Hey friends! So a lovely commenter mentioned on my Witchcraft Tips for Newbies post that it might be a good idea to write a post about simple and inexpensive rituals that would be accessible for beginner witches (thanks Delfin!). I thought that was an awesome idea, but I’m actually going to break it up into two posts! This first post is going to be about inexpensive materials you either already have or can find at the dollar store/in your backyard to use in your practice, and the next post will be two simple rituals you can use them for (one for the new moon and one for the full moon!)
As much as I love posting Instagram pics of my deck and crystal collections, the honest truth is you don’t need any materials at all to be a witch. None! Just you and your intentions. The other truth is that inexpensive or handmade materials are just as good as expensive store-bought ones, and sometimes even better if you’ve poured your love into making them. So while I think these materials are relatively cheap and easy to come by, don’t think you need all of them or even any of them to get started in your craft.
This post might make some traditional witches mad because I talk about digital resources towards the bottom, but I believe witchcraft should be accessible to everyone who wants it and I don’t believe in gatekeeping. Learning how to be a witch from the Internet doesn’t make you any less of a witch than someone who was raised by witches and joined a coven as a fetus (or whatever.) It’s okay if your journey doesn’t look like someone else’s, and it’s not okay to poo-poo someone’s practice because they took a different path than you. Every witch is a real witch so let’s just get along!
Without further ado, let’s get started!
Candles are my #1 witchcraft essential. I love burning candles not only for the energy and power they lend to a spell or ritual, but because they look really witchy and cool. That’s probably not the most important reason to have them, but the mood is important in witchcraft! However, you don’t need any of those giant drippy taper candles or whatever that you see on Instagram (even if they’re gorgeous). My favorite candles to use in spells and rituals are tea lights from the dollar store. It was literally $1 for a pack of them and I use them ALL the time. Tea lights are great because you can let the candle completely burn down as part of your spell or ritual if necessary without having to worry about guarding it 24/7 for days until it’s done so you don’t burn your house down. It gives you a couple hours of burn time which is more than enough in most cases!
2. Sticks and stones and nature stuff
Witchcraft is essentially a nature spirituality, so what better way to decorate your altar or sacred space than with nature? Crystals are pretty, but they can be expensive. A pretty stone from the backyard – or even better, from a natural place that has meaning to you – can serve as an equally powerful representation of earth on your altar (although they won’t necessarily have the same vibrational qualities as crystals, but tbh there are some pretty cheap smaller stones on Etsy if you’re desperate for crystals in your life.) You can make your own wand out of a stick and use pebbles to shape out a pentacle on your altar (or whatever shape you want!) You can use fresh flowers as offerings to your deities or just for decoration. Tools don’t have to be expensive – the original pagans couldn’t exactly hop on Etsy and order a custom-made altar cloth. If you want to buy fancy things for your practice, that’s totally fine and you should do it, but know that you don’t NEED those things in order for your magick to work.
3. A notebook and a pen or pencil
This is super important. You’re going to want to keep some sort of record of your witchy journey – what spells worked, what didn’t, what rituals you did and when. But the thing is, you don’t need a fancy grimoire to make this happen. The cheapest notebook from Walgreens will work just fine. If you’re a perfectionist like I am, you can always use the cheap notebook to take all your messy notes and transfer the important ones to a fancy book later when you can afford one that you like, but don’t let the lack of a fancy notebook keep you from writing things down. No one ever has to see it but you!
Water is a super versatile tool and it’s free from your sink! Although purified water is ~best~, who has time for that? You can make “purified” water on your own by adding salt to it. You can use this as a cleansing spray (adding essential oils if you want to make it smell nice) or leave it to charge under the full moon to make moon water. You can collect rain during a storm if you want stormwater, or collect it from a lake or ocean if that has meaning to you. You can put some water on your altar as a representation of the element or sprinkle it around your space when you’re casting a circle (if you’re into that.) Basically water can be used for as many things as your imagination allows, so don’t underestimate what you can do with it!
5. A picture frame
One of the easiest ways to decorate your altar or sacred space is by framing an image of something that’s important to you. This could be a depiction of a deity that you work with (since statues and other representations can be expensive!), a picture of a place in nature that makes you feel serene, a picture of the ocean if you’re a sea witch… the possibilities are endless! I personally keep a framed print of my favorite tarot card in my workspace just because it makes me happy to look at it. There are no rules, but a simple picture frame can easily become a lovely centerpiece for your sacred space.
I LOVE Pinterest for witchcraft because it makes everything so easy. Not only is it a great resource for hacks and spells to do on the cheap, but I use it to make vision boards all. the. time. As much as I wish I could be a crafty person, I’m just not, so I prefer digital vision boards to the IRL variety. You can also use Pinterest to make boards dedicated to your deities or to keep a virtual Book of Shadows of a sorts. You can make the boards private on Pinterest so only you can see them and you can have as many as you want! It’s a great source of information and an awesome manifestation tool.
Who needs books when you have Tumblr? (My book-loving heart just died a little, but hear me out.) Books about witchcraft and Wicca can be hard to find in physical stores and potentially expensive if you order them online. While there’s a lot of great wisdom to be found in books, there’s also a lot of wisdom on the Internet for free. I really recommend Tumblr as a good place to learn about witchcraft – while of course there’s misinformation out there, there’s also a lot of really great tips, links to resources that people use and love, recipes, examples of grimoires and altars, etc, etc. You can also use your Tumblr blog as a little virtual record of your practice, which is nice. Basically Tumblr lets you see what real people are doing, which can be helpful as you sort through all the mess of resources that are out there. Also, while sometimes people go overboard, Tumblr witches are a lot more woke to the issues of racism, sexism, and cultural appropriation that unfortunately crop up in the witch community pretty often. It’s good to learn early on that these things aren’t okay rather than having to un-learn them after they’ve unwittingly become a part of your practice.
So there you have it! Like I said, you don’t need any of these things to be a witch but if you want them, they’re not very expensive. I hope this post was helpful! Part 2 will be a new moon ritual and a full moon ritual using some of the items at hand, and if you have any other inexpensive tools or recommendations, be sure to leave them in the comments! <3