Since so many members of the Pagan community work as solitaries, and may never come into contact with other Pagans during their lifetime, one issue that comes up as our population ages is that of what to do with magical tools and other items after death. After all, if we have no one magical in our lives to leave these things to, what becomes of them?
The first thing to do is make sure you have a will - and this is something that applies to everyone, not just Pagans. A will allows your family and heirs to take possession of your belongings upon your death, rather than waiting for months, or even years, for a probate court to decide what to do with your stuff. If you haven't consulted an attorney to draw up a will, do so as soon as possible. This way, you can outline (before you die), who gets what.
Now, that having been said - if you don't have any other Pagans in your life right now, to whom do you leave your stuff? Here are a couple of ideas to consider:
- Make friends with the folks at the nearby metaphysical store. They may know of a group or a solitary practitioner who is financially strapped, and who might benefit some day from an anonymous bequest of tools. Of course, if you're young and healthy, it may be a long time before that bequest gets passed along, but the people who run the shop may be able to give you some guidance for the future.
- Talk to a local High Priestess. Many covens offer training programs and classes, and would probably be happy to adopt your magical tools once you've crossed over. Things like Tarot cards and other ritual items can always be incorporated into a lesson, and if you plan ahead, you can make sure you're leaving them to a HPs who will treat your items with respect and dignity.
- Ask your family to take care of your items. Sometimes, people will ask that once they've passed on, that their family members dispose of ritual tools and magical items in a ceremony. You might opt to write out instructions ahead of time, and ask your family to do this. Another option would be to leave everything to one particular family member, if there's someone you'd like to share your beliefs with after you're gone. Ariadne, a Michigan Pagan, says, "When my mother died, she left me all of her ritual items, including her Book of Shadows. I had never been interested in Paganism before that, but once I started reading her material, I saw why she had been so drawn to it. This led me to the path that I'm on today, ten years later."
- Consider getting in touch with a group such as Operation Circle Care, which collects ritual tools, books, and other items for military personnel stationed overseas, and see if they'd like to use them. They're always looking for donations, and it would make a fine legacy indeed to leave your magical tools to such an organization.
Like many other aspects of our lives, our death is something that can often be made simpler by planning ahead. Make sure you have written instructions indicating your wishes, and that way, when the time comes, you can at cross over knowing that your magical tools will be in the hands of someone who will benefit from them.