With the popularity of witchcraft on the rise, it has become easier to buy tools for your practice. You’ll find wands, athames, cauldrons, chalices, and every other witchy item you can think of online and in new age spiritual shops. Unique handmade items abound on Etsy and the choices seem endless. Just last summer I bought the most beautiful athame at our local Pagan Pride Festival. It is hand carved wood and bison bone; a really gorgeous piece! But guess how many times I’ve used it? Not many at all. I find myself using found objects from nature most often when I am working magic.
The entire purpose of magic is to work with and manipulate the natural world to your benefit. So, it makes sense that tools from nature would work well for this. Sticks, stones, shells, leaves, pinecones, all manner of grasses and herbs and many, many other gifts from the earth work perfectly in assisting in spell work. One of the oldest spells I can think of, is to cut a potato in half and rub it on a wart; then throw the potato outside. As it rots, the wart will fade away. That’s the requirement for the entirety of the spell. A potato! I’ve said it before and I will say it again. Magic need not be complicated.
Almost twenty years ago I was given an owl wing. A man called String Cheese Kevin had met me several times in the shop I worked at. One night he came in with something wrapped in a red cloth. He told me that he had felt strong owl medicine around me before and he wanted me to have it. It was a roadkill and he couldn’t bear to leave it on the highway. He took its wing and buried the bird.
I was pleased to have such a wonderful addition in my magical arsenal. Owl was such a huge part of my totem work at that time and I thanked her for letting me continue to use her energy even after her life had been taken. I use the wing in many different ways during ritual and spellwork. It is and always will be my favorite tool for magic.
If you do work with items from nature, you will find that you are replacing them often. Leaves decay, sticks and pinecones dry up and break, flowers fade and crumble and a stone that once appealed to you may be ready to go back to the earth so that you can move on to something more appropriate for your current work. It’s perfect really, because everything has its time and we are constantly moving through an endless cycle. A spiral, as the wise women say.
Practicing magic and manifesting your dreams into reality requires no money. It really is that simple. All you need is the power of your mind. Harnessing the forces of the elements and working with the moon phases will enhance your work as well. For instance, if the moon is new (dark moon) this can be a good time to make herbal remedies that fight infection or any other type of banishing work…it also makes a great day for pulling weeds from the garden. A full moon, on the other hand, would make a good night for making a fire cider or remedies that bolster the immune system. It is a day for new beginnings and starting new routines or ventures. Planting seeds. What about the elements you ask? Harvest water from rivers or springs (just a small vile will do) when you travel to be used in spell work later on; or on a particularly windy day work magic to manifest a thing that is ready to “take flight”. You see?
This isn’t to say that buying crystals, candles and other tools isn’t worth it. Anything that helps to strengthen your focus and intention or to make the ritual more meaningful is great. It just isn’t necessary. A book I can recommend to anyone new to magic is Supermarket Magic by Michael Furie. There you will find ideas for spellwork using affordable items available at the market. When I was first starting my magical journey, I liked having books with spells to follow. It was all very Harry Potter. I need a spell for this! or that!; and I would run to my library to search for one that fit my needs. But as my understanding of magic has grown, I no longer use the spells of others and always customize my own for whatever I am working toward.
A good solid understanding of the basics is necessary. I have spent many years studying metaphysics, the healing arts, religion, witchcraft and folklore, nutrition and herbalism, law of attraction, and psychology, etc. The combined study of all of these interests has given me a strong foundation for my magical practice and I am always willing to answer any questions you might have. I want to provide you with information or insight that is valuable to your magical life, so please, send any questions you may have my way!
~ Blessed Be ~