Choosing to own the word ‘witch’ or being a practitioner of witchcraft is not something to take lightly. It is a way of being in this world that is still more uncommon than not and is still horrifically misunderstood on most days. Initiation into the craft is an individual quest and many choose a year or longer before claiming initiation. I chose two years of focused study at private mystery school and initiated as a Hekatean Witch. Here are the top 5 things you should know about initiating into your Witchery:
1) The Cost
I do not mean the cost of joining of a coven, the cost of a book (or 100), or the cost of a teacher.
While those costs can be substantial*, the cost of initiation into our own power is and always will be more substantial than the dollars we spend. The cost of living from a place of personal power requires a deep dive into the places where we have been programmed or led to believe that we somehow:
- Do not hold power
- Are not inherently powerful
- Do not deserve a life that is filled with magic of OUR own making
- Do not have the ability to change
- Do not have a choice
- Do not have a voice
Learn to Declutter
We all have bullshit to own. This is about getting all of our shit together and sorting through it. True to everyday life, the clutter in our lives must be sorted in the way the clutter in our homes must be faced as well. Think spring cleaning meets dark night of the soul at a crossroads, where Hekate herself asks if we are done trying to hide it all in a closet while hoping no one opens the door (pretty sure there is an episode on a hit tv show about this part).
It does not matter how big the closet is, deep down, the burden of the knowledge that it is there will seep into every fiber of our lives until we face each and every thing we keep hidden in there. This includes thought patterns, relationships, and connections that are no longer in our best interest. This can get ugly. You will spend your time, your money, and your efforts focused on what you do control and that could possibly cost you:
- Your relationships
- Your living situation
- Your career
- Your education
- Your addictions
- Your attitude
- Your willingness to stay small
Like witchcraft, change is not good or bad, it just is. All of this is just the starting point in this spiral!
2) The Spiral
We are all walking upon a thread of human existence in a great spiral. Each moment builds and weaves into the next. Initiations are the same. We initiate into a mystery and then we initiate into a certain proficiency. It is the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth, over and over again with each lesson. Sometimes we have to revisit lessons, where we find even more to learn that was not initially presented.
“The path isn’t a straight line; it’s a spiral. You continually come back to things you thought you understood and see deeper truths.” ~ Barry H. Gillespie
An initiation into Witchcraft is the spiral of knowing ourselves, becoming aware of our own layers upon this spiral we walk, and creating space for the additional layers to use in the magic of creating the life that fulfills us.
3) The Layers
Initiation into Witchcraft is not just self-development work, but that is absolutely where it must begin if we want to wield our magic and change outcomes. In learning to peel back our own layers, we are dissolving the programming and the learned behaviors. Then we build our selves back up, calling our power back with layers of our knowledge of our truths. We begin to understand solve et coagula not only from the Qabalistic/Hermetic principles, but we sink into the knowing of it and its energetic function at every level.
That awareness removes any doubt about the interconnectedness of all things. If we know it is all connected, it is much easier to begin to connect to the energetic architecture of everything in a meaningful way:
- The worlds: Upper, Lower, and Middle and anything that resides within them
Once we take ownership of our awareness of the interconnectedness, we really begin to do the work of owning our magic, our symbolism, and our understanding of it.
4) The Work
Repeat after me:
Witchcraft is not a hobby.
You can have all the shiny things you want. You can have the aesthetic even! Just remember this honest warning: collecting is not connecting. You can collect 50 tarot decks, 35 stones, buy all the books, and collect herbs with the intention of using it all for spellwork or rituals. However, doing rituals and spells versus creating successful rituals and spells are not the same things.
Successful rituals and spells require work and that type of work does not stop.
Our spells are direct reflections of our connectedness to the divine and the Universe. I have learned through courses of initiation that rituals and spellwork are most successful when I am fully present with each layer of my spell, my intention is specific, and I have commanded the direction of the party of correspondences involved.
I prefer pragmatic and highly creative spells. I create my own spells because they carry meaning and the symbols energetically connect for me (not that there are not great books of spells, but learning about the pieces of the spell and the why behind the correspondences is much easier if I am doing the choosing!).
5) How to “Life” on my own terms
If someone would have told me a decade ago that I would burn my entire life to the ground and start over my way, I would not have believed it.
I was joyously ignorant of my own subservience to the life that society expected me to live.
The way it shoved the rose-colored glasses onto my face and force-fed me whatever it is that made me believe that the only life worth living is that of a perfect wife, a happy marriage, with kids, family, friends, a nice house, well educated, and a very ‘successful’ career. There is nothing wrong with those things, I just personally do not find them to be the only components of a life worth living.
The Initiation into witchcraft has fundamentally shifted my way of living my life and my way of just being. The way I grow, the way I learn, the way I love others, and the way I love myself. It is the power of courage and choice that also seemingly contain paradox. The power of the word ‘And’:
- Nature is both creative and destructive, as am I.
- I can dislike a situation and see how it is a requirement and a choice I willingly made (while also looking for ways to incorporate magic into it),
- I can experience my own rage and love and both are equally valid experiences deserving of my attention.
- I can want to help someone and still say no to them.
- I can hex, banish, cut cords and manifest, heal, connect.
Witchcraft is the art of crafting a life fulfilled, with a foundation in ownership, connection, and truth. I am responsible for my choices, my thoughts, my feelings, my actions, and my magic. The way that I choose to connect to the world every day through the lens of magic, passion, and purpose are what makes this a life worth living. May we all witchcraft our way to a life fulfilled!
A candle and a key (Initiation’s Bigger Reveal),
Stormie’s real name is Kaycee
* Everyone deserves to be able to earn a living for their gifts and talents if they choose to do so. Professional Witch is an occupation. Those that teach others or provide a safe community for connecting with others should not sacrifice their own ability to thrive to provide such a service to others. Research is important, do with that what you will and make choices that work for you.