if you don't know what to do
In writing this section, we are aiming to give an overview of Witchcraft
for the beginner. What we are not trying to do is give a comprehensive
book of rules, as that is not how it should be done. Our
first piece of advice for you is 'Don't believe everything you read', and
that goes for this site too. In your research you may encounter some people
who say there is only one right way to achieve your result. This is not true. The best
way to do anything is the way that feels right to you. Witchcraft is about freedom; you should
choose your own deities, tools, and methods of working to suit what you feel is right for you.
To Witch or not to Witch?At risk of sounding cliched, this may well be one of the most important decisions of your life, and is not one to be taken lightly. Many people following this path feel it is simply a continuation and shaping of what they have done earlier in their lives, or in past lives. If, on learning more about this way of life, you realise this is the case for you too, then you are probably destined to follow this path. If however you have any reservations, now is the time to think seriously about your reasons for wanting to become a Witch. It can be a difficult path to walk when you are starting, but is well worth it.
Do it on your own...This is the way most people start - as a Solitary. Some people will practise like this for ever, others will move on to join groups, or covens. Working alone means you are in control of everything that goes on, and you have to design your own rituals etc. Even though you work alone, you may build up a network of contacts, throughout the pagan community. Woking alone means you escape from the potential politics of a group structure. You do not have to practise entirely as a Solitary, or in a group, you may prefer to do both.
...or in a group?With a group, a ritual has the potential to raise a much greater amount of energy due to the combined energies of each person participating. The ritual is usually designed by more than one person, or by the group as a whole. It also means that each individual does not have to fill all the roles, and means you can participate as much or as little as you (or the Gods!) decide. The rituals tend to be more ornate and celebratory (and there is normally more to eat and drink!)A problem with group work is that personality clashes outside the group environment may lead to tension within it. Your group may consist of your friends, or people you only see to perform magic.
An it harm none...This is really the essence of Witchcraft - The Rede:
'An it harm none, do what ye will'
This may be an ancient saying, but it still holds true today. Witchcraft gives you the freedom to do whatever you like, as long as you don't harm anyone else. It is however up to you to determine whether or not your actions are harming anyone. This rule may be linked to the threefold rule of return: anything you send out is returned to you threefold, which is obviously not desireable if you are sending out negative energy.
A final word...Basically, be yourself! Don't try too hard - if something is meant to happen then it will, just be sure to grasp every opportunity that comes your way. And last of all......browse our site - we hope you find it useful, and have fun!!!
Paganism is a vast subject, and no-one at Minor Arcana professes to know everything
about it. The writers of the site are both witches
and so know more about this element of paganism than any others. This
introduction is therefore restricted to Witchcraft, although that is not to say it will
not be of use to anyone else. We do not stick to the rigid formalities of Wicca, although Wiccans
will hopefully find us an good read, as too will anyone else interested.