The magical cupboard, the secret garden, the private journal, the mysterious woman slipping silently through the woods—these words may waken something within you, something that stirs deep within, a knowing so ancient that you may wish to turn away, or determine to explore further.
Are we not all fascinated by what makes the colors change on the tree, or the tides turn, or the herb give up its healing strength? Did we not, as children, devour books on fairies and magic, and create potions that only our mothers would drink? Were you one of those children who just knew that everything was “real”? Do you remember how you felt when you were a child, full of wonder and hope, knowing that all of creation is magical, and that everything has consciousness?
If you have forgotten, but want to remember, against the odds, against all admonitions, that grown-ups do indeed believe in such things, then you are in the right place. I believe that magic is real and nothing is impossible!
I am often asked how one would stock a magical cupboard, and by this I mean your own collection of magical tools that would assist you in your mystics’ journey.
When I began in the Wise Woman tradition, gathering tools for my practice was part of my awakening into developing my own style of magic. I practice as a Solitary and do not belong to a coven. I had only my own intuition and some books for guidance. There wasn’t opportunity to poke around through any other mystics’ collection. If you are beginning this journey without the support of a coven, take heart, a solitary journey can be deeply meaningful.
Stocking your magical cupboard is a great adventure! To be sure, the list can get lengthy, but you can start with a few things that you consider essential, and build on that. You may already have some of these things, some items can be found at any store in town, and others will have to be bought at a magical supply store. The list below is a starting point.
Create one area where you will store your magical supplies. You may not have a whole room to use for your practice, it may truly be a cupboard, or a box, or a few shelves in a closet. All space is sacred space. Treat all items with respect and care, having consecrated them to your work, and keeping them away from the hands of others. Your tools will assume your energy, and are, in essence, an extension of you. They will, after time, store your energy, becoming more and more powerful.
As you choose your tools, try to tap into your heart center, asking your inner knowing to guide you. If something does not feel right, even if it is pretty and affordable, don’t buy it. Each piece will come to you in its own time. Many years have gone by since I began, and I still use my old wood-walking knife as my athame. It’s not a traditional choice, but for me, it is the best one.
Every witch will have her own ideas about what is truly necessary and what is not. All witches assistants are just that, assistants. Even without any tools, using only your intention, you can work powerful magic. Anything you use in your practice can be viewed as a magnifier of your intention; it allows us to connect with that creative energy more easily, and serves as a touchpoint for the numinous.
You don’t have to have everything to begin your exploration of the mystics’ life. If you are good at visualization, you can also imagine a tool in your hand. That has worked for me when I have found myself without a particular item.
It is perfectly alright to insist that your tools are sacred and for your hands only. Your partner or friends may be curious about your interest in magic, and honesty is always a witch’s best ally, but so is her right to safe-guard her practice.
Let’s begin! If a particular item calls out to you immediately, pay attention and mark it down to the list of must-haves. If this list seems daunting, remember, just get what you feel will be of most benefit to your studies.
Candles. White, red, purple, green or beeswax candles with different colored holders, for working varying spells. I prefer the beeswax. The scent is very organic and they are non-toxic. One of a witch’s mandates is caring for the planet by using as many natural products as possible.
Your Book of Shadows if you have one started.
Altar cloth. Black is a good place to start, but anything that calls to you is also perfect.
Incense and burner. Nag Champa is a good quality incense, non-toxic. Many types of incense products are not made with natural ingredients, so choose cautiously.
Mortar and Pestle
Crystals and Gems. These are powerful allies.
Runes for Divination or Tarot Cards, whichever you choose as your oracle.
Music that inspires your magic.
Smudge stick or Palo Santo for clearing energy.
Statues—God, Goddess, The Green Man.
Moon or Sun Water
Container of soil
Items from nature that you have gathered on your walks.
A spell book
Your Familiar. That may be your cat or dog or the crow outside the window, just don’t expect them to sit in your cupboard.
One of the most joyful experiences on a new walk as a mystic is creating one’s practice. Uncovering one’s passion for working with the elements and spirits is rewarding and empowering. If any of these items are new to you, simply look them up in any good book on witchcraft. Here are some I adore:
A Witch’s Notebook, Silver RavenWolf
The Holy Book of Women’s Mysteries, Zsuzssanna Emese Budapest
Witchcrafting, Phyllis Curott (the best thing I have ever read on magic)
Wicca—A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner, Scott Cunningham
Hedgewitch, Silver RavenWolf
I hope you have fun and discover your own magic while stocking your Mystic’s Cupboard. If you have any questions, please leave a comment and I will do my best to provide an answer.
Author: Monika Carless
Image: Author’s own
Editor: Lieselle Davidson