Best get out the good china…and magical tools
Many years ago (probably about 30 or so) I had a complete Royal Doulton dinner service that was quite expensive and a set that I kept in a cupboard ‘for best’. It came out for celebration meals and when we had guests over. For the rest of the time it sat hidden away. For every day we used a cheap and cheerful set that didn’t matter if it got broken or not.
Fast forward a few years and I came to the conclusion that it was being wasted sitting in the cupboard for long periods of time going unused. I also realised that as it was far better quality than the every day set we used it was therefore tougher and more resilient. It was in fact dishwasher and microwave proof and chip resistant, according to the printed details on the bottom anyway. So, I made the decision to bring out the ‘best china’ and use it every day. Why hide it away when we could celebrate with the good stuff every day?
Several years later we are still using the same ‘best china’ set every day, with no breakages (as yet).
I then got to wondering (as I do, usually when lacking in caffeine or sugar) as to whether the ‘keep it for best’ applied to more areas. There are clothes in my wardrobe that I keep for ‘wearing out somewhere special’. So, I have pulled those to the front of the wardrobe now. And try not to fall into the ‘just throw on some jeans because I work from home’ scenario.
And in magic...
What about in the magical world? Do we all keep magical tools in boxes and cupboards because they are ‘special’ and only for sabbats or celebrations? Do you have statues that only come out onto your altar at particular times of the year? Are there silver or crystal items that you only use in ritual because they are ‘expensive items’?
There are so many beautifully crafted items out there; deity statues, candle holders, magical tools, incense holders, chalices, athames, bells, altar cloths. The list goes on...you could end up (as I did really) with cupboards full of the stuff. Not that I am saying that is a bad thing of course, each to there own!
I had a major clear out of my witchy cupboards recently as I needed some space.
When I turned out the items in the cupboard I realised that I had a huge amount of magical tools and items that only saw the light of day once or twice a year. Including things that I had purchased and stored away for using on a special occasion that I had then promptly forgotten about because they were hidden in the cupboard.
Of course, I also had items stashed away that I have never used because I have not ever felt the need to. Those items that you simply ‘must have’. But in reality once you get home you have no space for it or it doesn’t feel right for the time. It then gets popped away for future use and joins the other forgotten items.
A sleek collection
As I have gotten older and realised that my particular way of practising requires less and less paraphernalia I have had several big clear outs. Making harsh decisions on what to get rid of (have I used it in the last six months, in fact have I used it in the last year or ever?). And keeping the ‘good stuff’ to use more regularly. The less choice you have the more you use something perhaps?
My collection of magical tools and altar decorations is now what I would call sleek and it contains the items that I love the most. They aren’t necessarily all the most expensive but they are the things that I feel most connected to.
My ‘best altar china’ is now displayed prominently and my ‘best magical tools’ get used regularly.
Now if I see something sparkly or shiny (or let's face it as I am a witch it might also be dark and gruesome) that I want to purchase I step back and think about whether I really want or need it.
Or will it be another one of those things that gets put away 'for best'?
Originally posted on Beneath the Moon, Patheos Pagan - 7.6.17