusions, no separation between the sacred and the profane, the magickal and the mundane; it’s all Spirit. So the first work of witchcraft set before you right now is practical.
Are you yet physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially stable enough to utilize the witchcraft teachings? Start at the root chakra and work your way up. Until you’ve figured out balance in the bottom four chakras, you aren’t yet ready for the abilities and insights of of top three chakras.
#1 Physical Sovereignty: Root Chakra
Are you physically healthy, secure, independent? Do you currently have the resources you need to survive and thrive, with enough left-over time in your day to study and meditate? Witchcraft is a demanding pursuit that takes time and attention. Do you have enough of those resources to spare?
Do you have the education you need to do the paying work you’d like to do, that will put food on your own table, and a roof over your own head? Witchcraft demands radical sovereignty…that means you are authentically in charge of yourself. That can be a lifelong process, but before you jump head-first down the rabbit hole, ask if you are sufficiently sovereign in your life, such that you aren’t controlled by someone else for your survival. Can you be authentic about your witchery without fear of reprisal?
For example, is there is a parent or spouse with the power and inclination to physically harm you if you don’t conform to their life-choices? The witchcraft set before you FIRST is to remove yourself from their sway. When we ask for the initiation into our Witching Sovereignty, all that impedes us will suddenly get up in our faces to be dealt with. Much bullshit will be stripped away. Better to deal with it on your own terms and time-table.
Moreover, there are obligations that come with coven life. Will you be able to contribute in a fair and equitable way in exchange for your training? You’ve got to have some skin in the game; you’ll never properly appreciate a free hand-out.
#2 Set your Moral Compass: Sacral ChakraThe goal of most esoteric philosophies is to “Know Thyself.” Do you know yet who you are and what you want? Do you know what you like? What you don’t like? How will you know unless you explore the possibilities? “All acts of love and pleasure are my rituals, (1)” the Goddess tells us in her Charge.
You know how old folks will say to “sow your wild oats” before you settle down? As an old folk, I’m here to tell you it is good advice, just don’t be an irresponsible asshole about it. Figure out what (healthy, beneficial) things you enjoy about life, what is important to you, what is sacrosanct, and then go do the things. For example, explore your sexuality, try different foods, styles of dancing, art, culture, hobbies and music. Develop your personal style. Read. Travel.
Passivity is hardly a witching trait; explore politics and ideas, know where you stand on important issues – beyond just your own back-yard. Become a person of strong character. In this way, you calibrate your moral compass based on diverse experiences, and will have an opportunity to put it to good use.
We spend so much of our lives defining who we are NOT: I am not a child; I am not my parent’s religion; I am not a victim; I am not (insert whatever box someone tried to shove you into.) That phase is necessary for differentiation and separation from our upbringing, but you’ve got to get to the other side, and start living in the “I am…” I am an adult; I am a witch; I am a survivor; I am (whatever beautiful identity you want to be.)
Most importantly, work on cultivating supportive friendships. Witchcraft ultimately is about building relationships with both seen and unseen powers to create a world we enjoy living in. If you can’t work well with people, what chance do you have at working well with the Gods?
#3 Sacred Mission: Solar Plexis Chakra
Does what you do with your time and energy even remotely resemble what your Highest Divine Will came here to accomplish? First things first, figure out your sacred mission. Usually people gravitate towards that work and buckle down around the time of their first Saturn Return, age 27-30 sometime. In this article on Astro Style they call it your “Cosmic Rite of Passage.”
“Saturn takes approximately 29.5 years to complete one full orbit around the Sun and literally return to the same zodiac sign it was in when you were born. The first Saturn Return, which can happen between ages 27 and 30, is… a rite of passage welcoming you into your more mature role here on Earth…We often see people finding careers that match the zodiac sign their Saturn is in.” source
Folks who go ahead and dig into the work that fulfills their sacred mission will be the ones least disrupted by their Saturn return. It is a straight road to happiness, too. Therefore, a smart prerequisite to Witchcraft training, is to dig into your Astrological Natal chart. Look at what sign and house was Saturn in when you were born? That’ll point you in the right direction.
Sticking to old tired guns that never served your Highest Divine Will is just delayed misery. At 28 years old, I left behind the profession that I spent 10 years, and countless resources, to achieve. Without even looking at my chart, I eventually wandered into the exact profession it says I’m supposed to be doing. It was absolutely the best decision to make the switch; I only wish I’d figured that out sooner.
#4 Interconnection: Heart Chakra
All of my witchcraft is based in the heart space. My paradigm begins and ends with Divine Love. To awaken from the coma of the divisive, self-loathing, dog-eat-dog material world, into the enlightenment of the Craft is to realize that we are interconnected with every one and everything in the cosmos. This is way more than “Love Thy Neighbor.” Witchcraft helps us realize that “my neighbors and I are One; we are Divine Love.”
If you are still bound in fear, jealousy, hate or resentment of whomever you still identify as others; if you are still motivated by revenge, or seeking power to exploit nature for your gain; if you are still deluded by some notion of superiority or entitlement, then you aren’t yet ready for Witchcraft.
Until you’ve matured beyond the selfish, reactionary, narcissistic stages of childhood, into a responsible adult who is willing to lay their ego aside and get their hands dirty in service to the interconnected community, then you aren’t yet ready for the keys to the arsenal. Witchcraft is a team sport, so go forth and become an MVP.(2)
Moreover, loving and respecting yourself is the most important prerequisite for successful magickal work. Whatever you believe about yourself deep down in your sub-conscious is exactly what your magick will reinforce, so make sure it is something good! Check out my article: You are What You Believe, for more on that.
“And you who think to seek Her, know your seeking and yearning will avail you not unless you know the mystery; that if that which you seek you find not within yourself, then you will never find it without. For behold, She has been with you from the beginning; and She is that which is attained at the end of desire.” (1)
The Moral of the Story:
I’m not suggesting that you delay training if it is right there available to you. However, to build a strong house, you start with carefully laid foundations. If you are a witch, everything you do in your life is witchcraft. You’ve figured out the secret: what you are looking for starts with you. If you want to eventually level up into effective psychic, magickal and spiritual work, you have to start by becoming a strong, balanced, informed, healthy person who loves yourself, and plays well with others. Start at the root, and work your way up. When the time is right, the right teacher, training program or coven will reveal itself to you like magick. Until then, don’t waste your time.
“Keep pure your highest ideal; strive ever towards it; let naught stop you or turn you aside. .” (1)
In Perfect Love and Trust,
1. The Charge of the Goddess, Dorreen Valiente, Sacred-texts.com
2. Yes, a team sport, even if you never meet another human witch in your life. The Craft aligns you with the Spirits of plant, animal and mineral; with gods, angels, genius locii, elementals, ancestors, etc.