***Disclaimer: This is humour. Parody. I hope we can all laugh and not get offended. Do not follow any of the suggestions regarding poisonous herbs or cutting yourself. All authors mentioned write interesting books and I mean no offence to any of them.Chill. Relax. Read and hopefully enjoy.***
1. Be young, American and white. Probably male and gay too, although the most powerful traditional witches are genderqueer or non-binary.
2. Spell traditional witchcraft "Tradytionale Wytchecraefte", or any combination of letters of your choosing to make it sound more old, archaic, authentic and traditional. Tip: If in doubt, add a "Y" or an "ae", those letters are so cool and old. Suggestions: Wytchcraft, Wytchcrafte, Wytchecraeft, Whytchaecraefte, etc. Referring to witchcraft simply as "the arte" is pretty cool, too, just don't forget that "e".
3.Skulls. Buy yourself one of these gothic mystic alchemical plastic skulls and make it the centrepiece of your altar. It's impossible to practice traditional witchcraft without owning one of these.
You also need animal skulls. You need as many as you can get your hands on. Ram and goat skulls are always cool. Stag skulls sometimes, but they can look a bit Wiccan at times (and you don't want anything to look Wiccan) Try and think outside the box with skulls. More and more wild animal skulls are coming into traditional witchcraft practice now. Start with ram and goat skulls, but progress onto collecting others to show how advanced you are in your Craft (sorry, Craefte).
4. Get a fucking stang.
5. Get yourself a fuck load of jars of herbs and roots and barks. All herbs are good, all really deadly poisonous, toxic and hallucinatory herbs are better.
6. Get yourself accounts on Instagram and Tumblr to post photographs of your altar, books and traditional witch stuff. Instagram and Tumblr are great platforms to share photographs of every single ritual or spell you work (including plenty of ones that you don't). Not enough time to cast a spell or do a ritual or craft working? It's ok, just light the candles on your altar, take some photos and upload them to your Instagram and Tumblr.
7. Just some tips for those altar photos: Make sure you aren't holding back with the skulls, include as many as you can, you really can't have enough. If you want to include some of your crystals on your altar, that is OK, but no more than say three crystals, and always make sure that there are way more skulls than crystals on the altar, otherwise the altar could risk looking Wiccan (Cain forbid!) and a lot less traditional witchcraft.
8. Liberally sprinkle your altars with as many toxic and deadly herbs and plants as you can. This is a really powerful way of demonstrating how much of a fuck you don't give about accidentally killing yourself because you're not afraid of death or the darker aspects of life because you're a traditional witch for crying out loud! You love death, you fucking love that shit.
9. Call yourself a cunning man even though you're 19 and don't provide magical services to various people in a Cornish village because you don't live in a village and have never been to Cornwall or even the UK, for that matter. Select an area of England, Ireland, Wales or Scotland to base your traditional witchcraft on. This is where your ancestors come from. If you go with England; Cornwall is the most magical place. If you want something more magical, go for Wales, Ireland or Scotland.
10. Mention Robert Cochrane and Andrew Chumbley quite a bit.
11. Pretend that you understand what the fuck Robert Cochrane and Andrew Chumbley were talking about.
12. Buy academic books on folklore relating to Witches, cunning men and wise women, European and British folk magical practices, witch trials and accounts of witches' sabbats.
13. Don't worry about not reading the academic books (it CAN be very time consuming, especially when you've got Instagram and Tumblr posts to make). Their true power is revealed through posting photographs of their covers on your social media platforms. Decorate the photos with skulls and poisonous herbs.
14. Talking about spells? Always make sure to let everyone know that you "aren't afraid to get your hands dirty", remind everyone that you DO curse and hex people because you "don't shy away from the darker side of things".
15. What does your practice involve, exactly? If anyone asks, remind everyone how much you "work with the dead" especially your ancestors. If the conversation goes any deeper, try saying that you work very "shamanically".
16. Roadkill. Find it, bag it, take it home and get it on your fucking altar. Photograph with more skulls and poisonous herbs.
17. Spirits! Spirits everywhere, you're an animist! Feed them. Feed the spirits. Photograph the feeding of the spirits (include some skulls and poisonous herbs).
18. You just did a guided visualisation? No, you didn't! You crossed the fucking hedge and journeyed to the sabbat in spirit flight, that's what you fucking did! (sadly this is something that can't be photographed, yet, maybe if you get the photoshop skills?)
19. Blood. Oh my Lord Witchfather, the bloody blood! Blood is COOL. Cut yourself and pour your blood on everything! Finish every spell you ever cast by cutting yourself and spilling some blood on your ingredients. Blood is what makes the spells work. Offer your blood to all of the spirits you work with on a regular basis, especially your familiar. They love blood, it's so powerful.
20. Make sure to remind everyone on your Facebook just how powerful you are, it can never hurt to remind them. In fact, you're probably doing them a massive favour by reminding them because, fuck, they do NOT want to get on the wrong side of you.
21. Remind everyone on Facebook how Witches SHOULD be feared, goddamnit! They aren't safe or polite or politically correct, OK? Witches are DANGEROUS!
22. Make Facebook posts about litter picking, protecting the environment, the importance of safe space and not offending anyone by using incorrect pronouns. Go vegan.
23. Keys. Old keys. Old rusty keys. Keys are magic.
24. Stuck on which gods to work with? If you even work with them at all? Cos, you know, you don't HAVE to work with deities, it's not like you're Wiccan or anything. Go for any of the dark ones...any of them. There's plenty of dark faeries and all sorts of bogeymen you can pick from folktales. They can be your gods too.
25. Refer to the horned god as the devil. Wiccans hate it.
26. Post quotes from "Apocalyptic Witchcraft" by Peter Grey. Start a Witchy revolution. On Tumblr.
27. Read books by Gemma Gary, Peter Paddon, Shani Oates, Peter Grey, Robin Artisson, the Robert Cochrane letters, Andrew Chumbley, anything published by Troy Books. Post photographs of the books, even if you don't own them.
By Seth David Rodriguez
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