Witchcraft for the Witch on a Budget

Ideas, tips, and musings for the fabulous witch with a little wallet


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Ritual Garb

Just a little blip before this witch heads off to the land of dreaming. A big thing a lot of practitioners seem to give a lot of thought (and in my humble opinion a lot of unneeded worry) to is ritual “fashion”. Color, cut, etc. are major things considered.

Those in the olden days had an easy solution to the budget worries of what to wear for religion and spellwork – skyclad. For those new to the Craft who may be reading this, that means naked. No worry about robes when you’re wearing what the good gods gave ya!!

Now we fast forward to modern day, where lighting candles and chanting while naked in your yard may easily end up with the police involved. Or group settings where you may not feel entirely comfortable getting down to your birthday suit. This doesn’t mean that you need to invest a lot of money in a ritual robe and cloak hand sewn and blessed within a circle. (They’re not cheap, I’ve checked.)

I understand the special element of ritual clothing but there are really only a few factors you need to consider when deciding what to donn and dedicate to use within your sacred space. Here are the questions to ask yourself as you’re sifting through your closet:

1. Is the fabric suitable for the environment you’ll be practicing in? Example – Velvet might look snazzy, but will you be comfortable in a heated indoor space made even warmer by burning candles while wearing it? Is that thin cotton shift going to keep you warm enough during an outside ritual in late autumn?

2. Is it comfortable? Do you have room to breathe in it? Constricting outfits or uncomfortable fabric textures can distract you when you are trying to focus, meditate, or raise energy.

3. Does it feel right to you? Really not a skirt person? Do you feel most comfortable and true to yourself wearing jeans? Go with a choice that is still true to you and who you are that can still maintain a special element for your magical/religious workings. For example, if you’re setting aside a pair of jeans for exclusive ritual use, take a Sharpie and draw some symbols on the pockets to make it more special to you and your sacred space.

If you’ve selected a specific outfit for ritual and ritual only then consider drawing a circle and blessing the clothes for their Purpose in your favorite method to do so then reserve those clothes for your sacred space. If you’re like me and have an extremely limited wardrobe, you can simply take a few moments to cleanse yourself with sage or herb of choice before beginning your rituals.

The point is, what you wear doesn’t matter nearly as much as what your Intent is. There were days when witches (and everyone else for that matter) couldn’t afford more than one set of clothing, so they made do. So, just because your budget doesn’t allow for fancy finery in sacred space, that doesn’t matter! Your fabulous witchery isn’t dictated by the clothes (or the lack thereof) on your body. Shine on, beautiful!

Blessed budgeting and Blessed Be!


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Setting up an altar with things you have around the house

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Whether you’re just starting out and haven’t had years to amass special ritual items or you’re over at a friend’s and need to set up an altar on the fly, it’s heartening to know that you can set up with things hiding out in your kitchen and your closet. It doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg to have an altar setup that while simple, does maintain an elegance and reverence about it. Remember, Consecration is just a Blessing and an Intent away!

For my “altar on the fly” example, I chose a simple setup ideal for a Full Moon rite. The altar surface is none other than my little coffee table.

Altar cloths are easy! This one just happens to be an old sheet I had tucked away in my closet. I tucked the edges around the table ends and tied them off with two fabric scraps I had lying around. Doing this creates a snug, clean wrap around the table, eliminates pesky snag and drag possibilities (Who hasn’t had that one happen at some point? One second you’re invoking Deity, the next your foot catches the edge of your altar cloth and sends your chalice flying!), plus your sheet is unaltered and can be used for other tasks in the future. Please note however, that there should be a sacrificial quality to the sheet/curtain/cloth you use. There’s every possibility it may have wax, ash, and burns on it by the end of the ritual.

I kept this setup as literal to the concept of household items as I could. You may have already noticed, and you’d be right, that the candle holders are shot glasses straight from the kitchen cabinet. Believe it or not they work great in a pinch, and with a few decorative techniques can make lovely permanent ritual holders. Trick to note: if you light the candle and let a few drops of wax drip into the bottom of the glass then place the candle back in before that wax sets, it creates a secure seal that will keep your candle nice and straight. That concept makes virtually anything flame proof a potential candle holder. If your altar surface is a glass top you could forego an altar cloth and secure your candles with this method directly to the surface. Cheap, cheap, and cheaper while highly effective!

My chalice is simply a small wine glass from the kitchen as well. The small scrying mirror was picked up once upon a time for 25 cents at Walmart in the craft section. My athame? You got it. A knife from the kitchen. My bowl for holding ritual salt is a bowl from my fondue set. That elegant looking little tray my herbs and oil are sitting on? The lid to a case journals were housed inside. The bottles themselves are antique apothecary bottles obtained entirely free by keeping a watchful eye out.

My incense finds it’s holder in an empty (and clean!) vinegar bottle I decorated with a bit of thread and a few beads.

The trick is to look around with your fabulous witch sense. Don’t be afraid to add some quirky flair! Your practice is your own and adding your own personal interpretation of tradition is key! Feel free to add jewelry for decoration (I used two bracelets in my example setup), stones you have or that you gather on the fly, anything you believe adds to your ambience. I’ve found bowls of water filled with blossoms, etc.gathered outside can add a beautiful natural touch to any candle lit ritual.

What altar tricks have you found that beautify your sacred space without disturbing your wallet?


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Picking the perfect place

Whether on a budget or not, the first important thing is picking out our space where we can let our energies flow. This task seems simple enough but can be difficult if you have limited space, have roommates who aren’t practitioners, or (most daunting in my opinion!) little witches running around with curious fingers a-flying!

Let’s face it most of us can’t afford a dedicated space that remains our altar 24/7, or if we can chances are that space isn’t very large! No need to despair however, with some organizational dedication and a versatile surface you can make it happen!

Deciding on a place is where your own personal flair starts coming into play. If you use a lot of herbs, enjoy cooking, find your finesse in kitchen witchery, then a spot on your kitchen counter is perfect! If you are a sex god/dess, an end table in the bedroom is perfect as a choice, etc etc etc. Hearth and home your focus? Coffee tables double as altars easy as can be.

Now how to make a versatile surface work without disrupting your natural daily flow? Think of your decorations. Perhaps the candle you keep on your coffee table already could become a dedicated Purpose candle, that bowl of potpourri on your night stand a representation for the Earth element. Kitchen knives? Athames on the fly. Remember, consecration is only a blessing and an Intention away.

As for the rest of your supplies for spellwork/ritual/holiday observance (tips for free and cheap ways to cover all that coming up in future blogs!), decorate an old cardboard box with magical symbols or dedicate a favorite bag for the job and store your things there if you move surfaces around your space often. If sticking to one room you can always try to designate a small corner of a drawer or cabinet for the task. (A spare dish drainer, shower caddy, or shoe organizer can do wonders for keeping things together, utilizing space effectively, and keeping it organized!)

If you have little witches running around like I do, places high up and locks down low are a good policy. My versatile space is a free TV cabinet I picked up with storage space underneath that is ideal for my purposes.

Keep an eye on those curbs, folks! Great future altars are being thrown out every day and most can easily fit in a trunk or backseat. Also, keeping an eye on your local craigslist free listings. They are a great way to find jewels just waiting for your inner witch to scoop them up!

This budget witch’s motto? The Universe Will Provide. Sometimes you just have to keep a close eye out.

Not the most exciting first blog, but just like a house it’s building from the ground up! As we progress we will get into some fabulous decorating tips, cheap cheap cheap holiday recipes, photos, and much more.

Thank you for stopping by, more to come soon. Blessed budgeting and Blessed Be!


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Welcome to budget witchcraft!

Let’s face it: in today’s economy money is becoming increasingly difficult to come by. We’ve all had those wishful moments at (insert new age shop of preference) where we are wondering if buying a scratcher ticket down the street might provide enough luck for us to be able to afford that snazzy chalice/tapestry/censor/athame.

As a pagan, of course we want our sacred space to be beautiful, a visual representation of our joy and celebration of our practice and our personal temple. But, a lot of us just can’t afford a lot of the flashy awesome tools so popular on the market these days.

But we don’t have to lose hope! Whether you are starting over or just starting out, there are plenty of cheap…and even better…FREE ways to bringing yourself out of the broom closet feeling fabulous on the outside and the inside and prepared for the tasks waiting for you within your sacred space.

I’ve been a budget witch for the last fifteen years and have picked up some tricks along the way, little things that I’m looking forward to sharing with you!

Check back often to see what new things are in store. Blessed budgeting and blessed be!