Read The Modern Guide to Witchcraft Online

Authors: Skye Alexander

Tags: #Body; Mind & Spirit, #Witchcraft, #Religion, #Wicca

The Modern Guide to Witchcraft

The
MODERN
GUIDE TO
Witchcraft
Your Complete Guide to
WITCHES, COVENS,
& SPELLS
Skye Alexander

Avon, Massachusetts

To Ron, always

CONTENTS

Introduction
SO YOU WANT TO BE A WITCH

PART I
WELCOME TO THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF WITCHCRAFT

Chapter 1
What Is Witchcraft?

Chapter 2
MAGICK AND HOW IT CAN HELP YOU

Chapter 3
A CONCISE HISTORY OF WITCHCRAFT IN THE WEST

Chapter 4
THE MAGICKAL UNIVERSE IN WHICH WE LIVE

Chapter 5
THE ELEMENTS OF THE WITCH’S PATH

Chapter 6
GODS AND GODDESSES

Chapter 7
DIFFERENT TYPES OF WITCHCRAFT AND MAGICK

Chapter 8
SACRED SPACE

Chapter 9
ALTARS AND SHRINES

Chapter 10
THE WITCH’S TOOL KIT

Chapter 11
PLANT MAGICK

Chapter 12
CRYSTALS AND GEMSTONES

PART II
AN OPEN GRIMOIRE

Chapter 13
CHARMS, AMULETS, AND TALISMANS

Chapter 14
PROSPERITY SPELLS

Chapter 15
LOVE SPELLS

Chapter 16
SPELLS FOR SUCCESS

Chapter 17
PROTECTION SPELLS

Chapter 18
SPELLS FOR HEALTH AND HEALING

Chapter 19
SPELLS FOR PERSONAL POWER

Chapter 20
MISCELLANEOUS SPELLS

Chapter 21
THE SEASONS OF THE WITCH

Chapter 22
WHERE DO YOU GO FROM HERE?

Copyright

Introduction
SO YOU WANT TO BE A WITCH

You’ve picked up this book because you’re interested in witches. You wonder about who they are and what they believe. You know being a witch has something to do with finding a deeper connection to nature and to the entire cosmos. With finding an inner power and beauty that can help you accomplish what you want in life. In the back of your mind flits the image of an ugly old woman dressed in black, riding a broomstick, but you know that’s wrong—and you want to find out more.

What does it mean to be a witch?

Witches come in all sizes, ages, colors, and personalities. They’re doctors, computer programmers, teachers, landscapers, bartenders, and flight attendants. The person who cuts your hair or repairs your car might be a witch. Witches can be male or female—no, a male witch is
not
a warlock, and he might get angry if you call him that, for good reason.
Warlock
comes from an Old English word meaning “oath breaker” or “liar.”

The simple fact that you’re reading this book suggests that you think you, too, have witch potential. Guess what? You do. And with a little training, you can uncover your magickal power and learn to use it to shape your destiny.

WHY IS WITCHCRAFT GAINING POPULARITY TODAY?

Witchcraft resonates with us because it speaks to some key issues of today: respect for the environment, gender equality, and overcoming religious biases and narrow-minded thinking. It also encourages those who follow this path to discover and develop their own, unique powers so they can take charge of their lives and be everything they choose to be.

In general, most witches seek to improve themselves and humankind as a whole, and to live in harmony with the universe. This means working for the greater good—often through the use of magick—and harming none. It also means taking responsibility for your thoughts, words, and deeds because everything you do affects everything else.

Once you learn to harness your natural talents as a witch, you’ll discover that a whole new world of possibilities exists. You’ll be able to use what’s known as the Law of Attraction to improve your financial situation, your relationships, your health, and your overall well-being. You’ll also have the power to help others. And, you’ll gain a greater sense of your place in the universe.

Magick won’t help you finish a project for school or work, or make you taller, or fix a flat tire. However, it can strengthen your concentration and mental receptivity, make you more attractive to other people, or draw someone to you who can repair that flat.

It’s a good idea to take it slow in the beginning—just as you would if you were training for a marathon. That way you’ll have fun and avoid setbacks.

WHAT YOU’LL LEARN FROM THIS BOOK

We’re all born magickal beings. As children we know this, but as we grow up we forget our true nature. We listen to other people whose limited views cause us to doubt our innate powers, and we get caught up in the stresses of everyday life. This book shows you how to reconnect with the magick in you. As you read these pages, you’ll learn to pay attention to your intuition and let it guide you. You’ll gain a greater appreciation and awareness of the natural world—the cycles of the moon, the energies of the seasons, your links with the animals, birds, and other creatures who share this planet with you. You’ll also discover how to incorporate nature’s tools—herbs and flowers, crystals and gemstones, and more—into your magickal workings.

You’ll come to realize that witchcraft and magick aren’t “hocus pocus.” They are your birthright. They already exist deep within you. You already have the power to tap into the energies of the natural world and the cosmos; you just need to recognize that power and learn to direct it. That’s what this book is about: reconnecting with your magickal self.

True magick lies in developing your inner potential and spirituality. This book is intended to help you on that journey toward getting in touch with nature, with the Divine, and with your own innate abilities—because ultimately, that’s the real source of witchcraft.

PART I
Welcome
TO THE
WONDERFUL
WORLD of WITCHCRAFT
Chapter 1
WHAT IS WITCHCRAFT?

Snow White, Cinderella, The Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland, Beauty and the Beast, Peter Pan, Star Wars
. Most of us first discovered wizards and witches, spells and potions, and the never-ending struggle between good and evil through these stories. Fairy tales showed us a world filled with magick—one where inanimate objects like mirrors, stones, and gems can have special powers; animals can talk; plants can think; and with a sprinkling of dust, kids can fly.

Then we grew up and forgot about magick. Our lives became a little less rich and our imaginations started to shrivel as we got mired in the mundane details of our daily lives. But every now and then, we recapture some of that early magick through books and movies like
ET
,
Lord of the Rings
, and
Harry Potter
. We find ourselves fascinated once again by the supernatural world and eager to reawaken the magick within us.

COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT WITCHES

Before we go any further, let’s get rid of those ridiculous ideas some people still hold about witches. Misconceptions about witches come from ignorance and fear. For centuries, mainstream religions have encouraged negative images about witches—and during a period known as “The Burning Times” these false ideas led to the deaths of countless innocent people in Europe and the New World. In recent times, the media continue to present a distorted picture of witches and magick, further confusing the issue. For the record:

  • Witches do not steal or eat babies—this idea comes from old folklore, and fairies were often blamed for doing the same thing.
  • Witches are not Satanists who sell their souls to the devil in return for special powers. Lots of witches don’t even believe in Satan—he’s a Christian conception.
  • Witches don’t ride brooms—they get around in cars, trains, and airplanes just like everyone else. (You might see a bumper sticker that says, “I’m driving this car because my broom’s in the shop” but that’s just a joke.)
  • Witches prefer pizza over eye of newt any day.
  • Witches don’t inherit magickal powers from mysterious ancestors, although if Grandma was a witch and trained you in the Craft from childhood, you’ll have a head start on other wannabe witches.
  • Not all witches possess remarkable psychic powers, nor do they have the gift of prophecy. Some psychics may be witches, and many witches develop their intuition through practice. But the truth is, everyone has psychic ability, including you.
  • Witches don’t consort with or battle demons, vampires, zombies, or other monsters—they have better things to do.
  • Not all witches worship ancient gods and goddesses—some don’t believe in any type of deity.
  • Witches aren’t immortal; they live ordinary lifespans just like other humans.
  • Witches aren’t ugly old hags, they can be young and incredibly beautiful, but most of them are just average people like you and me.
  • Witches don’t engage in rivalries and conflicts with other magickal practitioners. The witches in Salem, Massachusetts, for example, don’t have a long-standing rivalry with New Orleans’s voodoo priestesses. Trust me on this. I’ve been a witch for twenty-five years and lived in Salem for eight—and I get along with people from New Orleans just fine.

If you choose to become a witch, you’ll have to throw out all the silly and sensational things you’ve seen, heard, and read about witchcraft. At least for the time being, you’ll have to live with being constantly offended by the ignorance of people who would never think of insulting blacks, Jews, or other folks so outrageously as they do witches. Just put on your magick, protective shield and get on with practicing the real deal.

Wizards, Sorcerers, and Magicians

The words wizard and sorcerer can be used for either a man or a woman. Wizard derives from a term meaning “wise,” and sorcerer means “witch” or “diviner.” The word magician is also appropriate for both sexes and for witches of all stripes. Depending on the cultural setting, the term magician came to describe people adept in astrology, sorcery, divination, spellcasting, or other magickal arts.

In this book, we’ll use some terms repeatedly. Let’s clarify a few of them in order to avoid confusion:

  • A witch is someone who uses his or her power along with the natural laws of the universe to shape reality in accordance with his/her purposes.
  • Witchcraft is the practice of manipulating energy through various means to produce a desired result.
  • Magick is the transformation that occurs when a witch/magician bends or shapes energy using paranormal techniques. The “k” at the end of the word distinguishes it from magic tricks and stage illusion (or sleight of hand).

As we go along, you’ll see that witches follow any number of paths and use lots of different methods in the practice of their craft. They also perform many types of magick for a variety of reasons. As you explore the art of the witch and learn to use your own magickal ability, you’ll discover what suits you best and what direction you wish to take in your own journey.

WITCHCRAFT AND RELIGION

Like people from other walks of life, witches share some concepts and disagree on others—we’ll discuss some of these as we go along. Their ideas may be influenced by their cultural traditions and backgrounds, personal life experiences, or individual temperaments. That’s okay. You don’t have to subscribe to any particular belief system or set of rules to be a witch.

In the past, many witches learned their craft as part of a family tradition in which they were carefully trained, just as other people might learn carpentry or masonry. Villages had “cunning folk” to whom people turned for all kinds of help, from encouraging crops to grow to fixing a broken heart. Healing made up a large part of the witch’s work, and many witches were knowledgeable herbalists and midwives. In exchange for such services, the witch might receive a chicken, a measure of grain, or other necessities.

Religious concepts weren’t linked with the practice of witchcraft itself, though individual witches often embraced the beliefs of their families or culture. That’s still true today. If you belong to a certain religion or are on a specific spiritual path, you needn’t give it up to become a witch. In fact, you may choose to incorporate the ideas of your faith into your magickal practice. If you don’t hold to any belief system at all, that’s fine too. Witches can follow any religion or none. However, the lack of rules, dogma, or religious affiliation does not mean witches lack ethics.

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