Can you become a witch in as little as a week? Without naming names (or sharing links) a certain article has caused controversy in the wicked world of witchery. The writer of this particular hit-piece took a broad aim at witchcraft, generalizing all who practice the craft, and shared her experience of being a “witch” for about a week. Unfortunately for many of us, she briefly learned her ideas of the craft from a heavily woo-focused book. What’s doubly unfortunate, is that she didn’t appear to fully understand the concept of what it means to be a witch — and she painted all of us as some fringe group of science deniers and imbeciles. It’s clear that the writer of that viral post personally needed more than a week to learn the ropes, but is it actually possible to “become a witch” in just a week?
What witches read
Sure you can randomly thumb through a single book about Wicca, self-care and happiness, that is full of woo and talk about fairies and goddesses. But there are other books out there. In fact, there are countless books on witchcraft spanning across a myriad of paths, religions and ideas. Wicca is just one religion that makes use of witchcraft, but with it being the most popular path it’s easy to see how the writer of the now-viral article seemed so confused. Drawing Down the Moon by Margot Adler is a great book to start with — and guess what: It’s only about 670 pages long. You can even opt for the audio version, which is around 20 hours long. If you’re an enthusiastic reader, you can finish this book in less than a week.
Another essential book is Buckland’s Complete Book of Witchcraft. While this is a heavily Wiccan-centered book, it’s a great introduction to people who are interested in learning about the craft.
Truth be told, witches spend most of our time reading and studying. I’ve been a witch since 1995, and I still study and read as much on witchcraft as I can. I’m constantly learning new things — whether they’re things I ever intend on applying to my own practice or not. With that said, being a witch really isn’t about how much or how little you read. It’s not in your study, as important and enriching as studying can be. Being a witch is, most simply, about practicing witchcraft.
Actually practicing witchcraft
I guess you could dig some random picture cards out of your kid’s toybox and pretend that they’re tarot cards — like the writer of the article I’ve referenced throughout this post did. Chaos magicians work with unorthodox tools all the time, so it’s not out of the realm of possibility to draw two dolphin cards from a child’s toy deck, and find some kind of meaning in them. But reading tarot — or pretending to — isn’t really practicing witchcraft. Tarot is a form of divination, and while plenty of witches do read tarot and find interest in astrology, there are also many who have no interest in either. Also, there are countless people of other faiths and belief systems — including Christians — who dabble in divination. Unless you specifically cast spells using divination, you’re not really practicing witchcraft by having an interest in it.
Again: Actually practicing witchcraft is what makes you a witch. You can read a 700 page book in a week or lazily scan a book about new age nonsense, but until you actually cast a spell, you’re just a reader. Widespread availability of books on witchcraft is a modern thing, so how do you think any witches in the past managed? They just did.
Believe whatever you want
Not all witches believe in gods and goddesses. Since you’re reading this on an atheist witch blog, you probably already know this. Witchcraft isn’t about belief. It’s about practice. The writer of the “one week witch” article seems to believe that witchcraft in general is about believing in the whimsical and the illogical. She wrote her piece from the point-of-view of an unwavering atheist and skeptic, which is fine if that’s what she wants to be. Nonetheless, she was quite wrong in assuming that we are all of some hive belief system like Christians and members of other religions. She didn’t realize that there are atheist witches, agnostic witches and even Christian witches. She wrote from the idea that she had to abandon her acceptance of modern science and disbelief in deities to actually enjoy the craft.
Believe in whatever you want. This doesn’t even take a week to accomplish.
Can it be done?
Plenty of people will disagree with me, but I believe someone could become a witch in a week. It’s really as simple as calling yourself a witch — while understanding your own personal definition of the word — and dedicating yourself to both study and practice. There was a point in the mid 1990s that I had only been a witch for a week. Every experienced witch was, at one point, merely a week into their practice.
The writer that has everyone annoyed wasn’t dedicated and didn’t have a genuine interest in even being a witch — and that’s why she was so “worried” by the results. She entered the entire journey in satire. If you enter any endeavor half-assed, you’re not going to get anything out of it. That can be said for anything from exploring a new spiritual belief to finding a new trade for employment. Half-assed intent leads to half-assed results.
Witchcraft is having another burst of popularity right now. That happens every couple of decades and isn’t anything new. Whether or not it’s a good thing depends on your own personal opinion, but it is what it is. The writer of the biased piece clearly chose her topic because she knew that the popularity of such would attract enough controversy to generate traffic. Most people know that means money in the writer’s pocket. Witchcraft was an easy target, and the writer clearly had no authentic interest in pursuing the actual practice of it.
If you have interest in witchcraft, from a scholarly point-of-view, don’t just jump in for a week of playing with children’s flashcards and wearing a novelty costume hat. If you have a legitimate interest in being a witch, then jump in and start practicing. Learn as you practice, and gain experience. It’s really not that complicated — nor is it as simple as some people will have others believe.