As much as it annoys me, there is nothing more correlated with improvement as practice. It’s the same for athletics, art, language, or witchcraft. If you want to get better, you have to put in the hours.
Every witch is different. Every witch has their strengths and weaknesses, and there is no real way to tell what those will be without getting right into it. Again, how can you tell? You put in the hours. You mess around with different things for weeks or months or years until you get a feel for what works for you. There are hundreds of books easily available about witchcraft, and easily dozens of books in most open paths and traditions. It sucks. There’s so much cool stuff out there, and it’s always tempting to start big.
But, that’s probably not going to work out.
Beginner exercises are beginner exercises for a reason. More accurately, they are foundational exercises. Calculus is impossible without an understanding of algebra, and more advanced aspects of witchcraft will be very difficult without workable foundation skills. For one thing, they build up your confidence. For another, they give you a good foundation of data to look back at.
For a long time, I made the mistake of trying to work with parts of the craft that were out of my ‘league’ so to speak. And what was holding me back the most? Not doing my beginner work, that was what. Each witch practices these a different way, and some not at all. However, the general word around the witch-o-sphere seems to be that everyone should give some of these consideration and attention.
The first skill is recording, or record keeping. How difficult is it to study without taking any notes? Without doing any homework? One of the first witchcraft instructors I had made it abundantly clear that all students should write at least three pages in their journal every day. That was a bit much for me, personally, and I have other problems with that instructor. However, writing and record keeping are still priceless.
I personally keep a dream journal. Its only purpose is to keep track of my dreams and sleep quality. I record everything in bullet format, not caring about the grammar or spelling. Sometimes I remember a lot, and sometimes I don’t. Don’t remember your dreams? This will help you start to remember them. It will also be helpful in more advanced exercises, and a good record for you to compare against. This sort of exercise establishes the ‘normal’ state of things in dreamland, so you have a basis for comparison later down the road.
If it helps, put your dream journal by your bed and write in it first thing in the morning. I usually forget my dreams by the time I eat breakfast or shower. I wouldn’t have known that if I hadn’t kept a record and noticed a pattern in what I wrote, though. I also don’t keep perfect records. But, it’s a good habit to keep up and I’m always happy that I make the entries that I do.
How do you dream? Tell me about it in the comments below!