So you’re a brand new baby witch, and you’re wondering where to begin. Here at Little Witchery, we have a few go-to steps for beginning a magical journey. Reading about the history and practice of magic is one of the best ways to start, but we encourage you to take it a step further and use the book itself to guide you. Using books for magical answers, also known as Bibliomancy, will help you learn a whole lot about witchery right off the bat.
Bibliomancy can be performed by flipping a book to a random page, or running your finger over random words until you feel called to stop on one. Then, the information found there can be used to answer questions, provide insight, or even foretell future events. Another way to perform bibliomancy is to run your hands over a random shelf of books in the witchcraft section of a library or bookshop; whichever book you land on is the one you should consider reading.
Our favorite way to use books for magical guidance, however, is to let our intuition pull us to whichever book seems most intriguing. It’s okay to judge a book by its cover in this case. In fact, you’ll want to look for a spine and a cover that make you feel excited. Maybe your heart beats faster when you see it, or you can’t stop looking at the illustrations, or a certain word or phrase in the title piques your interest. Maybe something about it reminds you of when you played “Wizards” as a kid, or of your favorite fantasy novel. Whatever it is that draws you to that book is much more important than it being a bestseller or “Highly Recommended.” Every witch is unique, with their own special path. An out-of-print but exciting witchcraft book might be the place where your journey is supposed to begin.
Feel free to read the book from start to finish, or to jump around. If you don’t end up liking it, go back to the bookshelf and perform bibliomancy again. Scan the shelves and pull out another one. Not all of a witch’s spells or divinatory practices work perfectly the first time, especially at the beginning, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t find the perfect book right away.
While practical grimoires are essential for the beginning witch, don’t dismiss the power of magical fiction to inspire and teach, too. Fantasy books such as Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor, Wise Child by Monica Furlong, and Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman can be invaluable resources. Plus, they’re a lot of fun to read.
After you’ve picked your first book, be sure to keep reading, as widely and as much as possible. Knowledge is power. Because no two witches or pagan cultures are the same, you want to be sure you are learning from the most diverse range of voices that you can find. Even the most advanced witches are still learning.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of the “How To Be A Witch” blog series, and check out my YouTube video on this topic, Three Ways To Live A Witchy Lifestyle.