Challenge accepted for answering all of them. My answers won’t be too complex because of that, but this should definitely be a test of what I know. Let’s see if I get to keep my witchcraft certification.
1)What’s the difference between a Wiccan, a witch, and a pagan? (I think I know this one, but I want to be sure!)
A wiccan is a person who is a part of the religion of Wicca. Which is a religion that was made in the 50s in order to revive the understandings of witchcraft, which was founded by Gerald Gardner.
A witch is someone who practices witchcraft, and is also used to refer to someone who practices the religion of Wicca.
A pagan is someone who practices paganism, specifically nowadays neo-paganism, and paganism is a term that has multiple meanings, but in this context it will usually refer to religions that are European, and polytheistic, and usually somewhat nature-based. Things such as Heathenism, Hellenism, and Wicca.
2) How do you cleanse something?
The process of cleansing can be done by any means that goes through the process of resetting the energy, or aspects of a construct, or entity back to its natural state. Such things as passing it through smoke, clapping while focusing on the intention of cleansing, physically cleaning it, or pushing your energy into it while grounding it to the Earth can go through the process of cleansing.
3) How do you purify something?
In order to purify you must use a traditional technique from your tradition, or you must ask your divine to purify it for you. This is because purification is relative to tradition and/or divine discretion. In order to be pure it has to be pure in the eyes of something.
4) Are #2 and #3 the same?
No, it is not the same. Purification is relative, and cleansing is a way of resetting.
5) How do you charge things?
In order to charge you need to push energy into a construct. this can be done by sitting with the construct, or by placing that construct near to, or in the path of something that will give it energy such as candles or sunlight. By interacting with or acknowledging things you also give them energy and will charge them, but only a small amount.
6) What are sigils?
The word sigil comes from the Latin word “Sigillum” which was defined as a seal, or signet. It also may have been connected to the Hebrew word סגולה (segula) meaing charm, or tailsman. The way that I would define a sigil in a magickal sense of the word is a symbol that represents an intent, construct, or entity. They are uniquely created symbols that are charged with energy, while being sent into your subconscious to work in the background. This imprint in your subconscious pushes you magickally toward your desire, and the energy that the sigil was charged with is released out into the universe to manifest it. This is a very creative, and practical art that has been used, learned, and interacted with by many different people, and practitioners. They have all managed to take it into their practice, and use it in their own special ways improving the understanding, and the concept of the sigil with every iteration.
7) What are runes?
Runes are the letters that were used to write Germanic languages, and sometimes used for magickal purposes. Later it became a divination system where individuals would write the runes on rocks, and draw them from a bag.
8) What is the importance of nature in witchcraft?
Most forms of witchcraft are nature-based, and because of that the practitioners work with nature. The natural world may be used in there witchcraft, through such things as their tools, or by incorporating things such as the classic western elements.
9) Do you need specific kinds of candles for rituals/spells?
No you do not. Use any form of candles in which you would like, though its correspondences should be connected to the working that you are doing in some way, but honestly you could use any form of candle in any form of spell.
10) What are the different kinds of witches? (I know many people don’t like labeling, but I find it easier to break down the different types of knowledge into different types of witches. 🤷♀️)
There are as many witches as there are practitioners. People do like to separate them down into types, especially on this website, but it’s not really helpful to do so. Primarily because people don’t practice simply one type of magick, or only work with one thing. Everyone’s practice is very intersectional between the many different forms of understandings, and practices, and because of that I cannot name them for you.
11) How do you tap into the energy of the universe?
Reaching a gnostic state by meditating, focusing, or by taking entheogens. You’re already tapped in you just need to bring your focus there.
12) Are there really different kinds of magic?
No, there are not different kinds of magick in relation to black and white magick. There are other forms of divisions which are more accurate, but it’s more so done for categorization, and all of them have their own problems. Another division is thaumaturgy versus theurgy.
13) What are the different styles of using magic? (I’ve already mentioned sigils, but what else are out there? Pendulums, astrology, potions, etc.)
Sorry my friend I can’t answer this one for you either, because there so many different ways I would be able to put this and I’m not entirely sure which one you want.
14) What’s the difference between a pentacle and a pentagram?
Originally there was no differents, and both referred to the same thing, but in modern usage pentagram refers to a star shape, and Pentacle refers to the same star shape with a circle around it.
15) What is the importance of the subjects of #14?
Both of these symbols are used to represent the five elements, and bring forth those elements into individuals practices. Primarily their symbols of power, and nature.
16) Are there any other witchcraft symbols I should know about?
I wouldn’t say any symbols specifically my friend.
17) Are there any strictly WITCHCRAFT holidays?
Primarily practitioners still choose to use the wheel of the year even when they are not Wiccan, because this allows then to practice the solstices and equinoxes, which are still just important parts of the year. From my knowledge there are no specific witchcraft holidays that are secular.
18) What is “casting a circle?”
Casting a circle is a ritual that was originally taken from ceremonial magick and is a way of protecting and raising power. there are many different ways to cast a circle, and it’s very specific to the tradition. A basic understanding of how this practice is done is that an individual lays out a specific space in a circle either using their energy or a cord. In most traditions they will also usually go through the process of calling the watchtowers or corners.
19) What is grounding?
Grounding is the act of connecting an individual to the earth, physicality, and/or that moment in time. It connects you to something so that your energy can flow down into that and make you stable. grounding is done after centering.
20) What is centering?
Centering is the process of bringing all of your energy to the center of you. This is done because over time energy naturally flows away from you, and you are naturally giving everything energy around you, because of that it brings it all back. Allowing you to take control of everything you possess again. Centering is usually a preparation step for grounding.
21)Are #19 and #20 actually the same thing?
No they are not. Both of them have to do with energy but they are definitely not the same thing.
22) What is a “witch name?”
A witch name is a name some practitioners choose to use in order to be anonymous in their practice. This is usually a form of protection for the one using it, but it can also be used as a form of separation between the mundane and the Magickal. It protects the individual by not being a taglock, and it has been used by those who need to stay anonymous, so that people don’t figure out they practice witchcraft in their daily lives.
23) What do different colors/plants/animals symbolize in most witchy circles?
That’s a hard one because the correspondences for all of these things can change from tradition to tradition and from practitioner to practitioner. A lot usually does stay the same but it’s kind of hard to say for certain.
24) Can the symbolism of #23change based on who you are, your culture, and how you practice? Or are all symbolizations pretty concrete?
They are quite relative to culture and practice, and do have the ability to change.
25) What are taboo words or practices for witches?
Primarily, I would not outlaw any practice. Some practices I believe are definitely better than others, and there are some practices that are built on racism and hate, but there’s no witch pope that decides what are taboos, and what aren’t.
26) What are some closed practices? (I figure this is different than taboo – taboo is frowned upon while I would consider cultural appropriation unacceptable.)
It’s hard to give you a list my friend, due to the fact that I can’t speak for the people of those specific traditions. Primarily anything with an initiation tradition, or a living culture that has not gone to the process of providing you with, or giving you the okay to practice is a closed practice, and because practices are also varied it’s hard to say specifically in a list format.
27) What are chakras?
Chakras are energy centers that come from The Vedic traditions. Originally points of focus on the body for meditation they nowadays have, become energetic organs for new-age understandings, and are consider to be the places in the body where energy pools. Practitioners open and close these in order to interact with specific types of energy.
28) Is the subject of #27 part of a closed practice? (I’ve heard it is…)
The answer is yes, and no. It’s very complicated, and I can’t say one way or the other.
29) Are candles and incense interchangeable? (I’ve heard incense can be bad for you.)
Candles and incense are not interchangeable. They both have their own metaphysical properties and correspondences in which they bring out. Also incense can be bad for you over consistent or long exposure, because it is just smoke, but it’s really not the worst for you, especially with proper ventilation.
30) What are auras?
Auras are a new age concept and was first popularized by Leadbeater of the theosophical society. It is the energy that flows off of the body, and later new agers decided that it had layers connected to the understanding of the theosophical planes of existences.
31) Are there any must-have magical tools?
No there’s nothing that you specifically need.
32) Are there any must-have books on witchcraft?
Only if you’re focused on a specific tradition.
33) Are there any authors I should avoid completely on my witchcraft journey?
I’m going to say not specifically. Every book has their own ups and downs. It is important to use your discernment with whatever you pick, because alot of people did write a lot of sketchy things. And, I know a lot of people are going to say silver ravenwolf here, but im not going to ban you from reading her, and there’s a lot of interesting things people don’t know about that controversy.
34) What is the difference between a Book of Shadows and a Grimoire? (If there even is one…)
Technically there is no difference. This is because grimoires are originally just the French word for book written in Latin, and later simply just refer to all magickal books. The term Book of Shadows isn’t created tell Gardener creates his Book of Shadows which was a grimoire. So technically the Book of Shadows is just the witchy version of a book to keep things. Where grimoire were the exact same thing for the Latin and Renaissance traditions mostly ceremonial magick.
35)What are some things you wish someone had told you when you were starting out as a baby witch?
I just wish someone would have told me that I can create my own practice from the very start. All you really need to do is understand why things work, and what people have done, then create, and experiment, and find what works for you.