From the Founder
The Witch’s Universe is meant for everyone. It covers witchcraft basics from a perspective that magic = intention + action. That said…
Coming into your practice as a witch (or whatever title you go by) is not simple, easy, or risk-free. Never indulge in any spell, incantation, ritual, or intention without mindfulness regarding the following.
Is It For You?
AKA: Is it appropriative, a closed practice, or a semi-closed practice?
The simple definition: closed practices, like Shamanism, Vodou, Brujería, or many Indigenous practices, are closed for varying reasons and through varying rules to ensure safety and respect.
For example, unless you have gone through the traditional passage of becoming a shaman, you burning sage is NOT “smudging.” It is simply smoke cleansing. Smudging is a term specific to various Native American and Indigienous practices, and to call it smudging if you are not Indigenous and following their rules for when and how it’s used (and who gets to use it), is appropriative and violent, even if you have read 20 books on it and have a degree in cultural anthropology. A similar rule goes for saying you have a “spirit animal.” Try instead “spirit guide,” “animal guide,” “patronus,” “familiar,” or call them by name.
Before engaging in any practice, do research into its roots, if it is open to you, and if your participation is systemically or systematically appropriative. Whenever possible, listen to the source of the practice. If you are a white person looking to hear from other white people on if something is okay, you’ve missed the point.
This website strictly does not support any claims to closed practices “because I did research and I’m doing it respectfully,” or “the universe’s/earth’s gifts are meant for everyone.”
As much as that would be nice, we cannot ignore the fact that, in our current reality, oppression and oppressive groups are still at work today, and some people’s partaking in practices is actively harmful. It is our duty as witches and as people not to disrespect people or practices.
Look into your own privilege. Equality when you’re part of a ruling class can feel like oppression; it’s not. Being held accountable when you’re not ready to acknowledge the negative impacts of your actions can feel like an attack; it’s not.
For more information, research 1) how Western occultism and Christianity have demonized and changed perceptions of any non-Western practices, 2) how systemic and systematic issues work in our society, and how each and every one of our individual actions becomes part of a larger network of oppression, and 3) listen to oppressed voices.
Especially regarding white witches in North America: our ancestors are the direct or indirect perpetrators of mass human and cultural genocide, to the point where many Indigenous people today don’t even know some or most of their own cultural background. Languages, practices, history was lost (obliterated by colonizers). We, white witches, can manage not to use what’s not meant for us.
For everything you may want to do, there is likely an alternative that is not violent (plus, intention that willfully overlooks its roots and implications is bound not to yield the desired results). For example, instead of “smudging” with white sage, “smoke cleanse” with lavender. This is all not to mention that white sage is endangered (as is Palo Santo). Please source sustainably and ethically.
Penultimately, call us out on any mistakes we may make. Checking our own privilege, undoing years of growing up privileged, unlearning internal biases, and learning more and more about other practices is an ongoing practice in and of itself. We will always hear feedback, do research, correct ourselves, and (publishing resources permitted) update works to make changes.
Are You Protected And Within Your Depth?
As I said earlier in this introduction, coming into your practice as a witch (or whatever title you go by) is not simple, easy, or risk-free. Becoming (i.e. rediscovering you are) a witch means tapping into and working with a world not typically experienced– one that comes with all kinds of creatures, energies, and power we know little about as humans. How you regard this “other” world is up to you.
Personally, I see this “other” world as nothing but our own universe, extensive and beyond our eyes and senses, that I am learning to “see.” It is always there, I come from it, we all come from it, we shall all return to it, but in this human experience we must practice being able to see it. This is what many people mean when they say things like, “The signs are always there, you just have to be willing to see them.” However you regard this “other” world we’re tapping into, one thing remains true, which is the basis of this website: that intention + action = magic.
Parts of this world, to us, can be dangerous. There are many workings at play we do not “see” (physically, metaphysically, or metaphorically). You do not have to be scared to practice witchcraft, but you do have to be aware and educated on what you are doing.
To call on a deity outside of your ancestry can be ill-received. To start working with the fae without knowing what they consider a “deal” can be risky. And on the simpler side, without protective measures in place, rituals and intentions can be misread and misused.
For example, if you are just dipping your toe into deities, don’t willy-nilly decide to summon a god you’ve heard about. You should instead start with researching the basics of working with deities and ancestors, build up a practice honoring what you learn that to mean (and if it’s culturally meant for you or part of an open practice), and move on from there.
Lastly, for everyone reading, which I hope spans classes, ethnicities, gender identities, and all types of practitioners, I hope this serves as a starting guide to discovering your own practice and delving deeper into what is meant for you and your journey. I hope it prompts personalized research and makes the metaphysical realm feel less overwhelming. I hope to reach all walks of life and help inspire you to step into your higher purpose. Blessed be.
- The meaning and impact of cultural appropriation
- The history of white supremacy & its impact on the world
- The definition of a closed practice versus an open practice
- Some other cultural issues to help understand how one’s individual actions contribute to a larger network of oppression, such as toxic masculinity, rape culture, and racism.