How many times have I gotten variants of this same letter from the same girl and her soul sisters:

HI umm ur page is kewl umm can u tell me how 2 B a REAL WITCH b/c i want to cast spellz for my teachr to pass me and the guy I like to like me 2!!!! can u help me? im a natural witch i think and 2day i bougt a PENTAGRAM NEKLACE kewl HUH???? um ok tell me how but how can i make sure my mom doesnt kno OK??? blessed be (is that what u say to b a witch? write bak soon!!! ps can u do that stuff like in that movie THE CRAFT??? ok ttyl!!!

Heh, this is making me giggle (and driving me halfway to vomit) just writing this. I don't mean to mock people (okay maybe I do) but gods help me I'm not sure I can take this kind of shit too much longer.

Instant Witch Syndrome is, of course, not limited to young girls or women, but instead can affect any impressionable soul, usually one who has lots of unfulfilled desires and thinks they can be taken care of with chanting, spices, and lit candles bearing mysterious engraved symbols. Their main problem is that they go into "Crafting" trying to get something out of it. The best reason to go into it, in my humble opinion, is that the concepts that you've heard about intrigue you. When you just want to jump into it because you want love and money, you might as well hire a matchmaker to get you a mate, and a good stockbroker to get you some cash, 'cause the latter option is a lot more likely to work with that attitude.

My advice: Don't get into Wicca, Witchcraft, Druidism, or whatever other aspect of the Pagan world beckons you just because you want something. If you do it, do it because you're interested, because something about it calls to you, because you sincerely think it's the right path. DON'T get into it because your best friend is doing it. DON'T get into it because you want to hex your enemy or turn your ex-boyfriend into a toad. DON'T get into it because you want to be part of the New Age scene. Do it because it seems right. And come to think of it, take that advice for any new chapter you start writing in your book of life. (Eww, gross, I need to shut up, I'm waxing poetic.)

As a final word for anyone interested who doesn't want to be considered a wannabe Witch, I'd suggest doing two things: TALK to PEOPLE and READ some BOOKS. Talk to people about what books to read and talk to people about whether what's in the books is full of crap or if it's good advice. Turn it over in your own mind and integrate it. Find a teacher if it works best for you that way. But don't let any one author or acquaintance tell you there's only one way or that the best way for you HAS to be what turned out to be the best way for them. (If you want that attitude, there's plenty of good ol' patriarchal religions to join.) Write it all down, assimilate it, think about it, and act on it. But don't watch movies like The Craft or TV shows like Sabrina (haha) and decide you have a working knowledge of what witches do. If you've already watched these things and do currently harbor that delusion, and want to "get into" Witchcraft because of it . . . well, let's say you're about to step into another world. ::evil cackle::