30 Study Topics For Beginner (or Any) Witch to Research

This is only an overview, and a place to get started. Let it spark your research. I often will take a moon cycle to do an in depth study of a topic (ie. chakras) and see where is takes me. No topic is in isolation. Chakras, for example, link to color magic, energy work, meditation, healing, yoga, Eastern philosophy. Maybe it will lead you to your next topic, maybe you’ll go back to the list and decide to study something else, like Tarot, next. One thing that I truly believe is that Witchcraft makes students of us all. We learn about ourselves and the world around us as we study esoteric topics.

Ok, my bad. That song makes me laugh every time I hear it, so when I had to write a post talking about working on “Self-Love,” I couldn’t help myself. I’ll pretend to be remorseful. This post is actually an intersection of topics. It is about my spiritual journey this year, the intercession of Aphrodite and some self – growth/care/love. It is about embracing the lessons of the universe as they come to you.

This is a tldr; post explaining how I came to be where I am in my practice and how my beliefs may or may not align with traditional Wiccan based practices and beliefs.

I am a solitary practitioner. I did spend some time with a coven and several working groups throughout the years, but my practice has largely been solitary for the last two and a half decades. This has left me very open to exploring whatever struck my fancy, and to figure out what worked for me and what didn’t.

Exploring Dianic Witchcraft

One of the things that I explored, especially in the early 2000s, was Dianic Wicca/Witchcraft and a Goddess focused spirituality. There were parts of Dianic Wicca that really resonated with me and worked for me. However, there were also things that were, to me, as biased as traditional Wicca’s assignment of ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ to energies and its’ insistence on balance.

I am a woman – biologically, psychologically, and energetically. I, also, like many other witches, want my practice and my spirituality to exist on my terms. So, I had to figure out what those terms were and what I do or do not believe.

These symbols can be very useful in creating spells, bindrunes and sigils. You can also use them in your journalling or other spell creation. You can even use them to study (print out the astrological signs – make sure you can recognize them, and then list some of the facts that you remember [dates, color, ruler, etc]).

This post is a work in progress, and probably always will be. It serves as an index of symbols and ideas that you can use in your magic and your book of shadows that serve as a sort of short hand that has been developed from astrology and alchemy and modern Wicca, You can use it as a starting point for your own book of shadows, and I will add to it, as I think of new sections.

Sympathetic magic can also be referred to as representational magic. It is basically, using one thing in place of another, or as a representation of the target of your magic. Poppets are a sympathetic representation of a person. Candles are a representation of the element of fire. It is like a shorthand of our magical intent, using representations of the energies and targets of our spells.

There are many symbols which can be made or used to symbolize your target or intent in magic. These could be as simple as sketching a rune on a candle, or creating a bindrune, or using an image of a shield in a protection working. You might create a money bowl to draw money, using currency bills and coins, herbs that represent abundance and prosperity, a drawing oil with gold flakes in it. These are all symbols of the magic that you want to manifest.

First a disclaimer: Nothing is required in Witchcraft. You don’t need big extensive piles of supplies or tools, you just need (to be) a witch. That being said, physical representations of your intent can help aid you in your magic. That doesn’t mean that you should go out and spend $$$ on witchcraft tools and supplies. It means you look around and find those symbols, those associations, that mean something to you and help you to accomplish your goals. You use only what you find you need to make your magic work.

Ok, I love the movie Practical Magic, and the sassy dialogue, but this statement, “Clean up your own mess.” is actually a very important part of working magic – on both a spiritual and mundane level. Whether you agree with me and like this movie or not, there are two very, very important lessons that you can take away from it. The first is take responsibility for the situations that you create, through action or inaction, and deal with the consequences of your actions (or lack thereof).

In the movie, the aunts [Bridget (Jet) and Frances (Frannie)], deliver this very important lesson of responsibility (“Clean up your own mess”) via Antonia (Sally’s daughter). They have left unexpectedly, after making sure that the youngest girls have some protection, to make sure that the lesson becomes clear. They don’t leave forever. In fact, they come back and are pivotal in the resolution. They act like experienced elders, like gods and goddesses, like mentors that say, “I’m done holding your hand. You did this. Now, fix it.”

This is always a difficult one to explain, especially over the internet, but being able to use and manipulate energy is an absolute cornerstone of powering a spell. Energy has to come from somewhere. When you light a campfire, a spark is added to wood, the wood is consumed and in return you get light, heat, energy and ashes (the remains). Spell work is a lot like that. You need to be able to apply that spark, and also to direct the resultant energy toward your goal. To do that, you need to be able to manipulate energy. That is the basis of Witchcraft and working magic.

The fire analogy is also a good one, because it can also give a sort of feedback that you are beginning to succeed. A candle flame has its own energy, but if you feed energy into it, or draw back from it, then you can often see the flame respond to you. The flame may rise super high, or it may dance or lean as you play with it. Most people practice gathering the energy in their hands and pushing it outwards, but others prefer a more ‘mental’ push.

The question is ‘How do you learn to generate, feel and direct that energy?’

Numerology is another good foundational subject. This is starting information for spellwork, tarot, and other divination. You may have a slightly different perspective on some of the numbers, but this gives you a place to start exploring that. Do you have a favorite number? Do you notice number patterns in your life – either recurring numbers or numbers that just seem ‘cool’?

While I will sometimes use numerology, for me it is an ancillary system, to be used in conjuction with other information. I notice patterns a lot, because that’s how my brain works, but primarily I use numerology to help me understand the tarot.

Most numerology has you reducing a quantity to its base number – adding its digits together over and over until you get a single digit or one of the ‘special’ numbers. Example: April 12, 2023 = 4+12+2023 → 4+1+2+2+0+2+3 → 14 → 1+4 = 5

So, I have never done much with Astrology beyond checking the moon sign for major workings, but it has interested me. I decided to do a more intense study period on Astrology to improve my familiarity. I like to focus my blocks of time on deep dives into a subject. Usually, I find the time from one full moon to the next, a good amount of time to really explore a topic. I have been doing this a lot this year, a sort of ‘back to basics’ approach to finding my mojo again and practicing regularly. I realized that distilling this information down would be a good way to reinforce my knowledge, but also provide the next seeker with a resource from which to start.

This is my breakdown of the Zodiac Signs: