A Wiccan of 25 years, Sage likes to put her background as a writer and teacher to use by helping people learn about this NeoPagan path.
Cheap Wiccan Tools
Tools really shouldn’t be the focus in Wicca—though being a ceremonial religion, they certainly can deepen and enrich your ritual experiences. Once you begin incorporating your new Wiccan ways into your life, and are ready for more formal practice, you may wish to begin collecting your own set of tools.
While they have some very cool stuff at New Age shops and websites, they make it look like a very expensive endeavor. You don’t need to drop a bundle on your tools. You have other options.
In my opinion, the only things worth spending a lot of money on are exquisite hand-made objects, because of their artistry. And, of course, that’s only if you want something made with exquisite artistry. Flashy tools are pretty, but unnecessary-- indeed, I always worry about the delicate ones and end up rarely using them anyway—I prefer my tools to be sturdy and practical. Perhaps on occasion I might buy something as a gift, or to support the shop owner or artist, not because I need tools that are fancy or expensive.
But most objects at shops that stock fancy Wiccan or Pagan tools have been as mass manufactured as the things you find at the local mega-mart. So why drop a bundle down on them? If you’re a budget shopper like me, you have many other options for buying your tools without spending more than you can afford. Here are some ways to gather your first tool set on a budget.
Inexpensive Wiccan Tools
Poll for Wiccans:
Thrift Shop Candles
I can’t rave enough about thrift shops. I like to make the rounds a couple of times per month. The things you can often find in abundance at thrift shops include: nice candles, candle holders, small bowls and trays for holding things on the altar and pretty decorative cups.
Other things I have come across that are hit and miss include cauldrons, crystals (some rather large ones), Pagan God or Goddess wall hangings or statuary and various altar decorations. If you’re looking for just the right piece of furniture to serve as your altar or shrine, you can usually find it here as well. These are not impossible to find you just have to be lucky, or frequent the shop until you hit on it.
The thing about thrift shops is that you never do know what else you’re going to find. It’s always a surprise.
Wiccan Takes You On a Thrift Shop Tour
I have found flea markets an excellent place to shop for blades. Depending on the state you live in, many flea markets have at least one booth that sells knives, and some can be quite decorative. I’ve seen knives with handles that are mermaids, dragons, or decorated with Celtic knots. The best part about it, though, is I have never seen lower prices—you can have a small athame for as little as $15.
If you are searching for the traditional curved bolline (if you need a bolline at all), they may not have it but if it’s available anywhere locally they booth keeper will usually be able to tell you.
Flea markets also have a wide variety of items, so you never know what you’ll run into, but besides athames I usually seek out incense and oils. I’ve found some booth dealers in bulk herbs or bottles of essential oil for very reasonable prices, though you have to be careful—quality can vary.
Find Flea Market Knife Dealers
Garage Sale Finds
You never know what grandma kept up in that attic, or what little magical trinket a family may have picked up on vacation. If you use your imagination, garage sales, yard sales or block sales may provide you with things you never really thought about putting on the altar, but that are perfect nonetheless.
Once I scored on a bunch of woven wicker baskets for about $1 each—and they’re wonderful for the altar to use to hold flowers, seasonal foods and offerings. They make the harvest altar look so pretty. Another time I picked up a piece of wood furniture with a cabinet beneath that became my altar itself for a long while—for $20!
A Cup is Just a Cup
I understand why some people refuse to shop at major retailers like Walmart and Target; but if you do shop at such places, don’t overlook them. A nice wine glass can be a perfect cup when starting out. Want to dress it up a bit? Go to the craft isle for some glass etching cream or glass permanent paint markers.
Oh, you can have some great success in the craft section if you make your own tools. Pick up a bare wood disc and a wood burning tool or wood paints, and design your own pentacle for your altar. Or get feathers, leafing and beads to decorate that stick you found that you’re turning into a wand. If they have a scrapbooking and office supply section, you can probably get everything you need to make quite a fancy Book of Shadows.
Also head down to the produce or gardening section… there’s nothing wrong with picking up your herbs there for ritual, incense or spells.
The Dollar Store Altar
The Wiccan Altar Challenge
I challenged myself to create an entire altar for $20 at a dollar store!
Easy Tools to Make
Finally, fabric stores are a good place to put on your rounds when searching for items for ritual. In the scrap fabric bin you can usually find wonderful decorative scraps that make excellent altar cloths. You can find prints that are perfect for seasonal decorating. You can also find fabrics that are good for making pouches for some types of spells, to house your tools or even to make a collection of ritual robes.
You can certainly stock your magical cabinet, even on the smallest budget, without fear. Just remember, it’s not about how fancy it is, or if it’s been factory-stamped with the proper Goddess symbol or printed with faeries; what’s important is if it’s functional. If it is, treat it with reverence and it will serve you well.
More on Wiccan Tools...
© 2013 Mackenzie Sage Wright
Mackenzie Sage Wright (author) on August 02, 2013:
Thanks MysticMoonlight, yes that's so true. Thrift shops are also a great way to recycle! I appreciate your comments!
MysticMoonlight on August 01, 2013:
Nice Hub. I agree and while some things I buy online, I find many of my tools, etc. at Flea Markets, Garage Sales, "Junk" Stores, etc. Like you, I have found some really great materials that works perfectly and I seem to turn out liking them so much better because I do not feel guilty about over paying for anything. It's a win-win.