There are hundreds of websites across the internet about witchcraft and practitioning, but so few truly address where to start. There are too many ways to count, but we are going to look at some basics that allow you to open your spirit and mind to learning. One of the biggest things I tell people who are just delving in is that it is okay to have doubts about whether something will work or not. It's okay to feel like you aren't sure of what you are doing. Just remember to follow your instincts.
My goal with this blog and the group in to teach people the spirituality of witchcraft, so I will be addressing basics from that standpoint.
1) Learn Control
Many of the people who are drawn to witchcraft are old souls. One of the major things that happens as a soul ages is that they become empathic. They become aware of the web of energy that connects everything around us. This can include electromagnetic frequencies (EMF) that are emitted from almost every electrical component like cell phones, radios, computers, and newer cars. In can include the radio waves that are constant flowing through the air around us. The most grating is usually the emotions of people around you. That can be an incredible strain on both the mind and soul. A large crowd is often unbearable. Major catastrophes can often throw empaths into bouts of depression with seemingly no cause.
Often times, these 'symptoms' can be counteracted by balancing the ability to feel with how much is let in. Step one to any kind of practice is learning control. Simple energy exercises can be used to learn to control capabilities.
Sit in a quiet room and meditate on a candle's flame. Try to make the flame shorter, taller, sway side to side, or flicker. Remember to look away from the candle often so you don't damage your eyes.
Sit and lay your hands on your legs, palms up. Take deep breaths and pull all of your energy into your hands. Imagine your fingertips sparking with electricity. Feel them tingle. After a while, alternate to just one hand and then the other. Practice moving the energy back and forth.
When in a noisy or busy place, imagine a bubble around you, clear like glass and malleable so that it moves with you. This bubble protects you from the energy around you. Nothing can get in that you don't want. This is a valuable skill, so practice often. You could consider this your own personal force field.
Practice getting an animal's attention without moving or speaking to it. Just look at it and call for it's attention with your mind's voice. Animals are much more sensitive than most people and often times they will turn to look at you or come to see what you want. I recommend starting with animals other than cats. Cats are a bit pompous and sometimes like to ignore you.
Spend time in your element. If you are attracted to the water, spend time meditation in or by a source of water. Flowing water is the best but sometimes it just isn't possible. This could be a stream, a bath, a pool, or even just a bowl of water sitting near to you. Like the earth? Spend time with your feet touching the ground. Go out and garden. For winter months, bring a plastic tub of dirt or sand inside and sink your hands or feet into it when you feel drained. Fire is pretty straight forward. Air can be tricky if you don't like being outside. I recommend sitting in front of a fan or candle so that you are aware of the movement of the air. (This can be a great time to practice the first exercise!)
2) Listen to Nature
One of the greatest gifts we forget to embrace in this society is nature. Nature is harmony, and our souls need that peace. Our world is so full of distractions that we often forget to "stop and smell the roses". We all are guilty of this. I, for one, know that I often catch myself worrying and forgetting that there is always a retreat from the haphazard ways of my busy life. No matter where you live, you should try to find yourself a piece of nature. Be it a plant on your window ledge or a nearby park, as witches, we need nature.
Take time to go sit and listen. You will find that 80% of your practice as sitting down in nature and letting it 'recharge your batteries'. Never underestimate the balancing power of nature. That said, if your mind does not clear after being out in nature, you probably need to confront whatever is bothering you. I find that, when my mind is awhirl with thoughts and I can't think straight, meditating in nature helps me calm my mind and plan my next steps.
3) Make a Quiet Place
It is very important to have time to worship, in any religion or spirituality. Worship in witchcraft in given through time and energy. This could be crafting a spell, mediation, communing with spirits, reading about your pantheon, or anything else that causes you to focus entirely on your spiritual well-being and growth. This requires a space that is quiet and private so that you can focus without interruption. Some prefer that this place is within, their own home while others prefer it to be outdoors. Wherever it is, mark that place. Mark it with a rock that you will recognize, or a table with supplies for your works, or whatever else symbolizes what you do their. Make that place your own.
You do not ever have to let another person into that space, even if they ask. That is your private space and should be kept sacred to you. If you do allow someone to enter, it may be in your best interest to cleanse that space after they are gone. Alternatively, burn a white candle as they enter and leave to cleanse any energy they bring with them.
The biggest, and by far hardest step, is simply believing in yourself and your abilities. It can take a lot of time and work to learn to trust yourself in what you do, but it is so worth it when you discover the things you are capable of. My best advice for this is to start small and keep on the positive side. Start with the exercises I've listed and build your confidence. You've got all the time in the world to learn about practitioning. Slow build foundations are more stable than hastily built ones.