by Estelle Daniels
Hello once again all you magickal practitioners, this is Honest Roj of Honest Roj's Occult Emporium and Discount Supply Shoppe. We just got in a new shipment direct from the manufacturers to you, we cut out the middle man to bring you the best prices in this continuum! Browse our shop on the astral before coming into the store to buy. That's Honest Roj's Occult Emporium and Discount Supply Shoppe, thirteen convenient locations to serve you!
Wouldn't it be wonderful if there were really Honest Roj's, where a person could get whatever they needed in the way of magickal goodies and supplies, all for discount-store prices? Well it just isn't that way so a person is stuck with more conventional means when looking for magickal goodies.
But there are resources you might not have considered when going to get that new athame or jewelry. Let Auntie Estelle, the magickal bargain hunter give you a few of her time honored tips.
First and foremost the best place to get magickal goodies is your plain old-fashioned garage sale. The trick here is to go to a lot of sales. One or two won't get you the big bargains, but if you take a day and plan your route you can hit 20 or more, and you are almost guaranteed to find something which others have overlooked. Make a magickal shopping list, but keep an open mind as well for those unexpected treasures. Having change helps lots, and don't be afraid to bargain, as long as it's done with a noble intent and honoring of the other person (See Ethical Garage Saling). And always remember to thank your Deity when you do get a good bargain, it helps in getting more.
Flea markets and rummage sales are another resource for interesting items. They are just more concentrated versions of garage sales.
Mall shows, craft fairs, gem, mineral and rock shows are also interesting places to find things. You may end up buying materials, and then doing the assembly work, but that makes the item more personalized. Jewelry is an especially good find at gem, mineral and rock shows. You can get one-of-a-kind pieces and possibly even commission that perfect piece. Many of the vendors at these larger shows come from great distances, and some will also do mail-order business once you have hooked up with them. You can get stuff which may not be generally available in your local area.
Going-out-of-business sales sometimes have remarkable things. This is when the store owner has everything on sale, even that stuff which has been in the back closet for a couple of years and never sold. And liquidator or dollar stores which end up with a lot of last seasons or slow selling merchandise are another resource the enterprising magician should know about. With these stores it's definitely buy it when you see it for it may be gone next time you come in.
Used clothing stores can be a resource for ritual clothing. Either off the rack or something which can be readily adapted.
A great source for athames and swords is a gun show. Along with firearms many dealers also sell knives and there is a wonderful variety available, and you have it there to see and handle. The prices can be better than you can find in the catalogues. You can learn a bit about the differing kinds and qualities of materials and understand why two swords may look similar yet be priced very differently. You can also subtly run energy through the piece before you buy it, to see if it will be good for you. There may also people there who make custom knives. Like anything worthwhile you just have to be patient and do your legwork.
Catalogues are another resource, but they aren't always universally great. Many "New Age" catalogues seem to tack an extra zero onto all their prices. Some people (myself included) prefer to see the item and actually handle it before making a commitment to buy. Using catalogs and shows together is definitely helpful, you get an idea of what's available from the catalog and then when you see it at the show (or wherever) you know what the catalog price was, and how much of a bargain it really is in person.
Museum replicas are a good source of statues and jewelry. There are stores that specialize in these items, and most museums have a gift shop attached. Shop their sales and you can really get some good bargains. They may also publish a catalog, and you can get good stuff there also. But understand many museum shops are there to generate revenue for the museum, so prices may be higher than in a catalog or other place. Natural product and nature stores are another place to go for rocks and other interesting jewelry items.
Food co-ops are a great resource for spices and loose incense. Bring your own baggies and containers. They may have imported dishware and other items which can be adapted for magickal use. Some places do mail-order herbs and spices, and there is where you might find those hard-to-find items like asafoetedia. And don't forget the ethnic grocery store. If you live in a place where there are various ethnic stores, go in and take a look. Most carry way more than just food and spices (though those can be really neat also), and looking for magickal type goodies is certainly possible in those crowded shelves. Shopping in places like that can become a treasure hunt, as you never really know just what you might find. And you might be able to get God and Goddess pictures, statues and the like there as well. Books are also sometimes available, usually imported directly.
And, of course, the world wide web is the bazaar of the new millennium. Again, use websites in conjunction with catalogs and brick-and-mortar stores. And remember, a great bargain on the web isn’t such a bargain if there is a big shipping and handling fee tacked onto it. Comparison shopping is still the best way to go. But you can get some unique specialty items on the web, which you might never come across in a store.
Be flexible, be open to things where you might not ordinarily expect them and keep you eyes open. You can find those magickal goodies almost anywhere if you just look.
© 1997, 2002 Estelle Daniels, all rights reserved.