First off, when you see witches like myself that have tons of fabulous witch stuff, do understand we didn’t get it all the week we discovered paganism or witchcraft. We have been putting our collections together for years. It is not a game of catch up. If you are just starting out, you don’t need to blow several hundred on supplies. There is a huge advantage to gathering things slowly. In that you will have ample time to become familiar with each object and its inlying spirit.
Wanting some special new supplies isn’t all bad either. When I decided I wanted to do this witch thing innowen tried to dissuade me from buying a mortar and pestle when a bowl and spoon would do. I would not be dissuaded and I bought one from a new age store. Now of course the thing was crap and bits of black enamel broke off in my herbs. But I did learn that I loved grinding herbs in it and I was able to decide what type of mortar and pestle I wanted next and ask for it for yule.
But onto the point. Where does all this stuff come from? How do you get plugged in and develop a great collection?
1) Befriend other witches and pagans, even if they practice way different than you. I can’t say this enough. A good deal of my witchy things were gifts or trades with other witches, pagans and new agers from in person and online. Its easy to get snobby and not want to hang out with the love and light types or to abhor folks who are a bit darker than you on principal. But interactions with others an be your greatest teacher about who you are and aren’t. And most pagan types who have been doing it longer than you have an old tarot deck and a few beginner books they need to rehome anyways. You’ll pay it forward someday.
2) Thrift shop. Don’t go in with anything in mind. Just look for witchy pagan stuff in the isles of the local charity shop. Usually something jumps out at me. Whether it a wall hanging of a pudgy kid with grapes for a bachanal type altar. A candle holder or even a few grab bags of cotton yarn for making charms, something will probably be manipulated for witchcraft and it might only cost a few dollars. I am amazed at what some casual thrifting has turned up for me. Old perfume bottles shaped like hummingbirds? Witchcraft!
3) Mention general stuff you are looking for to thrift gifty friends. Hey thrifty friend, let me know if you see and antlers out thrifting-garage saleing so I can come snap it up. Chances are you friend will delight in surprising you with gifts of their finds. Return the favor and you are golden. My brother is always turning up with loch ness monster themed things for me. I adore him, and the resulting collection.
4) Nature and natury friends. Learn your local trees and stop the car, bike or get of the bus now and then when you see something. This time of year my eyes are peeled for rowan trees and there bright orange red berries. I will take off a sock or my hat to fill up with them and a few branches to take home and make rowan on red thread charms. Get other nature inclined friends to scope out spots for you. Some might even pick up bones and antlers for you. Who knows?
5) Join in on swaps online. After you’ve bought a few things, gotten some gifts, picked up outside, you will someday have extra. Join swaps. Offer whatever you can and take near anything thats offered in exchange. If you don’t like it, gift it to another friend or offer it in an unrelated swap another time.
6) Check your house. I’ve a wand and a few favorite cute witch storybooks from childhood. A nice illustrated Wizard of Oz is a witch treasure! My dad had a cast iron pan in our camping gear. My mom has Irish themed cook books and gardening guides. We even had a few random greek myth books and something on ghosts of Ireland.
7) Halloween clearance sales. The cool stuff I have picked up the day after hallowen at craft and costume stores at 75% off is phenomenal. Always get your black candles this time of year, otherwise they are hard to find.
8) Save money aside for special purchases. Then stalk etsy, ebay and various other websites for just the thing.
9) Ask at holidays for specific things you could witchify. A perfume making kit, playing cards, fairytale books, blank leatherbound journal or sketchbook, nature guides, and etc. You don’t havevto tell your grandma you are a witch to adk her for a rock collection for your birthday.
10) Be observant, patient, give it time, and be giving to other giving people. You will have too much stuff before you know it.