Witchcraft 101

Today I wanted to take a few minutes to dive into the mechanics, so to speak, of witchcraft. There’s plenty of misconceptions about the craft, starting with the idea I’ve come across that it’s a religion. IT’S NOT A RELIGION! Witchcraft is a practice, a skill, something you do. You can be Christian, Pagan, Buddhist- anything, and practice witchcraft (Hence the word ‘craft’!). It’s simply a manipulation of energy. Many witches blend their craft with their religion to give more meaning or power to something they do, but that isn’t a necessary component of practicing witchcraft. We won’t get into how many religions essentially use witchcraft in their day-to-day existence… That’s a whole other topic. I’m just here to dust the cobwebs off the direct practice and share knowledge with those who may not fully understand it.

So, for starters, we have this basic understanding in science that energy cannot be created or destroyed. But why is it so difficult to try and understand that it could be intentionally manipulated as it is in witchcraft? You yourself are an energetic being- you have a soul inside the meat suit that you walk around in every day. You have conscious thoughts; this is energy literally recognizing itself. When you die, your soul leaves your body, and there is no longer energy inside that body. You can physically feel the lack of that consciousness around a body (and if you’ve never been in close quarters with a dead body, that’s probably something to be thankful for.). With that being said, everything that is alive, has energy. It starts as our consciousness, transmutes into our thoughts, and from there the energy that exists in those thoughts gets sent out into the things we think about. It changes from one form to another, just like any other form of energy we recognize in science.

If you’re like me, you’re sitting there right now going, I am not high enough for this.. and honestly, same. But bear with me. Photo break to reset your brain, this was around midnight in my backyard last year. 

To really understand how energy works in our world, we have to look at the basic science of what energy is compared to matter. Matter is anything that has mass and takes up space, and is affected by the force of gravity. Rocks obviously have matter, but so does air. We can isolate and weigh and give these characteristics to oxygen or other gases, which helps us understand that on a scientific level. Energy behaves differently- it does not have a quantifiable ‘weight’. Light, sound, temperature- these aren’t things we can isolate and weigh, but they still exist to us as energy, and that is the best way to wrap our heads around what it is. Consciousness isn’t something we can define in our known sciences, so the best description we have is that we are self-aware of our existence. Electromagnetic fields are a type of understood energy, and our brains emit electromagnetic fields, which we recognize as producing our consciousness (in laymen’s terms.). There's a lot more fancy scientific words and research in all of that information, but again, I am just trying to summarize the concept to a level we can move forward with on the topic of manipulating energy. Onward!

Now that we have a basic understanding of the medium we work with, I will explain how we do that, and I’ll use my recent Yule ritual as an example. I have a Yule log on my counter, which I decorated beautifully with herbs and fruits that have correspondences to things I wanted to attract. When I say this, I mean I used stuff like pine branches (which are known to have antiseptic properties if diffused in vinegar and made into a cleaning solution) because they represent cleansing, protection, longevity, and endurance, among others. Pine is also used in folk medicine for respiratory inflammation, cough, cold, bronchitis, etc.. So, you can see why it can be used theoretically to represent these positive things, and why it would make you subconsciously ‘feel better’. Your body and intuition know these things, it’s old lost knowledge that is embedded in our DNA. This is why we feel better when we have a pine tree in our house during a time of the year that’s literally dark and cold outside.  To the same degree, I used dried oranges on my Yule log, because they also represent happy/positive things, as well as good health (Vitamin C!!). This is my groundwork for my spell- setting the stage to build my intentions on. Sometimes witches cast a circle or use a crystal grid, there’s not a right or wrong way to build a spell up as long as the intention is there. So, I have all this pretty/good feeling stuff, and then I add candles to the log. 12 candles for the 12 days of Yule, all with colors that match the holiday (the colored candles also have meaning, and by attaching meanings to colors we train our brain to have these certain reactions/expectations). Next, I took 13 pieces of red paper (Red=desires/wants), and I write my 13 wishes for the new year on them. I fold them up and stick them all in a jar by my log. Each day of Yule, I light a candle, and then light the paper on fire in the candle flame (and place in a fire-proof container to burn out), and focus my thoughts on the FACT that the universe has now received my wish. I am using my consciousness (energy), to have these thoughts (energy), and as I think about these wishes I am burning, I am mentally pushing that energy out into the world for it to transform from thought-energy into real-time-energy.

If that sounds insane to you, just trust me! It’s tried and true! Let’s keep going, and talk about the law of attraction.

What is the law of attraction? This is a hot topic in the world of metaphysics right now. The basis of the law of attraction is that you have to think you already have what you want, and by doing so it will be attracted to you like a magnet. The opposite is thinking you don’t already have this thing, and so you will attract situations where you will continue to not have it. You send out this vibration of what your thoughts and feelings are, and the universe will create more of those things for you. If you complain that you’re broke and don’t have any money, you will continue to have situations which cause you to be broke and have no money. With this knowledge, it means that if you WANT money/abundance/etc., you need to give off a vibration of already HAVING it. This is similar in psychology where if you allow your mind to focus on bad and negative thoughts, you will continue to have bad and negative thoughts. Objects in motion stay in motion! If you let spilling your coffee on your shirt at 5 am cause you to go, “today’s just one of those days”, then guess what? Now you’re caught in traffic and late to work, and then you realize you forgot to grab your lunch from the fridge, and then you find you car got hit in the parking lot at the end of your day, and then you get home and you and your partner get into an argument over something dumb. Shit rolls down hill, you know those days! BUT, if you retrain your mind to look at that 15 seconds of inconvenience as just an event that happened, the rest of your mood and day will follow suit. You must retrain your brain in this same way to follow the law of attraction, because if you can’t convince yourself, you can’t convince the energy in the universe.

So these things that you want to attract, that is your intention. That’s our goal for whatever spell we’re doing. You take that intention, and you focus the energy of it into the tools that you are using; candles, chanting, a full cast circle with offerings to a deity or just your Yule log where you’re burning some intentions for the new year. As you leave the mindset of casting the spell, you release that energy in your thoughts to go transform into the things that you want. You can end a spell with a finality if you wish, to help your brain cut it more cleanly and transition back to normal thinking. “So mote it be” is a particularly popular one. I literally walk around on a day-to-day basis saying out loud “I’m rich as fuck” and guess what, shit works for me. Witchcraft can be very proper and technical if that’s what helps your brain push that energy out right, but if not, then you absolutely don’t have to have all the lace and trimmings. I don’t!

This is a lot of sciency information and hard-to-wrap-your-head-around things, so I’ll give a quick recap on the ‘basics’ one more time. Basically, witchcraft is taking this idea of something you want to happen, and using your sheer will to make it manifest in your life. You can go down many, many paths with this entire concept, and at the very root of it, it’s not something inherently bad or evil. There are bad people in the world who have highlighted it in a very negative light, and as a humanity it’s a damn shame that was allowed to happen. We are deeply powerful beings, and slowly but surely, the old knowledge is coming back to us. Always remember that what you put out will come back to you, so treat it with respect or deal with the consequences later.

Thanks for reading through the inner workings of my brain today, I hope this helped someone else snap it into focus! Much love!