Do I Have To Have A Full Set Of Expensive Tools?

No, no and no. Which is to say, no, they don’t have to be expensive, you don’t need a full set, and you don’t necessarily need tools at all.

It depends which way you’re leaning. There’s a bit of a confusion around about the difference between such terms as paganism, witchcraft and magic.

Paganism is a rel… Paganism is a phil… Paganism is a trad… Paganism is broad. I mean really open wide. It’s a whole, big, sweeping expanse of… whatever it is. I could devote months to ‘what is paganism’. Some would say it’s a religion or a group of religions; some would argue it’s not so specific – that you don’t have to ‘be religious’ to be pagan. It’s a spirituality of sorts – I think that’s probably the best way to get everyone on board here. But it is very, very huge. (I wanted to say ‘scopious’, but Amalasuntha says she doesn’t know the word, and rightly points out that I didn’t either until I saw it in the thesaurus, so not to show off.)

Right, get a move on, man. So paganism isn’t something that has a set shopping list. You don’t need tools, or any sort of material ‘thing’, in order to be of the mindset that makes a person pagan.

You might need – or find it best to use – tools if you’re following a path of witchcraft; but even then it’s not necessarily the case. Even where it is, most witches can cheerfully make do with common-or-garden (mostly garden) items rather than sending off to some website for a guaranteed top-quality silver athame, placed in a crystal pyramid for six months under the Moon, and personally infused with the harmonious natural chanting of thirteen sacred frogs, coven-trained since their pre-leg days; only $1,200.99 plus import tax and a lifetime of follow-up spam emails and… Frogs don’t chant. Oh, you get the gist.

Witchcraft is part of some forms of pagan practice, but it’s not the same thing. You don’t have to be a witch to be pagan; you don’t have to be a witch to practise magic – and you don’t have to have shiny tools to do any of it. Many witches do find that, if we need to do something that requires some sort of physical instrument, Nature Herself provides. Feathers, rocks, pine cones, sticks… Something will come along that will do the job. Take it, appreciate it, use it with reverence and, when you’ve no further use for it, give it back to Nature afterwards.

Saves you on the dusting, and trying to find the bloody thing next time you want to do a ritual.

You may wish to indulge in the acquisition of Pagan Bling, which is an entirely different matter. That’s optional, though.

Short answer: no.

– Tiro


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