Dimes and Demons:Magic on a budget

So your new to magic and eager to get started, thats great! Plenty of people on this forum are stoked to help you master the internal aspect of sorcery, perceptual control, and spirit contact, but how do you accomplish such fantastic things inside of the sometimes suffocating constraints of the logistics of mundane life, like the fact that you cant afford to drop $600 on the coolest custom made circles and the most infernally consecrated athames right this second.

It can be hard enough to dedicate the time and energy to magic, but not to worry you’ll probably find that it pays off in spades. Here is how you can build a suitable sacred space for under $20 and use that investment until you can afford much grander settings.

Much of what we’ll be utilizing will seem tacky even a little silly at first, but when these elements start compounding together you’ll find yourself staring at a bonafide ritual space that even the most potent demons will respect - as long as you do.

The Altar:

For new practicioners the altar is often the most intimidating item to aquire, it requires a certain amount of space and is usually imagined to be heavy. In actuality a bannana box available freely in most produce sections of your local grocer covered with a black dress shirt (You may want to even ritually dress it, but that is another post) will be the perfect height and width for candle magic, sigil opening, and scrying.

Price: Free

If space is an issue a black or white bandanna is an easily portable, concealable, and suitably ritualistic (especially if you do not normally wear head scarves) to act as an altar by itself.

Price: Your local walmart will stock them for a dollar a piece.

Athame: The ritual dagger! Pocket Knives, Kitchen Knives, Bowie Knives, and the like are all acceptable athames. Note that the items power rests not in its appearance but your reverence for it. If the idea of tracing pentagrams with a butchers knife takes you right out of the warlock mindframe martial arts stores often stock ornate daggers for a reasonable price.

Price: $4-$15

Chalice: A wine glass will do just fine, you probably have one in your kitchen cabinets, just keep in mind that once the chalice is indeed consecrated as a chalice and nothing else it is not to be stocked or cleaned with regular dishware.

Price: Free- $3

Incense: Walmart stocks 40 cone packets of nicely scented incenses for a dollar a pop. Options include dragons blood for demonic work, lunar incense for scrying and meditations, and myrh for necromantic operations. The cones generally put off a decent amount of smoke but be aware neither these nor the sticks even when burned in copious amounts produce a smoke screen suitable for evocation. They are however ideal for consecrations, offerings, and evrey other type of ritual.

Price $1

Candles: Tea light candles are your freinds! Small, safe, bright burning, cheap and appropriatly colored for all types of magical work. $3 invested in tea light candles at a dollar store will allow you to work through whole pathworkings. Note that these are strictly for in door ritual, for outdoor work evocation in particular, you will want catholic glass candles to withstand the wind. 2 white glass cased candles are fine to start with and will usually run you about $2 a piece.

Price $1-4

These supplies will get you started, so stop stressing and get practicing!

Nice post. A few things I’d like to point out. Yeah, the dollar is a very good place to get tealights. They used to come in packs of 24, now only 16 but hey it’s still a lot cheaper than paying $5.88 at walmart for a pack of 36 tealights. For the same price, at the dollar store you could get 80 tealights.

The dollar store (Dollar Tree for example) also carries the stemmed wine glasses for $1.

They also have packs of mini plastic tupperwear containers that come in packs of 4, about 2.5" x 1-3/4" in size, perfect for storing herbs and gemstones if anyone does herbal or gemstone magick. They could also act as a seal tight container for storing blood for a short term period.

The dollar store also sells incense cones, sticks, and oils. There, you can get a pack of incense for only $1 and the packs include way more cones or sticks than what other stores carry. Last I checked, it was something like 40 cones per box and 24-32 sticks per box. The scents are potent. By the way, I have used both dollar store and walmart incense for evocation and it works as long as you have like 4 sticks going all at once. So in decent amounts especially if in a small enough space, the incense will suffice in evocation. I should know, Me and another girl shut ourselves up in the bathroom and did an evocation with like 4 sticks going to ensure that smoke would be thick enough. We we’re practically choking on the smoke, eyes watering, the works.

The flea market is a good place to check for daggers. It’s not uncommon to run across someone selling brand new boxed knives in a wide array of colors, lengths, and sizes for $2 to $10 each. They are the same type of daggers sold at the martial arts stores and those shops that sell expensive fantasy themed items. I bought one there a few years back, black handle with a dragon on it, new in box for $3. The blade was about 5.5" to 6" long. You can also find all kinds of candles, candle holders, and wine glasses there, and sometimes even small stauettes of goddesses or demons. A guy at my local flea market sells 10" statues of Pan/Baphomet, Cernunnos, Lucifer, Hecate, and many more for $16 each, and these sell for around $45+ online and elsewhere! It’s also pretty common to find sellers offering baskets full of crystals and gems for 50 cents to $1 each.

Right now, my altar is a plastic tub with all my tools and goodies concealed inside. I usually have an elaborate set up, small solid wood coffee table decked out in some pretty wicked shit, but I am living with religious people temporarily so I have to go the tub and chest route right now. A large plastic storage tub will also suffice as an altar and storage unit to keep your magickal items together in one place. These tubs can be purchased at Kroger for $5.95 if you live in a big city, smaller krogers do not stock them. Elsewhere they are $7.99 to $10.50 each. Oh and, right now, for outdoor evocation Krogers is selling all of those plain colored catholic jar candles for $1.00 each, normally $7.99-$14.99. You can just remove the outer catholic imagery by peeling off the label. If you live in eastern central U.S. or on the east coast, you should have access to a kroger nearby.

Great thread here!

Basic Evocation supply list:

In addition to the tools used during what I refer to as “altar work” a few extras are required for evocation.

Indoor Vs Outdoor evocation:

The benefits of preforming the rite out of doors is the complete seperation that can be achieved from daily life. It is much easier to percieve a grand demon in front of a great mountains face than in front of a closet. Maybe easier isnt the right word. Really its a sense of the holiness of the whole work. How set apart what you are about to demand of yourself and the universe is in its raw essence. Forests, caves, and the outdoors can connect the operator to the natural currents of the night, the stars, and the spirits of the earth that reside there in solitude free from human interference.

If you can reach one of these places you should be sure that the winds are not to violent as to thrash at the fine particles of what will be the entities body in the rite, Using incense resin in place of a black mirror is also more practical outdoors and can lend a sense of grandiosity to the rite helpful for tapping into your own ability. If practicing on the forest floor a 3lb bag of flour will suffice to trace the Triangle of Manifestation and the Circle of the Art. That whole area becomes charged with purpose and belongs to you and the spirit. If your enviroment is rocky or concrete in the urban jungle than chalk is ideal for scribing intricate circles into the ground.

Indoors the circle should probably be formed of fabric readily available at art stores and decorated with spray paint, acrylic paint, or even marker. ATriangle can be manufactured from the same material, or cut out of black stryofoam board.

When burning incense indoors be sure to have the brazier set on a glass surface, it is deffinetly a fire hazard and you dont want to be worried that you smell carpet burning during your conjurations. It is for this reason (along with the way that incense will stink in your room for weeks, perhaps drawing unwanted attention, or setting off fire alarms) that I recommend a black mirror for evocation.

A large mirror can be obtained at almost any department store for about 5 dollars. Mine is not even painted black. I prefer to let the naturally occuring darkness of the night obscure its surface and it serves its purpose. Remember that this post is for the beginner who needs to see some results before dropping a thousand dollars on heavy duty equipment and you are encouraged to upgrade when you can to a larger black faced mirror, much like can be seen in the background of EA’s QandA videos.

Incense: Should you chose to go the incensce route which admittedly just does feel more intense to me, than you should obtain copal resin either online or at your local botanica. In the south most Santeria or Voudon botanicas carry high qaulity copal, but have no qaulms charging an outsider double or triple so beware black candles priced at $10 to $15 a piece. Avoid the incense cones they will try to sell you as they arent as effective as self lighting charcoal. Have the smoke alarm disabled during the rite.

The Brazier: If you cant buy one at a new age shop, botanica, or order one online for whatever reason, than I suppose any metal dishware filled with some sand will suffice to hold the charcoal and incense. You will want a long lighter, and beware the brazier gets hot enough to start fires or maim if its grabbed thoughtlessly.

These are very basic supplies and better and probably more ingenious methods are available. More experienced evocators than myself are encouraged to chime in with their tips and tricks for getting the most bang out of ones buck for constructing a gorgeous evocation set up. For mid level practiconers check out what EA’s set up is like at the Dixie state college evocation seminar, thats my ideal set up at the moment. Of course you could always buy a universal circle :stuck_out_tongue:

Realistically this is a likely budget for evocation supplies:

The circle:
Flour option: $3 (can get expensive each time. Each evocation will require about 3lbs of flour.)
Chalk: $1-3 ( really my preffered method, if you have a clean garage than it can be a nice cross between having enough space and still an isolated and convienent enviroment.
Fabrc/stryofoam route: $6 -$20

Incense: $5-$10

Brazier:$3-$15

Hopefully this is putting the logistics of begenning evocation in less ambigous terms, I’ve probably invested about $125 total into my temple at the moment, good luck and god speed!

  • Cogitation