I've been studying Wicca and Witchcraft since I was 13 years old. Even as a teenager, I received emails or messages, asking how to start out, what to read, what to buy, I need spells, help me, teach me!
When you've trotted down this path as long as I have, you know that you're in a constant state of learning, but early on, you quickly find what works for you and what doesn't. I have been doing picture magick for as long as I can remember, I also used to "read" my cereal as a child. I still do these, because they work, period.
I'm one of those new age hippies who believes that magick is innate in everyone, it's just a matter of what form you chose to use it in. Christian prayer is a form of magick, the many rituals of Judiasm are magick, we just don't call it that.
When a witch does a spell, it can be likened to a prayer. I'll use Greek Othodoxy as an example, since I grew up Eastern Orthodox, and many of the prayers and rituals and items we use can be traced back to ancient times. If I go to church, and my knee hurts, I will leave an amulet of a knee at the altar. That is the part of my body I want to heal, so a metal knee amulet is the representation of my intent. In the church, it's simply a healing prayer, incense and candles are still used, and words are spoken about my painful knee. The same things translate to witchcraft, I have an amulet, in my case, a drawing of my knee, a candle, incense and I will ask Asclepius instead of Jesus or His father to help heal my knee.
It's the same damn shit, just different named Gods.
Shadow and I like to say that all paths lead to God, She or He just has many faces.
You don't even need to be religious to cast spells. Don't confuse the two. I'm not religious in the least, but I do quite a lot of spell work. I am a Wiccan Witch, but not all Witches are Wiccan. Shadow is not Wiccan and simply says he is "of the old religion". Witchcraft, is just as it sounds, a craft, one must practice it, hone your skills. I can tell you what works for me and Shadow, but it might not work for you. Teenagers, especially don't like to hear this. They want spells and they want them fast, the impatient twats!
So, then, do your spell.
But wait, you don't have any supplies, no herbs, no incense, can't burn your moms expensive Yankee candles, cause she might kill you, you can't order an athame cause you're a minor, blah, blah blah. You don't need any of that. And yes, this is coming from a person who as the other half of a couple owns a very extensive altar set up.
It's all smoke and mirrors (sometimes literally).
Right now, my stuff is packed up sitting in a basement in stinky old Jersey, and I am still doing magick, I don't need any of it, because as I said, it's innate in me.
I can simply use my mind to manifest what I want. If I want my knee to stop beating the crap out of me, then I think to my knee, stop it, I need to walk, and imagine it engulfed in blue healing energy, while the nasty inflammation drips out as a black sludge back into the earth to be filtered. (It also helps to have a man with large strong hands to massage it, but don't go out searching for manly witch yet.)
I didn't need to go to church or my altar, I didn't even need to light a candle or speak any words out loud. No one ever needs to know that you have just done a spell. I can go right now and take the E train and in my mind's eye, perform an entire ritual to make apartment hunting easier for myself and Shadow. I promise you, with practice, it'll become second nature.
Now, for all you seekers out there, looking to find out the truth, and want all the "secrets and ancient knowledge", I give you this, go to the library, or online if your prefer, and READ. I've been studying my craft since 1998. I'm always reading, whether it's a printed book or perhaps someone else's blog. Just take in the information. Here are some of my favorite resourses:
This is one of my all time favorite websites for study: www.sacred-texts.com
If you're looking for pagans in your area: The Witches' Voice
Shadow recommends: Crystal Links
Here are some books to start you off with:
Raymond Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft
Wicca: A guide for the solitary practioner by Scott Cunnigham
The Witches Bible by Janet and Stewart Farrar
The Spiral Dance by Starhawk
Drawing Down The Moon by Margot Adler
Hell, take the time to read Silver Raven Wolf as well. I'm not going into the controversy about her, but either you love her or hate her.
Look up Gerald Gardner, THE grandfather of modern Wicca.
Or, better yet, I highly recommend this video on YouTube, a documentary by an actual professor who is British, so you know he knows his shit:
Go forth and be the witch you've always wanted to be.
)) O ((