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What is one bit of major advice you would give someone who is starting a traditional path


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#21 odalibuc

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Posted 12 April 2016 - 01:39 AM

Sometimes you won't know what you're looking for or even that you were looking for anything until it gets thrown in your face. And caution is all well and good but make sure you don't just spend your time toeing around the subject; sometimes all you can do is jump in with both feet.


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#22 Belle

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Posted 12 April 2016 - 03:24 AM

Finding your highest guidance is the most important thing...Always consult your intuition, because is your compass. Follow your enthusiasm, for that will guide you to learn and experiment with techniques that will lead you down your path. Read books, a little bit of knowledge goes a long way. You are not going to find the bible that explains everything you need to know about your unique path, but you will find a gem here and there that will strike that chord.  Talk to other people, because everybody speaks words of wisdom, not just other witches. 

 

People have different skills and beliefs. Find yours.  You can dabble, and that's fine but if you have a calling, then you will know what to do. It is a very long journey, so pack a bag. 


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#23 Abraxia Thalgus

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Posted 29 April 2016 - 09:38 AM

That area that physically feels uptight when something not great happens? Learn where it is for you and then listen to it every time, that's your 'gut instinct'.  Engage it often, strengthen it and don't leave your brain at the door when exploring something new.


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...you need a lot of courage in this life, to make some of the choices you have to make. That's natural. I mean, you can't sit back like an amoeba and just regenerate yourself. You've got to be an exciting, dynamic human being, and there are choices you're going to make that's going to cause you some difficulty, and if it requires some courage on your part, then do it. - Charles Perkins, Arunta Elder, 1998

#24 Belle

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Posted 29 April 2016 - 01:06 PM

@abraxia...Just a comment about the gut instinct. Some people feel it in their gut, others don't. I don't. I feel my intuition in my mind...I have talked to a lot of people and some are gut feelers and others aren't. But I agree the most important thing is to pay attention to your intuition.


Edited by Belle, 29 April 2016 - 01:06 PM.

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#25 Abraxia Thalgus

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Posted 29 April 2016 - 01:51 PM

@abraxia...Just a comment about the gut instinct. Some people feel it in their gut, others don't. I don't. I feel my intuition in my mind...I have talked to a lot of people and some are gut feelers and others aren't. But I agree the most important thing is to pay attention to your intuition.

 

If you read again what I wrote I said "That area that physically feels uptight....learn where it is for you.'  I also put gut instinct in quotation marks.  That's because I realise it is the name given to the sensation and not necessarily where it is felt.   This is also why I said learn where it is for you.


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...you need a lot of courage in this life, to make some of the choices you have to make. That's natural. I mean, you can't sit back like an amoeba and just regenerate yourself. You've got to be an exciting, dynamic human being, and there are choices you're going to make that's going to cause you some difficulty, and if it requires some courage on your part, then do it. - Charles Perkins, Arunta Elder, 1998

#26 Oroboros

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Posted 29 April 2016 - 05:55 PM

So guys, "gut instinct" usually refers to a deeply felt instinct. It's a figure of speech that doesn't necessarily involve ones gut. I'm pointing this out as I think this is the root of that little bit of crossed wires.
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...From ev’ry depth of good and ill , The mystery which binds me still...— Poe

#27 AuroraBaenSidhe

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Posted 09 May 2016 - 06:25 PM

I would say this: We all have pre-conceived notions about what this or that will be like/produce/grant/take away. Even if you have been practising for a decade or more; never assume you know everything. The craft can and will take you by surprise. :) Truth is you never really know it until you try it, and just because one path does things a certain way it doesn't mean that's the way for every path. 

 


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#28 Llyr

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Posted 10 May 2016 - 11:10 AM

Erm.. ok I am probably going to get blasted for this as I am continually feeling that I am a bit left field here (Sorry, I don't mean to be) but some of those answers are very vague and would be of no help to someone starting out. I personally feel that there are many ways to get to the same point but personally I would say forget about other witches.

 

I don't mean any disrespect and I don't mean ignore them or don't speak to them but practicing is a purely individual journey where you find out about yourself first. Once you know who you are and what you feel then by all means learn as much as you can from others if it works for you.

 

I know that there are many different path's in the craft and many people have their own opinions of what is important and what they specialise in and a lot of this stuff I have no idea about and no interest in... but essentially I feel a person has to have a good base to learn from to develop and they need to discover these feelings for themselves.

 

My personal advice would be to go into a wooded area alone, take some gloves, a bag, some food and water and maybe a camera. Give yourself a few hours to try and tune in. Sit or lie down somewhere quiet and listen. Try and meditate and immerse yourself into your surroundings. Hear and feel every breath of the wind, the rustling of the leaves and the creaking of the branches.

 

Touch and play with different plants, trees and rocks and try and feel their energy... spend time with them... the smell... do they leave a smell on your hands or body? do they leave a residue that you can see? Notice the differences in the energies of each one, maybe you feel stronger energy coming from something in particular?? Speak to the land spirits and thank them for letting you feel the energy and thank them for the gift, take it home and reinforce your connection to it by spending time learning about it.. look at it... tiny details... feel it. Take it with you when you return to the spot. Try and communicate with the land spirits and listen carefully to the wind and the sounds of your surroundings. Don't fear anything.

 

Offer some of your food to the spirits and leave it by a tree, in the ground or on the ground whatever feels right. You are trying to build a connection, a friendship with nature, our universal energy and the spirits, it takes time and patience just like making a new friend with a person.

 

It can be a good idea to take a camera and take photos of the things which stand out to you. Find out about them online.... if it is a plant, are they edible? Can you make tea from it? Does it have any medicinal properties? Is it toxic? Write down your findings in a new book, print off the photo and stick it next to your description.

 

Do this often enough and you will soon have built some nice knowledge of your local herbs and plants and your relationship with nature will blossom as will your relationship with the spirits of the land. Learn how to bring them close and how to move them away, experiment! Be nice and respectful but firm and confident.

 

Once you can feel the energies, can speak to the spirits with control, can hear their voices and you have built up some knowledge then begin learning how you can manipulate the energies. Once you have given yourself a sound base to work from then you will have a better idea if someone is talking bullshit or not when you discuss practicing the craft with other witches.

 

You will also have a better idea if what other people do will work for you or not. Don't let other people tell you that what you are doing is wrong and don't be afraid to make mistakes. Embrace the dark and the light and don't fear it.


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#29 Oroboros

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Posted 10 May 2016 - 07:21 PM

So Llyr, you, another witch, just gave some awesome advice in regards to getting in tune with nature and spirits of the land. Oddly, if one were to follow your first directive- forget about other witches advice - your own lovely advice would have been lost...

On the other hand some witches could give two shits about nature and are still excellent witches. My point is certainly not to blast. In fact this is really just thoughts to any of the newer folks like myself not specifically directed at you..

Why are we here if not to enjoy, empower, share, and learn from one another? Therefore- if we are strong enough individuals to call ourselves witches we should do as you did and say what we think with no fear of "blasting." Now, I'm not talking about pointless rudeness or bullying- which our wonderful mods don't tolerate anyway. But, how can we get the most out of this forum if we are afraid to say what we think. We become a bunch of "politicians" that can talk and talk but never really SAY ANYTHING. I have seen several people start a comment with a caveat about getting blasted. I say, say what you think AND be prepared for folks to disagree! And "blast" back if it's warranted. I hope we are not such a weak lot that we can't endure a good debate? So, my two cents to other folks that are newish like myself is: we shouldn't be here or be witches if we don't have the back bone to take disagreement. Moreover, I think it is very dangerous if someone is practicing that is so easily swayed by others that they lack the ability to take in information and simply disregard the parts that they feel is not right for them. "Know thyself." I personally will learn and enjoy a conversation a lot more when people are open and honest. Just my thoughts...

(Edited typing error)

Edited by Oroboros, 11 May 2016 - 04:33 AM.

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...From ev’ry depth of good and ill , The mystery which binds me still...— Poe

#30 Aina

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Posted 10 May 2016 - 08:18 PM

Erm.. ok I am probably going to get blasted for this as I am continually feeling that I am a bit left field here (Sorry, I don't mean to be) but some of those answers are very vague and would be of no help to someone starting out. I personally feel that there are many ways to get to the same point but personally I would say forget about other witches.

 

I don't mean any disrespect and I don't mean ignore them or don't speak to them but practicing is a purely individual journey where you find out about yourself first. Once you know who you are and what you feel then by all means learn as much as you can from others if it works for you.

 

So Llyr, you, another witch, just gave some awesome advice in regards to getting in tune with nature and spirits of the land. Oddly, if one were to follow your first directive- forget about other witches advice - your own lovely advice would have been lost...
 

 

I can see where both of you are coming from on this. At first, in my journey, I pretty much stayed away from everyone (regardless of their practice/path/journey). A lot of internal work needed to be done, so for me, not associating with anyone at first was necessary. It would have honestly at that point in my journey been a distraction. I needed to spend time inward, balancing myself out and dealing with some issues from the past. It was also a time for me to work with my main spirits and ancestors, get to know their energy, etc. I found this forum by accident and for me that was a sign that it was time to start communicating with other witches.

 

We always talk about how everyone's journey and spiritual path is personal but that doesn't mean you need to remain distant from everyone. And I do see where Llyr stated "Once you know who you are and what you feel then by all means learn as much as you can from others if it works for you.".

 

As for the whole nature thing, to each their own. I'd be lying if I said I spend a lot of time in the forest. I love nature and for me animals are more important than humans, but I'm not much of a "let's spend time in the woods" girl. And I refer to plants as weeds. I do like to play in the dirt though. Maybe there's hope for me.


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#31 mudang

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Posted 10 May 2016 - 09:16 PM

First and foremost, look to your roots, your culture, and your ancestors. They have so much to teach you, much more than any other culture/people. They want to be heard by their kin.

 

Learn discernment. Learn also that reality and our truth can be highly different due to everyone's own perception. What is 100% real for you is not so for your neighbor. As such, no one else can tell you what is and is not "real" in your practice.

 

Learn divination. Any tool you're comfortable with, learn it. Cards, bones, shells, dice, marbles, needles, book passages, bird formations, cloud formations, the way your candle flame burns. The way your creamer settles in your coffee before you stir. Anything and everything.

 

Don't be afraid. Curse the person who deserves it. Make sure justice is on your side. Bless and heal those who deserve it. We walk a wild path, so our practice will sometimes be unable to be easily explained.


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#32 Llyr

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Posted 11 May 2016 - 09:36 AM

Hi O, Hi Aina. Firstly let me say thank you for your responses to my post. Let me also say that I fully accept the responses and don't disagree with any of what you have stated.

 

Oroboros you are correct in what you say about some good advice being lost to a newbie if they took my first directive. However I simply answered the thread question. I have been doing my craft for a fairly long time and even I came on this forum and was overwhelmed by the various topics and the plethora of information available here. Some of it I know absolutely nothing about, but yes Its time for me to develop myself and learn more.

 

However for someone starting out on a traditional path I feel it is too much information and just felt that you have to start with yourself. Also bear in mind that although I did finally find this site (Which is without doubt the best one out there) I came across a lot more which in my opinion are just full of shit. A person starting out wouldn't know that they are full of shit.

 

"Witchcraft" is a huge area of learning, whatever path you take in it. Every single part of it takes time and patience. Divination for example, look at how many ways you can practice this and each of those ways takes time to learn to do it properly.... Tarot... Runes....Scrying to name but a few and I agree with Aina.. too much information can sometimes be a distraction and hold you back as it stops you focussing and mastering one particular area.

 

The other thing is that everyone has there own beliefs... as you said, you know some witches who couldn't give two shits about nature and are still excellent witches. Well that is great! However I believe that you cannot be a witch without nature and the understanding and use of nature makes you a witch. So to me that statement doesn't make sense. The energies of the earth and of the universe are all nature... the spirit world is nature, the elements are nature. it is the natural order of things.

 

So I can go on my merry way through this forum for many years and have these conversations and debates and still know and have absolute faith in what I believe in..... but for someone starting out on a traditional path... those types of conflicting statements can be very confusing, and that was what this thread was addressing.

 

Once again.. these are simply my views and I welcome your opinions whatever they are. One final thing is, I have never claimed to be a witch and I don't think of myself as one. I simply am. :D


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#33 Oroboros

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Posted 12 May 2016 - 05:35 AM

I agree!  

 

Every individual must make it their priority to be true to themselves.  My "gut" or intuition is my ultimate guide.  If something does not have a "ring of truth" to my soul - I can respect it for the person speaking it, but reject it for myself.  So, a person such as you are describing should be very careful to bear in mind that no one here has all the answers and that what is true for one person is not necessarily true for another.  I can certainly see how someone who is easily swayed, or is unsure of their own beliefs could become overwhelmed.  And that is NOT a statement of condescension.  There are aspects of my spiritual path that I am still defining.  That said, just because someone speaks with authority on a spiritual matter, if what they are saying does not "ring true" to me- I chuck it in the mental round file.

 

The other point I was making is not in opposition to this and was not directed at anyone in particular.  It is almost a different topic.  I was simply trying to encourage new folks to not be timid about a good blasting.  They happen.  (Again, not referring to senseless rudeness).  There is such a rich and diverse array of people here.  From various cultures and backgrounds with various belief systems.  There is tons of awesome shit we can learn from each other.  And I personally find it much more fulfilling to have up front sincere dialogue, than if folks are tip toeing around worrying what someone may think.  

 

(Edited to be standard English:))


Edited by Oroboros, 12 May 2016 - 05:39 AM.

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...From ev’ry depth of good and ill , The mystery which binds me still...— Poe

#34 Mistflower

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Posted 12 May 2016 - 11:46 AM

 

as you said, you know some witches who couldn't give two shits about nature and are still excellent witches. Well that is great! However I believe that you cannot be a witch without nature and the understanding and use of nature makes you a witch. So to me that statement doesn't make sense. The energies of the earth and of the universe are all nature... the spirit world is nature, the elements are nature. it is the natural order of things.

 

--------------------------------------

I agree!

 

When I started, I obviously read loads about how it's important to get out there into nature, etc. I'm lucky to live near some amazing natural countryside that I can visit without loads of other people being around much. However, I just wasn't feeling it even after many visits.  Then, I realised nature was in my own back yard, literally and figuratively speaking. My own little garden has all the elements and is vibrant with life. And I can see the beautiful outside landscape too, from my windows. Since then, my visits to nature out there have become more meaningful. I have found gifts, developed a relationship with  a particular kind of tree, and left gifts too. Everything begins to link up in a way individual to each person. I can share things from my own garden with the wider landscape, and be given things from there to bring to my own back yard.


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#35 Llyr

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Posted 12 May 2016 - 05:26 PM

We both share a lot of similarities with nature there Mistflower
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#36 Mistflower

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Posted 14 May 2016 - 09:08 AM

That's nice to know, Lyr. Last night I was driving in the dark through a stretch of woodland, when suddenly a bird of prey swooped out from the right hand side and glided low over the car bonnet for a few seconds - I slowed right down - then it soared off in advance to the left.  That was a really special gift from nature ... perhaps a sign of something,who knows? It might have been a large owl. I got a good view of its tail only, because it was travelling in the same direction as me and just crossed my path for a couple of seconds. That could never have occurred in my garden - I can't drive around at home at owl speed! and owls don't live by my house - so it's like my own garden is my base camp now and I can go out from there and find other things in wilder nature that can show me things.

 

So, I guess my advice for someone starting out, is to be sensitive to this type of thing. Take it away with you afterwards, keep it with you, bring it back in visualisation or dreaming and see where the owl takes you.


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Quick, said the bird, find them, find them,
Round the corner. Through the first gate


The Four Quartets by T.S. Eliot

#37 ShadowMoon

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Posted 15 May 2016 - 01:41 AM

I just wanted to say that, as a new member just starting out on this site and getting back into the swing of things with my witchcraft, that all of you have given great advice and thank you for it. :)


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"We all change when you think about it, we are all different people all through our lives, and thats okay; thats good, you've gotta keep moving so long as you remember all the people that you used to be."


#38 Zombee

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Posted 03 June 2016 - 04:49 AM

I'm tempted to say, "Run!... and don't look back." and then I realized it doesn't necessarily mean to run away. But TW is what I was looking for 30 years ago and only the eclectic Wiccan loop was available to the uninitiated solitaire. So, I'm starting over. Never be afraid to start over.

Edited by Zombee, 07 June 2017 - 05:41 PM.

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#39 Turncoat

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Posted 06 June 2016 - 01:11 AM

Seconding Zombee's advice on starting over. It's a pill I'm having to swallow right now; no matter how much you feel you know about a practice, starting over with a different approach/mindset is better than stagnating. Study deeply; build a strong foundation of knowledge drawn from multiple sources concerning your interests, and maintain full flexibility until you discover what works for you through practice. Humility has its place, here--sometimes, even large amounts of time and effort must be poured into developing very basic skills before more advanced practices can be successfully endeavored. You've gotta know how to trance before you can fly.
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#40 JuniperBaby

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Posted 14 June 2016 - 03:03 PM

Not everyone needs to read "witch" books and own "witch" stuff. Basic books, even children's books, on botany, herbs, astronomy, etc. contain all the information that some of us need. Some of us don't need any "tools" other than common items found in any grocery store, hardware store, hobby store, pet store, pharmacy, or public city park.

 

Earlier in this thread, Llyr said, "I am simply am." In another thread, Jaesin talked about losing all his stuff.

 

Simplicity and hiding in plain sight is ONE option that some newbies are not immediately aware of.

 

As a child, I heard my grandmother called a witch by others, but she never called herself that, and even when I lived with her for almost a year, I never saw a "tool". And as the years pass, I realize more and more how she was training me without me knowing it, while trying not to incur my mother's wrath. I remember acorns, and spiders, and chipmunks and squirrels. I remember books that were full of science. I remember her talking to me and encouraging me to be outside and to shut my mouth, be still, and to OBSERVE.


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