<<<UPDATED VERSION – April 19, 2018. I went through this article from a few months ago and added a bunch of new stuff! This article is getting so long that it’s basically a short book. Maybe grab a snack before sitting down to read it.>>>
Here’s a bunch of things you can use or make for practicing devotion to Hekate and witchcraft on a budget, like the Hekate’s Pentacle portable altar pictured above (download the directions and the accompanying ritual here.) ADDED BONUS: Being creative feeds our souls! It’s a powerful type of magick. Witches make stuff. We always have. We use what’s on hand, improvise and get things done. Here are some of the moon discs I made to represent waning moon energy in this “Let that shit go energy grid.”
Pretty much everything I do is about getting the highest quality for the least amount of money. My witchery is no different. You can find lots of examples, like the “Let That Shit Go” Energy Grid here. It’s not surprising that I craft most of my magickal things myself, including the those I use in expressing my devotion to Hekate (for an intro on Hekate that I’ve written, click here) and my witchery. A prime example is the family blessing hanging altar below:
I made this using polymer clay, black cord, and a branch from one of my beloved wild rose bushes (more on roses below). It was part of my exploration of the meaning of Hekate’s keys. Hekate’s colors (you can find an infographic I made with her colors and correspondences here) and symbols are interwoven with our personal symbols (things we love and our astrological signs). My intention was to create an energy vortex in our home from which Hekate’s energy currents would intermingle with ours to create an atmosphere of abundance. <<<UPDATE: It’s been up for about 12 weeks…everything is going wonderfully here…the keys sometimes randomly fall off. We’ve come to see this as a sign from Hekate.>>> This is all made from polymer clay and cost less than $10. Here’s the components waiting to be strung:
I recently wrote a blog about Modern Hekatean Witchcraft where I mentioned that many of those within this emerging tradition are quite practical about devotion and magick. In my experience, Hekate’s attention is won by heartfelt devotion. Speaking of hearts, they’re an ancient symbol associated with witchcraft. A few weeks ago, I made a removal magick energy grid using a black one. You can read about the magick of a witch’s heart here.
Hekate bestows Her blessings on those who put their heart and effort, not cash, into their worship and witchery. I personally think the absolute best tool we have as witches is our mind which we can use to communicate with Hekate. My brain is free-of-charge, although it needed some training. This can be low-cost, too. Visit keepingherkeys.com for some training options, including lots of free bonus content.
(Printable Hekate Prayer Cards – or incantations if you’re allergic to the word “prayer” – can be downloaded here.)
My Personal Reasons for Being a Thrifty Witch
There’s a few other reasons in addition to believing that made things are the best offerings and witchery objects that inspire me to make most of my magickal things. First, I’m a single mom with two sons. These days, we are blessed to have more than enough to live a comfortable lifestyle, but it hasn’t always been like this. Back in my university days, we lived far below the poverty line. I learned to stretch a dollar like it was silly putty. That mindset has stayed with me. My penny-pinching mentality enabled me to get off the career merry-go-round, move us to a rural fishing village, and helped create my magickal life. Living in a rural setting means that I make the most out of what I have available. Especially rocks, trees, and the plants that grow where I live. We have lots of rocks on the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia! Finally, I just really love to make stuff! I’m not an artist, but I am definitely crafty (in both meanings of the word)! I feel the most magickal when I am making something.
Her Love Doesn’t Cost a Thing
Within Modern Hekatean Witchcraft, Hekate has so many roles, so we can pick specific ones to help us in our magickal undertakings. For example, as Pammetor (The Mother of All), World Soul, and Savior (Soteira), and so on (read more about Hekate’s many roles here), she is the energetic current flowing through all creation. Given this perspective, Her love is infused in all of creation. Thus, we don’t have to earn Her love – our work is to connect with Her through our devotion, witchcraft and by living a virtuous life. We can use these activities to draw closer to Her, leading to more effective witchery and a better life in general. I’ve rambled on about a virtuous life before, so I’ll stick to my focus here about devotion and witchcraft on a budget. I’ll slip in one thing about the virtuous life – it, too, doesn’t need to cost a thing.
Using Objects to Boost Our Connection
While Her love may be free, many of us find objects useful in boosting our connection to Hekate. These objects can be offerings or components in rituals (here’s an evocation that requires nothing but your sincerity) and spells. Here’s a prosperity spell that’s super effective made with common ingredients. Objects can be made or purchased inexpensively. I’m a pretty crafty (get it? I love bad puns) woman, so I typically use a mixture of found things, made things and low-cost items. I’m going to talk about some of my favorite things later on, but first I need to make a few points. I really like making up my own altars. You can go read this about Hekate’s Fires to learn a technique for making a portable altar from a picture frame. Also, many of the botanicals associated with Hekate are inexpensive, such as Bay Laurel which I wrote about here. There’s an album on the Keeping Her Keys Facebook page with more info about Hekate’s Garden. You’ll also find info about no-cost ways to work with Hekate’s Animals.
$$$$ Things are Fine, Just not Necessary
I’m not dismissing outright using objects and things that are pricey. I’m also not against paying money for rituals, spells, and meditations. I’ve done both, although I have to admit that I only bought a statue of Hekate this past summer when I was in Salem, MA. Buying that figurine was highly symbolic to me. After years of struggle – I had landed deep in the financial underworld after a series of unfortunate events – I had clawed my way out of it and could finally afford to buy a statue of my beloved Hekate. I love it. She sits on the mantle in my new home, watching over me as I write these words. However, I truly believe that the offerings and objects that we create ourselves are best.
Know your Intention
The key thing when practicing applied modern witchcraft on a budget is to know your intention. Yeah, I know this is the core of any sort of devotion or witchery. However, it’s worth saying here. You need to really focus what it is you hope to achieve. There are two basic categories of focus beyond our specific goals: 1. offerings, and 2. witchcraft.
You may be trying to express your devotion through an offering, especially on the Dark Moon at a crossroads. To me, the best offering is our sincere words spoke through rituals, prayers, hymns or creative writing. Works of art are just as powerful. However, I am no visual artist, although lots of you are. If you want to use a physical object, there are many common items that are very suitable, like garlic and olive oil. I got asked so often about appropriate things to give to Hekate, that I made a comprehensive this in this infographic that you can find here.
Offerings don’t have to be elaborate, although sometimes I get carried away with concocting complex ones. That’s when I’m all up in my head rather than practicing from my a balance of my intellect and heart. When I got the keys to our new home, I was so consumed with gratitude that I wanted to set up a quick shrine and offering. A friend had given me this candle she made using a printable transfer and a low-cost devotional candle. We had already begun demolishing things, so I grabbed a handful of screws to represent both the new home and to offer Hekate that which no longer served me. I had scored some local organic garlic, so I put that in as an offering. Bells are a low-cost option for cleansing a space and calling upon the gods and other entities (I really should write a blog about bells and magick sometime, I think they’re overlooked these days).
Regarding offerings, many practitioners use things they find in the natural world, like roses, stones, and, of course, BONES. Ancient offerings include a meal left at the crossroads, household sweepings, and, well, dead things (I keep a box of graveyard dirt in the car, just in case). If you’re focusing on one aspect of Hekate, for example Hekate Einalia (Queen of the Oceans), you can use things found along the shore or in the water. I’m fortunate enough to live right on the coast, so this is easy for me. However, even if you’re in the Midwest, you can offer fish bones, clam shells, etc. If you’re not certain on what aspect (or epithet) of Hekate that you’re interested in, I highly recommend this extensive resource created by Sara Croft.
For witchcraft to be effective it needs to be focused. Taking time to fully develop your intention is vital. So is honing that intention down to a very specific thing. You might want to work with Hekate Einalia if you want to be cleansed or have a watery metaphysical experience. So, you may petition this aspect of Hekate in your ritual, spell or prayer. In that case, you could include oceanic objects as tools or as energy containers for your working. For example, you could use a seashell as the container for the energy of the spell and then keep it with you while you do the work of making your magick real.
One of my favorite things is to make a Witch Jar. I created the one in the pic for my intention of buying a house. A lot of effort went into making it – including thinking, researching, and praying. The specific ingredients reflected what I wanted in a house right down to the location, the number of rooms, the activities we would do there, etc. For example, I put in three hunks of obsidian that I had on hand that I had previously fused with my energy and my sons. I also put in a bit of each of our hair. There’s a lot more that went into it than these two ingredients, but you get my point. Once I found a house right for us, the three of us stood in a circle and opened that jar. Yes, it worked. Make it specific. Make it personal. Neither needs to cost anything.
<<<UPDATE: Prosperity Witch Jar and Magickal Money Bombs>>>
I made this Prosperity Witch Jar in February. It’s working very, well well. You can read the entire spell here. Here’s a pic:
Another thing I did when a cast the prosperity spell was to assemble the leftovers into Money Bombs by wrapping the herbal sludge drained off in parchment that I had soaked in rose water (you can use other magickal waters). Once dried, they can be burned or carried for money attraction. I’ll write a full article on this technique someday, but here’s a pic to give you an idea:
After focusing your attention, the next most important aspect is to tap into your creativity. I know this can seem daunting, especially if you consider yourself not very skilled in this are and/or if you are new to Witch CRAFTING. Let that go. Whatever you come up with will be perfectly acceptable as an offering and a highly effective part of your witchcraft. Spending a lot of money doesn’t assure either of those two things, but doing your best does. Honestly, some of my offerings can seem a little wacky to others, but they make sense to me because they are reflection of who I am and my relationship with Hekate. Offer Her what seems right.
In constructing spells, I’ve used all manner of things. One of my favorite magickal tools is any sort of malleable product, especially polymer clay. I can make it into whatever I need. I have extremely limited drawing capabilities, so I reach for those sorts of things rather than a pencil. Like offerings, use what makes sense to you.
No Need for Tools (update on Tools)
I don’t use a wand, athame, and only occasionally use a chalice. It’s perfectly acceptable if you use these things. This lack of tools is definitely good for the budget! I’m back to using tools: feather for Air, wand for Fire and blade for Earth. All are strongly associated with Hekate. I teach using these three tools. Use tools or not. It’s entirely up to you.
Objects of Worship & Witchery
Regarding objects of worship and witchery, there are so many budget-friendly possibilities that I could write a book! I actually am writing a book. <<<<UPDATE: BOOK IS NOW IN PRESS>>>>Until that’s available (in early 2019), I’ll keep blogging about using Hekate’s epithets and symbols in heartfelt, creative and budget-friendly ways. Like using a punch bowl to as an offering vessel that I used during the most holy day of the lunar cycle for honoring Hekate, the Deipnon:
You can read about using Hekate’s epithets (characteristics) here. I often write the epithets on fancy paper using various colors to create the energy that I am invoking, like this:
Another example of my approach can be found in this article that details how to make your own Hekate’s Wheel and cast a magickal circle using the same symbol. Salt is a fantastic magickal conduit for protection and removal purposes. I use it to prepare objects for witchery. The salt releases all nonessential energy from the objects. I have this salt wheel set up in the workshop:
More Low or No Cost Suggestions
Below you’ll find some low or no cost suggestions for practicing devotion and witchery. There’s so much more that I could write about, but I’ll limit it to some of my favorites.
Using Hekate’s Colors
Black, red and white are the three colors are the most associated with Hekate. Don’t forget about that correspondence table available in the Keeping Her Keys Facebook world. Black represents Her Under World aspects, white for the Upper world, and red the Middle World ones. Examples of each are: Mistress of Corpses, Soteira and Enodia. <<< UPDATE: I recently wrote a blog about Hekate and the New Moon where I talk a bit about how to use the epithets in a spell and you can also read the highly detailed article I wrote about the epithets. >>> Gold is as well. I think of Hekate Herself as gold, while the three colors represent the three realms under Her watchful eye. The color I use to represent myself is silver. There’s blue for Hekate Einalia. Or you could feel like using a different color. You can use colored pencils, or even two of my favorites – embroidery floss and construction paper.
Many practitioners, including myself, print out existing images of Our Lady and place them on their altars and shrines. Using ancient images such as the one below are usually in the public domain, so there’s no concern about infringing on copyright or intellectual property. If you are including an image from a contemporary artist, it’s usually fine if it’s just for your own private purposes. However, it’s best to contact them first. Don’t use modern images publicly unless you properly acknowledge the creator. If you can afford to buy something from the artist, please do.
Contemplating the symbolism in images – ancient and current – is a powerful way to connect with Hekate. In addition, I’ve also used the symbolism as part of spells in rituals. I’ve incorporate this image of Hekate guiding Persephone on her Underworld journey many times. It symbolizes so many things – from my own personal darkness to the change of the seasons. Another Persephone note – using pomegranates in worship and witchery is very appropriate. But, they aren’t cheap or readily available here in Nova Scotia. <<<UPDATE: I recently wrote three very popular blogs about Persephone. You might want to read them. She doesn’t want you spending more than you can afford on working with her, either. >>>
I’m fortunate to live in a place where wild roses grow in abundance. I think using what grows naturally around your home is a great way to express devotion and for witchcraft ingredients. It’s no different than what the ancients were doing with their selection of magickal offerings and ingredients. Back to the roses. In the summer, we harvest loads of them to use for all sorts of things. Here’s a couple of pics from last summer’s harvest:
Roses have been connected with Hekate since ancient times. I use the wild roses in worship and witchcraft all year long. The decaying November rose is an excellent avenue for connecting with Hekate’s underworld aspects. If you’re seeking Her assistance with your own personal underworld journey, they’re a great offering. Or perhaps you’re working on developing your metaphysical underworld skills, like mediumship. They’re an appropriate offering for Her guidance in this sort of activity as well. We can also contemplate the cycle of the year by connecting with rose energy and then use the appropriate energy for your working.
Rosehips can be consumed in a variety of different ways – from rosehip wine to tea. Rosehips can also be purchased and are usually quite inexpensive. You could even use a packaged rosehip tea. I could write on and on about my beloved roses! Maybe I’ll devote an entire blog to a discussion on roses and Hekate someday. One final note about roses – in The Chaldean Oracles Hekate is referred to as The Fiery Rose of Creation (in some translations, others use “flower,” but I prefer the rose translation).
Keys are one of the most important symbols of Hekate, I usually have a bunch on hand. I have a thing against used keys in my own magick, even when consecrated, but I know lots of witches you do just that. I buy a bunch of keys from a craft store, consecrate them in bulk, and then they are ready for use. Right now, I’ve got several bags of little wooden keys.
Making Your Own Keys
There are so many ways to make your own keys! I’ve used a stencil to to copy a key onto wood, paper, rocks and other things. In my family blessing hanging altar, I made the keys out of polymer clay:
Another one of the most favored symbols of Hekate is garlic. In ancient times, offerings included a wreath of garlic. While this was an association with Her underworld energies, it carried the additional meaning of healing since garlic was seen as very curative. Many practitioners of MHW use it as an offering and in their witchery. An easy thing to do is cutting of the top of a clove, then turn it upside down in a tall glass so that the top (now the bottom) is immersed in water. Place this in a warm, sunny spot. Garlic shoots (known as “scapes”) will soon grow out of the bulb.
Like I wrote above, there’s lots of rocks around here. I’ve used them in so many ways. I’ve painted symbols on them, arranged them in magickal figures or sygils, and used their energetic properties as magickal conduits. A quick technique for using rocks in magick is to arrange them into the shape of your intention or energetic focus, like with this angel I formed:
Making Magickal Coins
The ancient magickal coins featuring Hekate fascinate me. I love that energy and intention can co-mingle into a small object that can be easily carried. Magickal coins are so easy to make! You can use lots of different substances, like painting a symbol on a small stone or even making your own out of a moldable substance.
Bottle Cap Magickal Coin
Making magickal coins can be very easy. Here’s an example of a super easy one made out of polymer clay:
I bought a bag of tiny keys used for making jewelry. Then I rolled out the clay and inserted a ball into a bottle cap. After I had the shape ready, I firmly pressed in the key. After I carefully lifted the key out, there was a key impression remaining:
Then I filled in the impression with a bit of silver using a marker:
I made this as a coin to carry, but you can poke a small hole in yours so that you can pull thread through it. That way you could use it in a talisman or wear it.
One More Thing…Costs that Can’t be Avoided
So, I’ve gone on and on about how Hekate’s love does’t cost a thing. I’ve made the case that we can honor Her and practice witchcraft without spending much. However, there is a cost that I’ve had to pay: I had to lay down my self-doubt and my lack of faith. Being a natural born skeptic, this has been one of the major accomplishments of my life. Another necessary cost has been giving up a belief that anyone else (including Hekate) can and will solve our problems. Hekate will bless, guide, intervene, kick your ass, and support us. She does not do the work for us.
<<<UPDATE: This is almost a book. Maybe I’ll write one about low-cost witchery someday. If you like my approach to things, then perhaps you’d like to take The Sacred Seven: A Magickal Path course. More info can be found through either of the following links: