You're probably wondering what on earth I am talking about with this so I will be sharing some of my dedication to my practice with you and shed light on why Modern Practices in the craft are weak. So sit down, the kettle is on and a brew is waiting for you.
To the Pyramid Scheme! (Not an MLM, or Multi-level marketing... we avoid those like the plague)
Think of magickal practices as a pyramid with the most "important" parts of your practice as the foundation support in which you will build and extend your knowledge upon. Each stage of the pyramid doesn't become less important but it just means that those sections you can move around depending on your practice however the foundational work will always remain the same. Let's break this foundational level down for you.
Foundational Level: This is where you will build your supports for you pyramid to sit on. This level will include the likes of;
Herbal Knowledge - what each herb does and how it can be used in Magick, how and where they grow, what is local to you, what can be substituted and what can't (not all herbs and ingredients can be subbed for another... Don't even get me started on Rosemary!), etc. Herbs will play a vital role in your craft no matter what anyone says. Herbs help bring the energies that are required in witchcraft that just reciting a few lines and "manifesting" will never do. If manifesting was THAT easy we'd all be Bezos rich by now.
Grounding - Learning how to realign yourself before, during, and after shellwork is crucial as spell work and divination will open you up for your energy to flow out of you. If you are feeling drained after spell work that doesn't necessarily mean it worked it just means you let too much of your energy out with nowhere for it to go. Begin every spell work the same to get into the mindset of "this is spell work" and centre yourself with the ground. I like to imagine roots growing from whichever parts of my body are touching the ground but as long as you have something that connects you to the earth that will work also. During spellcasting it can be easy to put your all into in, and that isn't always a bad thing, but remember there is only so much of yourself you can give. Start small and build up that energy with the herbs as mentioned above and when you are more connected to the spirits of the land bring those energies into your practice so they can do a lot of the energy raising for you. Grounding once you are finished with your spell work doesn't have to be anything more than eating or drinking something from this earth such as bread, an apple, ale/apple juice, water, etc. Just as long as it is an earthly material that doesn't raise your energy levels like coffee or an energy drink, etc.
Energy Connection - I always recommend for new witches to study the land they live on first. Why study plants of another country when there are thousands of native plants to you which hold the same energies and uses? Start small and once you have a great depth of local knowledge then you can start to try and connect with the spirits that govern your local land. Every region will have different land spirits, obviously there may be some the same, so learn and study from local ones to you. They are the best teachers a witch can have. No amount of books can compare to the raw guidance of Mother Earth herself. Now, one thing I will say before I continue
is to never be afraid of what you may see. What looks terrifying to us has no play in the spirit realm. You will learn this eventually but this is your forewarning. Tree spirits do not always look like what you think they might. They come in many shapes and forms so, as Treebeard says "don't be hasty"
Many Modern Witches ignore the foundational stage of their practice because they are eager to start throwing their spells, hexes, and curses around willy nilly with no effects whatsoever. Why? you may ask is because these people hold as much magickal power as a loaf of bread. Magick takes dedication, time, energy, effort, research, experimentation, openness, awareness of the land, and most importantly PRACTICE! By skipping the foundational step, which took me a fair few years to fully research, explore, and connect with and not 5 minutes of Tiktok research, you are not allowing yourself to be open for energy to flow from you, you won't be able to create Magick, and if you jump straight into curses and hexes without any knowledge... good luck to you.
Now this isn't a scare-post to deter new witches or even start *Drama* I am sharing knowledge that has brought me 13 years of the most magickal experiences of my life, even through the darkest parts of my magickal journey lessons are to be learned at every corner.
So remember to never let your foundation crumble, never let it falter you and you will go far!
Now go, off on your brooms, I have an altar to clean and Magick to weave and never forget you are always welcome in no matter the weather
- The Grey Witch