Pagans, Witches & Wiccans on a Budget
When I first started to meet up with and talk to other like minded souls on line, I was in awe of all the beautiful “Tools” that everyone seemed to have. They all appeared to have more and bigger crystals than me, fancy wands, spell kits, perfect Altars and everything a Witch could possibly want. So many beautiful things that appealed to my magpie nature.
I have to confess to going out over a period of time and starting my own collection of pretty shiny things. However, in reality it wasn’t me and it really wasn’t necessary. Some of the things I bought have never been used since. Just because others have something, it doesn’t mean to say you need it. Also remember that they may have been collecting these things for years. It’s not a collection that is gained over night! Don’t rush out and buy something without first considering whether or not you really want it. Our Ancestors did not have the abundance of shops and online stores that we have today and they managed fine.
Whether you are a Pagan, a Witch or a Wiccan, it doesn’t have to be expensive. If you are lucky, occasionally you may find a bargain at a charity shop or thrift store. Remember to cleanse any second hand object you find to remove the energy of the previous owner. I either cleanse in the light of a full moon or use incense smoke (or both). The most found objects are books, bottles, candle sticks and bells. I have found a few other things myself over the years but they don’t always have what you want when you want it.
You don’t have to have any of these tools but if you want a few things to help your craft here are a few alternate ideas:-
WANDS: There are some truly beautiful wands out there and if you can afford one that is great but most of us can not. The simplest and cheapest of all is using your own finger! Just point it as you would a wand. If you would prefer something more traditional then what about a single chopstick? They are usually made of wood and come in an array of different colours and designs. They are the perfect shape and size. Or you could make your own, just choose a stick when you are out walking or perhaps when you have been pruning in your garden. They are completely free. Look for one about 14 inches long. You can use it just as it is or you can decorate it. If you strip the bark off and give it a light sanding you can then burn, paint or ink your decorations onto the wood.
BESOM/BROOM: Again it comes back to that wonderful item, the stick. Obviously this will need to be a much bigger stick than for the wand but readily found when out and about in parks and woods, especially after a storm. One long sturdy stick for the handle and a bunch of short thin sticks from birch or a woody herb like thyme for the bristles. If you can wait until the beginning of November you can usually pick up a very cheap wooden broomstick in the “Halloween Sales”.
CRYSTALS: I do have crystals but I make much more use of the crystals that I have set into jewellery. Loose tumblestones tend to get lost easily, so I ended up keeping them all in a drawer, rarely to see the light of day. If I want to make use of the power of a crystal I wear them. Pendants or Gemstone chip bracelets are readily available, are a similar price to a tumblestones or cheaper, you can wear several together and they are much less likely to get mislaid or dropped from a pocket. Only buy the ones that appeal to you. Have a look through your existing jewellery as you may have some already and always check out the vintage jewellery at auctions, car boot sales and thrift shops. You do not need every stone out there. I have often found deeper connections to old fossils, stones and shells that I have found myself when out for a walk or on the beach.
HAG STONES: These can be quite expensive to buy in specialist shops and online. However, If you are lucky enough to be able to visit a beach or river, then the chances are fairly high that you will, sooner or later, find a hag stone or two. But remember you have to actively look for them. If you are not able to get near to water there are other places that they can be found. I have found numerous hag stones in graveled driveways. A couple of months ago I was waiting to have a new Tyre put on my car and was wondering around their stony car park to while away the time. Yes, I found one there too!!
CANDLES: You can use a white candle to replace any colour candle. If you would prefer a particular colour candle for a spell or ritual buy a pack of birthday candles. They come in many colours and are a fraction of the cost. Budget stores are also a good source for cheap candles, as are the sales after “Christmas” or “Halloween”.
ALTAR DECORATIONS: If you like to decorate your altar for the different seasons and sabats just go outside. Use what nature is giving you. Anything you find can be used, feathers, rocks, leaves, flowers or herbs. For example decorate with Holly at Yule or acorns and green leaves for Imbolc. I managed to get a few wheat stalks one year and made a Brigids cross and simple corn dolly. Before that I used a few coloured pipe cleaners for my Brigids cross. Once made you can use them year after year.
GOD & GODDESS STATUES: I have seen some beautiful God and Goddess statues but alas they are all well out of my budget and if you are reading this you may well feel the same. However, it is still possible to have representations without the huge cost. You can make simple statues from clay, they only need be representations. Or you can draw or paint onto pebbles. These images can be as simple or elaborate as you wish.
ATHAME: A ceremonial double edged blade with dark or black handle. A simple paper knife or letter opener fits that description well and is a fraction of the cost. The one I use myself is an old letter opener fashioned into the shape of a sword.
ALTAR PENTACLE: Wooden disks can be picked up quite cheaply at craft stores. Paint or burn an image of a pentacle onto one side.
PENTAGRAM: Five similarly sized twigs or coffee stirrers can be tied together with string to form a pentagram. Add a loop of string to the top and hang.
CHALICE: I have a beautiful old, engraved brass cup that I found at a sale. You can use any container that you wish, from a glass to an ornate silver egg cup.
TAROT BAGS AND ALTAR CLOTHS: Old clothes can be made into simple tarot or spell bags. Just sew two rectangles together on three sides (fleece is good as it does not fray). Attach a ribbon by it’s centre point, about an inch from the top opening. Place items inside and tie the ribbon round to the front in a bow. Altar clothes can be made simply by cutting a square of fabric and then either hemming or fraying around all four sides.
RUNE STONES: Find pebbles of similar size and shape and then mark the symbols on with paint or permanent ink. You could also use wood slices in the same way or you could burn the designs into the wood. Once you have finished your runes, varnish over your designs to protect the images. Whatever method you choose your runes will be very personal to you and you may even have a better connection than with the commercial sets made by others.
PENDULUM: Crystal pendulums are lovely but any object, pendant, or stone on a chain or string can work just as well. Tie a ring onto a piece of cotton or maybe a hag stone onto a cord. You could also make a simple wooden pendulum by sanding down a short twig into a bullet shape and attaching a cord or chain. I have also made one from a piece of slate and carved a protection rune into it. I added a ring and short piece of chain. You may even find that the necklace you are wearing has a strong connection to you and works better than a bought crystal, plus it is at hand when you need a quick answer.
HERBS: Many of us use different herbs and spices for spells. Growing your own herbs is an ideal way to connect with the earth and save a money on supplies. They can be grown outside or in pots on your window sill. If you can’t grow your own, one of the cheapest ways of purchasing them is in the bulk packs from supermarkets and food markets. When I am lucky enough to receive a bunch of flowers as a gift, before throwing they dead flowers away, I always collect the rose petals (and other appropriate flower petals) and dry them for later use.
JARS & BOTTES: Jars and bottles can be used for so may things, storage, spells, candles, a Witches bottle to name just a few things. Save all your old used jars and bottles, just remove the label and give them a good wash. I use old jam jars to store my home grown herbs and flower petals in. The smaller mustard jars or single portion jam jars (the type they give you in cafes) are perfect for storing smaller quantities of things like blue salt and cascarilla powder. Miniature bottles are perfect to make a Witches Bottle or to use as spell jars. They can be overlaid with polymer clay and baked in the oven quite safely.
BOOK OF SHADOWS/GRIMOIRE: Cheap hardback note books from a stationers or bargain store make great journals. You can use them just as they are or decorate the cover to make it more personal to you. They are usually cheap enough to enable you to buy several, so you can use one as a spell book, one for herbs, one to take out and/or make notes, scribbles and ideas in and the main one to stay at home as your Book of Shadows.
MANIFESTATION BOX: Any old box or cheap box from a craft shop can be turned into your Manifestation box. Click here to learn how to make your own Manifestation box.
PROSPERITY BOWL: Find an old bowl that you don’t use any more or pick up a pretty bargain at an antique or charity store. Enchant the bowl to attract money into the household every time you place a coin into it. Place the bowl near the entrance to your home and then drop any unwanted change into it. Some also charge the bowl so that any money taken out will also give an extra little financial boost when spent, as it will re-activate a little of that wealth attracting magic.
SALT: Any salt is good for protection. Although some have a preference for Himalayan salt or rock salt, any salt will work. You can buy it quite cheaply at the supermarkets. Buy in bulk to get the best bargain. Make your own blue salt or black salt.
SCRYING MIRROR: An old picture frame is ideal to turn into a scrying mirror. Remove the backing and glass, paint the glass black and then replace when dry.
CASCARILLA POWDER: This magical powder is used for protection, spells and sigils and can be made at home. It is finely ground egg shell. Just save your egg shells, wash and dry them thoroughly, then grind them up.
CRYSTAL BALL: Small versions of the Crystal Ball are often used in photography as a prop and to get unusual shots. They are sold on line for a much lower cost than the traditional Crystal ball. Just do a search for “Glass Sphere” to find the many different sizes and colours on offer.
KNOT MAGIC: Basic garden string, any cord or even wool will work. Pick up some feathers when you are out and about and you have the makings of a Witches Ladder.
Whatever you decide to do, with whatever you decide to use, it’s ok. Don’t be afraid to use substitutes or adapt things to a way that works for you.
You are the greatest tool and your intention is more powerful than anything else.
You might also like:
Altar Tools and setup – Ideas on what you could have on your altar from the traditional to the more personalised.
Hag stones and wishing stones – Hag stones and Wishing stones, what they are and the folklore surrounding them.
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