The aim of this post is hopefully to highlight some of the misconceptions which younger (and sadly some older) people have when approaching the subject of occultism, and in particular the practice of magic. I hope that some people which actually read this, take in the information and start to learn the truth about what it is to practice magic, and not waste time in the realms of fantasy.
Myth No.1- You can cast a spell instantly.
Magic can be simple. However, there are still basic skills which every practitioner must utilise. On this site people will refer you to "The Basics" which is a brilliant thread filled with summarised pieces of knowledge aimed to help you understand rather important concepts in occultism in general, and magic in particular.
In my opinion, you must understand every gesture, every visualization, and every correspondence for a spell to work. If you are just doing something because a spell tells you to, you are jut reading words from a page, there is no intent behind your actions.
Myth No.2- Everything and anything is possible.
Magic works alongside nature and her laws, not against it. You cannot change your body physically with magic, you cannot control the weather, turn into a mythical creature, or even into any fictional creature such as a vampire or werewolf. If it cannot be manufactured on it's own by nature, you cannot manufacture it yourself. Humans have not evolved with the ability to change their DNA by will, therefore it is impossible for you to do such with magic.
As a common rule, use your common sense; if it sounds too good to be true, it most likely is!
A belief: I can fly. A fact: Gravity exists, humans have not evolved with the capability to take flight, you will fall.
Myth No.3 Every witch is a Wiccan.
This is a common misconception and it really gets some people annoyed here. Many Wiccans consider themselves witches, however, not every witch is a Wiccan. The Law of three is a belief, not a fact, and not every practitioner chooses to adhere to it.
What saddens me more is that many people who come on here claiming to be Wiccan have not explored the religion in depth enough- go to the Wicca subsection of the forum and check out the posts written by Lark.
Myth No.4- Magic is a tool to fix your problems.
Whilst one could utilise magic to aid yourself in mundane tasks, it is first and foremost a spiritual path which is also designed for spirituality and personal growth. Magic will not solve all your problems. You are an individual force of nature, if you want your problems solving, you will have to work for it! Magic can perhaps aid you in this by allowing opportunities to arise, but if you want change on the physical plane, the plane of action, you have to be prepared to take action.
You want someone to like you? Talk to them. Money? Work for it, you will not win the lottery. A date? Go out and socialise. Magic can give you the opportunity, but don't expect for things to manifest at your feet in the living room.
Myth No.5- All traditions are the same.
Magic is an individual matter, one person's magic is not identical to another person's. People belong to different traditions, and if someone states something as fact always question them. If something does not resonate with you, adapt or change it. For example in many traditions Green is used in rituals for encouraging prosperity, in my tradition I would use blue. This is my way, other people's ways are not wrong, they are just not compatible with me.
Do not copy someone else, learn from them, question them, question yourself, and be yourself. Find your own path which resonates with your being.
I am sure there are many other points, however, these are the ones which crop up most often in the forums and in chat. I apologise if this seems like a rant post, it is not meant to be. I merely wish to help people who do not know any better, coming to this site with misconceptions, so they can better understand the subject, and perhaps be received in a more positive way on this site. If this can be achieved, we can all learn together and grow as individuals on our respective paths.