There are a lot of practitioners that are not able to openly practice their magic. Whether it is from living with others that will judge and possibly defile the tools, or living in a place that doesn’t allow certain tools like candles, there are alternatives. This is great news, right? This article will give a few different ways to still hold a successful ritual with alternative tools.
No incense? No problem!
Sometimes it is not feasible to use incense. It is banned in some rentals, or the people you’re living with are a different religion and it’s not safe.
There are other ways to replace incense. My favorite is through an oil diffuser. These machines require water and drops of essential oils. I love using them for cleansing rituals and it can replace incense, too. There are a few ways to use this. For more info go HERE.
Incense and tobacco are frequently used as offerings to deities and entities that show up in the ritual. What if you can’t give an offering of that, or food and drink? Well, many places still allow vaping, depending on where you live.
I find that entities like different blends of vape juice, similar to essential oil. They can easily accept these offerings, similar to incense smoke. Some even prefer vape smoke to incense. My theory is it depends on the nicotine amount within the juice.
Candles: Flame off!
Some places, especially apartments, do not allow candles of any kind. This included college dorms. This can be a bit of a conundrum if you need candles for ritual.
For a normal ritual, where the candle isn’t required to burn all the way down, consider LED candles or lights. They come in a variety of colors, which can be used to correspond to your working.
There is really no substitute for candles that need to be burned down. However, if you are doing a binding, you may use thread/yarn instead. If you need to banish something consider a diffuser instead. For meditation, use either an LED light, or an object, to focus your attention on.
No Weapons Allowed!
While it is fun and cool to take your sword or athame every where you go, it may be illegal where you live. You may also live in an environment where weapons are not allowed. There are two simple solutions for this.
The first solution is to replace your athame/sword with a wand or stick. This is a bit of a break from tradition, but both tools are used for focusing energy. You will have to dedicate and find the right wood for a substitute sword/athame. The intent is in the tool and your focus.
The second idea is to use a finger/s to focus your power. This is a versatile way to create a circle, add protection, or attack if needed. I prefer using my pointer and middle finger to focus my power. You will find a way that is comfortable for you.
As you become more proficient, you can even use your mind to focus and do the tasks that require athames or swords. This takes more concentration, but is quite possible.
Another common problem I hear from other practitioners is that they can’t have their altars out due to house regulations and rules. Here are some ideas to create an altar that blends in.
- Lamps. Lamps can represent whatever deity you work with. There are many that have designs, or colors, that are compatible for worshiping/honoring. For example, owls (Athena; Lilith), antlers (Cernunnos; Dionysis; horned-gods), skulls (Cthonic gods such as Hekate; Samael/Satan), etc. You can take any design and use it for the corresponding god/desses.
- Crystals. Crystals have many uses, and I use them on my altars or put them in bowls as part of the altar on my dresser.
- Statues. Even though you may not be able to set out a specific idol, you may substitute with correspondences or something that reminds you of the deity. There was a statue that was titled Gabriel that I used for Samael, because it reminded me of Him. Also animals and symbols (wings, feathers, geometrical shapes, numbers, etc.) corresponding to the deity, or working you are doing, are good displays for your altar.
- Tapestries and Pictures. Pictures that can represent the deity you work with, is another way to create your sacred space without raising suspicion. You can even use a tapestry or cloth to decorate a table for your altar.
- Offerings. Not every place allows for incense and food. One way you can add a permanent way of feeding is purchasing something that looks like food, and imbuing it with energy for feeding. Some people use stones for this. This should be done as needed.
- Physical Circle. A physical circle is sometimes used by practitioners. This can be salt, dirt, a rug with symbols, etc. If you prefer to do this, you can buy a circular rug, towel, or tapestry and enchant it. It’s easy to store, too. If you use a rug with a design, no one is going to have a second thought. Geometrical shapes and mandalas are great designs for ritual rugs.
As you can see it is unlimited on how to substitute tools. Try some of these suggestions, or make up your own. Feel free to comment on ways you have successfully use substitutes.
Photo Credit: “Diffuser and Crystals” by Emily Anne Chamberlain