I had left education when folk started to get computers with the internet in their homes. I had spent my youth with my face in a book and generally causing mischief in a world without social media to remind me of my mishaps and bad decisions the next day! I miss those days, for some of my time is now spent wrestling with a technology i fear im not designed for.
Today everything is so much easier, Want to know the answer to any question? Today, we can roll over in bed grab our phone and the answer is there at the end of our fingertips. back in the day, we had to walk into town to spend the afternoon in the library and come away with a book on demonology because that was all that was left in the section i wanted that looked remotely interesting (p.s i still have that book lol sorry )
The downside to having everything you want to know at the tip of your fingers? Everybody has a voice, an opinion, 50,000 different viewpoints. not all of them are correct however, this is where i lose my shit somewhat. whilst it is true that everyone's journey in the craft is their own, there are some basic facts i have seen twisted and i will say pre-june 1997, no-one had even heard of Hogwarts.
So, here is some basic advice, some i wish i knew twenty something years ago.
1) Do not believe everything you read on the internet.
2) Don't take what you read in books as gospel either.
3) You do not have to be Wiccan
4) You do not have to be a Pagan or Worship any Deities.
5) Witchcraft is not a religion, Wicca is.
6) Witchcraft does not do all the work for you. If you cast a spell to pass a test, you best do some studying for the exam!
7) Don't let others shame you from doing what works for you. If others do things you may disagree with, let them get on with it, without judgement. Including cursing.
8) Not everybody believes in the Three fold return, Karma or the Wiccan Rede.
9) Salt is Salt. 0.29p from Tesco - £4.99 Sourced direct from the Himalayas. Both does the same job
10) You do not need every herb known to mankind, Tool, Crystal, oil or an Altar, work with what you have. Your power is not limited to the stuff you own.
11) Do your own research. Don't rely on someone else's list of correspondences.
12) Write in journals, books and Grimoires. Handwriting, spelling & mistakes are unimportant.
13) DO NOT COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHER WITCHES!!!!
14) Use common sense. eg: Never leave candles unattended, Don't ingest what you don't know. im going to slip this in, just incase!
15) We are all still learning, old or new. don't be in a rush to learn everything all at once.
16) You do not need permission to call yourself a witch. There is no dogmatic enforcement of the path to being a witch. No Witch Pope lol
17) Don't rush into trying to give yourself a label and don't be afraid to change your mind.