Managing Materialism in Witchcraft
As much as we don’t want to admit it, we are all guilty of a little bit of overspending, or purchasing things we don’t really need. As a Taurus (with Libra rising) I am definitely guilty of this, and I have more “stuff” than I know what to do with. And as a witch, well, it’s all too easy to convince ourselves we need one more crystal, one more smudge stick, one more piece for our next altar.
This is a challenge I am currently facing.
When I left Australia for the UK, I gave away my carefully curated and crafted altar items, believing that one’s purchased in the UK would have a more relevant energy than anything I would bring over. However, when I relocated, I spent 11 months in London which were financially difficult, and then experienced two years of extreme stress in Scotland, where I secreted my spirituality away lest it come to harm.
This means that now I am once again embracing my spirituality and my craft, I find myself with a small handful of crystals, a tarot deck or two, and not much more.
And so, in typical Taurean fashion, I am wanting more. More crystals, more smudge sticks, more oils, more herbs. I am wanting to replace everything I left behind, (which I think is only natural), as well as creating a beautiful new altar to represent where I am now.
The urge to go shopping and buy everything I want is overwhelming, yet it is also completely manageable because at the end of the day, our craft isn’t about materialism, or stuff, something I am being mindful of reminding my myself of daily.
I don’t need athames, crystals, candles or cauldrons to practice witchcraft.
I don’t need anything, other than myself and my spirit, to be a witch.
With Instagram displaying beautifully crafted altars on our feeds daily, it’s easy to get swept up in the aesthetic and have our “wants” raised, or to feel as though we’re not Witchy enough. However, these are not things we need – they’re nice to have, but they don’t define you nor your practice, and they won’t make you any more of a witch than anyone else.
And it’s easy to get swept up in the bargains that eBay and Amazon (or Alibaba) offer for our metaphysical craft, but again, given these items aren’t needed but wanted, wouldn’t it better to find whatever it is you need not on sale, or wholesale, but from a local supplier or fellow practitioner? Someone who understands the unique properties of the tools and isn’t just selling them to make a quick buck?
I think we need to start thinking of our craft more holistically and less materialistically. I think we need to start making mindful purchases for our craft and taking a “less is more” approach, rather than “more is more and means I have everything on hand instantly for any spell, rite, or ritual I could possibly want, even though most of these oils and herbs have a shelf life and will be useless within a year, but that’s ok, because I have them just in case.”
Of course, this doesn’t describe all witches and their relationship with physical things, but there’s likely many of us who are materialistic, and who do like to be surrounded by stuff.
At the end of the day, there’s no problem with buying either what you want or what you need, there’s no problem with having a well-stocked and decorated altar or witches supply closet. As long as what we’re buying is mindful and with a purpose, and not because of some innate urge for more which ends up lading to unnecessary excess.
So, yes, I’m still going to purchase a new crystals on payday (holla #TeamTaurus), but rather than purchasing the bulk lot of tumblestones for £7.95 from Amazon which is what I want, I’ll be purchasing the individual tumble stone I actually need from Etsy and help support not only a fellow witch, but my own conscious.