From Aesthetic to Adept: A Psychological Journey through Witchcraft

It’s been over twenty-two years since I dedicated my life to Witchcraft. I remember when  I was a teenager, I enjoyed the idea of being a witch. The dark clothes, the visually appealing spell work, and the mystery of it all intrigued me on every level. I knew Christianity was not my path at a fairly early age and so this adventure excited me. At the time, it appeared to be a way to find an identity for myself which is quite normal for the age group I was in. I was a stereotypical kid experimenting with concepts I didn’t fully understand. Admittedly, I got most of my vision of witchcraft from 90’s shows like Charmed and Buffy: The Vampire Slayer.  Initially, it was the aesthetic Witchcraft that gave rise to my interest in Paganism.  Yes, these shows were horrendously inaccurate depictions of witches, however, they gave a young mind a rung on the ladder of self-discovery. 

Witchcraft seemed like a conduit to becoming my own hero. I could have outgrown being a witch, among the other trappings of childhood I abandoned- however, I’m still proud to call myself a Witch (and now, priestess in my church.) So much has changed in the past two decades, however, and witchcraft (specifically a better understanding of my own personal will) has significantly improved my circumstances.The Effect of Witchcraft on  my mental health helped me come to grips with my diagnosis of C-PTSD and Bipolar 2 (manic depression.) Witchcraft played a remarkable role in recovery, healing, and awareness which spring-boarded transformation I had not thought possible when I was a troubled little girl. 

Growth is Important

What helped me thrive in the beginning was reading. I devoured book after book on the subject of witchcraft and different cultural traditions throughout Europe. As I progressed past the idea of being a witch, I found others of likemindedness. At first, socializing with other Pagans and Witches was very difficult for me as a neurodivergent person. I stumbled through social interactions like a baby taking their very first steps. There were people who perceived me as crazy and not worth the time of day, however, when I found my Tribe – I discovered people who accepted me as I was and guided me towards better life decisions. I think it’s important to keep in mind that I was seeking the knowledge of growing into a whole person. No one forced me in the process, however, I hungered to become better at more than just witchcraft.

Witchcraft is a Journey

Without sounding too much like a bumper sticker, I think becoming a witch is a journey, not a destination. It’s a lifestyle and state of mind which completely rewires you from everything mainstream society has ever taught you. Knowing what it is to cast spells, meditate, interact with deities, and be an empowered person is a continuous project for folks. Being a witch is an endeavour which sometimes we need a break from – and that’s okay. We can hang up our wands and get our priorities together without shame.  

On Baby Witches

While I know there’s a ton of misinformation floating around the internet, there’s a bit of excitement to see younger people engaging in witchcraft.  I’m happy to see the “baby witch” movement on social media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok because while they aren’t a full understanding of being a Witch – they are an important stepping stone in the development of  our future. 

I think the baby witches are going to be an evolution for witchcraft and Pagan paths and we should be patient while these younger people get their feet wet. There’s going to be mistakes, misunderstandings, and consequences for all actions taken while people are learning their identity within witchcraft. There are going to be folks who have bad experiences which turn them away from the Craft. I think all of this is a natural cycle when it comes to emerging spiritual paths and there’s not a lot we can do to ALWAYS prevent unpleasant experiences.  As adepts, we can guide, provide advice when it is sought out, and record our experiences – and that may be all that is required of us in the process. 

How can YOU get started?

I think that everyone may benefit from some aspect of the journey through witchcraft. If you identify as a baby witch, then I welcome you to the community with open arms. I’m telling you that you’re accepted and that your interest in Witchcraft (or Paganism) is valid. I encourage you to read some of the classic literature keeping in mind that when these books were written society was a completely different place.  I wholly recognize that some of the concepts in these books are not appropriate for society NOW. These inappropriate items  include views on women, the LGBTQia+ community, or even how we define Witchcraft. We won’t attempt to glorify these outdated and untrue generalizations of culture.  If you need a reading list, I’m always happy to oblige. There are, however, gems hidden in the sands of these pages that can be useful in understanding the history, practice, and evolution of witchcraft. My advice to you is: Use what works and abandon the rest. Staying true to yourself is possibly the most valuable lesson in becoming a witch.

Baby witches, those who are seeking knowledge, and those in our community who have given so much to the movement of witchcraft – thank you.  Whether you’re an adept, a baby witch, or somewhere in between – your actions have helped our path become accessible to those who are looking for alternatives. Our shared experiences may not always coincide with one another however they form a brilliant tapestry in the history of our people. That’s an accomplishment worth celebrating. Through our understanding and acceptance of each other, we grow.  We still have so far to go on this journey, however, I am grateful for those in our community who are giving so much of themselves through personal sacrifice. Thank you for taking the time to read about my journey and my view on witchcraft in the present. Blessed Be, Shining Quill. 

If you would be kind enough to follow me on Instagram, you’ll find more related content. Also, if you would like a bit of guidance, I offer a free “Tarot of the Day” message you can find here. I encourage you to reach out with any questions, comments, or constructive criticism here or on Face Book. 

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