Articles/Essays From Pagans
December 1st. 2013 ...
A Pragmatic Look at Neo Paganism
The Tarot as a Tool for Raising Consciousness
Leaving a Pagan Group – Part 1: To Leave or to Stay?
November 24th. 2013 ...
The Pagan and the Papacy
The Groovy Aquarian Christ: Jesus From a Pagan Perspective
November 17th. 2013 ...
For Love of the God
Which Witch? Philosophical and Psychological Roots of Wicca
A Threat to Religious Liberties?
November 10th. 2013 ...
Where did Aleister Crowley’s Influence on Wicca Go?
Thoughts on the Threefold Law/Law of Return
Nine Creeds: A Statement and Explanation of My Beliefs
The Celtic Tree Calendar
November 3rd. 2013 ...
The Mundane/Spiritual Mirror: What Does it Say About Your Life?
October 27th. 2013 ...
Thoughts On a Miley-Cyrus/ Robin-Thicke Society
On Being Wiccan: Some Unsolicited Advice
Pagan Religious Communities in your Area: Connecting With and Creating Them
Banishing, Invocation and the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram
October 20th. 2013 ...
Weather Magick: Who is Responsible for the Weather?
Broom Closet: In or Out?
Bottle Spells and Magick in Hoodoo Tradition
On Coven and Claws
October 13th. 2013 ...
Destroying to Create: A Lesson from the Dead
Consume the Scorpion- Scorpion Energy Revisited
October 6th. 2013 ...
UPG and U: A Breakdown and Building Up of Unverified and Unsubstantiated Personal Gnosis
Answering The Call from Spirit
Coping with the Loss of a Familiar
The Five-way Road: A Pagan Pilgrimage, Part 2 (The South)
September 29th. 2013 ...
Six Reasons Why Covens are Here to Stay
Priestessing and Titles: What's the Point?
Truth or Convenience? Questioning Motives for Spiritual Advancement
Speaking Up: The Conflict Between the Spiritualist and Our Human Experience
September 22nd. 2013 ...
Death of a Friendship within the Craft
The Five-way Road: A Pagan Pilgrimage, Part 1 (The Center)
September 15th. 2013 ...
Some Pagan Prayers
Lunar Insight Moon Musings: Bramble and Cerridwen
The Holocaust Survivor (Part II)
September 8th. 2013 ...
Introduction to the Five-way Road: A Pagan Pilgrimage
The Druidic Concept of Nwyfre
The Holocaust Survivor (Part 1)
Giving and Helping
September 1st. 2013 ...
Use a Flyswatter for a Fly: More on the Dark Arts
How Spells Work
Is It Really 'Energy'?
August 25th. 2013 ...
Mother Nature’s Way: Forging a Distinctly American Path
Healing Moon Ritual
Unconditional Love: The Paradox of Perfect Love
Earth to Soul/Sole
August 18th. 2013 ...
How Not to Fall in the Bunny Trap
Why Are You Like That? Thoughts on Hoodoo and Appropriation
Finding the Right Coven
The Knowledge Found in Silence
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances, Hazelnuts and Magick Wands
August 11th. 2013 ...
“I Survived a Weekend with Galina Krasskova”
The Charges of the Goddess and God with Commentary
August 4th. 2013 ...
Fair Weather Witches
Pagan Studies II: Modern Paganism in the Americas
Pagan Abbeys - A Practical Heritage for Spiritual Lay and Professional Cloistered Communities
July 28th. 2013 ...
Crystals 101: A Helpful Guide For Beginners
The More the Merrier? It’s not Only an Inaccuracy; it’s an All Out Farce!
My Pagan Manifesto
July 21st. 2013 ...
I'm a Witch, Not a Wiccan: A Brief Summary of Broad Pagan Designations
Rethinking Community for Solitaries
13 Keys: The Beauty of Tiphareth
July 14th. 2013 ...
Ramblings of a Pagan Guy: Stupid Clichés We Use (Part II)
Pagan Humanism: A Tradition of Rational Religion
Moon/Planetary Musings: The Holly King and John Barleycorn
July 7th. 2013 ...
Coping With Depression: Learning to Dance with the Sacred Twins
Shamanic Healing of Anxiety and Panic Attacks
Humility and Community Service
H is for Hubris
June 30th. 2013 ...
How To Feel The Energy Around You
Planning A Ritual
Why Pagans Might Benefit from Counseling Techniques
The Weight of Contemplation: When the Silent Self Grows Louder
June 23rd. 2013 ...
Magick and Play
Tarot Spell for Protection
Moon Musings and Planetary Preponderances: RE-fuse, RE-duce, RE-use, RE-pair and RE-cycle
June 16th. 2013 ...
How To Stay Spiritual Amidst This Chaos?
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Ritual Tools That Won't Break the Bank
Article ID: 12865
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 1,734
Times Read: 5,707
RSS Views: 41,578
Author: Bronwen Forbes [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: March 8th. 2009
Times Viewed: 5,707
We've all seen them, either on EBay or some online Wicca supply shop - or even the Pagan bookstore in our own town: ritual tools and altar pieces that are apparently only for the independently wealthy. Well, seeing as how I am still a full-time student, i.e. broke, I've been searching for alternative sources for ritual tools and other altar accoutrements priced reasonably enough to guarantee I could afford to eat meat for the rest of the month. I'd like to share them with you.
My first stop was, believe it or not, my local Wal-Mart. And if the items mentioned below can be found in my Wally World out in the middle of southwestern USA nowhere, I'll bet they're at your Wal-Mart, too.
I remember a few years ago that tree branches given a "spiral" look by having a grapevine grow around them were quite the popular item at various Pagan gatherings. Unfortunately, these polished, um, sticks were priced at seventy dollars each, if not more! Ouch!
Even here on the edge of the great Southwestern desert, we have trees. Which means your chances of having access to free wand material are even better than mine. Find a tree you like, either because it's your favorite kind (oak, maple, etc.) or because it's located near your home and you think it's friendly, or whatever. Note: if the tree is not on your property, get permission before you cut a branch or two. Also note: get permission from the tree before you start chopping. Tradition holds that a wand should be the length of the owner's arm from the tip of the middle finger to the elbow. Let the wood "cure" for a season or two; carefully remove the bark, and presto! Free wand!
If you're not totally into the traditional athame, which is a double-edged blade with a black handle, Wal-Mart is your new best friend. If you're drawn to kitchen witchery (herbalism, cooking, food spells, etc.) , the housewares aisle has a plethora of really nice kitchen knives (and I mean pretty darn nice) starting at around three dollars each. Or you can check out the hunting and camping department. They had some wicked (and I mean that in a good way, of course) hunting knives, averaging around fourteen dollars apiece.
Either way, these are much cooler, cheaper and more practical (!) than the easily bendable mermaid-shaped athame with Austrian crystal eyes for twenty bucks on EBay.
If you're very lucky, once or twice a year there will be some sort of arts fair in your town. These fairs attract a lot of potters. Potters like to make chalices, and will sell the ones where the glaze "didn't come out quite right" for five to ten dollars. And then you have a handmade, one-of-a-kind chalice!
If you're mostly lucky, there is a paint-your-own-pottery shop nearby. For about five dollars per painting session and three to ten dollars for the cup, again, you have a one-of-a-kind chalice that you glazed yourself. How cool is that?
However, there is always our friend Wal-Mart, which sells something call tea goblets. Tea goblets are basically short, fat wine glasses with very little stem and lots of cup space. Last Friday I noticed a choice of green or brown tea goblets for $2.22 apiece, or a box of four clear ones for about nine dollars. They looked pretty nice!
Assuming you don't want to pay at least $40 for a brass or copper disc with a pentacle etched on it (and since you're reading this, I'm guessing that's a pretty fair assumption) , again, you'll find everything you need to make a nice wooden one at Wal-Mart. A wooden disk six inches in diameter costs $.97 and can be found in the craft aisle. A protractor (assuming you don't have one left over from geometry) costs about a dollar. Craft paint is also pretty cheap!
Or, you can forego the wooden disk, find a nice free round-ish, flat-ish rock somewhere, and paint a pentacle on that.
Even if you have absolutely no artistic talent whatsoever (like me) , it's not that hard to draw a perfectly symmetrical 5-pointed star (that's what the protractor is for) , and then paint over it.
Wal-Mart sells soapstone stick incense burners for just under $2. They're not fancy, but they're nice. If I didn't have a plethora of wooden ones all over the house, I'd probably get one (I think the wooden ones breed when I'm not looking!) . They also sell reasonably nice cut glass candlesticks for about $3 each. In the potpourri section (usually near the fabric/craft section) they have potpourri-replenishing oils. I wouldn't use the oils straight, I'd mix them with a small bit of unscented baby oil, but they smelled pretty good.
If you just can't bring yourself to shop for ritual and altar items at Wal-Mart, don't panic! Check out garage sales, flea markets, junky little antique stores, and estate sales. With a little time, effort, and patience, you're very likely to find exactly what you want for next to nothing - like my prized pentacle-shaped cast iron pot trivet that set me back a whole three bucks at a junky antique store.
A ritual tool is not made more powerful by a high price tag or fancy decoration, but by use, by respect, and by intent. Let me give you an example: when I found myself unexpectedly living alone a few years ago, I went to the local flea market to pick up some kitchen items. I was broke, but I needed pots to cook in!
One of my finds was an old white enamel pasta pot for next to nothing. It came with a few dings in the enamel, but I have proudly served my coven many a soup, stew, or lasagna whose noodles were cooked in that pot. That pot is practically part of the coven, now. I wouldn't trade it for anything.
Location: Bloomington, Indiana
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