I’m teaching a class on basic witchcraft, and I like to start with honing your innate skills. I’ve created this basic chart of elemental categories in order to figure out what you gravitate to first. Sort of like a “sorting hat.”
I’ve included the chart below:
Highlight all of the items that strongly resonate with you. All of them! Even if your judgement says that something is/are negative.
At that point, I assign basic spells in each category but encourage you to start with the category that resonates with you first. In theory, this should be your base element. In order to strengthen yourself magically, you should start in your base element to get the connection you have to nature stronger. As you connect, you’ll find that other elements become easier, but you’re probably going to want to go back to your base element/s.
As someone who works in witchcraft, you should have a comprehensive knowledge of and ability in every area, even if you don’t necessarily excel.
You may notice that defense and protection aren’t really on here. The reason why is this: if you are protecting your home, it should incorporate all of the elements to ensure attack will be prevented.
Here is my disclaimer: I am aware that in many northern European faiths, elements are broken down into Earth, Air, Water, Fire, Spirit. Great! I don’t use Earth because everything is our Earth. The air is part of Earth and water and fire and our spirit always connects us to the energy of which our ‘aina gives us. But I think you understand what I mean in the area above. Also, you’ll see that Earth is basically separated in two areas. One of which is stabilizing and one of which is growing. I do strongly believe that they are different areas of interest and intent, as I believe so does our environment. You’ll probably also notice that time is an element in and of itself. We only are a part of our reality because we experience, recall, and recite it. Without the concept of time and how it affects us, we are not.
I’m also aware that some simplify it down further: below, here, above. I think for beginners, this concept over simplifies because this structure naturally combines many elements in the craft. If a new student fails at one area within a spell, they may wrongly determine that they are unable or that the spell itself doesn’t work. It’s probably one of two things: 1) the ingredients are incorrect or weak, or 2) the practitioner is not connected to one of the aspects of our world. The Below/Here/Above is a fantastic simplification for craft workers who are more able or more naturally connected, and for those who are more acquainted or (dare I say) advanced.
Either way, I find that knowing who you are and your natural strengths, then nurturing those first, will incur stronger results and a stronger faith.
Finally, this may clarify pantheon, patron saints/deities, and a belief structure. This is what is lovely about Benedicaria, if I may? Instead of being boxed into worship of the Norse pantheon, or the Cult of Diana, this allows for you to really connect to a deity worship that matches your connection from your heart to your environment. From your mana to your ‘aina. From you soul to the land.