Use What You Need
That small statement bothers me. It bothers me to no end!
When I really started getting serious about my spirituality I was told by the majority to “only use what is needed.” But what’s really needed?
I get insulted when someone’s idea of what’s needed is forced upon me. To be totally honest, nothing physical is ‘needed’ for spell work – or anything regarding religion as a whole.
Some mentors have people disassemble their altars, and some get really upset when asked to do this. I think its a good exercise in order for individuals to decide exactly what it is they feel they need. Its a good way to (pardon my language) clear the bullshit and get down to the real deal. Some, over time, accumulate a lot of things that do not serve them. Magical Hoarders, if you will.
Personally, I feel my spiritual path is beyond just need. It is a representation of my spirit. Do I need incense? No. I like it!
Many items on my altar are there because I feel I need them. There are even some items not present that others say are ‘needed’. I have a censer which is about to be replaced by just a cauldron. I have a chalice which was replaced by a bowl.
I prefer to tell people:
You need whatever you feel you need.
How do you know what you need until you’ve had it? For example: I have absolutely no use for a chalice. I have one on my altar, but its very small and it doesn’t get used. I have a small crystal bowl which I keep charged salt, Goddess (rain) water, and a stone of some kind which represents what it is I hope to ‘evaporate’ into my space. Though the stone, of course, never evaporates – I like to visualize that the stone is also charging its properties into the water which I use to bless myself, the area – and by the act of evaporation – blesses my whole house.
Obtain any tool your spirit thinks you need. If it turns out you have no use for it – hang on to that tool! A young Pagan’s spirit may be calling out for that tool and you may cross paths! I try to pass my unused or replaced tools down to someone else.
Witch-cycling. Its like recycling, but for witches!