How to Think like a Witch

How to Think like a Witch

Terry Pratchett wrote of thought thus: the every day thoughts anyone has are First Thoughts. Second Thoughts are thoughts about First Thoughts. There are Third Thoughts, and Fourth Thoughts. But, for the sake of simplicity, Second Thoughts are the only topic of the day.

If he wasn’t a witch, Sir Pratchett had an amazing understanding of them. His book The Wee Free Men is in the upcoming Media Spotlight on this blog. According to his books and the witches within, a witch relied upon Second Thoughts. But, what the devil do Second Thoughts look like? It’s easier to show an example than to only explain. Let’s consider the following example of unseasonable weather.

First Thoughts: Oh my god, it is cold for July. What is this nonsense? Global warming is such a joke.

Second Thoughts: Why did I assume global warming was a joke? Because it was colder than normal. Also, isn’t it ‘climate change?’ This could still be a symptom of the problem. Also, it probably isn’t a good idea to use one day as evidence that a wide-spread, well-documented phenomenon isn’t real…

Third Thoughts: ‘Global Warming is a Joke?’ Have I heard that phrase before? I think I actually got that joke from the news. Now that I think about it, they aren’t the most reputable source of information.

Fourth Thoughts: Did I sub-consciously assume that they were correct and accept that as reality because they’re presented as authority figures? I wonder if I take in other information as correct because an authority figure presented it to me.

Fifth Thoughts: But, why would that be? It is easier to just accept things rather than to research on my own. My parents also raised me to respect authority figures, so that is what I am in the habit of doing. But, they also did not go through much education, so is this a result of their upbringing and socio-economic status?

So how does this relate to witchcraft? It’s a large part of examining metaphors and imagery. Why are coins associated with wealth? Why is the element of Earth associated with home and family? This is the foundation for a lot of shadow work, and a lot of dream interpretation. So give it a shot!

The rabbit hole can extend quite a ways. The trick is to continue to ask “Why do I think that?” or “Why might they think that?” when thinking about yourself or others. It takes practice, and that’s why it’s in the Witchcraft Fundamentals section. It’s an essential basis for exercises and skills such as Shadow Work, Dream Work, and even Divination.


When was the first time you used your Second Thoughts? Write abut it in the comments below!

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