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Ask a Witch! Q & A
Written by Heather   


Have a Question you need to ask? Please send all questions to Heather for her review, and check back soon for her answers! Click Here to send your questions


1. Is it acceptable to substitute items or wording in a spell?
   Yes, it is acceptable to substitute. If there is an element of a spell that you do not mesh with, it will not be effective. If there is an item you do not have or is too expensive, please substitute for an item with the same energies. For example, some herbs are expensive (why go broke?) or potentially toxic (why die?). If you are doing a love spell that calls for henbane (toxic and in a love spell?!?), substitute with the safer and readily available rose petals. If a prosperity spell calls for High John (expensive!), substitute for the more frugal alternative, chamomile. All magick is about intent. Once you put that into your herb, it won't matter whether you spend $ .50 or $50 per ounce!

2. What do I need to start off?
   There are many different answers for this question! Some teachers or books will give you long lists of items you need to fill your magickal cabinet in order to be an effective witch. Some will say otherwise. I happen to be in the second group. It is *not* necessary to financially cripple yourself in order to be an effective witch. In my opinion, the single most important item you need in your starter kit is your intent. Yup, this item is free and if you don't have it, you cannot be an effective witch! But since I am sure your question referred to items available at your local witchy boutique, I would say for the barebones beginner you would need a candle to represent Fire and the South(preferably white until you are more proficient with color symbolism), incense and a burner to represent Air and the East (cone, stick, does not matter), an altar pentacle to represent Earth and the North, and a small chalice to represent Water and the West. Now all this should be placed upon a special cloth or table used *only* for your magickal purposes to distinquish it from a mundane purpose.

3. Do you have to have a teacher or can you be a self-taught witch?
   Again, another question to which there is much debate. Some will say that you do need a mentor in order to learn properly. I, however, am self-taught. I did a whole lot of reading (many authors) and learned on my own. This is not to say I've not magickally mess up a time or three. Some people learn better when others teach, while some are much better on their own. You have to decide which is the manner in which you will learn the best. There are a lot of my customers who come in who are self-taught, but will ask the opinion of others to get a broader idea or another perspective. Either way, teacher or self-taught, do not take the word of one person as gospel. The way that one person teaches/writes is how they learned and is by no means the right or only way!!

4. Can I do more than one spell at a time?
   You can, but it is far safer and much more effective to do one at a time. This way, you have better focus of your energy and are not spreading it around. When you start doing too much at one time, you leave the potential for less-than-effective results. This is not to say you will not have results, but they may not be as strong or as complete as you would have hoped.