If you are finally ready to embrace your occult personality type and are thinking of practicing as a modern witch, below are some things you might want to consider as you embark on this journey of cosmic self-knowledge and self-development:
- Figure out what type of witch you are
What I’d wish I’d known beforehand was the grand variety of witches that are out there! Gone are the days when a witch was a lonely, ostracized woman living on the outskirts of society, in a hut in the forest, with her cats, broom and potions (that is a tired old stereotype in all likelihood).. Nowadays, as our knowledge develops and we kept evolving, so do our occult identities, as we blend spirituality with science and technological advancements.
First there is the color spectrum (and here I refer to the form of witchcraft practiced and the entities invoked in such a practice and not to the skin color of any particular witch). So there are Black/Dark Witches who dabble mostly with curses and hook-spells, invoking creatures of darkness and serving Lucifer. The aim of their work is to control other people, but they can also transmute energy. Mars, Saturn and Pluto-ruled Sun signs such as Scorpio, Capricorn and Aries can practice this form of witch-craft better than other astrological signs, due to how comfortable they are exploring the depths of human darkness. I do not recommend practicing as a Dark Witch if you do not know what you are doing since spiritual possession and cursing your bloodline might accidentally occur.
Their counterparts are White Witches (also known as Light-workers). These are usually people that have experienced a couple of ‘dark nights of the soul’ in their lifetime and have begun their journey into spirituality and the occult due to some traumas. But rather then succumbing to the darkness, White witches have chosen to improve, purify and better themselves. As such White Witches serve Spirit and its Archangels, and usually invoke or summon beings of Light during their rituals. White Witches are aware of the surrounding pain, drama and darkness of reality but they consciously chose to bring light and love into deeply painful situations. They are usually tasked to undo the damage done by Dark Witches and their corresponding sentinels. Any zodiac sing can become a Light-worker.
There are also Green Witches (also known as Earth Angels, the servants of Gaia) who are highly in tune with the bounty of the earth and they know how to respectfully harvest it and to transform it into alternative forms of healing medicine. These are the alternative apothecaries of the occult world, who not only use the bounty of the flora and fauna around but also work to preserve it and sustain it. They are some of my favorites as they have extensive knowledge of botany and zoology, they can harvest herbs, spices, fruits, berries, vegetables and dry them up or create preserves, they ground and process food and also make medicine and healing ointments, they create oils, bake their own bread and plant fresh seeds. They are expert tea-makers and incense-makers, or herb-bundle creators. They are also versed in crystals and use them in their daily energetic practices. Sensual earth signs such as Taurus and Virgo, and wild-loving Sagittarians make the best Green witches.
Then there are Grey Witches who tread the fine line between a Dark and a White witch, and I was lucky to come into contact with one who educated me on this topic and gifted me the ‘Divine Feminine Oracle’ (pictured below). Grey witches serve both the Divine and the Unholy, and they can summon beings of light as well as those who lurk in the shadows. Grey witches feel comfortable working in-between these two realms, and have a strong past-life link to the Oracles of Delphi, the high priestesses who served Apollo and who had the gift of foresight. There is however more work involved if you are thinking this is a good choice for you, so keep in mind the inner dualities you need to contain and the many forms of cleansing that you will require to perform since the amount of work is double to that of a Dark and White Witch. Also, the communities you might be part of might brand you as ‘undecided’ and push you into picking a side – I would suggest resisting and standing your ground, especially if you feel that being a Grey witch is your calling. Mutable Sun signs such as Pisces, Virgo, Gemini and Sagittarius can cope better with duality and are better suited for this type of practice.
Lastly, there are the Hybrids of the Age of Information: starseeds, steam-punk witches or priestesses, sentinel cleaners, shadow workers, techno-witches/robo-witches. This latter group combines advancements in technology with occult ancient practices, and they have a hacker’s agenda’s alongside more environmentally aware and eco-feminist goals. Expansive, knowledgeable and independent signs such as Aquarius and Gemini make the best Techno-witches.
These are just some of the types of witches I am currently aware of; there might be more. Feel free to comment below from your experiences and help us all learn.
- Cleaning & cleansing
The second thing to be aware of is that being a witch involves a lot of daily cleaning and cleansing! I never expected to have to clean my body (both inside and out), my living space and my invisible/energetic Self as much as when I chose to finally embody my occult personality type. As a Pisces Sun, I was focused early on in my life on creating space and stillness in my life, on finding spaces where I could be alone and experience my freedom and solitary interests, and I reflected a lot on the spiritual nature of my identity, on my breathing, on meditation and psychological analysis but in order to fully own my white witch identity I realized that the older I got and the more I practiced my craft, I also had to incorporate my Virgo Shadow and to be very attentive to cleanliness. This point was brought home to me after I experienced some bizarre energetic shifts, where I began to feel slimed, tired, and drained for no apparent medical reason at all. But my intuition was guiding me towards sorting out the clutter in my space and I also felt guided to shower my body with salt which at the time to me, looked so pure and different than how I was feeling energetically. As I tended to my bodily and material needs, the energy started returning to me, and thse experiences further solidified my belief than in such a line of work you need to balance spirituality with materiality to flow with ease.
- Notice cues & train your intuition
This month for about a week I had an incessant eye-flicker which did not resolve even after I took my doctor’s prescribed Magnesium supplements. I tried resting more and still no change. Eventually, I realized that this flicker intensified whenever I had to go outside and connect with people who I could feel were ‘unhealed’. So I burned some incense at home and did a chord-cutting ritual, after I had some negative interactions with people in my city’s local administration, and my eye-flicker stopped. Now I never leave the house without obsidian and black tourmaline in my pockets.
On another occasion, I visited an old neighbor and as were talking over coffee and biscuits, but I felt like moments into our conversations her stare was became mildly intrusive and unkind (like her words stopped matching her inner thoughts). After that encounter I started to feel sick in my stomach and I started yawning a lot which are my usually bodily cues that I am under the spell of the evil eye (something my mother taught me to identify and cleanse early on in life). After rubbing my wrist with essential rosemary oil diluted in grapeseed oil and repeating the most powerful prayer I know, I yawned the evil eye away and felt better. Such daily encounters, taught me the value of cleaning the materials around me (including my clothes) and of spiritual cleansing (through prayer, affirmations and incantations). They also helped me become more aware of my intuition and they helped train it.
- Cleanse with the cosmic cycles (New/Full Moons, Retrogrades and Portals)
So now, I clean and bless the space in which I live and work each day. Not only that but I also clean the energy between each tarot reading and after the completion of each birth-chart. Cleaning can be done by sweeping dust and dirt with the traditional broom, or by vacuuming and washing the floors and the materials you use, and it is especially powerful around a Full and New Moon. Cleansing the space can be done through: a) sound (with bells, wind chimes, whistles or Tibetan bowls), b) speech & will power (by chanting, saying affirmations, whispering prayers and intentions, incantations, mantras), c) air & smoke (by burning incense, with candles or by diffusing essential oils, by using an air purifier in the room), c) water (by spraying some rose water, an essential oil mix, some holy water). You will find that the cleaner the spaces the better and calmer the energy around you will become and in turn you will also feel more settled and peaceful.
We feed off each other, as the environment and we are always linked so you should begin to pay attention to your environment and if there is something you feel is not right/doesn’t fit, always honor this intuitive insight and correct accordingly in your practice. For years, I felt weakened during Mercury retrogrades but only this year I decided to actually take time off from work (also this year, I managed to make work-based decisions that allowed me this luxury). Mercury retrogrades are excellent time to study, revise, correct, improve and just go on a holiday. They happen 3 times per year, for roughly 3 weeks each time. It’s a slap in the face of capitalism to take this much time ‘off’ but think about the importance of resting, cultivating your mind, catching up on reading, practicing new rituals and spells and just letting your tarot cards rest for a while. Whenever I return I feel I went up a notch in my spiritual development, so even if you aren’t doing the ‘usual’ service work for individuals, you are working nonetheless and what feels or looks like rest is actually deep, unconscious processing of everything that happened too quickly as Mercury was direct.
Also use the energy of Portals and Eclipses to boost your intentions and help you give up bad habits. Every year the Lion’s Gate Portal in August gives us an opportunity to reset our capacity to shine and implement new goals (think of this as you spiritual birthday and who wouldn’t want to celebrate two birthday a year, the physical and the spiritual one). Again for any of these energetic corridors you’ll want to remember the most important step of your witch-craft: that cleanliness is next to Spirit! As you keep practicing the craft you’ll notice how sensitive you will become to any bit of lingering dirt or grime that could cramp your energy and dim your mood. You’ll also feel how your energetic tendrils are blending with those existent in your environment. So using incense, essential oil sprays, taking iodized salt showers or rose petal baths alongside the usual ways of cleaning your body and your space (with soap, shampoo, commercial cleaning products) are important parts of your spiritual journey.
I need to underline that the material and the spiritual support each other, it is not a case of either/or. A good spiritual practitioner understands and supports things which we have been taught to consider opposites, but especially if you are a Grey witch or a Shadow worker, getting comfortable with the in-between of human experience, with spectrums, scales and gradients of human feeling and identity are essential in fully owning your witch’s role.
Most of the guides to witch-craft which I have read start you off with a list of objects you can make you own magical tools. Firstly, you’ll need to source a broom and a knife/dagger. These are the two most important objects in a beginner witch’s kit. The broom is for the first reason stated above, to clean. Cleaning on a spiritual level means transmuting and shifting energy. The image of the witch on a broom, snarling and cursing at the moon is a sexist one propagated by the mostly Christian patriarchy to dissuade women from owning their powers and practice the craft, but the broom was from the beginning merely the symbol of grounding and cleansing and it is essential that you also own one – it can be in any shape or form (a fine feathered cleansing broom, or a more traditional and bigger straw one). Avoid using the vacuum cleaner or roomba if you can, at least around your altar because it could accidentally aspire some of your crystals, runes or flower petals (it could also aspire some tarot cards and unnecessarily bend them). The knife is important in chord-cutting rituals, in scrying, in spell-baking, and to help you unpack and bless new tarot and oracle decks. Other tools include you Book of Shadows, your herb bundles (Palo Santo and Sage), a fumigation shell/receptacle, you lighter and candles, your incense sticks and incense burner, your crystals, your singing bowl/bell/wind chimes, your crystal jewelry and even your magick wand. I like to re-use ice-cream plastic containers and food glass jars, empty wine or cider bottles to keep and store my tools, because in this way it is more eco-friendly.
- Some thoughts on Protection
After you’ve been practicing the craft for a while you’ll see that your spiritual journey will involve confronting less savory aspects of your Self which you are not yet aware of – this means you’ll need to do some Shadow Work. This happens as you manifest some avatars, some contenders and cynics or potentially mentally ill people that will give you some negative feedback. You’ll want to devise some auric protection spells as you walk on this path especially since you’ll go through moments of extreme sensitivity and healing when you will be energetically vulnerable. However, I do need to underline that as long as your connection to Spirit remains fluid and strong, protection spells are not that necessary. It’s just that sometimes a strong Saturn or Pluto transit to your Moon, 12th/4th/8th houses, or a Mars return or even some natal squares and oppositions that get activated in your natal birth-chart, will hinder you capacity to feel connected to the Divine- the delays are usually meant to level you up and indeed you might experience a lot of illusions and imaginary fears during such transits; they are meant to bring up insecurities and anxieties to your consciousness, and grim thoughts about being somehow ‘abandoned’ or ‘punished’ by the Divine, in order for you to face them and dissolve them. It is not the actual case that you are abandoned by the Divine, but an illusion created by one of these malefic aspects or planets. During such transits, keep in mind that each one of them has an expiration date and that you’ll need to either get savvy at using protection rituals or get deeper into your praying, meditation and bodily movement routines to flow with Spirit’s energy again. Lastly, you can also do both, and begin vibrating to a higher frequency altogether. Such periods normally leave you stronger and wiser than how you were previously to such a transit.
Lastly, there are many resources you can use to keep improving, learning and growing. The more you allow your passions and intuition to guide you the better at this craft you will become. Your increasing in sensitivity is a gift, for you will pick up on more subtle energy shifts and you can even protect yourself better from lies or deceit in your environment since you might develop strong physical reactions as your emotions are more finely tuned to your mind. You will be able to pick up some occult skills as well such as astral travel, lucid dreaming, telepathy, clair-audience, clair-voyance, divination or enhance the ones you are naturally gifted with.
Ultimately this is a beautiful journey to be one and we are fortunate that in 2021 we can practice freely in the context of a society that while still rather close-minded to alternative forms of being, is not burning you on a stick or stoning you to death. Change is inevitable and even if slow; it is bringing us into a whole new realm of existence. At the end of the day, I do hope you can bravely listen to your heart and decide to walk on this path!
With universal love,
(Your Resident Light-worker/White Witch)