Witchcraft supplies and materials are easy to come by on the internet. You can order custom items from all over the world from small businesses and from large corporations. This is awesome, of course. Convenience and ease of access make being a witch more fun if you’re into the material things in life. However, with the wide availability of materials being just a mouse-click away, there are ethical issues to consider. The over-mining of crystals is one issue that is widely discussed in the spiritual community, as well as the unethical sourcing and sales of sacred plants like White Sage. If these are issues that concern you, then you might also be concerned by unethical labor practices in China — where a lot of mass-produced items are made. Enslavement of Uyghur people, child labor and unethically-sourced materials go into the creation of affordable pagan jewelry, cheap crystals and related items. To some people, these issues aren’t troubling enough to stop from purchasing herbs from one end of the planet to the other, or collecting cheap items by the armload. The rest of you might be wondering how you can affectively practice your craft as a witch, without relying on problematic conveniences. The following article will give you tips on how to localize your witchcraft practice by cutting back on our reliance to worldly convenience and by becoming more at-home with our immediate environments.
Plants, Rocks & Organic Materials
Since the point of this post is to talk about localizing your craft, the first thing you should consider doing is studying your local flora. Instead of ordering wrapped sage sticks for “smudging” — look into the many different plants that might be growing in your own back yard. There are several grasses, flowers and woods that are aromatic and therapeutic when burned for cleansing your environment — and they don’t come out of the hands of people who rely on it for traditional medicine (i.e. indigenous Americans). Pick up some books from the library or hit up Google to learn about and identify plants that may be of use to you in your magical journey.
The same can be said about rocks and crystals. Many states have their own local geological wonders, meaning you don’t really have to go scouring websites or ordering from Amazon. Furthermore, not every rock has to be aesthetic. If you’re someone who puts stock in the energy of crystals and other natural items, then logically speaking even the most bland, basic rock possesses metaphysical properties. Learning about your local geology give you the ability to spot and collect local stones and build spiritual connections with as well.
It’s an obvious recommendation, sure, but buying local is a good idea for so many reasons. For starters, buying items locally usually means you’re getting locally-sourced items, which usually means they were ethically-sourced. Of course, that’s excluding any mass-produced items your local businesses may sell. When you buy local — especially from another witch or spiritual business owner — you’re contributing to the supply-demand-chain, showing that the particular business is valued and necessary. You’re also helping said business-owners, instead of giving money to large corporations that are merely marking up the prices of items they likely did not produce.
Of course, it is indeed a privilege to live in cities and towns that do have occult shops and spiritual business-owners — but not every town is so fortunate. However, you can get most general craft-related items in a variety of shops — excluding super specific pagan jewelry or other obvious items. Scrapbooking shops make for ideal places for stationary, writing instruments and journaling essentials to create your own book of shadows. Craft and Hobby shops usually contain a variety of candles and other goods made by local crafters as well.
Figure out what your needs really are
Do you really need a one of a kind set of Lapis Lazuli runes from Estonia, or are you lacking a connection to your own environment? Maybe for some people the answer is an easy ‘yes, I need it,’– and that’s okay. Being a little materialistic or wanting to collect items you enjoy isn’t going to destroy the planet, and at the end of the day it’s nobody’s business how you spend your own money. But if you’re wanting to cut back on your dependence on convenient shopping, it’s a good idea to examine what your needs actually are in regards to your magical practice.
Meditate on your needs. If you’re casting a love spell, for example, you might find that you don’t need materials at all. You may find that what you need is simply a change of environment; Somewhere that inspires feelings of happiness, love and romance. Get creative with your own local surroundings and experiment with items and materials around you that inspire feelings that correspond with your magical needs.
Do what feels right
There are just so many so-called rules in witchcraft. But nobody has any answers when you ask the question “How exactly did all of our ancestors make that work?” Our magical ancestors made do with what they had and did what felt right. They used materials that were local to them and practiced within the boundaries of their own environments. They weren’t hopping on Amazon or Etsy to purchase herbs from across the planet, and they certainly weren’t watching TikTok videos for guidance or ideas. It’s far too common to run into other witches in the spiritual community, who are quick to tell you all the rules — but in my opinion, there really aren’t rules to witchcraft. If there are rules, then our ancestors made those rules — and our ancestors spanned across the entire planet where there are different correspondences, different philosophies and far different geology and flora.
Do what feels right, people. Do what your spirit guides you to do. Make your own rules. At the end of the day, you don’t even need to “localize” your craft. It’s a modern world, and we are modern people. But localizing your witchcraft practice may even enhance that practice. I recommend it, if anything, as an experiment.