I have made so many mistakes as a newbie witch, it’s not even funny. In fact, it’s crazy that I even made it this far. You would think that after two years that I would’ve given up. But I didn’t. I did learn a lot from my mistakes, but I definitely do not wish to repeat them in the future. So I created this list as a way to remind myself to not repeat them, as well as to sort of take a laugh at how lazy and naive I was.
And newbies, take note.
I didn’t read anything.
Sure I bought a bunch of books, but I never truly tried to learn or read or study. Actually, I did read one book: Everyday Witchcraft; Making Time for Spirit in a Too-Busy World by Deborah Blake. And that’s it.
I think one of the issues with this is that when you find a spirituality that really calls to you and has very little structure (paganism is very DIY, as you know), you just sort of assume that it is all supposed to come naturally. I have to constantly remind myself that I have to be taught to do pagan things. I don’t already know them.
As well, there are so many books with so many different opinions or emphasis. Not to mention many people have strong opinions about pagan authors. One thing I found is, if I download the book on my Kindle, I will at least start reading it. During my witchy education this year (Y+1), I plan on doing a lot more reading, and I am hoping to create a monthly reading challenge for myself to actually do some learning! If you’re interested in participating in my Year and a Day studying, sign up for my mailing list!
I didn’t create a path for myself.
Although when I first started, I did buy many intended Book of Shadows binders and journals, even if I never used them. So now I have so many blank notebooks and sketchbooks that want to my BOS, but because I became so afraid of ruining the pages or the aesthetic, I just left them blank to collect dust.
Instead, what I’ve done now (with my Y+1 journal) is just hopped in, focusing on content. I can always create a grand BOS that is a collective of all the pagan and witchy notes I’ve taken over the years.
By not journalling my pagan journey at all (with exception to some posts on this blog), I wasn’t really creating a path specific to me. Instead I was doing witchy things sometimes. And that’s where my next failing comes in…
My path was separate from my normal, everyday life
I think one of the most important parts of witchcraft is the routine you can set up for yourself to have an intentional, magickal day. I am in the process of creating my magickal routine right now, and plan on sharing it with you later on. So many witches and pagans I follow online have at least one or two things they do each day to connect with spirit and the universe.
By creating a magickal routine, I can set up a balance and habit of practicing the craft or celebrating my path everyday, which will make things like sabbats or full moons seem less of a hassle (yes, they did seem like a hassle at first!)
I didn’t focus energy or practice intent
I have done a lot of meditating in the past, but most of it was to just calm down and sit in a sort of peaceful nothingness for a few minutes. It did help me focus, but it took me a long time. And when I am out of practice, I really suck at focusing. I think that by establishing a strong connection and intention, I can be a better and more spiritual person.
If you read my last post on having a magickal New Years, you know that my biggest resolution is to be more intentional. It is seriously a struggle since one of my mottos has always been to “just wing it.” But I think by truly focusing on my path and spirituality, I can easily focus energy to successfully complete smaller workings.
I never did any spells or rituals
Yeah, sure, I would make a cool recipe or read tarot, but honestly, that’s it. I didn’t do my first spell until a few weeks ago, and I was pretty ashamed with myself. (Especially since it failed.) Sure, you shouldn’t push yourself until you’re ready, but I never actually went forward to do anything because I, A. wasn’t educated enough (read reason #1) or B. didn’t seem to have time (#3) or C. couldn’t focus the energy to make it work, so I just didn’t try (#4).
This really put me behind because then I couldn’t tell anyone I was truly a practicing witch. Instead, I always just seemed like someone interested in paganism and the occult.
But this New Year’s is all about becoming more focused.
I know that I am going to make different mistakes as time goes on, and I will probably cycle back to these five time and again. But going through my mistakes as a newbie has really helped me realize exactly what I need to change. Don’t be afraid to own up to the problems in the past that held you back because once you do, you can move forward with more grace and clarity than ever before.
Are there any really dumb mistakes you’ve made in the past? Was there anything you did to help you overcome, or are you still struggling? Let me know in the comments!