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The Irresistible Magnetism of the Fairy Ring by Miwok

Be present with the things that are already present. Your body, your breath, the tingling inside your hands, the sense of sound, the sense of sight when you simply experience and not divide or label, a plant, a flower, the sky… these are utterly present. Awareness does not need the seer or the seen; it is just pure seeing. If you don’t get this, start with Observing Thought.

– Bodhidharma

When you don’t have what the spell calls for/don’t know where to get it...

It sucks.  That much we can all agree on.  

But it’s not the end of the world!

There are all sorts of other possibilities and substitutes for your everyday spells charms and potions, not to mention unlikely sources!  Here are just a few!

Substitutions

  • Socks make great ‘pouches’ for spell bags.  They’re even easy to get in the right colors, usually black or white!  Just add what you need , tie a knot in the sock, and it’s a perfect spell bag!  You can even store your tarot decks or crystals in one!
  • Most witches know this, but in almost any spell, a white candle can be substituted for any other color.  What many witches don’t think of are all the other options there are!  Just need a few minutes?  Birthday candles work well, and come on almost every color of the rainbow!  And remember that life hack from a few years ago?  In an emergency, a crayon will burn for 30 mins?  What’s a crayon but a candle with no wick?  Light the paper instead, and you have nearly every color of the rainbow at your disposal.  Be careful, of course, as with all candle magic!
  • Instead of small offering bowls, which can be A) expensive, B) fragile, and C) easily lost, don’t hesitate to use something a little more creative!  A hollowed out fruit or orange skin, a small, still soft dish made of playdough, or a regular kitchen cup all will work just fine!  Just be sure to pick up any fruit as quickly as possible.
  • True cauldrons are difficult to come by, not to mention expensive.  A nice cast iron pot or dutch oven, however, doesn’t have to be!  It keeps all the same qualities on would look for (Natural, easy to clean, holds remnants of what has been made before within it) in a cauldron, but can be gotten for under 10 dollars at most thrift stores.  Get there early, though, as they are popular!  Once they’ve been seasoned, they make absolutely perfect cauldrons!
  • Interested in chord magic?  There’s no need to go out and buy special rope or chord.  Most houses have a skein of yarn or spool of twine around somewhere, and both work just fine.  Even sewing thread will work if you don’t mind your finished project being rather small.
  • Potion bottles and jars can be expensive, not to mention the fact that the few I have for that purpose are almost always filled with one thing or another.  So when you’ve made a perfectly good batch of holy water or confidence draught, only to find that you’ve got nothing to keep it in, remember, nothing but the aesthetic will suffer if you just put it in a plastic leftovers container, or better yet, a spaghetti sauce jar!  Anything good enough to hold your food is good enough for your potions!

Now onto where to get your supplies, as well as the substitutes above!

  • Most herbs can be found in grocery stores, obviously, but it’s also a great idea to check health food stores in the bulk bins section.   If you only need a bit of something, it may cost you only pennies!
  • Candles can be a bit expensive.  Unless you don’t mind scented ones, in which case the dollar store is the way to go!  I’m unsure if there’s an international equivalent, but in the US, you can usually get a small candle for one dollar.  Not bad!  Plus they almost always have packs of tealights and glass dishes, which work well for candle holders or offering trays!
  • two words: GARAGE. SALES.  I’ve found all sorts of amazing stuff at these, some of which I couldn’t buy (My mother would be suspicious.) But there’s usually everything from cast iron to yarn to buttons to books to dishes to statues to cloth to anything you can imagine!  Check them out!
  • Socks can also be bought at the dollar store.  Btw.
  • Farmers markets are great if you are looking for produce for kitchen magic, as the items have more personal touches to them.
  • WILDCRAFTING.  You can find so much out on a walk.  I’ve found bones, crystals, and all manner of herbs, spices, and plant material.
  • Offer to weed a neighbors garden in exchange for the weeds you pull.  Dandelions, pokeweed, and pigweed are all great spell ingredients.  Ask for bits of what they grow as well!
  • Trade with your witchey friends!  I grow lemon balm and always have an unholy amount of it, so I swap that and anything else I have extra of for anything from crystals to advice!
  • I hope all this helped.  Blessings, everyone!