By Katrina Rasbold
Since the word “Pagan” supposedly has its roots in the identification of “People of the Earth,” it is rare to find a Pagan who is especially affluent or materially blessed. It happens, but often, a concept inherently draws from the fundamental energy of its creation. This does not mean Pagans can never be financially secure or wealthy. On the contrary, as we actively work through the lessons of ego, attachment, and manifestation, it is possible to find our way into a time when we do not have to invest energy into the fiscal aspects of survival. It does, however, mean that many of us spend a good bit of time in our adult life considering where we invest in the energy of money and I will confess there were times when I risked a utility shut off to get some cauldron or altar item I was dying to have.
Because of frequent financial constraints, we often must find resourceful ways around invested tons of money into our spiritual accoutrements. There is the cleaner way of doing this, which is to live a minimalistic life and rely very little on material possessions or physical props to work our magic. I cannot count how many amazing Mages and Witches have piously informed me that they can work a full ritual completely in their minds with no need for the crutches of physical tools.
Well.. so can I, but where’s the fun in THAT?
For those of us who are sensorily stimulated, what we see, feel, smell, taste, and hear are a huge boost to how high we can go in a ritualistic environment. My tastes in this regard often went way beyond my budgetary means, so that means I went into the not-quite-as austere direction of finding clever (and legal and karmically safe) ways to get the magical accessories I love.
Below are some of the various avenues I have explored for building up my magical hoard.
We all know that Fall is when we accessorize our home for the entire year because for many of us, the Witchy motif we love is not for sale in February. Around late August through October, however, the Halloween aisles pretty much look like the inside of my house. For the best prices, I shop on November 1st when most stores liquidate their Halloween holdings and I can often buy items at 75% off or more. Michael’s usually has great sales the week Halloween items go off season and if you time it right, you can get some fantastic buys.
Thrift Stores & Yard Sales
I have heard lots of people express fear over buying used items with the belief that bad energy could be attached to the item. While this is true, bad energy can be attached to new items you purchase as well. Bad energy can be attached to the can of soup or box of Kleenexes you bring into your house. As a person who moves energy, you can easily clean out pretty much anything you purchase. Surround it with selenite, put it into a Ziploc bag and bury it overnight. Put it into the moonlight for the three nights of the Full Moon. Spray it with blessing water (water plus a few drops of your favorite empowered oil). Place it on a large, black stone for a day or so. There are an infinite number of ways to clean out a potentially icky item.
That being said, the vast majority of my magical items come from thrift stores. You must be patient and persistent. I burn a petition saying what I want, then take the ashes outside and blow them into the wind from East to West. Then… I wait. I check all my local haunts, plus any yard sales/rummage sales/estate sales that pop up, once a week or so. Within a few weeks, what I want usually shows up. If I am at a yard sale or thrift store and I see something that keeps pulling me back, I usually get it even if I do not know why. Often, I find out right away why I need it or someone shows up who was meant to have it, meaning I was just a connection to helps someone else get what they need.
Call the Critters
In most Pagan theological constructs, there are little critters of some sort. These are low vibing (or sometimes, especially high vibing) thoughtforms or fantastical creatures that move between the worlds, including ours. These can be gremlins, elementals, or other little guys. If you establish a relationship with the ones in your area (they tend to relate to the land spirits that are geographically specific and even land plot specific), they will often gladly work on the cheap to find what you need. Because the average person does not see them and they can so easily move between the veils, your critters can go places where we cannot. I take the flat, colorful marbles that go into floral arrangements – my kids called them “dragon tears” or a few shiny coins and go into my yard where I know they live. I tell them I love them (I do) and that I would so much appreciate their help finding X, Y, or Z. Then I turn my back and throw the offering into the air behind me, knowing it will land where they can find it. Usually, whatever I wanted or better finds me within a week or two. My daughter, when she was around 7-8, actually did this to get a pink cassette tape player. I was amazed that even with her specificity, her little critters came through and I found one at a yard sale that same day for $5.00. Yes, she was smug about it and still is even though she is almost 30.
Careful Online Shopping
Yes, you must be ruthless and persistent, scouring through eBay, Etsy, Half Price Books, Abe Books, and Amazon, but you can find quality items at affordable prices if you just keep at it. There were times when I sold items on eBay to supplement our budget, so I love to shop there if the sense I get from a seller is that they are a regular person trying to make ends meet. Follow your own ethical construct, but for me, many of my precious items, including finding replacements for our personal, beloved belongings we lost in a house fire, came from diligence online. Some, I am still seeking out and it has now been two years since the fire. Just stay on it while calling the item to come to you.
Each Lammas, for the first of the Harvest, our coven does a great giveaway event. We put out tarps, boxes, and long white tables to represent the “fields.” Each person purges their home, releasing what they need to rehome. This can be magical items or even clothing or household goods. We fill up the tarps, bins, boxes, and tables and then once the ritual completes, the participants take bags into the “fields” to harvest the first of their “crops” for the year. By purging their items, they make room for the income harvest energy. They can look through all that the others brought for the items that draw them in. People bring plants, tarot decks, books, magical clothing, bags, and all sorts of things. Everyone seems to enjoy it very much. Anything that is left, we donate to a local charity.
There are also Freecycle websites and places like Facebook Marketplace where people give away items for free. Again, it takes persistence, but you can find wonderful items if you stick with it.
When you are out and about, look down. Look up. Often, you can find beautiful magical tools straight out of nature. Just make sure you are not looking up, down, or taking from a preserved or private location.
Lots of us were raised in a culture or generation where asking for something makes us uncomfortable. I had to get over major hurdles of pride and insecurity to ask for anything at all. What I found is that my family and friends often want to bless me with gifts for my birthday, Mother’s Day, Winter Holidays, etc. They are probably going to give me some gift anyway, so I try to make it easy for them. I have a running Amazon gift list with a variety of items of all different prices. I keep it frequently updated and they can easily see things I am looking for or at least get a feel for where my tastes are running at the time. When someone asks you, “What do you want for your birthday,” it does not help either of you for you to look askance and say, “Oh, I really don’t need anything at all.” As I said, they will likely get you something regardless, so think about things you would love to have and have a list ready. Personally, I love shopping for my family and getting things they do not know they want until they see it, but I also love getting things they need and never pick up for themselves.
Those are just a few ideas and I know all of you are clever enough to figure them out for yourselves, but I thought it might be helpful to have them in one place. Happy hunting!
Katrina Rasbold is a professional Witch, published author, priestess, and editor of Green Egg Magazine. She and her husband, Eric, are the creators of the CUSP spiritual path and owners of Crossroads Occult. She and Dahlia Rose host the popular livestreamed video broadcast “Crossroads of Cognizance” most Thursday afternoons.