Considering a switch to witchery? Whoa, whoa … don’t go grabbing that black pointy hat just yet. There’s a lot more to being a witch than meets the eye. If you want to look like a witch and act like a witch, here are a dozen sites you need to review before you get started.
History of Witches
When you’re a witch, it’s best to be prepared. Those who forget the past will most likely burn at the stake. Learn all about the history of witches here.
History of Witchcraft – The Pagan Library’s history of witchcraft is more than enough to get you started. This page includes a copy of the Wiccan Rede, which sums up the wiccan code of conduct with, ” An harm ye none, do what ye will.” Browse around the other reference material to learn about “Psychic Self-Defense,” “Shamanic Binding,” and my personal favorite, “Major Uses of the Wand.” (Surprisingly, “zap things” was not one of them.)
Gerald Gardner – Also known as the “father of modern wicca,” Gerald Gardner is the guy who popularized the modern idea of the coven, with its secret oaths and naked ritual initiations. Some people believe he was really a witch, while others think he made it all up for the attention. Read all about the man (and the myths) in these scholarly articles, or just admire the pictures of his awesome hair.
Salem Witch Trials Archive – Read the actual court documents from the Salem Witch Trials, from the arrest of suspected witches to their final death warrants. The translations are a bit hard to read, but juicy nonetheless: “…she at last acknowledged that Goody Johnson made her a witch, And sometime last sumer she made a red mark in the devils book with the fore finger of her Left hand.” See scans of the actual historical records, or browse paintings and drawings about the Salem Witch Trials.
Spells and Divination
WARNING: Use these spells and tools at your own risk. Star Costumes cannot be held responsible for any cosmic repercussions you may incur. Consult your doctor before beginning any diet and exercise program. Results not typical.
Everything Under the Moon – Hundreds of free witchcraft spells and wiccan rituals to help you find love, make money or possibly just clear up your acne: “Apple, sacred fruit of the Goddess / With this gift, I do caress / The pimple that brought me shame. / I banish this zit in your name.” Learn about the phases of the moon and how they affect your magic. Read up on the various crystals, gemstones, roots and herbs you’ll use in your encantations. You might also want to start saving your hair and toenail clippings.
How to Make a Book of Shadows – In a nutshell, a Book of Shadows is where you’ll write down all your spells and rituals (yes, by hand … you might think Microsoft Office is evil, but it’s not technically “magickal”). You’ll also keep notes about herbs and ingredients, the phases of the moon, the laws of your coven and other vital information for your day-to-day witchery needs. Learn how to make one here.
Learning the Tarot – Tarot reading uses special cards to gain insight into future. This free online course teaches you how to read tarot cards in 19 steps, along with helpful charts and sample tarot readings. With a little practice, you can try to look into your future and do readings for your family and friends.
Witches on Film
Chances are, you’re going to have deal with non-witches in your day-to-day life, so you should understand the stereotypes you’ll be dealing with. Here are a few popular films that have influenced people’s perceptions of witches.
MuggleNet – Realistic or not, the Harry Potter books and movies put witchcraft back in the limelight and made witches cool for a whole new generation. At MuggleNet, you can keep up with the latest Harry Potter news, including the books, movies and video games. You can also learn more about author J.K. Rowling, download desktop backgrounds and chat with other Harry Potter fans.
Wizard of Oz Wiki – For many people, the green-skinned Wicked Witch of the West is the model of how a witch should look and behave — dressed entirely in black, with a tall pointy hat, a wart on her chin and flying a broom. But did you know that the original Wicked Witch of the West had only one super-powerful eye? And carried an umbrella to protect herself from water? Learn more at the Wizard of Oz wiki.
Monty Python’s Holy Grail – Mention the word “witch” to anyone remotely geeky, and chances are you’ll spend the next 5 minutes listening to Holy Grail quotes. The infamous witch trial scene includes gems like:
VILLAGER #3: Well, she turned me into a newt.
BEDEMIR: A newt?
VILLAGER #3: I got better.
When you think about it, witches are quite chatty. If they’re not threatening to get your dog, they’re muttering over a crystal ball or chatting with a magic mirror. Here are a few popular pagan hangouts around the web so you can stop talking to your cat.
The Witches’ Voice – For nearly 15 years, The Witches Voice has provided a place where witches can read the latest pagan news and share their personal essays, like “A Wiccan Elemental Approach to Overcoming Challenges” or “Where’s the “Community” in the Pagan Community?” They also provide a huge networking resource list, helping witches and pagans find local covens and festivals, or advertise their pagan goods and services.
PaganSpace – Claiming to be the largest, busiest social network for the occult and pagan community, PaganSpace features a very active forum and a community of prolific bloggers (you’ll find it all under Discussions). You can also join a discussion group for just about any pagan topic imaginable, from typical stuff like voodoo and tarot cards to more obscure activities like “folkish heathenry”. Are you a pagan with ADD? A witch who prefers dogs to cats? There’s a group for that.
witches.meetup.com – Over 35,000 witches, wiccans and pagans of all flavors gather here to find a local coven or just socialize with liked-minded folks. Groups have been established or are just getting started in 237 cities over 8 countries, although the vast majority are concentrated in the United States. Have kids? You can use this site to organize a “pagan family playdate” or connect with other pagans who homeschool their children.