Topics to Study that will Enhance your Witchcraft

There comes a time in every witch’s practice where they realize that they’ve read all the ‘Witchcraft 101’ books they can stomach. After a while, they all start repeating each other, and though there are some books taking truly unique viewpoints on witchcraft, there still comes a time when you may start itching to branch out and learn something different.

That doesn’t mean you have to give up your witchcraft study, however. You can study topics adjacent to witchcraft that will really help you develop your interests and give you new perspectives on your practice.

The Arts: This is perhaps one of my favorite topics. You can research art history, looking for Pagan influences in the arts, OR you can study applied arts. Learn how to paint or draw! Try your hand at writing poetry or short charms! Write devotional music for your deity! Learn how to create something sacred as a way to deepen your practice.

Divination: for a lot of witches, witchcraft and divination go hand in hand. I learned to read the tarot before I dedicated myself to my witchcraft practice. But perhaps you haven’t dipped your feet into the wonderful world of divination. Give it a shot! It can be an amazing way to tap into a relationship with your deity, your understanding of your own intuition, or even messages from the universe. However you practice, divination can help you. So dive headlong into the world of tarot, runes, astrology, or throwing the bones.

Folklore: Check out legends from your area, or legends from the area your family comes from. There can be a lot to discover in these old tales passed down from generation to generation. You can learn about local land spirits, landmarks, and even the flora and fauna of the area.

Genealogy and Ancestral Religions: Find out where your family comes from and study the religions of that area. This can bring so much richness and focus to your practice, and is essential when working with the ancestors. Imagine being able to add a Celtic, or Hindu, or African flavor to your witchcraft as a way to tie yourself to your ancestors. This is a great way to really ground yourself in your practice!

Herbalism: I know a little here and there about certain herbs, but I’ve never made a full study of herbalism. It’s a huge topic with a few different concentrations. You can look at magickal properties of plants, medicinal properties of plants, or folkloric histories of plants. You can use that knowledge to make charms and sachets, or you can be more practical and make soaps and salves. If you’re interested in green witchery, explore the plant kingdom!

History of witchcraft: This can be a really sad yet inspiring study. Traditionally, witches have been maligned as a source of bad luck and ill will, and have been persecuted as such. But studying our past can help us uncover our sources of power and strength.

Local geography and settlements: Knowing the history, geology, geography, and natural landmarks of the place you live can definitely give you a leg up when trying to connect to the genius loci, or spirit of place. For example, do you know the places of power where the original inhabitants of the land used to gather? That would be a great place to visit to try and bring some of that power into your work. Do you know where to find sacred minerals in your area? Minerals you’ve mined have more power than anything store-bought.

Physical Sciences: Science and spirituality are not mutually exclusive. In face, I’ve always seen them as going hand-in-hand. You can believe in a higher power, and also marvel at the efficiency of a cell. You can study astrology and astronomy, and marvel at how the spinning of our solar system and galaxy resemble the spinning of an atom. It’s ALL sacred. It’s ALL important.

Psychology: A lot of our feelings about spirituality and religion can be studied from a psychological perspective. As for myself, I’ve really enjoyed reading the works of Carl Jung, who set the stage for a lot of my understanding of tarot. But Jung isn’t the only name in the game, and you can find all sorts of interesting psychological theories that will inform and deepen your spiritual practice.

Social Issues: As witches, we tend to see the sacred where others do not. And finding empathy with those that struggle can be a difficult, but rewarding path. How do you want to leave the world a better place than you found it?

Specific types of Witchery: Like kitchen witchery, hedge witchery, chaos magick, green witchery (see herbalism above), etc. There are TONS of books out there that extend past the “witchcraft 101′ model and delve into different types of witchcraft. Find what it is that really interests you, and do a search for books on that topic. You’ll find more than enough to keep yourself busy!

What about you? What do you study in conjunction with your witchcraft? How does it boost your studies and your understanding? Please let me know in the comments.

Blessed be! <3