Beginner Witchcraft – What To Do:
Learn some simple form of meditation, and practice it often, the idea being to master the art of a QUIET MIND. In order to be attentive to the world around you, you have to learn to let go of the inner chattering.
T.S. Eliot (in “East Coker”) puts it this way: “…the mind is conscious, but conscious of nothing– I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting. Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought: So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.”
Listen to everything. Above all, listen to your body. Starhawk recommends a regular program of exercise, and I agree. Again, it quiets the mind.
Get in touch with the movements of the Earth and the Moon. Get a calender that has Moon phases, and make a point of knowing what phase you’re in, at all times. Notice the differences between the dark of the moon (empty but ready for new birth), the new moon (time for initiating things), the waxing moon (growing in power), the full moon (peak of intensity), and the waning moon (fading, turning inward, consolidating gains). If you are a woman, pay attention to your menstrual cycle, and how it matches up with the phases of the moon. If you are a man, get in touch with the cycle of a female friend or lover. Get out under the moon as much as possible. When She is full, lie in a grassy field or on a rooftop and LISTEN to her.
Pay attention to the natural world: the seasons, the plants, the insects, everything around you. If you can, go out hiking and camping as much as possible–alone, or with someone else who can be silent and observant. Even in the city, even in a very restricted urbanized environment, you can see things of nature all around you. Try to walk to work, if possible. Go out in your back yard and sit on the grass and look at the world close up. When inside, observe your pets and your fellow human beings. We are all flesh: we have smells, we have appetites. When you have sex, try to forget the cultural context (lace underwear, etc.) and focus instead on the body, the pleasures of the body. When you play music, let your body dance.