When I started on this spiritual path, everything I read said I needed this, this, and this to practice my craft. I felt like being a witch or a pagan meant someone who with all the stuff. Bull shit. You don’t need a damn thing to be a witch other than personal commitment and strength.
But why does the books and blogs and other Pagan media present these things as necessary? Part of it is activities associated with witchcraft and paganism which do require some tools: herbalism, crystal work, divination, space clearing, etc. As a budding herbalist and a big fan of tarot cards, I admit I get caught up buying new herbs and books. Another reason is tools make it easier to create a spiritual ambiance. Candlelight and incense go a long way to put you in the right mood to connect to deities and to do craftwork. However this notion is partially socially constructed. We create a mysterious setting because spirituality is considered something part of a higher aspect than usual life in the natural world. I argue that as part of an earth-based religion, spiritual knowledge is only as far away as walking out your front door and sitting in your yard.
Regardless of their marketing, the tools fall on a varying degree of usefulness depending on the witch or the practice. For example, athames are considered an integral aspect to Pagan ritual, yet I don’t own one. However, I do have three incense holders because I use incense as a weekly offering. It just depends on personal preference. The only tool every Pagan I know uses is candles.
When creating personal forms of worship, consider looking to a variety of traditions and new technologies for tools. Prayer beads, originating from Catholic and Buddhist traditions, have become popular in the Pagan community. Also, computers and tablets are also important tools for researching the craft and connecting to the global community. Invest in what you know you’ll use, not what you think you need.
© Ariadne Woods