Many Witches are born into magickal traditions and magickal families, and then again many of us are not so lucky, but that is not to say that we most definitely are NATURAL BORN WITCHES. So when the times comes and the yearning for learning awakens, how do we start?
In this time of information overload, what is the first thing to do?
I am going to share with you 10 easy steps for you to consider, prior to begin your research with the hope of making your journey smooth and frustration free.
Start basic and general: Basic books on general information.
First, you must ask yourself what is it about Witchcraft that interest you the most?
Are you going for the religious aspect or like me you love the practice and the Iconic Crone. What do you want to accomplish? Secular or religious path? As you go along with your research always keep this in mind, because it will guide your way.
If your reasons are more spiritual, then ask your self this question.
* Do you like any specific deity pantheon like, Greek, Egyptian, Celtic, Nordic, Roman, Asian, Native, Yoruba etc...?
If you like any of the above, then I suggest for you to start with Paganism. I started with the book, Paganism for Idiots. This may sound really silly, but it really helped me.
By studying Paganism, you will find a spiritual path that may resonate with you.
Maybe you like a mix of a few...
2. Choose your preference.
After reading about all these religions, chances are one or a few will resonate with you, so this is when you start your more intense research.
I suggest for you to check out any of the resources cited in your original book. If your Paganism book speaks of specific authors, research the authors, are these authors theologians or academic? If what you want is religion stick with the spiritual, but please take the time to read academical books to supplement your studies. For this I absolutely love Ronald Hutton, however academical books can be very dry, reason why I love Hoopla and Audible.
If you like Wicca check the top authors of Wicca
I suggest SilverRaven Wolf, Scott Cunningham, Raymond Buckland
If you like Voodoo, check the top Authors of Voodoo
If you like Shamanism, check the top authors of Shamanism
If you like Nordick religions check the top authors of Nordick religions
If you just like the practical aspect of Witchcraft, then check on the authors of Witccraft
I suggest Judika Illes
On Hoodoo, I suggest
Hoodoo Sen Moise
Mama Star Casas
3. Research the author of the books that you are going to read.
Get to know the author of the books that you are reading. Know their credentials, how do they relate to what they are writing, do they have more books, etc...?
Do not automatically think that because they are writers they are telling you correct information.
4. Cross reference.
As the researcher, you have the responsibility of cross reference everything . I use Google for quick double checking, but with the years I have collected many phenomenal books from authors that to me are an authority in what I love and Im interested in
If when cross-referencing and double checking things do not add up, eliminate the author from your research. There are too many authors out there to keep on reading from someone that is not adding up.
We live in times in which you can cross reference everything. Do not take everything at face value. You must verify.
5. Check the author sources.
When getting a book, I have a rule of thumb. The author must cite their sources.
Every good book has a Bibliography. This is the place in which the author cites all of their sources. And this is also a great place for you to find incredible additional information.
6. Read and research both Secular/Academic and religious.
Do not limit your self to just learn about the religious and practical side of Witchcraft. Learn about its history as well. Secular books are fascinating. Knowledge is power and you will never sin by learning. Become an expert on your passion. This will make you very proud and confident.
7. Eliminate what doesn't make sense.
Do not waste your time with what does not make sense . The more you read and research, the better you will get at identifying red flags and "mumbo jumbo"
8. Be skeptical about aesthetically pleasing stuff (magick is most definitely not always pretty, magick can be down straight nasty and very graphic).
Nowadays anybody can write a book.
Bookstores are bombarded with,
Candle magick book
Love spells books
Tea magick books
Im not saying don't buy these cutesy books, but once you read good books is impossible to take with seriousness any of these aesthetically pleasing books. Most of these books are beautifully made and very, very hollow in information.
As a matter of fact anything that is too focused on their aesthetics I absolutely avoid, since more than less is just an empty book, sadly...
And since we are talking about what I dislike, let me add that I will stay clear from any social platform that seems way too aesthetically focus, too commercial, too much drama or simply don't lead by example.
9. Trust your process of elimination.
Do not put too much effort in what does not rejoice your mind and heart. It is ok to dislike a great author.
For example, I talk to you guys a lot about Judika Illes because I love her and I consider her an authority in Witchcraft, but that does not mean that you are obligated to read her books. If you do not like her style move on, is perfectly ok.
And also if it doesn't make sense to you, just eliminate.
10. Make your own conclusions.
Nobody's map of the World is the same, so you have to follow what resonates with you.
What applies to you, what stimulates your brain, what rejoice your soul, what makes sense to you. Do not feel pressure on following something just because is the norm. Remember Witchcraft does not have a specific book of instruction. In Witchcraft you must dance to the sound of your own drums.
Encyclopedias are amazing! But you must research the author and their background.
Very few authors are historians, many write on what they themselves have research and that's perfectly ok as long as they cite their sources.
Some of my favorite are:
Rosemary Ellen Guiley
Pay lots of attention to books recommendations from your favorite authors, because they will lead you to even more great information.
What about testimonial books?
When I say testimonial books, I refer to personal opinions of the writer based on their experiences and practices.
Allan Kardec's books for example, Alistair Crowley's books and so many others are books based on these very interesting authors experiences.
Both of these authors are still very relevant nowadays and religions and traditions have emerge from their writings. These authors have stand the test of time. Like these you will find very old literature. Many of them are absolutely worth having, I like to read them to gain knowledge on their perspective, but ultimately I will make my own conclusions.
Many Witches will tell you that Google, Wikipedia etc... is no place to do research, but I disagree. Though it is very true anyone can write in the internet, you can also find amazing resources. Like with books you must make sure you cross reference what you are finding.
These platforms are a double edge sword. I absolutely love them and of course use them, but I also hate how easy the wrong information can be spread and how easy scammers can trick people. Bottom line, always cross reference and double check.
I am going to finish now, but not without sharing with you some of my favorite authors and I invite you to check them out.
RoseMary Ellen Guiley
Mama Starr Casas
Hodoo Sen Moise
I also want to add that the publisher Llewellyn has very good books as well.
Here are some of my favorites:
Complete book of ceremonial magick
Complete book of divination
Complete book of correspondences
Complete book of chakras
And many, many more.
I really hope this helps you a bit in the beginning of your research. Witchcraft is an amazing way of life ❤️
Love you Witches!
Stay smart, but above all