Articles/Essays From Pagans
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Paganism and Witchcraft in the Media
September 25th. 2018 ...
Understanding the Unseen
August 25th. 2018 ...
A Little Magickal History
Men and the Goddess
Back to Basics Witchcraft: Magical Creativity for Small Living Spaces
Kitchen Magic and Memories
Why the Faeries?
Magic in Daily Life
An Open Fire: Healing from Within
Cernunnos: The Darkest Wood in the Moon's Light
On Preconceived Pagan/Wiccan Political Affiliations
Gudrun of the Victory Gods
Ares and Athena
La Santa Muerte... The Stigma and the Strength
The Wheel of the Year in Our Daily Lives
The Lady on the Stairs
July 26th. 2018 ...
The Importance of Unification: Bringing Together Community Members to Invoke Cohesivity
May 29th. 2018 ...
Wild Mountain Woman: Landscape Goddess
April 20th. 2018 ...
Nazis Made Us Change Our Name
January 25th. 2018 ...
Finding Balance: Discipline Wedded to Devotion
November 15th. 2017 ...
September 30th. 2017 ...
July 31st. 2017 ...
Sin Eaters and Dream Walkers
July 2nd. 2017 ...
On Cursing: Politics and Ethos
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The Sacred Ego in Mediterranean Magical Traditions
April 30th. 2017 ...
Tarot Talk: the Knight of Pentacles
March 30th. 2017 ...
Tarot Talk: the Ace of Swords
January 10th. 2017 ...
The Gray of 'Tween
Becoming a Sacred Dancer
Little Dog, Big Love
December 9th. 2016 ...
A Child's First Yule
November 10th. 2016 ...
What Exactly Is Witchcraft?
A Witch in the Bible Belt: Questions are Opportunities
What I Get from Cooking (And How itís Part of My Path)
On Death and Passing: Compassion Burnout in Healers and Shamans
September 11th. 2016 ...
The Shadow of Disgust
August 12th. 2016 ...
When Reality Rattles your Idea of the Perfect Witch
Hungarian Belief in Fairies
Designing a Pagan Last Will and Testament
July 13th. 2016 ...
What Every Pagan Should Know About Curses
Magic With A Flick of my Finger
An Open Mind and Heart
Finding and Caring for Your Frame Drum
June 13th. 2016 ...
Living a Magickal Life with Fibromyalgia
My Father, My First God
Life is Awesome... and the Flu
May 15th. 2016 ...
Faery Guided Journey
Working with the Elements
April 2nd. 2016 ...
The Fear of Witchcraft
Magic in Sentences
March 28th. 2016 ...
Revisiting The Spiral
January 22nd. 2016 ...
Coming Out of the Broom Closet
December 20th. 2015 ...
Magia y Wicca
October 24th. 2015 ...
Feeling the Pulse of Autumn
October 16th. 2015 ...
Sacred Lands, Sacred Hearts
September 30th. 2015 ...
September 16th. 2015 ...
Vegan or Vegetarian? The Ethical Debate
August 6th. 2015 ...
Lost - A Pagan Parent's Tale
July 9th. 2015 ...
Love Spells: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
The Magic of Weather
June 7th. 2015 ...
A Pagan Altar
A Minority of a Minority of a Minority
May 6th. 2015 ...
13 Keys: The Crown of Kether
March 29th. 2015 ...
A Thread in the Tapestry of Witchcraft
March 28th. 2015 ...
On Wiccan Magick, Theurgy, Thaumaturgy and Setting Expectations
March 1st. 2015 ...
Choosing to Write a Shadow Book
February 1st. 2015 ...
Seeker Advice From a Coven Leader
January 1st. 2015 ...
Manipulation of the Concept of Witchcraft
Broomstick to the Emerald City
October 20th. 2014 ...
Thoughts on Conjuring Spirits
October 5th. 2014 ...
The History of the Sacred Circle
September 28th. 2014 ...
Seeking Pagan Lands for Pagan Burials
Creating a Healing Temple
August 31st. 2014 ...
Coven vs. Solitary
August 24th. 2014 ...
The Pagan Cleric
A Gathering of Sorcerers (A Strange Tale)
August 17th. 2014 ...
To Know, to Will, to Dare...
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The Broke College Student: How To Obtain Some Magickal Tools
Article ID: 14987
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 2,567
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Posted: May 13th. 2012
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As my senior year of college comes to an end and I look back on the years I spent here, I wish to share my thoughts -- as a broke college student exploring spirituality and coming to Wicca or another Pagan path -- on how you too might obtain some of the basic magickal tools.
Magickal tools like the athame, the cauldron, the wand, the pentacle and many, many others have permeated Pagan culture since our roots. Theyíre some of the most identifiable aspects of many Pagan paths, and I know of very few, limited though my knowledge may be, who do away completely with those traditional trappings. Even in this day and age, magickal tools still hold a special place in Paganism. We love our tools, and many, if not all of them, would be almost impossible for us to part with.
That said, for the seeker entering a Wiccan or Pagan path, these tools present two challenges: On the one hand, many people feel these tools are completely necessary in order to be considered legitimate in their practice. I wonít deny I felt this way when I first came to Wicca, and thereís still a small part of me (growing smaller every day, but still present in my mind) that feels the need to have these tools in order to work Ďproperí magick. Much of what we read and watch seems to only confirm these feelings that one cannot be a Witch or Pagan or follow any spiritual path without the proper tools. Iíve read many Wiccan books that stress the necessity of these tools, their importance and place in the circle. Even Pagan non-fiction seems to subtly hint at how important they are.
And these feelings lead to the second challenge for seekers: budget. In todayís economy, the typical college student (at least, from my experience) doesnít always have a lot of money to spend. What money we do have is usually put towards paying tuition, buying text books, getting something to eat, buying clothes, doing laundry in many cases, paying rent for apartments, and paying for countless other expenses. For some, parents or legal guardians provide most of the monetary aid for everyday expenses, and asking them for money for magickal tools can be difficult (if not impossible) depending on how they feel about the student-in-questionís spiritual decisions. For those who donít or canít rely on parental monetary aid (and even for those who do) , work provides the majority of our budget, and many times the budget canít be stretched to include the purchase of that beautiful new wand.
Also, many magickal tools available on the market today are often expensive, depending on the labor and materials involved in creating them. I remember many a time when Iíve admired a gorgeous handcrafted athame, looked at the price tag, and cringed at how expensive it was. Sticker shock doesnít just apply to mundane expenses, and even those who have a stable source of income looking for magickal tools, college student or not, may still feel it. As Iím thinking about it now, younger Pagans have an even harder time of it. Often times, they will not have a paying job and may rely on a small allowance that they will either want to spend on other things or canít use to purchase magickal tools for whatever reason.
Okay, enough with the doom and gloom. Letís talk about ways to alleviate these problems.
First, I want to say this: the most important tool in any spiritual path is your own will. This is the most powerful tool you have, and it doesnít cost anything. We are born with it, we develop it over the course of our lives, and itís something we canít misplace. In many of the books Iíve read about Wicca, Witchcraft and Paganism (and in my own experience) , the individual will is the most important tool and necessitates no other tool.
I know, youíre probably saying, ďLuna, what are you talking about? Are you saying all magickal tools aside from the will arenít necessary?Ē Well, letís think about this. No matter what tools are used in a ritual, they are used to carry out the will of the individual towards change (hopefully positive change) that will better oneís life. Without that will behind the tools, magick cannot take place. Are those tools still valuable to the individual Pagan? Of course! I doubt weíd still be using them today if they werenít important. But itís important to understand that the tools are extensions of your own will, and that your own will is the most important tool you will ever have.
Iím guessing a lot of you are wondering why I say this. Well, for most of my Wiccan experience, I havenít always had the tools I wanted. It took a couple years before I bought my first pentacle, and, at the time of writing this, I still do not own an athame or wand. Yet Iíve found that, even without these tools, my magick is still effective. Why is that? Because, no matter how many tools I have to help me, it has been my will powering the magick. Itís because I want to bring about the changes I wish to see in my life, whether itís helping to heal my dog after her third knee surgery or wishing my friends luck in dealing with various challenges. My will is what enables my magick, and itís something I doubt I could live without.
Now, for those of you who still want these tools, fear not. There are ways to acquire them without giving up an arm or a leg. And I want to suggest one that not only has proved successful for me but will hopefully be accessible to almost everyone reading this: art classes.
Yes, I said art classes.
It might be my experience as an art major, but this is one of the most effective and meaningful ways to acquire magickal tools. Most if not all schools, regardless of level, provide art classes for their students and even require students to take some in order to graduate. Even community education programs offer a variety of art classes to the public for those of us in the working world. For those younger Pagans still enrolled in school, this will often be free to you (relatively speaking, given how our taxes fund your education here in the U.S.) and, since youíre already taking these classes, itís worth it to make something meaningful. Not only that, but you also have access to teachers who know how to work with the materials successfully and safely.
About a year and a half ago, I spent a field experience for my Educational Psychology class helping out with a number of elementary school art classes, where the teachers even invited me to participate in the projects and make my own work, if only to provide an example to the children. At the time, the kids were entering their ceramics unit, creating columns and plates and other items. From the projects I worked on with those kids, I gained a chalice and pentacle, both of which still sit on my bookshelf at home today and still use in ritual.
But more than this accessibility, art classes and projects give you not only the ability to create these tools but to infuse them with your own spirit and make them unique to you. I think I speak for myself, as well as many Pagan artisans who make tools, that there is something special about making tools with your own hands. Just this last semester, I made several chalices through my ceramics class, and this semester for my senior seminar Iím hoping to make my own cauldron. In our world today, I feel that, with the availability of almost anything via the Internet, we may have lost touch with this aspect of our magickal lives. In fact, Iím willing to state outright that, while there is something to be said for purchasing a beautiful cauldron from a Pagan artisan (and indeed, this helps support the artisanís livelihood and should be encouraged) , thereís definitely something special, a feeling irreplaceable, that comes with crafting your own tools by hand.
Magickal tools are meaningful and often essential parts of the Pagan experience, and many times acquiring them is difficult for a variety of circumstances but it is not impossibleÖ even for the broke college student. Always remember that you already have the most important and powerful tool: you.
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