Something that I perceive a bit differently than most people of today's society is witchcraft. It's something that I've been practicing for about 6 years now, but have not really dived into what most people what call "expert mode." By "expert mode" I mean all of the stereotypes of witchcraft: lit candles on a themed altar, surrounded by crystals and herbs, while chanting in a whisper in the secrecy of your own home. This scenario is nice - it really is! It's something that I've dreamt of since the beginning. But not everyone has means to that scenario. And...there's more to witchcraft than aesthetics!
First and foremost, I'd like to address expectations. They really need to stop. Witchcraft has many different meanings for several people. One's witchcraft scenario may be the example above, while another's scenario could be sitting on their bed with a blanket and tarot deck, drinking a cup of hot cocoa with no candles or chanting at all. The witchcraft you see in the media isn't even close to being real, so if you're new to the concept and you're thinking it'll work that way, you'll be highly disappointed. But that's just expectations of a newcomer. What about the expectations of the witch community that are already past the basics?
Well, there are quite a few definitions of witchcraft, which I don't really believe as the true definitions, but the one that seems to glue them all together is simply: "the practice of magic." Okay, so what's magic then? Well, again, I found some stereotypical definitions that resonate more with Hollywood than they do with real life, but one that made the most sense was "exceptional skill or talent" over at Oxford Dictionaries. If you really think about it, even in the stereotypical way, all you're doing is using your learned skills to practice making changes that you see necessary.
Okay, so let's look at those two previous examples. With the first one, with the candles and chanting, the witchcraft here would probably be more of the expected practice: casting spells or performing rites and rituals. Let's say that the person casting a spell was using their knowledge of herbs, color associations, candle scents and so on to hype up their motivation for an upcoming speech. Well, that knowledge alone does help, but what actually makes the magic is the skill of visualization, meditation, intent/energy pushing, etc. Without that focus and intention, you're not really letting the universe know what you need. You're just showing the universe that you've learned associations. But, what about the second scenario, with the tarot cards? Well, this scenario is quite opposite. The person using tarot doesn't really have anything to support knowledge in associations, other than the tarot meanings. While there are plenty of people out there reading tarot off the meanings alone, though, the magic here is pure intuition and focus. If you just ask a question and write down the meanings without taking in any actual intuitive insight, then you aren't using your skills to manifest a productive and helpful reading. That's basically just the act of studying.
But that's enough of the meaning. On to the point about magical expectations. Ladies, you don't need to spend loads on supplies for your witchcraft. Having the basics for whatever you practice should do just fine. There's this huge expectation (guilty as charged!) that you need to have a whole collection of herbs, crystals, candles and tarot/oracle decks, a perfect grimoire or journal of all things magic, and an altar that looks like it's right out of an ancient history book. You don't! You can practice witchcraft perfectly fine with no supplies at all - or just the basics, even.
So that's my intake on it. You don't need to be an expert, and you don't need to have a ton of money to practice witchcraft. You just need belief and skill to get what you want to be manifested.