Although historically witches and the notion of witchcraft have had a bad reputation, it's now going through something of a renaissance, with millennials and gen z-ers taking a keen interest in certain aspects of the practice. Many find serenity in the practices of witchcraft, while others are interested in its history and the meaning instilled in their lives through astrological readings. Luckily, learning about witchcraft in the UK has never been easier, and there are plenty of ways to get involved. Below are a handful of options to get you started.
In an age of crystals and sage cleansing (I'm personally a fan of both) it can be hard to differentiate practices and tell the difference between a fad and an actual, historical witchcraft practice. But the places and courses listed below will help you learn the difference and become immersed in the true meaning of witchcraft.
The John Academy teaches an online course called Wicca Level 1: Witchcraft For Beginners. This counts as an official qualification and you'll receive a certificate at the end (NB: in order to complete it you must be 16 years old.) The website's description reads: "In the course, you will learn the basic concepts of Wicca, its history, the rise of popularity of Wicca, and the moral code of Wicca. The course explains the Wiccan beliefs intensively, the responsibilities of being a Witch, Wicca rituals, how to prepare for Wicca rituals, necessary magical tools, Wiccan holidays, how to work with astrology and the calendar to enhance the effects of your magic and more."
Witchcraft and Magic UK also offer a course to learn about witchcraft, but this one is taught in three parts. Part One is Sacred Space & Energy, Part Two is Horned Gods & Moon Goddesses and Part Three is Ritual Magic, Wheel Of The Year, Covens & Initiations. This course is not online and would require you to attend a class, but you are not required to attend all three parts. This course is described as being "suitable for all beginners," but one that goes into "greater depths, and includes meditations, pathworking, and magical/ritual work — to embed what you are learning!"
There's also a course on iStudy, which is describes itself "the perfect courses in the UK that can help students/learners to get familiar with the topic and gain necessary skills to perform well in this field." The course consists of 26 modules and offers CPD-accredited certification once its completed. You can study at your own pace, and everything you need is accessible online.
Witches were once depicted as old and haggard and inherently evil and, while a stigma still exists around this particular practice, modern-day witchcraft is finally begin to break free from these old stereotypes. As Suzanne Reid, one the founders of the Traditional Witchcraft Coven based in the North West of England, told Grazia, there are "currently 18 active Covens registered with the UK Pagan Council all over the UK," but there are thought to be more than 100 in total. Speaking about the appeal of witchcraft, Reid says: "Most are seeking something with personal relevance, something that empowers them and perhaps is different than the prevalent patriarchal based western religions, something that allows personal understanding."