#9 Will Shock You (But It Really Shouldn’t)!
With over 40 million Americans currently unemployed, odds are good your bank account has seen better days. In our capitalistic society, where social media influencers are showing off their latest witchy acquisitions and you’ve just seen your fourth ad for organic oils this morning, it can feel like you just can’t afford a personal practice right now. But now is exactly when you need it more than ever, and thankfully it doesn’t have to come down to paying for crystals or paying for dinner.
Here are nine free resources all witches and Pagans should be making use of. The most you’ll need for any of these things are the internet (which, if you’re reading this, you’ve found a way to access) and some papers/pens to make notes.
#1 The Internet Sacred Text Archive
Not knocking any of the awesome books that are out on the market, but if you’re rationing ramen and your local library is still closed from the pandemic, why not make use of one of the hundreds of historical grimoires or religious texts that are free from copyright and uploaded here for you to read? Here you’ll find the Pyramid Texts, the Mabinogion, and more grimoires than you can shake another grimoire at.
#2 The USDA Agricultural Resource Service
Follow the information in this link, and before you know it you could be starting your very own garden of magical herbs and nutritious food using free seeds. Tending a garden ensures that not only do you know where your ingredients are coming from when you put together incenses and whatnot, but you know that immigrants weren’t taken advantage of to tend and harvest them. Ethical and organic!
#3 The Golden Thread Tarot App
Want to learn tarot but don’t have $40 to drop on a set? This app is free to use and will do everything from giving you readings to teaching you the traditional meanings of the cards. Download it on your phone, or make sure your computer has something like Bluestacks set up to handle apps.
Not only can you get furniture to use as altar or shrine spaces, but you can also use this website to get rid of things that are cluttering up your home but still have some use left in them. Everything you give and get on Freecycle is absolutely free, and you can get anything from candle collections to a fluffy new bed for your familiar to sleep in.
#5 The Co-Star Astrology App
Like #3, you’re going to want to download this free app on your phone or computer. Once you do, just input your birth information (your birth certificate will have everything you need on it) and be prepared to get incredibly detailed readings delivered to you every day.
The main sections it outlines are your day at a glance, what you’re powerful in that day, where you’re experiencing pressure, and what’s causing you trouble. Best of all, you can click “Your Chart” right under your name to finally see things like your ascending sign and which house each planet is located in for you.
#6 Blade and Broom YouTube Channel
Laurelei Black is a respected Pagan author who has been putting out quality content for years. That she is now putting out materials for FREE is a real score for any practitioner. The channel only has a few videos up right now, but there’s already plenty of material to work through and she’s posting fairly regularly.
My absolute favorite currently is the one on working with your ancestors. This is a new channel, though, so undoubtedly I’ll have a new favorite every month!
#7 Edible Wild Food
Let’s assume you’re so broke that you can’t even spare the money for some table salt, let alone incense. There are plenty of foraging sites out there, some of which may be specific to your region, that can show you how to get herbs and other plants for free. Witches and Pagans have always made use of what’s freely available around them, so why shouldn’t you?
#8 The Neos Alexandria Discord
While some states have started partially reopening, scientists and doctors are warning us that we’re still very much in the middle of a pandemic. If you’re aching to connect with other witches and Pagans, but still want to practice social distancing, set up a free Discord account and start chatting. Discord is a perfect blend of forum and messenger, making it easy to connect and look up previously posted tips/tricks for your practice.
This last one is the most important, but the one which even decade-long practitioners tend to overlook. It’s too easy (and too common) to think that someone else should lead you to all the answers, that the interactions another person had with gods or spirits is more valid than your own…they are not.
Nothing, not all the books or all the crystals you collect, will ever be as real or important as the work you do along your path. Have faith in yourself and in your spirits, even if what you’re experiencing goes against what’s established. Too much of what our ancestors knew has been lost to risk throwing out more knowledge just because what you learn hasn’t been written already in a book by a dead man.
[Ashley Nicole Hunter sits on the board of directors for Bibliotheca Alexandrina and has been published in a few reputable (and otherwise) publications.]