On lazy weekend afternoons, when I have nothing on my plate, there's nothing I like to do more than go thrift store shopping. I love to find different spell components and other witchcraft treasures during these outings. Not only am I able to find inexpensive pieces, but I feel like it adds a sense of history to my practice. So here is a short list of things I am always on the lookout for when I spend the day wondering around my favorite thrift stores.
If you practice herbalism or use herbs in your spell crafting, then you know that there's no such thing as too many jars! There are so many beautiful shapes and sizes that line the shelves. You may even come across real crystal that is tossed in with the glass wear. To check if you should be so lucky, just gently flick the glass with your middle finger and thumb. Crystal sounds bell like when it vibrates vs glass makes a dull flat sound. I also look for lids that fit properly and look for cracks or other imperfections. I l like to look for unique etchings or different colors that I may not have at home and jars that look vintage that you just can't find anymore.
One thing to keep in mind when you are hunting for gently loved treasure is that you never want to buy items that can be worn out easily. You want to make sure you can get plenty of use out of them.
I'm always on the lookout for a real solid cast-iron pot. These make the best cauldrons and will quickly become one of my most beloved collected heirlooms. I prefer to pick mine up at second hand or thrift stores over occult shops because they were actually made to be used in the kitchen as cookware and are food safe, and I love to imagine the many meals that were prepared, before it found its way to me.
My favorite most cherished books have come from used bookstores and thrift stores. The goldmine of untapped resources that these stores hold as far as book go...can keep me there for hours! Mind you, an occult book is a very rare find in a general thrift store, antique book dealers are an entirely different ball of wax.
In a lot of used bookstores, you can find an occult section or it can be called a metaphysical section, probably squeezed in next to the religion section. You will typically find tarot decks new and used. The used decks I always pick up and can feel if they want to come home with me, but always check the decks to make sure that the cards are all there.
You might also find books about herbalism, crystals, palmistry, and mythology. These books are such a great price that you might need help bringing them to your car!!
If you are looking for vintage jewelry to add to your practice, be it costume pieces or something more expensive, any second hand store is a great place to start. Sometimes you can be drawn to a piece, and, and it speaks to you, or perhaps you were drawn to a piece that was looking for you. Either way, there is a treasure trove of beautiful baubles waiting for a home.
I can almost always find a few chalices in the silver section of any thrift store while I'm rummaging around my local thrift store. Generally, they are tossed out when people have had weddings and they no longer have a need for their wedding goblets. I am always drawn to the ones that are a bit more tarnished because they have that old world feel that I'm looking for.
I can not begin to tell you how many beautiful candle holders I have collected over the years. Short, tall, single taper holders, candelabra styles, even wall sconces. Some are ornaite, some are crystal, some are pewter some are gold. I love the look of mixed and matched sets with no real rhyme or reason. If my trip isn't very eventful, I know I'll always leave with at least one candle holder.
Kitchen Witch Supplies
Many standard kitchen witch items sell for almost nothing in thrift stores. People often use specialty items like the mortar/pestle a few times, and then never again. I have a small collection of these because they come in so many different sizes and colors that if I find one, then it's coming home to join the others. A lot of the more traditional tools kitchen witches use in their practices slow things down and It gives them a more mindful way of crafting their spells. Other things you can look for to add to your collection are heavy wood cutting boards, old-fashioned handmade spice racks that our grandmothers had hanging in their homes, and always a ton of serving platters that make great altars.
I love finding handmade wooden boxes that have interesting carvings on top with old hinges and someone's initials underneath. Oh and even better, when it has the date it was made some place hidden within its wood grain. I use these for storage, maybe tarot cards or to hold my incense or upcoming spells I've written. However, If you are still in the broom closet these make great places to store away your witchy things and no one would be the wiser. One last thing I have found useful is to create a travel box. When I leave home and I want to bring along a few of my supplies, I just pop a few pieces into one of my boxes and I have my own travel altar.
-Only choose pieces you truly feel connected to.
-Most people like to do some sort of cleansing for the used items they have found and intend to incorporate into their practice. I always run each piece through the smoke of the incense that I burn specifically for cleansing. You can sage them, you can speak to each piece and welcome them into your home or simply leave it under the moonlight to charge.
There are so many wonderful things that you can find that I haven't mentioned partly because I could go on and on with ideas!!
Many Blessings J
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