For the most part Pagan spiritual practices involve the use of tangible items. I’m sure there are Pagans out there who have a more minimalist approach to their practice but I’ve yet to meet one. I love using things in my practice in a mindful way. Over years of trial and error I have come up with a list of essential items I use in my daily practice. It is easy when you start your practice to get caught up in feeling you need a ton of things only to discover you have bought beautiful things you never use. Keep in mind this list comes from my personal experience and my own style of practice. This is why I share only essentials so that you can tweak this and add items that resonate with your personal practice. Also note that these are items for a spiritual practice NOT for a witchcraft practice (that is a different thing entirely in my experience… more to come on that). Finally, I make two different sets of recommended supplies in some categories; one for a practice that focuses on working with one or more gods or goddesses and the other for a more animist or pantheist nature based practice.
Here are the essential items for my daily spiritual practice:
Gods Based – Having one or two candles on my altar that I light when I do daily devotionals to my Goddess is the most essential item in my practice. If I only had one thing it would be that. You can just use a white candle if you want. I use candles in the colors associated with the deities I work with. I prefer tapers myself but I also like candles in glass containers. I am not a fan of pillar candles.
Natured Based – Same applies as above but you can just use white or use 4 candles to represent the elements (red, blue, yellow, green). I prefer beeswax candles but if I can’t get the color I want I get soy. Natural cotton wicks are important too.
Gods Based – You can use an incense on your altar that corresponds to the god or goddess you are honoring. For example, when I had an altar to Freya I used rose incense but that is not critical. I am picky about incense so I use a brand I like, my favorite is Morningstar (I like Japanese style incense). I do select the scents intentionally. I always have cedar for cleansing.
Nature Based – Really any incense that you love will work. I also use elemental corresponding incenses. Another choice is burning pine resin I find from trees in my yard, it smells amazing. Also burning ethically sourced herb bundles is something I align with my nature based practice.
Gods Based – I do daily offerings to the Goddesses I venerate. I suggest looking into the specific Deity you honor. Common offerings are alcohol (I use Irish Whiskey for Irish deities), herbal blends, incense, food, acts of service (for Mother Earth consider picking up garbage as one example), art that you create, poetry you write, etc.
Nature Based – For my nature based practice I use items found in nature that are sustainably and ethically sources. I do not used purchased items. I use rocks, plant matter, feathers, waters from natural sources, etc. I also highly recommend things like donating to environmental charities and as mentioned above volunteering to help with programs that clean nature areas, take care of wild life, etc.
4. Altar décor
Gods Based – On my Goddess altar and shrines I have a collection of items that correspond to the specific Deity the altar is dedicated to. The main focus of these devotional altars for me is a a statue of the deity or deities. I’ve also used framed photos too. I also use corresponding crystals*, a dish for offerings, images or small statues of animals that correspond with the deity, things ethically sourced from nature like rocks or feathers, ritual tools like wands, athames (ritual knives), cauldron, bells and shakers, prayer beads, etc.
Nature Based – My nature based altar is focused on the seasons and elements, as well as a representation of Mother Earth. For this altar it is critical to me to have things that are ethically sourced locally from my natural environment found on walks and hikes.
*A note on crystals – I no longer purchase crystals it is just too hard to find ethically and sustainably sourced ones. I prefer rocks that I find in nature. If you are going to take something from a nature place make sure it is ethical or sustainable to do so. For example, there are some feathers that are illegal to pick up and take.
5. Meditation Timer – For me having a small meditation or kitchen timer is an essential. I use it when I do eastern style meditations.
6. Journals – I always have a journal and pen available next to my altar so I can make notes on a ritual or meditation.
7. Oils and Sprays – I use oils less and less in my practice, but I still have some blends that assist with protection, psychic connection, cleansing, etc. I love Creations from the Hallow’s Palo Santo oil (see below). Since Palo Santo is not always sustainably or ethically sourced I only get it from a reliable source and use it sparingly. The two main sprays I use are cleansing and protection, I use oils to create my own sprays sometimes.
8. Divination supplies – I keep my divination supplies within reach of my main altar. I have Tarot, Lenormand, Sibilla decks as well as Ogham staves so I can perform a reading at my altar if I feel the need to.
9. Sacred Jewelry – I have a few key pieces of jewelry dedicated to my deities that I wear in ritual. I sometimes keep them on my altar to charge them with the energy of that deity.
Here are a few shops I love to get supplies from:
- Creations from the Hallow – this is my go to place for oils, sprays, and herbs (I use for offering to my Goddesses). They also have great molded candles for specific intentions, Deities and Sabbats and Esbats. They also have candles rolled herbs that I use as offerings too. They carry some beautiful ritual jewelry and tools like wands and offering bowls.
2. Big Dipper Wax Works – This is my go to shop for taper candles. They also have beautiful animal molded candles I use on my altars instead of statues. There products are high quality and the candles burn for a long time.
3. Crooked Cane Designs Etsy shop – This is is my go-to for altar art. I have two pieces depicting the Goddesses in my practice that I commissioned from this shop. Owner Trish’s artwork is beautiful and she captures the energies of these Goddesses so wonderfully. She also offers candles for intentions and deities, I purchased two of these and loved them. The candles are custom made so you can get exactly what you need.
4. Railyard Apothecary – I highly recommend finding a local Apothecary where you can source local herbs and other products. This one is the local one in my area that I recently discovered and love.