Proof in witchcraft can be a sticky subject. Every witch deals with this at some point, you’re excitedly chatting with a friend about some aspect of your craft and instead of being excited with you they ask, “But how do you know that it’s real? Do you have proof?”. This question can lead to all kinds of anxiety and discomfort. Here you are, trying to share something you love and instead of being met with acceptance you’re being asked to justify your beliefs.
Or maybe you’re simply the kind of person who leans heavily on evidenced-based reality and logic in your life. Trying to reconcile spiritual interests with a highly scientific mind can be a challenge, especially with much of the world telling you that it’s an impossibility.
So what’s a witch to do when you’re wrestling with the concept of proof in your craft?
Magic & Science Are Not Contradictory
First of all, magic and science are not contradictory worldviews. In fact, I’ll tell you right now that if someone is trying to sell you an idea that is directly contradicted by science then they are not trustworthy and you should seek other sources of information. More often than not these people are trying to capitalize on the hopelessness of those who are frustrated with their circumstances and this is a deeply unethical thing to do. Even if they fall into the slim category of people who really believe the anti-science nonsense they’re peddling, these people still should not be trusted because they’ve so far separated themselves from the reality of the world they live in that they’re highly likely to be dangerous to the health and mental wellbeing of the people around them.
Magic fills in the gaps where science has yet to explore. The forces we manipulate and interact with as witches are not yet recognized by science and as such, we have no hard and fast proof of their existence. The fact that science cannot yet explain it does not mean that it does not exist, however. We have the experiences of generations of witches and spiritual people to help guide our personal explorations. This anecdotal evidence may not suffice as hard and fast proof but it does give us a community and a wide body of information to explore while we dive into the craft.
Believing In Something Without Evidence Isn’t “Faith” It’s Madness
To those of you out there who feel bad that you sometimes doubt the reality of your magical experiences and practice, I’m here to relieve you of your guilt. Questioning your spiritual path is normal! Not only that, the questioning process is a vital part of your spiritual growth. Anyone who tells you that you have to believe 100% or you’re a “bad witch” or something is full of it. In fact, you don’t even have to fully believe in magic for your magic to work!
That’s right, you can be full on skeptical, doubting the existence of magic and considering swearing off spirituality altogether and still practice the craft. And you absolutely should! The forces we’re working with do not care if you doubt them. They will work anyway and it’s these spells that can have the most impact on your personal security and feeling of stability in your craft.
So when you feel like you’re not sure if the craft is real or fake, it’s ok to break out your tools and cast a spell. Treat it like an experiment, you’re simply testing out a theory about how spirituality works and the results will speak for themselves. Become the scientist in your own spiritual life, search for evidence, or lack thereof, in your spellwork. Keep track of everything, write down what spells you do on what dates and then go back and update those entries as the spell progresses. Do you see partial results? Incredible results? No results at all?
And you know what, it’s unpopular opinion time. If you explore the craft and find that NOTHING works, even after troubleshooting, tweaking, getting help from more experienced witches, and trying again, then witchcraft may not be for you. There is nothing wrong with accepting that witchcraft isn’t the right spiritual path for you. Everyone on this planet is here to walk a different path and this form of spirituality may simply not be the one that speaks to your soul. If it doesn’t feel right to you, don’t force it! Take it as a sign that your spiritual path is taking you elsewhere and do not feel ashamed about following the path that feels true to you. Your spiritual growth comes first.
The thing is, you shouldn’t believe in something without at least some evidence, even if that evidence is something only you have experienced. Personally, my belief in the craft is rock solid but that’s because I have YEARS of experiences that have cumulatively informed my current beliefs. I don’t take anything on faith. I have two decades of spirit encounters, successful spells, psychic premonitions, and more that form the base of my practice. If you’re new to this world and you don’t have those experiences, it would be insanity to ask you to blindly accept this path as empirically true.
Finding Proof & Doing Without
So how do you begin to dig deeper into whether or not the craft is real? As we said before, treat your witchcraft as an experiment. As you explore and try things you will collect experiences that tip the scale either for or against the craft. You don’t have to do this in an incredibly organized fashion if that’s not your style, simply go about your craft with an open mind is enough. You can practice the craft while accepting that you’re not 100% convinced. Nothing terrible is going to happen. No old gods are going to come down and smite you. Universal powers aren’t going to screw up your spells just to spite you for not being a “true believer”. As a matter of fact, in many cases approaching magic from a place of skepticism can cause it to work far better than trying to fake being an unshakable believer.
How is this possible? It’s simple. If your authentic, natural experience is that you’re skeptical, then lying to yourself about your skepticism is only going to create internal resistance. This internal resistance can sabotage your spells. Your energy gets so caught up in the internal battle between how you really feel and how you think you should feel and as a result none of the energy actually gets out into the universe where it needs to be for your spell to work. When you accept that you’re feeling skeptical and work from that place, you eliminate the resistance. Without the internal struggle, your energy can flow unimpeded and accomplish the results of your spell far easier.
Be honest with yourself about your skepticism and your doubt. It’s natural and it doesn’t make you a bad witch.
You Definitely Don’t Need Proof
Really, this whole conversation boils down fairly simply. You don’t need proof unless you want it. If other people are making you feel burdened by demands for proof of your beliefs it’s ok to deny them that proof. Your spiritual life is your own and it should be driven by your innate desires and curiosities, not by the judgmental demands of outside sources! You don’t owe justifications for your spiritual path to anyone.
Even if you’re the kind of person who really loves having hard evidence for everything, I want to reassure you that it’s ok to not know if your craft is real or not. Think carefully about what you’re trying to get out of your craft. For many people, they’re seeking personal growth, greater connection with themselves and the natural world, a sense of control over their lives and their circumstances, or a feeling of greater purpose in their lives. Is your craft meeting these needs? Does it give you what you were looking for when you turned to the craft in the first place? If the answer is yes then who cares if it’s real or not? It’s working!
If it improves your life and makes you a healthier and happier person then I say who cares if it’s real. Reality is all relative anyway. Keep practicing your craft and getting all of the wonderful benefits from it and worry about the evidence later. Over time you’ll find yourself with more than enough experiences to validate your craft but for now, you can spare yourself the headache of worrying and feeling bad about doubting your magic and feeling like you’re faking it. You’re doing just fine where you are right now with what you have, even if you don’t have unshakable belief. Continue being the badass witch that you want to be and pursuing growth and learning in your craft for as long as it feels like right for you.