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I Bought All My Supplies, Now What Do I Do?

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I Bought All My Supplies, Now What Do I Do?

Just because you have it, doesn't mean you need to have it out.

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Question: I Bought All My Supplies, Now What Do I Do?

I have a lot of supplies I use in spellwork. I'm trying to figure out if I need to keep them all on my altar all the time. It's starting to look kind of cluttered around here.

Answer:

You've just gotten the coolest athame in the world, you found a great deal on a bulk order of herbs, four people gifted you with Tarot cards, and grandma heard you like candles so she gave you a dozen. That's great!

Except now you have a small dilemma. All that stuff doesn't fit on your altar. You'd like to do a ritual, or a spell working, and there's stuff everywhere. What do you do now?

Ideally, you'll want to have a cabinet or chest or some sort of storage place. When it comes to placing things on your altar, trust me, less is better. Put everything away except for a few things -- you don't need EVERY herb and stone you own sitting on your altar 24 hours a day.

When you do get around to using them, where do you put them? Are they supposed to be arranged a certain way on the altar? In a perfect world, everything would come with instructions. But in Wicca, where so much of it varies from one tradition to the next, a lot of it relies on your own intuition. Unless you are part of a tradition that says "You MUST place the stones in a counterclockwise circle seven inches in diameter, to the left of a blue candle, in alphabetical order", then you usually don't have to worry about it.

Sometimes, in a spell, placement of a stone or other ingredient is specific, but in these cases, it will tell you why -- for instance, it might say, "Place the Topaz in the south section of your altar to represent Fire." Otherwise, I find that keeping it simple, and putting stuff where I can REACH it is what really counts. Nothing is worse than having to interrupt a working because you set your sleeve on fire reaching over a candle for a bit of quartz.

Ideally, what I try to do -- and this is because I've been practicing for over twenty years and have amassed a HUGE collection of supplies -- is prior to a working, I gather up everything I need. Think of it like a chef setting up a mise en place station - everything in its place. I put those things on my altar table or workspace, and leave everything else behind. It's kind of like serving your family a meal -- you might have seven different kinds of salad dressings, but if you know everyone wants Ranch, then why get out the Italian, Blue Cheese, and Garlicky Vinaigrette?

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