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I know that Brian and I have mentioned in multiple shows that thrifting for your altar decorations and tools is one way to go.

It’s nice to have several thousand dollars of tools that are exactly what you want, but I went out over the past two days just looking around in the various local thrift shops, and if I found something that I think could make good altar decorations or working tools, I took a picture of it, and now I’m sharing them all with you.

I’ll make comments on them as I come to the photo.

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These are all goddess figurines I came across in the thrifting.  The first and last images I nearly bought, the first because an alabaster goddess with a well to hold Goddess Anointing Oil was just too much.  The last because I can’t think of a more perfect representation of the Mother than this.  Goddess of Willendorf anyone?  The second photo was just a bit too much, but there are a few things in there that caught my eye.  The others, well, I like Victorian ladies.  The one figurine who is holding the parasol and flowers would do good for a Rites of Spring celebration, don’t you think?


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Candleholders and lighting.  All of these are designed to hold a candle or to help you see.  Some are fueled by oil (hurricane lanterns, third pic and the tiki torch) and most are pre-made.  The jar candles in the next to last pic were found in a deep discount grocery store that has a lot of food items for the Mexican Culture, they tend to use a lot of saint’s candles in their worship.  The rest, well, brass is nice, the wood and ceramic ones had a certain aesthetic, the black cauldron ones were for Samhain and tea lights, and the tiki torch could be repainted for the different colors you need outdoors.  Oh, the very first picture is not oil fired, it’s a chimney thing for a candle, to shield it from the wind.  Might be good for an outdoor ritual.



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All the rest of these are miscellaneous things.  From the top, a decorated Besom, some bells to summon Air, a shell and display stand (my version of Druidry requires a shell to open the veil with).  The skulls are there because we mentioned them once, and you can drain the liquid to make the nice skull candle holder we talked about.  The next item is a beautiful, simple, offering bowl.  It’s appropriate for Water, Salt or with sand in it, an incense holder.  The next two pics are obviously glass dishes of many sorts, and you can’t have too many of them.  Some are even appropriate for using as your chalice.  The big black thing is an outdoor firepit, elevated of course.  Put logs in there and you can have your bonfire without worrying about the damage.  Or just fill it with charcoal, toss a bunch of herbs on it and you can keep those mosquitoes away for days.  The storage boxes:  I saw these and saw something to keep the tools in, yes, but I also saw an altar surface, if you covered it with a cloth of some sort.  Nothing wrong with using it as a surface.  The ceramic canisters are supposed to be used for keeping fireplace matches in, but why not keep your incense sticks in them?  Certainly a good place for them.  Last we have bottles I found in a craft store.  Micro potions, tiny habitats of plants, filled with anointing oil, or even amulets with rocks and teeth in them…. A clever person could figure out how to macrame a holder for any of them, and adding them to your staff or as a charm on your belt would be good.

Now, this was two days of just going to flea markets, thrift stores, a craft store and a hardware store.  I had to go someplace and this was perfect.  Most of these items were under $10, and a lot were under $5.  Some were more expensive, but in those cases they also had a date on them.  (This particular thrift store put dates on their items when they came in.  They had full price on them, and as time went by, the item got more and more discounted.  I got a $5 metal bottle for less than thirty cents because it had been out for so long.)  Some items, while deeply discounted, were still somewhat pricey, but if you look, you can find nearly anything.  I found all kinds of cordage and yarn that could be turned into Cords, macrame’d into altar cloths, turned into robes or whatever.  Dishes were everywhere, so you could find good things for Cakes and Ale if you wanted, and there were in-ground tiki poles available too.  Use them to delineate the Circle, light them and you have your perimeter and your lighting all in one.

And don’t forget the books.  ALL KINDS of scrapbook stuff you can turn into your family Book of Shadows or Mirrors, things that can be added to and used to decorate already existent BoSs or whatever.  Signs to be placed around your home or cubicle to bring the season to you or to remind you about the Gods.

So, happy thrifting!


Joy is a Seax-Wican Priestess, a Druid and a Witch. She owns Erin's Journal and is present on a lot of places, most notably Tumblr, Dreamwidth and some email forums. She's co-host of Magical Musings podcasts.

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