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Do What Feels Right! (Helpful Substitutions)

Author: Maia
Posted: June 26th. 2011
Times Viewed: 2,894

This is a problem I had at first, as did a close friend of mine who has dedicated herself to Wicca: It all seems so complicated at first… the stuff needed, the exact ways to do things, this and that, that and this…

Sometimes you don't have the exact materials for something, or feel like you're going to mess up! Well, like the title says, do what feels right! Many things in spells, on the altar or types of incense can be substituted with other things, like this:

Air-: Use a feather instead of incense.
Fire-: Use a lava rock.
Water-: You don't need a chalice. I actually don't even have a chalice at the moment. I'm using a Petoskey stone I found and filed down a while back. If you need water, a simple bowl will work.

Incense also has substitutes: There is the all purpose incense, like frankincense and sandalwood, and others that have the same effect as another, Myrrh being a more common substitute for carnation, or Sage instead of Blueberry.

Within Wicca, there is no bible of any sort, only a rede to follow. No set rules for exactly how you're supposed to do something, or anything of the sort. Follow the rede and you'll be pretty much good to go! The rest is completely up to you. Don't limit your creativity or fun! Let it blossom and follow your heart.

If something feels off to you, go ahead and change it! It's all about what feels right to you, not what feels right to whoever wrote what it is you're trying to do. As for making mistakes, well, being worried that your going to make one sure isn't a good way to not make one! Have confidence and if you make a little 'slip-up' (A common one I make is in consecrations. I pick up the candle for the element of fire and end up pouring wax on myself and the candle goes out) , don't bother dwelling over it.

If you really feel that you need an item, but can't get your hands on it, here are some more helpful substitutes (making the item is also always a great idea!) :

Athame- One of those letter openers that look like mini swords or daggers works great, especially since you shouldn't draw blood with it. Having it not be sharp takes away the danger of that happening.

Pentacle- A wood carving pen or burner and one of those un-costly wooden disks you find at craft stores. You can also paint it, but after some use and cleaning the paint will begin to come off. Wax and clay will also work for this (back in the witch burning times, wax was actually used so if necessary, they could toss it in a fire and it'd quickly be gone) .

Bell-Wind chimes.

altar cloth- Use something from an old blanket or sheet. Just make sure it is clean and pressed.

Incense burner-- A bowl filled with rocks or sand.

Mortar and Pestle- Use a rock and a hardy bowl.

Altar- Your altar doesn't have to permanently be set up in a specific place. You can just arrange it when you need to do some work. If you don't have a table or chest and want one set up on a regular basis, a drawer will work just fine.

It took me a while to finally grasp that there is no wrong or right way. I was always worried about whether I was doing something wrong or not and constantly running into things where I wondered, "Now where am I supposed to get THAT." or, "That sounds tough, I might mess up.” Whenever you get that feeling just remind yourself, if it feels right to you, then go for it, and disregard what a book, website, or even a person says. In fact, with proper experience you could write your own instructions completely!

Feng Shui is another concept like this. In your room, altar, anywhere you place things really, if you have this sort of ‘rejecting’ feeling, don't place that item there. If where you're trying to place it feels good, and like it should be there (without feeling any sort of "no" signal) , go ahead and put that item there. Energy should flow much better in the room and feel a lot nicer if you do this.

All altars do not have to be set up with a candle for fire, incense for air, water for water, and salt for earth (I actually use a salt-dirt mixture, add together the pieces of salt and dirt together and then grind the salt down to smaller pieces and the earth together) . Some altars have, say, a red candle for fire, green or brown for earth, white or dull blue for air, and blue or ocean-like green for water. There are also crystal altars. So, nothing on your altar has to follow any guidelines either. If it's what floats your boat, you don't even need to make an altar. In fact, some people might find this very important, but I don't even include a god or goddess candle on mine. I have mine set up with all the elements in their direction and a pentacle in the middle. My athame, wand, bell, etc., all have their own special place outside my altar too. I get all those things together before any workings.

If you make any changes to a spell or ritual I strongly recommend writing it down! Always stinks not being able to remember what it was you altered, but know you changed something. I strongly recommend writing down anything that seems like it'd be a valid thing to write down, actually.

Just remember, the only boundary is yourself!

Blessed Be! ) o (



Location: Scottsdale, Arizona

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