I was going to comment on Aine’s post when she wrote it but time got away from me and I was wrapped up in studying and doing homework (less enthusiastically than I should be truth be told), but it stuck in my mind so I thought I would come back to it. I too was guilty of the over-purchase of stuff, although to be fair, later my passion became the purchase of books – of which I still partake most often, my most recent purchase is Pharmako-Gnosis by Dale Pendell (and then there were three other books too) but I digress, my point being that I was guilty of the needing everything. Or rather thinking I need everything.
I actually remember my first purchase was a box of homemade aromatherapy taper candles and a pack of 25 herbs, from there I bought storage boxes (which is practically minded I suppose) but then there were candles of all sorts, incenses I never use, bit and bobs, knick knacks and ritual tools. I ended up with an overwhelming amount of witchcraft related items that I don’t use. It accumulates, I mean for instance, I have things that I’ve never used but thought I had to have. Before long I was drowning in purchases – but you’ve got to love eBay, best place to offload unwanted things. I took a step back and realised that my Craft was very simple, in fact I only needed a few simple things.
My athame was decorated by hand so there was a personal energy to it, my wand is plain – a stick of oak from our oak tree with an amethyst tip and leather binding, my grimoire is handmade, as is my altar tile and my divination cabinet, and my outdoor altar too. I realised this is where I prefer to be with my tools. Things that are handmade and personal to me (with the exception of my cauldron of course – I wouldn’t even want to attempt to handcraft one of those), they are things that I will use again and again and have for my entire life. I still am completely herb mad – I do indulge in collecting and adding to my herbs. But other than that, as mentioned, my most prolific purchasing is reserved for books. These days I make my own incenses, my own oils, I am involved in my Craft and it works for me because my energy is in the things I use.
I think the lesson for new practitioners is to not get everything right away, learn what your path is and purchase or create items for it. If you’re interested in working with herbs, direct your energies there, if you love candles, spend your money there – or make your own. Don’t go out and buy what you don’t need because otherwise you’ll end up with a tonne of clutter.