I was at a loss for a good topic starting with the letter B that wasn't already covered. Enter crisis of cashflow and perfect topic! In fact, it should have been so obvious. My plan several years ago for Luna's Gathering was about magick on a budget. I wanted to share ways of practicing the Craft without emptying the bank account. "Spells, supplies, and more for the Practical Witch," or so the website claims, even now. I still have grand plans for making this happen. First, I must learn it for myself.
My great epiphany, use what you have, came about when I found I'd have to move. Again. Well, that and a few overdraft fees (insert crisis of cashflow here). Changing homes was nowhere in my itinerary for many years. I looked around at lots of stuff and realized I had no desire to pack most of it up and haul it to my next home. I have three shelves of books on magick, many of which have the same information. There is also a cabinet full of candles in many colors, originally purchased for the website. I already gave away the hundreds of sticks of incense to others before they got too stale. Did you know that if you store several scents in the same box, even if they're in their own bags, the scents begin to blend? I found that out the hard way. :-)
There are plenty of wonderful ways to do magick; spells that require little to no tools. For those spells that need a little more focus, there are alternatives. A simple kitchen knife can be just as effective as an athame. Tea lights from the dollar store burn just as bright, and are perfect when time is also tight. Simple notebook paper works as well as parchment. A lot of the information needed can be found on the internet. The only thing that can't be substituted is intention. As long as the thoughts and energy are right, so too will the spell. My favorite tool for doing magick? My computer. I can share my feelings, send positive thoughts and energy to far off friends, and connect to communities in a way that's not so easy in the middle of the Bible belt.
Don't get me wrong. I love stepping into a shop and feeling the positive energy all around. I make mental shopping lists of things I want, knowing that when I can afford them, I'm giving back to the community. The nicer tools have their time and place when the budget will allow. Until then, I don't have to put off what needs to be done because I can't balance a checkbook, Gus (my car) decides he needs a little attention, or rent is going up $120 a month. Using ordinary items in a spell also means we recognize the magick in everything.