Thursday, June 7, 2012

K is for Keeping to a budget.

Most of us are not going to have an endless supply of finances that enables us to buy every shiny new object that catches our fancy.  If we desperately want a ritual item we have to save up for it, budget it in and really challenge ourselves with regards to wheter it is something we 'want' or 'need'.  But there are other ways to get the objects we want for our path.

One person's junk is another one's treasure...this saying definitely holds true I believe when it comes to kitting oneself out with the various paraphernalia that tends to be associated with the pagan path.  Most people find themselves searching for certain objects that the wish to use as part of their practice.  Many of us I am sure began our studies thinking that we had to have the greatest thing purchased from the local new age store generally at a quite exorbitant cost.  It isn't until later that we begin to realize that the best tools are things that we either make ourselves or find some other way.

Now not all of us are skilled enough or have enough time to devote to making our own tools so we are left having to purchase them in some way.  This does not have to require a great deal of money though.  In fact if there is one comment thread I've noticed among my pagan friends its that we're all thrifty little buggers who with a bit of creative thinking and ingenuity have managed to come up with wonderful ritual/spiritual items without it costing an arm and a leg.

Please don't think that I am not advocating the support of ones local new age/pagan/alternative store - I'm not.  I do realize how important it is to support local business of any kind but that being said it isn't always practical or fiscally possible, especially in today's economy.  This is where thrift stores and yard sales become a witches best friend.  You can usually pick up some amazing deals on items that you wouldn't have found anywhere and I find that when you do the object ends up having more meaning to you for the process gone through to achieve it than anything you order online.

Of course purchasing items this way does sometimes take some thinking outside the box.  When it comes to candle holders, bowls or chalices and the like things can be pretty straight forward.  Most of us realize that if something is plain, a little worn, or not the right color there is generally something we can do to fix that.  Of course it isn't every day that you're going to go thrift shopping and pick up a goddess statue, or and old cauldron and so we have to think a little differently here.  Goddesses  - it is easy enough generally to find some nice ceramic statues of women in various forms that could become your representation of the maiden, mother, crone etc.  Maybe you found a stag or a hare statue that could represent your deity, or something else that is relatively mainstream but symbolizes something to you.  Cauldrons don't have to be cast iron (depending on what you're doing with them) you will probably find some great candle holders that look like cauldrons or other containers that have a similar shape.

This kind of shopping comes in handy too if you are trying to be subtle about your beliefs.  One can easily have on display a group of statues of women in different guises as the maiden, mother, crone aspect.  Or cauldron's as candle holders.  A stag as your masculine energy, or a statue of a young couple for Beltane, the possibilities are endless.

Now as for making things, well that can get as simple or as complex as you would like.  Polymer clay is a wonderful medium - you don't have to be a sculptor you just have to be willing to get your hands dirty.  You can make some amazing items either for spell work (amulets etc) or even your own statues and BOS covers.  Painting or drawing is also an option - why not get some canvases and create your own mural or focal point for meditation.  If you can't draw/paint there is always collage - how many of us have created or seen peoples wonderful 'Full Moon' boards that are used for inspiration.  Now some of this can get expensive if you hit up Michaels or somewhere similar, but you can find supplies at dollar stores, thrift stores or other discount places.  Runes can be made with glass pebbles and a paint pen (if you don't have access to something to cut and carve wood). You can make offering dishes out of terracotta plant dishes that you paint.  You could use some glass paint to create your own candle holders using cheap plain glass ones and a stencil or free hand drawing.  There is, once again, an endless list of ideas.

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