Dear Witchful Thinking,
I found your site in a search for ways to protect my home from a guest who I am going to have to invite into my home, but this woman, who is also a Witch, does not not like me and I do not trust her. I am Wiccan also, my distrust isn’t due to her beliefs. I need some advice on ways to protect my home when inviting an unfriendly guest who could cause harm into it. Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
There’s an old saying that goes “guests are like fish, they stink after three days”. Ok, it’s not a very nice thing to say, but there is something to it. Back in the day, maybe our parents generation, folks knew what it meant to be a guest. This included cleaning up after yourself, offering to cook one night, and generally not trying to be much of a burden on the host. Now-a-days, guests expect it to be like at a hotel, where they are waited on hand and foot. Some open communication with your guest could really help–especially establish when she will be leaving.
I assume that since you have to invite this guest into your home, that you are either 1) related, 2) working on a business deal, 3) trying to please your partner who wants them to visit, or 4) taking a charity case and you are the nicest person ever.
In Wicca, we recognize that sometimes people we don’t like are actually very like us. It is what we see in them that we don’t like about ourselves. So what is it about this woman that you dislike so much? Is it her manners? Her attitude? Or just the fact that she doesn’t like you? And does she really not like you? Or do you just think that she doesn’t like you?
I don’t know what kind of harm this woman can do to you that you would allow. If she breaks something like a vase, that harm can often be mended. Even if it is irreplaceable–it’s just stuff. If she leaves “bad vibes”, you can clean them up when she’s not looking, and recognize that it’s probably only upsetting you anyway (you’re the sensitive Witch, after all!). Will she physically hurt your animals or children? That’s unacceptable for anyone, Witch or no, and she should know better (after all, who needs that kind of 3-fold return Karma??). So what kind of harm are we talking about?
Not everyone will like you. Sometimes they are projecting their own past on you. Perhaps you symbolize something distasteful to them. Sometimes they just have the wrong impression. Often their values are different than yours. It doesn’t make sense, but I think you know it is true. Something about you scares them–and that there is valuable information that you should try to find out! With that info, you can work on it and learn to help them have some compassion for you. Here’s the thing: it goes the other way, too: As Above, So Below, right?
Remember that Wiccans work for the highest good for all involved, especially because we reap our own Karma. Is starting a Witch War going to help you do that? Your guest may not have the same values that you do, even if you are both Witches, but hold true to YOUR highest ideals and strive ever toward them (Thanks Uncle Al!).
So, it sounds like you can’t change the situation. But you can change your mind. Imagine this woman is, well, a Witch–she challenges you and rubs you the wrong way and might cast a spell on you. You can’t fight her with sword and shield, so you must defeat her in less obvious ways. You are the hero in the journey and story of self-awareness and personal growth. You will defeat her because you know the ways of magic. You know that you are powerful, and nothing she can do will truly harm you (after all, a curse only works if you believe in it). You listen to her and are kind to her because you know that she can teach you something about yourself and about the world.
My advice in real life? Kill her with kindness. Make food she’ll enjoy. Make her comfortable. If she gets petty, take the highest road. If you think she’s casting spells on you, utterly ignore them. If her vibes are trashing your house, cover them with your light vibes of peace and tranquility (and a little sage or cedar never hurt either). Do not sink to her level and engage in a Witch War. I promise you will both lose.
Perhaps this isn’t the advice you wanted. But I honestly believe that when you cast spells on people, your Karma gets tangled with theirs. And I know I don’t want to be tangled with someone I don’t actually like. I trust that the Gods and the Laws of Karma will even things out in the long run. Until then, I’m free to change myself–and so are you. You have a valuable opportunity for learning here. I suggest you take it and run with it!
Otherwise, check out this article on clearing spaces and keeping magically safe.
Dear Witchful Thinking,
My cat, who was my familiar and my feline soulmate passed away last October. My neighbor poisoned him with antifreeze and I rushed him to the hospital, but they couldn’t do anything to stop it, and I had to make the horrible decision after much crying and begging the deities to help, to let him go.
Since then, my life is empty and I feel lost. What can I do to get my life back on track and is he still with me? I don’t feel him. Am I just too overcome with emotions? Please help guide me back to the true path.
I am so sorry about your loss. What a sad case! Antifreeze is so dangerous to animals. I can hardly imagine the pain you are going through. It doesn’t surprise me that you are still grieving over the loss of your friend.
First allow me to say that grief takes as much time as it takes, and where you are and whatever you are feeling is exactly where you are supposed to be and what you should be feeling. That being said, in order to process grief, you must address it. Writing to me is a good step, and sharing your feelings with others is important–you are already on your healing path. Have you allowed yourself to have closure through ritual such as a funeral?
I think this grieving and healing process is complicated by your neighbors actions. It seems so malicious–who would hurt an animal? I am wondering if you are feeling betrayed, violated, or perhaps depressed. It was traumatic and difficult to go through. What support and help have you received from friends and family during that time?
In Paganism, our pets are important relationships and have a significant impact on our lives. Perhaps it is because we don’t have “dominion over the animals” and we see them equally as children of the Goddess and God, or recognize the inherent divinity in animals. Consequently, the loss of a pet can hit one as hard as the loss of a family member. Yet our society tells us to “get over it” and to “just get another pet”–as if you can replace family members!
Yet animals come and go in our lives for many reasons. They come to teach us lessons about trust, unconditional love, dependence, and play. What lessons have you learned from your cat friend? The harder questions is, what lessons can you learn from the death of your cat friend? Forgiveness? Independence? Letting go? Permission to feel pain and anger? Honor those lessons, even the ones that hurt, and you’re friend will be honored and a part of you. Being in constant pain awash with grief does not honor your friend.
When my cats disappeared mysteriously, I placed strips of fabric in a tree with a prayer to each of them, inviting them to come back and to give me a sign that it is them. I wished them well on their journey and told them I loved them–a sort of funeral for them. I knew that if they weren’t with me, they were with another family that needed them, or would be reincarnated where they were needed. Is there a prayer, spell or ritual that you can do to mark the passing of your friend?
As to not being able to feel him, it is because you have not integrated the lesson he was trying to teach you. If you feel that you just HAVE to get in contact with him, perhaps contact a pet psychic to help you find that lesson and help you contact your friend.
The anniversary of this event is approaching, and it is likely to stir up some old feelings–that’s ok. Dying is part of life. Hurting is part of healing. This is the path–not just the light side, but the dark nights, too. You know that if you keep walking, it will get light again.
See this post on grief for more information. My heart goes out to you.
Dear Witchful Thinking,
I heard somewhere something weird, and wanted to ask you about it. I heard that during the Burning Times, if a Witch broke her oaths to the coven then part of the punishment was that she would be reincarnated away from people she knows. She would be amongst strangers and not with other Witches. Is that true?
Young Padawan Learner
This falls into the realm of coven oral teaching, which I have not been able to verify in a book, and had to ask an elder. While we historically know that the Burning Times did not happen as we thought they did, the mythology surrounding medieval covens has stuck with us and been reinterpreted for modern times.
Wiccans believe in reincarnation. Since everything else in nature goes in cycles, it makes sense that so do we. That’s why people have past-life memories sometimes. Many subscribe to the idea that our souls are here to learn lessons, and that we have decided before our incarnation what lessons we need to learn. People come into our lives because they have a lesson to teach us–especially people we don’t get along with. If you have it in you, try thanking someone who makes you angry, hurts you, or that you find deeply unpleasant–thank them for the lesson they are teaching you.
I think we are reincarnated with people we know, especially family. In one way or another, we all must come to terms with our family and balance out the relationships as we grow and change and when there is a lot of stress. The elder I talked to calls this your “soul group”. When you meet somebody who reminds you of somebody else, or you feel like you’ve known them forever, then you’ve been with them in a past life. Additionally, if you instantly dislike someone, you’ve met with them in a past life too.
The elder I spoke to told me about the term “Warlocking” (yes, I realize it is a World of Warcraft word for newbies gone wrong). As you know, “warlock” means “oath-breaker”. She explained it as a karmic law (rather than the effect of the coven actions) of the Fates that goes into effect when one does something unspeakably horrible to get in the way of things. This includes murder, so ratting out your coven would have been something that would qualify one for Warlocking. Basically, it reincarnates them out of the way of the work that magical people are doing and puts them out of harms way. It gives them a chance to fix their mistake rather than repeating it in another life, and keeps those doing the magical work safe from their bad influence. It is a self-regulating mechanism that is not controlled by the Gods, but to which they too are a part.
Because magical people like Witches are working to become familiar with the laws of Karma and in working with energy, deity and other sacred tasks, they are held to a higher standard than non-magical folk. Remember that everything you do comes back to you, and if not this time, then it’ll catch you the next!
Dear Witchful Thinking,
Let me start off by saying I love your writtings everytime I read your articles I race around the house like a school kid .. to tell the wife “guess what she said about this”…lol!
With that I ask a personal question that is troubling me…My wife and I got married about a year ago and she has a son that is 7 years old. He has been living with her mother since she came here to find work and make a home for him but, we want to be a whole family again and don’t know how to go about introducing him back into the family without shocking the childs mind. We are pagan family and her mother is raising him christian and we are afraid of how he would react to the change of life style… her mother has fought bringing him down to us saying we are not stable enough a family for him, but we want to be whole. She has always had an excuse to keep him from us but we want to be part of his life. My wife crys a lot and misses him badly to the point she calls everyday. How do I bring my family together again? And at the same time keep from scaring the child with culture shock.
Loving Pagan Father
First of all, thank you for your comment about my writing. You are exactly who I am writing for!
Second, family. I really feel for your wife. It is hard to be away from your child, and the way it is being done, it sounds like a judgment against her, know what I mean? Somehow having her son at his grandmothers says “it’s because you aren’t a good enough mom”. I doubt very much that is what grandma means. The real question here has little to do with religion and has everything to do with what is best for the child.
My question is: who has custody? Who is legally responsible for the boy? It sounds like the arrangement was supposed to be temporary and has become permanent. If grandma has custody, you will have to go through the courts. The courts prefer that children be with their mothers, and are much more enlightened about Paganism than they were in the 1980’s. All you have to do is prove to the court that you are stable and will be good parents. This will be things like no illegal drug use, toys and space for the child, demonstrating affection and some knowledge of child development (that is, you aren’t asking your 3 year old complex questions and expecting an answer, etc.).
If mom has custody, then it should be easier. Grandma might be holding on because she doesn’t trust the situation–has she checked it out for herself? Give her the opportunity to see what a loving family you are, whatever your religion. If you haven’t already, set up a room for the son. Magically, this sets up the expectation that he will come to stay, and makes room for him in your family. Your other children will begin to see that there will soon be a new addition. Have them help put it together.
Create the magical idea of the whole family by including your son in things, even if he is not there. So if the the other children get a new coat, so does your wife’s son. He gets cake on his birthday, even if he isn’t there to celebrate with the family. He’s included in family prayers as part of the family. This sets the intent and gets your side of the family ready to include him. It will help your wife feel more whole.
Find out from Grandma what “stable” means. She might mean financially, but she might mean morally. On one you can change her mind on, but the other you are far less likely. If she does not have custody, remind her–this is not her choice. If she keeps the kid against your wife’s consent, I’m pretty sure that is kidnapping, no matter what state you are in. Go fetch the child yourself. Bring the whole family. Tell Grandma, in no uncertain terms, to pack him up (and then be prepared to pack his things when you get there). This puts less burden on Grandma to do all the work, and shows that you are more than serious about this, and ready to take responsibility. If you get there, and she refuses, call the non-emergency local police, and ask for an escort. The law is on your side, and if it escalates, they can help out. If nothing else, it sends a very strong message. But consider this your last resort. Having the police come is very embarrassing, and might cause trouble for both of you. Still, you need to know that you have that as an option.
I know you are worried about culture shock, but your son is so young, he hasn’t formed a concept of moral right or wrongness. He doesn’t really get religion. He understands structure, love and affection. In an ideal world, you would have Grandma start talking to him about going back to live with mom, and how exciting it will be. When you get your son, have a sit down talk (as much as a seven year old will sit!) and introduce him to everyone in the family. Talk about the rules of the house, such as if he has any chores, how he gets his allowance, what time bed time is, etc. Make special note of any rules that are different: “I know at your grandmas house, you got in trouble if you _____, but here we _____.” You can even approach religion: “I know at your grandmas house, you went to church on Sunday, but here we have a different kind of church, and we go when the moon is full.” Or whatever the case may be. Talk about what consequences will be for breaking the rules, and be firm about them. Give him the opportunity to ask questions about how things are, and don’t put him in timeout for breaking a rule he doesn’t know about. This is all good parenting, Pagan or otherwise.
In my work, I often see kids in split homes, and when they come to the visiting parents home, they throw temper tantrums, are fussy, or break rules they know on purpose. This is part of testing the environment and the parent. Your son might do that. If you are firm and clear, you will nip a lot of later problems in the bud. I’ve found that open and honest communication with children stops a lot of problems. They are more perceptive than we think. At any rate, give the son a lot of affection and attention when he gets there. Do things with him, ask what he wants to do or check out and do it together.
When it comes to Paganism, treat it as a normal thing that the family does— because it is. If you are raising your children Pagan, you can help him create an identity by getting him a pentacle, teaching him to meditate and talk to faeries, whatever your persuasion is. You might consider doing a ritual to welcome him into the family. There are some really great books about family Paganism and introducing children to Pagan ideas. If he asks about why things are different, just explain as best you can that your family is Pagan and different from Grandma’s family. Your attitude about it will go a long way in how the child frames the experience. If you are awkward about it and treat it with shame, so will your son. As always, give him the space to ask questions and address problems directly. Children are skilled negotiators!
Most importantly, I think, let Grandma be a part of his life, but in a normal Grandma way, and not as primary caregiver. You and your wife should set the limits on that, so have Granny come over for the afternoon or the weekend to do things with the whole family. The truth is that being a whole family also means making peace with other generations. Grandma did your wife a huge favor, and while this period is over, she deserves your families gratitude and respect (no matter if you had to call the police or not).
Whatever you do, if you do it in the spirit of Love, and the Best Interest of the Child, you will do right. No one will ever be a perfect parent, and there is usually never quite enough to make a household perfectly stable. But if you do your best, you’ll do right by your son and by the Gods.
Dear Witchful Thinking,
I’m a college student and I’m home for the summer. Unfortunately, my home has become a very negative place. Can you give me any tips on emotional shielding?
Coming home from college can be a tough transition. You are used to running your own schedule and having your own space. It is a time when you explore who you are as an individual outside your family, and then coming home can be a difficult experience. Sometimes our folks aren’t honestly ready for us to leave, because as far as they are concerned, you’re still their baby. Sometimes you come back and find that things aren’t the same. For parents, having a kid out of the house gives them room to look at their relationship, and they don’t always like what they see.
Whatever the reason, there are several ways you can shield yourself from negativity:
- Shield Yourself. Create a charm or amulet–something you can wear. A Pentacle works perfect for this: start at each of the corners and trace it with your athame, wand or finger. Visualize the power of earth, air, fire, water and spirit protecting you. See yourself wearing it, and a protective egg around you that lets in only good and safe energy. Imagine any negativity simply bouncing off harmlessly, to be transformed into something else later. You can raise some energy into it by chanting, humming, soaking it in the moonlight or sun, or whatever seems appropriate to your spell. Whenever you wear it, you know that eggshell of energy is protecting you. When things get rough, touch or pull gently on it, to release the protection and remind you that you are safe.
- Shield Your Space. If you have your own room, or a place that you call yours in your parents house, consider making it a sanctuary. First, clean the heck out of it! You can burn some sage and let the sacred smoke banish the negative vibes, but beware that the smoke sometimes smells like marijuana! Another option is cedar or sweetgrass. You can usually pick these things up at a New Age or metaphysical store. If you live in the Pacific Northwest, you might be able to find a dry piece of cedar outside. Or consider aspirging with sea salt water. Once your space is vibrationally clean, cast a semi-permanent circle. Using your athame, wand or projective hand, draw a circle around your room. Visualize the energy surrounding it and making a 3-D bubble. Draw the energy up from the Earth. Give this boundary a purpose, that is keep out all negativity, that negativity inside be dissolved away, and that love and safety shall prevail in the circle. Consider decorating it to reflect that serenity, or create an altar to hold the energy of safety. When the energy of the room feels good, draw a door on top of your door, and tell the circle that you want to be able to come and go freely, with the door acting as a permeable barrier that still keeps out negativity. Should someone burst in your room and spill their negativity everywhere, you can always clear it out again. Remember the more energy you put into your visualizations, the stronger they become. When the break is over, and it is time to go back to college, take down your sacred space–it takes energy to sustain it, and the distance between home and college will make it tiresome.
- Shield your Astral Self. If you are adept at meditating, consider this idea. Go to the Astral Plane and shield yourself there. Ask any entities for advice or insight into the problem. Try visiting a deity you work closely with and see if they have any thoughts. Ask them to protect you in the physical and Astral worlds.
- Actively Banish the Yuck. You can use a Mudra to banish the negativity and calm yourself. Choose a hand gesture that is subtle and easy to remember, perhaps the thumb and forefinger squished together so the hand resembles a dog, or make an OK sign. Whatever you choose, go into a meditative state and “program” your Mudra to your needs. Again, visualize yourself being safe and secure, protected from negativity whenever you do the hand gesture. With this programed, you have only to make the gesture, and you will feel its effects! Be sure to be specific when you program.
- Try the Mundane. Magic always works better when paired with a mundane manifestation of your desire. If there is conflict in the house, it is ok to face it. Problems rarely go away on their own, and if you address it and bring it into the light, so to speak, it is much more likely to be addressed. Even if you can’t actually do anything about it, you can gently voice your concerns, talk over how you feel and how it affects you. People don’t always consider how their problems affect other people. Maybe there is something you could do to make the problem better, but don’t get tangled up in someone elses mess! Unfortunately, people have to learn their lessons on their own. The best you can do is tend to your own life lessons.
I hope that gives you enough to get through the summer. Good luck with this situation! Remember that college is right around the corner.
Dear Witchful Thinking,
I keep reading in rituals about the Watchtowers. I’m wondering where they come from and why they are important and what they actually do.
Dear Mama C,
Good question! They are all over, aren’t they? Did anyone else first encounter them in The Craft (1996)? Well, they’ve been around for a long time, so I had to do some research about where they came from.
From what I can tell, there seem to be several possible origins which sort of coallesqued with Gardner in his magical studies to the point where they seemed almost required to be included in a magical system. Possible origins include:
- Ancient Rome: small “watchtowers” were built at crossroads with little altars in them for the Lares, or local spirits. These small stone structure dotted the landscape, and would have been associated with ancient pagan ways.
- Elizabethan England: Dr. John Dee, the official occultist of Queen Elizabeth, worked with Edward Kelly to reveal the Enochian system of magic. They came up with different symbols for each of the directions, which they associated with different stars, colors, elements and angels. The angels were envisioned as guardians of these watchtowers.
- Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn: Because they were well-educated in existing magics, the HOGD adopted the watchtowers for a ritual used to cleanse the space.
- Kibbo Kift: This off-branch of Woodcraft and the Boy Scouts involved boys in the English countryside holding elaborate rituals in what they believed was the “Indian way”. It was well known that they did ritual in circle and called different elements representing the four directions. While we’ve never heard of it these days, this was a huge movement during Gardner’s time, and Woodcraft was set to out-pace the Boy Scouts if it weren’t for their internal politics conflicting with the two World Wars. These fake Native American ceremonies were popular, but probably not based on any actual particular Native religious ritual.
- Uncle Gerald: As you probably know, Gerald Gardner, the founder of Wicca, was also well-versed in the magical systems of the day, including the magical formulas used by the Golden Dawn.
Now-a-days, mostly traditional Wiccan groups like Garnerian and Alexandrian covens call upon the Watchtowers. However, you can still find them included in a lot of books, like Silver Ravenwolf’s “Teen Witch”, the Farrar’s “The Witches Way”, and Lady Sheba’s “Book of Shadows” to name a few. As a general rule, I suspect, Wiccans have moved away from the formal magical systems based upon older traditions, and have moved towards a more informal and intuitive practice of ritual.
The purpose of the Watchtowers is whatever you tell them to do. Typically, they might cleanse the circle, witness the rite, maintain the integrity of the magical boundary, and bring their elemental energy into the circle. Remember when you cast a circle, you are creating a miniature universe, so be clear about your purpose. Many traditions say something like:
Hail to the Gaurdian of the Watchtower of (direction), ye lords of (element), I do summon, stir and call thee forth to guard and protect this magic circle. (draw the correct pentagram) So Mote it Be!
The Watchtowers are important precisely because they connect us to this long history of magical ritual. When something is used the same way for a long time, it builds up power. The advantage of this for the beginner is that it requires less experience on their part to get the Watchtowers to do their jobs.
Be sure, however, to send them away when you are done with the Circle–if you take it out, you put it away! I occasionally hear ritualists dismiss the directions by saying “Go if you must, stay if you like”. This is a pet peeve of mine. Would you leave a candle burning unattended? No. It might burn the house down. Elementals, and the Watchtowers that house them, are not human minded, but Elemental minded. They seek to be their element, which is not necessarily what we want from them. Out of control water means flooding.
I have been to places in which the Guardians of the Circle had not been dismissed properly, and had the eerie sensation of being watched. Some people on Circle felt threatened by this energy that was just trying to do its job. The only way to get rid of it is to dismiss it. At the end of ritual, everyone needs to safely come back down to Earth, in our human place of existence in the now. It is the ethical responsibility of the ritualists to make sure this happens, and releasing the Watchtowers, Elementals and any other Circle Guardians (including the Gods) is important. It is polite to make sure everyone knows when to leave.
Always plan any magical act, including ritual, ahead of time. Think about the possible consequences of each action, and remember things get amplified in Circle. Whether or not you include the Watchtowers is up to you, but it can be an easy way to access a stored energy of power to lend to your Circle.
Do you have a question for Witchful Thinking? Whether it is a personal ethical question, or just something you’ve been wondering about the craft, or something you’d like to read about, you can have your question answered on the Internet! Yay! Simply send your question to JamieFreemanTarot@gmail.com, and in a few days, you’ll get a response from me.
This is YOUR place to get answers from a real person–answers you can’t always find in a book. So go on, give it a try! If you enjoy the Dear Witchful Thinking posts, click “advice” in the categories cloud to see them all.
Dear Witchful Thinking,
Do you cast spells for free ? This is just until I get over my fear of becoming a witch.
There is so much here that makes me sad. In response to sentence 1: No. In response to sentence 2: …um…really?
I don’t cast spells for other people for free. It’s nothing personal. It’s just that nothing in this world is free. I’ll cast a spell for you, but you’re gonna have to work for it. I’m not going to tie myself to a stranger’s Karma. Studies show that people don’t value things they get for free, and if you do any spell, you should be very tied to the outcome. When you expect things for free, you get what you pay for. The Rule of Three applies, and 3×0 is still nuthin’.
With my tarot readings, spells, and even my writing, I expect to get paid in some way–or else, why would I do them? The client is paying for my time and attention, as well as my many years of education and experience. When you pay for something, you get better results, pay more attention to the outcome, and are more likely to use it. However, you don’t always have to pay with money. Many readers are happy to take a trade of equal value. Remember, EQUAL value. I once did a trade tarot reading. I wrote four pages for her…she wrote me two sentences. There was nothing fair and equitable about it and I felt robbed.
Many Craft coven laws explicitly state that you cannot sell the Craft for money. And I completely agree with them. That is why I write articles explaining how to do things–they aren’t secrets. With tarot, I can show you a dozen books on how to do it. Heck, every deck has a little booklet that tells you what it all means. What you pay for is the skills of the reader.
So…no. For everyone’s benefit, I don’t do spells for free.
As to the second part, I guess I don’t really understand it. What are you afraid of? Sure. There are some hard things about being a Witch, like deciding to come out of the broom closet, personal responsibility, and regularly facing your inner demons.
If you’re not already Pagan, and are coming from the mainstream culture, I can imagine that you are afraid of the dark occult forces, of losing your salvation through Jesus, and of conjuring up devils and demons. I suppose the attraction to you is this Faustian desire for power in this life. But if that’s what you want…seriously, Wicca doesn’t want you.
Wicca and Paganism are serious religious life paths. People are attracted to them because they already feel like they are Pagan, and just haven’t put a name to their beliefs yet. That’s why we don’t convert–practitioners recognize the religion as something they’ve been looking and longing for. They may be afraid to jump in the deep end without doing some more research, but most of the time, they already are Witches in one sense or another.
So, anonymous, if you are afraid of being a Witch because you aren’t sure what it means or entails or if it is right for you, then I encourage you to do some more research. Witchful Thinking is happy to answer any question you might have. However, if you are afraid of going to Hell and demons and so forth…well, then I encourage you to do some more research, if only to educate yourself about the multicultural world we live in. Try some non-Christian derived sources, yes? Don’t worry. You won’t go to Hell for reading about Witches.
Additionally, anonymous, I encourage you to learn to cast your own spells. Not only will they be tailored to your situation, but you will be more invested in their outcome. The process of learning to do your own magic can be very empowering and healing.