Organizing Your Tools

January 11, 2019

As you go about practicing, over the years it becomes easy to accumulate tools and materials and not know what to do with them. Whether it’s candles, stones, or other ritual tools, it’s often hard to figure out how to store these things in a way that makes it more likely that you'll use them instead of forgetting they're there. Here's some suggestions for organizing:

1. Keep things where you can see them. If they're buried in bags and boxes, face it -- you may forget about them. Even if they're not organized in any functional way, if they're visible and on a shelf then chances are you're going to walk by them and say "I should use that" at some point or another. If something is so precious that it's tucked away, it's less likely to be used. Even if your items are visible but not apparently organized, that's not bad--sometimes the randomness can help you. Having your candles in a basket, or your stones on a platter on your coffee table will make it easy for you to choose one to work with now and then.  A wooden printer's  box is a great way of storing stones, wands, and gridding supplies if you want to have things in specific spaces that you can label. 

2. Consider rotating your tools seasonally. Some people work with certain tarot decks during specific seasons, partially because different decks just go well with the energy of a season, but also because this way they guarantee they'll work with all their decks instead of just using the same one or two. This is true for all your tools. It's totally up to you, though--you might want to work with a fiery wand during the summer, because that's when it seems to match better, or you may choose to work with it during the winter because that's when you need the fire more! 

3. Store things by function. If you do your daily devotions at an altar, keep just what you need right there but clear it of other unnecessary objects. You may want to put all your moon working materials in a basket if you find yourself journaling or doing moon rituals in different places. If you have a space where you do daily meditations based on what you feel at the moment, that may be a good place to keep a basket of candles so you can pick what you need. Some people who work with gods and goddesses from different pantheons will be consistent in working with just one pantheon in a particular area of their life. For example, they might work with one set for daily devotions, and another for spellwork, and yet another for ancestor work or shamanic journeying. Keeping your tools for these separate will make your life easier.

4. Have a "working" bin. At any one time, there might be a set of tools you're working with because you're taking a class or doing certain meditations, or whatever. Sometimes you're not even using them yet, just waiting for the right time. Instead of having them lying around, putting them in a bin will keep them safe and well-respected. A working bin is also a great way for collecting unworked-with tools that you want to reconnect with during small meditations or over the course of a defined period of time.

5. No form of organizing is any good unless you know what you have. Keep a list, whether by spreadsheet or in a bullet journal, or whatever. This will make it easier for you to choose which tools to work with. A magical practice is just that--a practice, so it will help you advance in your path by going over your list and selecting certain tools to work with instead of just waiting to be inspired. It's also handy to make a list by month, for seasonal tools, or by function or element -- whatever will make it easier for you to pull out what you have for any particular task. And don't let the best be the enemy of the good; making these kinds of lists in a complete manner can take a while, so even just starting them is progress. 

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