Harry Potter, Adam, and the Speghetti Monster

Harry Potter, Adam, and the Speghetti Monster
"Sorry guys...you haven't seen a small metal ball with wings flapping around by chance, have you?""

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Practical Magic: Cheap and subtle subsitutions for the poor or closeted witch


I've spoken before about simplifying one's practice and saving money and I decided to go further into this concept.
I'm going to give just a few  very simple, practical, low-cost solutions.  This is not meant to be an exhaustive list; it's just to give some ideas.  As I've said before, you (or I) are/am the only absolute essential in your/my practice.  All of the ritual tools, crystals, herbs can be a lot of fun and stimulate the senses, but none of them are truly necessary.  Witchcraft has its roots in resourcefulness...using what you have even when you don't have a lot.  It's not a bad idea to do a barebones practice for a while, just to remind oneself of that.

Huge altar with all the bells and whistles (literally)
Substitute: Candle, Glass of water, flower
Reason it works: 
The point of an altar is to have a visual representation of your craft, a place upon which to concentrate your focus and something to which to tend in order to keep your practice alive.  You can do all of this with just the few items above.  Furthermore, it is very discrete.  If you live with other people who you do not wish to know about your practice, this is the way to do it. No one has to know it is anything but a decoration.   Tools such as swords and wands can be replaced by one's finger.
Blessing oil for dressing candles, etc.
Substitute: Olive oil
Reason it works:
Olive oil, according to mythology, comes from the tree which won Athena the patronage of the city of Athens because its citizens judged it to be more useful than Poseidon's well. It has also been used in rites of the major Abrahamic religions as a blessing and healing oil.  This shouldn't be a surprise given the multiple demonstrated health benefits of olive oil which include lower cholesterol, improved coronary health, and possible prevention of certain types of cancer.  Olive oil, therefore, is just as good as any to be a blessing oil if more complicated solutions are not available or practical.

Store-bought preserved herbs for incense
Substitute:  Decorative herbs on meals and herbal teabags
Reason it works:
I remembered the year I realized that it was a shame to let the rosemary sprig on the Christmas turkey go to waste.  It had barely been touched by the sauce and would have otherwise been thrown away.  Why not wash it, save it, and use it for spell casting? Also, I find that herbal teabags tend to be less expensive than dried, preserved herbs.  If one does not have a huge budget for herbs, it's a good idea to use herbs that can be given multiple uses either because of their medical properties or their lore and symbolism.   Rosemary and Vervain are both good examples.  If you have an incense burner, you can simply place herbs on burning charcoal to make incense.
Ancient grimoire 
Substitute: Hebrew or Christian Bible, Quran
Reason it works: Some people do not like to use ancient grimoires at all, but others do and find them hard to come by and expensive when they do.  Well, if you like ancient grimoires and do not have a fortune to spend, than you have only to look at some of the most easily-accessible ancient spell books in the world: the Bible(s) and the Quran.  The Psalms, for example, have a very long tradition of magical use for purposes such as protection, healing, and court cases. 

Full ancestor's altar
Substitute: Picture of a departed relative, with an offering behind it
Reason it works: 
Similar to the simplified devotional altar above, it's very cheap and no one has to be the wiser.  The offering can be very simple; a glass of water or alcohol, something that represents them or that they enjoyed in life.

Decorations and full ceremonies for Holy Days
Substitute: Food
Reason it works:
Everyone likes food.  You can't put all kinds of candles around the house for the 1st of February? Burn one candle and make some kind of milk pastry for desert. If not, eat ice cream.  You can't hold a full moon ceremony without people looking at you weird? Say you've decided to try your hand at Asian cuisine and make mooncakes instead.  If you cook well and you share your food, no one will ask you why you made it. 

Ritual broom and some other ritual tools
Substitute:  Household broom (and other double-duty tools)
Reason it works:
...Because there's no reason it shouldn't.  Many people have the idea that having separate tools and clothing is required for one's magic to be effective.  While they may help you get into a different state of mind for ritual, it is by no means a requirement.  The whole reason many of these tools have magical symbolism is specifically due to their mundane usage, so why would mundane usage necessarily profane them?  If you cannot afford a broom from a broom squire, use your household broom.
Tarot Cards or other ready-made divination cards
Substitute: Playing cards
Reason it works:
As I've said before, cards work by your insight being triggered by images.  There are many images on playing cards that can be used to this effect, including the suits, the royal cards, and the numbers.  All of those can be significant.  Of course, one then has to go about figuring out those symbols for oneself, but this should be relatively easy if you come from a culture where those images are very common. 



 Statues of deities or animals
Substitute: Print-out, drawing with cardboard or photo paper as a support
Reason it works: 
If you cannot buy statues of your favorite mythological deities or saints, then either draw them or print them out from the Internet.  Once you have the physical representation, making a "stand" is fairly easy.  Just cut out two pieces of photo paper or card board and glue them to the back so as to make them stand up.  Or, make them wall photos.  This achieves the purpose of having statues; namely ensuring a physical representation of whatever or whomever you are trying to honor or manifest.

And if all else fails...words.  One's words are only limited by one's imagination, so use them to their full effect.

These are just a few ideas; if you have others, feel free to comment.












6 comments:

  1. Wonderful post!
    I would just like to say thank you for your blog! I enjoy reading it and it has helped me to understand myself to a greater extent. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I have always said these objects they place on their altars are only by choice. In the old days witches worked with what they had and may I say it wasn't much. Yes the items you can buy for a hefty price are kool and look awesome and if you can get by all means do so but they are not needed. They are mere repersentations.
    Very Nice Post!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Aha, someone else that raids herbal teabags for the herbs! Great tips! :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yes, dear, an eternal Hell exists... just as Seventh-Heaven exists after we croak. Guess whose decision it is?? YOURS! YOU decide which one YOU wanna enter by YOUR wee, wee lifetime. Dunno why they refuse to teach ya in school... yet, dats da fak, Jak.

    How can God sentence some of U.S. to an eternity of torment? Silly, He doesn't. WE do. We tok, tok, tok on our devices. We never lissen. We're tooo concerned withe whorizontal: cars, clothes, cash, condumbs, calumny, contempt as we co-exist within a coffin. Precisely how we condemn ourselves.

    Yes, I realize this breaks YOU outta YOUR bubble of lies WE have so enveloped ourselves in; however, just know, dear, I myself had togo through an extraordinarily tuff experience after my accident, so dont think Im telling you hypocrisy.

    Choose now whom you're gonna serve and you wanna follow: the finite world which endsNhell -or- Jesus which endsNeternity Upstairs. Decide NOW: turn or burn.

    thesuperseedoftime.blogspot.com
    infowars.com
    JohnLeary.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. Yes, dear, an eternal Hell exists... just as Seventh-Heaven exists after we croak. Guess whose decision it is?? YOURS! YOU decide which one YOU wanna enter by YOUR wee, wee lifetime. Dunno why they refuse to teach ya in school... yet, dats da fak, Jak.

    How can God sentence some of U.S. to an eternity of torment? Silly, He doesn't. WE do. We tok, tok, tok on our devices. We never lissen. We're tooo concerned withe whorizontal: cars, clothes, cash, condumbs, calumny, contempt as we co-exist within a coffin. Precisely how we condemn ourselves.

    Yes, I realize this breaks YOU outta YOUR bubble of lies WE have so enveloped ourselves in; however, just know, dear, I myself had togo through an extraordinarily tuff experience after my accident, so dont think Im telling you hypocrisy.

    Choose now whom you're gonna serve and you wanna follow: the finite world which endsNhell -or- Jesus which endsNeternity Upstairs. Decide NOW: turn or burn.

    thesuperseedoftime.blogspot.com
    infowars.com
    JohnLeary.com

    ReplyDelete