Quite often nowadays we see new witches. People who heard of the craft from a friend, a family member, a book that called out to them, or saw a post online. It seems with the rise of social media and the internet, more and more people have discovered that people still practice the old ways and still work with magic. While this is a wonderful, it is also something that of course has lead to the creation of posts and content that is misinformed at best, blatantly click baiting at worst. I have seen books with no actual knowledge in them, and have been concerned by anyone who says they have learned everything off of TikTok/WitchTok (sorry to those people, but you cannot learn anything in a 45 second video that is worth anything in real practice).
That being said, newer witches are wising up a bit, and instead of following blindly, have started doing the right thing, asking questions. Most of the posts I see nowadays are no longer “omg they are going to hex the moon” (which was a real WitchTok thing and proves my point) but instead “where do I start?”. This is perhaps the most important question, and one for which there is no real wrong answer. The craft is unique to individuals, and the twists and turns on your path make it your own. That being said, getting started can be very intimidating, with so much knowledge and so many different things tied to it, it can be as confusing as trying to find your way out of the Minotaur’s Labyrinth.
In my opinion, the best place to start would be what I believe to be the four pillars of magic, the cornerstones of the craft. Protection, Cleansing, Blessing, and Cursing. All other magic can be tied to one of these four pillars and once you master them, you will be able not only to do any spell or working, but then use these as jumping off points for further research into new areas. Magic and the craft is ever changing and is never ending research, and starting with a solid foundation is the best way to set yourself up for success in anything you do with it. So, with that being said, here are the four pillars of magic and my explanations for them.
The first pillar of magic I feel anyone should learn is protection. Not only is it important for yourself and those you love, but protection magic is also typically done before most workings. Protection magic is a large branch of magic and can be as easy or as complicated as you would like it to be. Including everything from circles, wards, crystals, elements, etc., by practicing and learning different forms of protection magic, it helps the witch to branch out into other forms of magic. As you become more and more adept at protection magic, you might expand on this, protecting not just yourself and your loved ones, but your property, your land, your sacred items, etc. Protection magic is also a good place to start learning on how to cast on other individuals and seeing how the magic interacts with others. To me, this should be the first pillar studied, as protection will always be something you should take into consideration before trying any other form of magic.
The second pillar of magic is cleansing. While protection is great at keeping things from interfering with spellwork, a spell in a lot of ways is similar to a car, and cars sometimes need maintenance. Cleansing is very important to help get rid of the built up energies that tend to attach themselves to people, places, and items. Magic, like a car, has tons of moving parts and the secret to making sure any spell works is to make sure that the car has oil and all the parts are greased. For example, say you just did a blessing and asked for divine or cosmic assistance, then you turn around and want to do a curse with simply your own energy. Without cleansing, the divine energy will still be around and work it’s way into the curse which can cause the curse to work differently, work against a different person, work in a way you dont want it to, or even not work at all. By cleansing your items, workspace, and yourself, you are getting rid of unwanted energies. This could be positive energy, negative energy, or chaotic energy. Remember that magic must follow the rules of physics and quantum mechanics, where like attracts like. So the more positive energy you have, the more that will be attracted to you, and vica versa. As such, it is always good to learn various cleansing techniques and to regularly cleanse your items and workspace. Nothing is more important than making sure your car works properly and with regular maintenance, you should be fine during any working you do.
[c]The third pillar of study for any beginner should be blessings. With a standard blessing, you are asking for divine assistance, or assistance of something that is outside of yourself (i.e., nature, the cosmos, universe, the elements, anything that is not drawing on your own will, etc.) to achieve a desired result. This is not always something that is positive either. Blessings, while typically having a positive connotation, is simply a way of working a spell where the energy of the spell and the workings of it come from an outside source. A good example of that would be asking for a deity to protect your home from harm. Since the energy of the spell calls upon a deity to bestow protection, it is considered a blessing. Blessings are a way of working magic that can be a bit more complicated but doesn’t tie the caster to the work itself. Since you are asking for divine or other assistance in the spell, your energy is not tied to the spell itself and not bound by the effects of the spell. However, due to this, you really have no control over how the working works out, what direction it will take, or how long it will take. Since you are not the one fueling the spell, the most you can control is if you do the spell or not. That being said, blessings are very powerful and not to be taken lightly as, any time the divine is involved, things can get a bit *dramatic*.
Alright, it is time to talk about the fourth pillar of magic, cursing. When I say cursing, I do not mean the Hollywood version of a bad spell placed on someone, instead I mean to say magic that is powered by your own will and not by anything else. Separate from a blessing, a curse is you directly manipulating the world using your own will, to reshape your world in the way you want. This can be for good, or ill, but a curse in itself is not a negative spell, simply a different way of casting. When performing a curse, all of the energy that powers the spell comes directly from you, there is no divine assistance or asking for the element’s aid. As such, curses are very powerful and much more customizable than blessings. You control not just the way the spell is shaped, but also how it works, the outcome, and you can even control (to a degree) how long it takes for it to work. Curses are easy to work with as you design everything around the spell and can be easy to perform (i.e., looking at a photo and infusing it with white energy, pushing it out of yourself into the photo, to protect the person in the photo). That being said, because a curse uses your energy and your will, most people are left tired, exhausted, and sometimes feeling sick after a spell. Additionally, curses tie you to the spell so any effects of the spell could potentially affect you as well. Most people think of curses being bad, however in truth, a curse is simply a person reshaping the world around them using nothing more than their own will.
Magic is all around us. It is in the air, in the sound of trees sighing in the winds, in the morning when the sun hits the skyscrapers just right, and in the darkness of night where it is just you, your thoughts, and the stars. By working with magic and the craft you are taking the reins of your own world, your reality, and changing it to whatever you desire it to be. While magic follows the laws of physics, chemistry, biology, and quantum mechanics, it is still almost an entity of its own. By studying and practicing these four pillars of magic, you will have everything you need to start your journey and walk the path, wherever it might lead you.
***All images courtesy of Pixabay***
***All thoughts in this post are my own opinions***