A lot of people worry about the costs involved in studying the Craft (believe me, my husband included, no way is he letting me and my credit card loose in the witchy shops at Glastonbury...) But following a magical path doesn't have to be costly or expensive. Cheap and simple tools do the job as well as anything fancy bought in a witch shop. Sometimes they can be even better because its something you have either custom made or used your individual ingenuity to improvise with.
So, to illustrate my point that you can find tools of the craft just about anywhere, I completed a little experiment today, I took £10 to Poundland to look for ten items under a £1 that can be used for either ritual or magical workings. And I got some bargains!
Pure essential oils and expensive incenses are great but they can cost a fortune. I remember my Geranium essential oil costing £10 for a small bottle! Keep costs down by saving essential oils for important spell work and don't whatever you do send your money up in smoke by using them to fragrance your ritual room. Fragrance oil is much much cheaper and smells just as nice. Perfect for setting the mood and makes the pricier stuff last a lot longer.
Here's one for the Wiccans. Many Wiccans will use a bolline - the practical knife used to chop things up rather than as an instrument of ritual work. This utility knife would be ideal for peeling wood, carving runes into candles, cutting up herbs. It doesn't have to look fancy, its a working tool. Look for practicality not prettiness!
Pretty much anything that can hold water can be used as a chalice. These two pretty cracked glass effect candle holders would be a beautiful addition to an altar. I can see them on opposite ends of the altar, one for holding fire, one for holding water. That's half your altar decoration sorted for a £1. bargain!
Every witch needs candles. Fact! You can buy pretty coloured spell candles for vastly inflated prices if you like but to be honest tea lights do exactly the same job for a fraction of the price. And beware using long expensive candles if you're the kind of witch who likes a spell candle to burn down in a single working, some of those long ones can take hours to burn down. Tea lights last just the right amount of time that the average spell needs. (If you're worries about colour correspondences you could also try making your own candles from cheap wax crayons - in the holders from your used tea lights!!)
A simple spray bottle. Great for making up sprays for use around the house. You can make your own cleaning sprays, your own room freshening sprays or even use the water diffusing element to spray the intention of your spell around a bit. handy tool on any witch's shelf and doubles up nicely as a plant mister for your herbs as well.
I was absolutely delighted with these. Tiny mini shot glasses. You get loads in a package and you can use them time and time again.... Brilliant to use as offering bowls or for cut wildflowers or herbs for your altar. They are also ideal for ceremonial feasting, mini symbolic glasses of wine or fruit juice. They would also make a great container for blood sacrifice. You could even use them to store dried herbs with a tiny bit of cling film on top.
And they come in all colours of the rainbow!
There is way too much significance attached to the witch's cauldron. The plan and simple truth is that the cauldron was just the cooking pot of its day. So rather than go buy some pentacle engraved iron clad beast, why not just use one of today's culinary tools? This purple piece of ceramic cookware is heatproof and can double as a cauldron for pretty much any purpose.
Expensive robes and gowns are all very nice but just not necessary. Special clothing for ritual purpose is far more about achieving the right headspace, it doesn't actually have a direct affect on your workings. Try buying something simple like a pretty hairpiece and keeping it solely for ritual work. This helps you get into the mood but means you don't have to spend all your money "dressing the part." Comfortable clean clothes or (if its warm) nudity is perfectly sufficient.
If there is one thing in the witch shops that I find totally pointless its the posh BoS/Grimoires. Maybe, just maybe when you've studied the craft for 50 years, you just might know exactly what to write in one. But for most of us, any books of magic are filled with scribbles, crossings out, ripped out pages and the occasional tear stain of frustration. You don't need the tree of life enscribed on the front of your BoS, a plain ruled notebook will work just as well. Personally I still think computerising your Grimoire is the way forward but if you MUST write in paper and pen, use a notebook.
The athame is the ceremonial knife, used for ritual purposes but rarely for mundane purposes. The tool is an extension of yourself to direct your own intention and energy. You, not the tool are doing the work. It follows that you don't need a sexy looking athame to complete effective workings. A kitchen knife will do just fine.
The only limitation is the witch's imagination...
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