So there is always no shortage of newbies, usually many more than experienced practitioners, and here in COTI we are happy to have you. We are a teaching coven and we want to help you through any difficulties you may have, we remember what it's like to be overwhelmed and we want you to be comfortable here.
Be aware - many newbies will probably ask all the same questions, so here is an FAQ and a brief list of topics to study to help you get started, and if there's anything else, have a good look around because someone might have asked it already. If you can't find an answer to your question in either of these places first, then do pipe up, don't be shy - in fact, if you're shy, DEFINITELY ask because it means you're taking your practice seriously enough to be worried about our reaction. We won't ever, ever judge you for your question, only for your lack of effort to find out for yourself.
How do I become a witch/occultist etc.
Study and practice. You will know the difference between being a newbie and being a legitimate practitioner when you get past the newbie stage. It's different for everyone. I was a newbie from when I started practicing at age 10 or 11 right up until age 21/22 when I genuinely started taking it in. A lot of that has to do with age and maturity levels. I actually did better before puberty hit and learned most of my basics then - then everything went haywire as a teen and young adult and I needed to do a lot of personal growth during that time as most teenagers do. The very real chemical changes of puberty make meditation really quite hard, so don't beat yourself up if you are having difficulty. Take things at your own pace. The years seem long now but trust me they start getting shorter FAST.
How do I find out what kind of practitioner I am?
The witching world is full of crazy terms these days - trad, eclectic, Wiccan, sea witch, hedge witch, all sorts. If you have spent any time in the community you will have heard these terms. In truth, you won't develop a style until you have a better understanding of the basics and begin to develop past the newbie stages. Labels are not important at the end of the day, they're just useful for communicating with other occultists. Let yourself not know - uncertainty without fear is a key skill to develop. Don't pigeon-hole yourself too early on, let yourself grow without the need to categorise yourself, especially before you have a deeper understanding of the nuances.
How do I figure out what my element is?
This is quite a misguided question and a source of frustration for older occultists. First of all, there are four, five counting spirit or akasha - you will have a rank-order of strengths in all four. Secondly, you don't just find out your strongest element and work with that - in fact that's basically the most wrong way to go about learning. Elements all have positive and negative qualities - fire people are great at starting but tend to burn out fast and leave things undone, earth people are stable but often tend towards being lazy or selfish. If you only work with your own most natural element you will exasperate the bad aspects of that element. You need to be working on your WEAKEST element - your aim is to balance yourself, to round out your practice to integrate everything and make yourself whole.
Do I need to worship deities?
Many occultists are coming out of a religious background and are uncomfortable with the idea of giving up their personal power to some deity after only just reclaiming it from the god they have left - and the answer is no. You do not need to worship anyone. I, myself, consider it wise to personify the universe as it really does seem to respond to that kind of attitude, and enjoy being spoken to and thought of as a benevolent companion - but that might not work for you. Practice is so personal, just see how you feel as you grow.
Myths and legends
History of Magic
Grounding and centering
Days of the week
Planets and planetary hours
Herbs effects - Magical, medicinal and mental (aromatherapy)
Classic magical texts
... As you can see there is a lot to this magic thing so you won't learn it all right away. I recommend you start at the top, more or less, and work your way down. This is also by no means a comprehensive list, just somewhere to start. Basically all of this is available online for free so just get stuck in and have fun
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