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Thread: Pagan minimalists

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    Member Eleanor's Avatar
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    Pagan minimalists

    We just moved to our new home. It's way bigger than the somewhat tiny house we left. A family with two teenagers lived here before us. We don't and will not have kids, so we have the luxury of two leftover rooms. One will be an office. The other a spiritual room where I can do yoga, read books, meditate and maybe do some ritual work. After unboxing everything, I realized I have such little stuff to put in there (or the entire house for that matter). Only a few books, a small table to use as an altar and a few tealight holders. The only ritual objects I have are a crow's feather I've had for a long time and a leg bone, probably from a small deer I found in the dunes.

    When I do spell work or a ritual, I use whatever I can find in my home or from nature. The rest is in my head. I don't buy much at all. I don't even own a grimoire anymore, only a notebook to write my experiences in. I used to have way more items, especially when I just started my pagan journey. I bought stuff in bulk for the sake of buying :O I just gradually got rid of it all over the years, rather than collecting stuff.

    Is it weird to have such little objects after 15 years of following different pagan paths? I feel like I should have boxes full of stuff by now. Are any of you minimalists when it comes to your paths?
    Last edited by Eleanor; 19 Nov 2018 at 12:57.

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    bibliophibian volcaniclastic's Avatar
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    Re: Pagan minimalists

    I'm just a minimalist in general.

    My "witchy" things fill exactly one box when all packed up together. My reference material is one additional box, but that includes spellbooks, textbooks, mythology, herbalism, etc.

    All of my worldly belongings fit into the back of a pick up truck.

    I find that "stuff" is really unnecessary. All my furniture is hand me down, and I replace it with other used items whenever I move, and I otherwise only own books, clothing, outdoor gear. Things can be reused and remade, and I don't succumb to impulse shopping.

    Knowledge doesn't take up physical space.
    We are all these things [...]. Pride, desire, compassion, cleverness, belligerence, fruitfulness, loyalty...and guilt. But above it all stands love. And if we desire to be more than human, that is the star by which we must set our sights.

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    Member Eleanor's Avatar
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    Re: Pagan minimalists

    I agree that having lots of stuff isn't necessary too. Every time I'm thinking of buying something I ask myself whether I truly need it. Most of the time the answer is 'no' and I won't buy it. Saves a lot of money.

    Maybe I'll just buy a few things to make it look more like a spiritual room. It's very empty at the moment.

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    Supporter Torey's Avatar
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    Re: Pagan minimalists

    I don't believe that there is anything weird about having little "stuff" to show for your practice.

    There seems to be a predisposition of some Pagans to go out and buy "the essentials" that they have interpreted as "must-have" items from a book that they have read. It's about your own spiritual connection to and relationship with whatever power that you believe to be of significance that matters, not material things.

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    Apprentice of Doom Shahaku's Avatar
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    Re: Pagan minimalists

    I don't have a ton of stuff, and it's only been in the last couple years that I got any "bigger" items. I have a dragon table. Something like this only friendlier and more naturesque:


    On top, I have a few fancy glass crystal bowls, a couple small red goblets, a jewelry box for ritual jewelry and some other bits and pieces. Most of what I own fits in a small traveling alter box, except the table. I also have a wax dragon candle that doesn't fit in there. It's about the size of a platter.

    Now my SO's... They're a different story. My gf has a hearth alter that's a corner hutch that is slowly filling up with stuff. Then they have a coffee table upstairs that's split between the two of them. There's all sorts of ritual items on there, and a fairy garden, and there are bins of more stuff underneath.

    But, even with all that, I don't think we could fill a room, and I don't think you need to. Something about having opened space to move for ritual really resounds with me. I wish we had the space for it. We want a five bedroom house down the road... and if that happens we'll see.
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    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Re: Pagan minimalists

    I don't think so... Most of our pagan "stuff" is by way of décor, rather than ritual items or anything. And books. And heck, most of those books are field guides and stuff.
    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

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    Re: Pagan minimalists

    I think a minimalist attitude is the way to go. No clutter and better space for the mind to "breathe". Not only that, everything you own somehow has more meaning than if you owned a thousand different things. No judgement intended, but to me it seems like there are a LOT of pagans who have this compulsive need to engage in "buying" and consuming to get a dopamine rush, and use their spirituality as an excuse subconsciously.

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    Apprentice of Doom Shahaku's Avatar
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    Re: Pagan minimalists

    Quote Originally Posted by Constantinitus View Post
    I think a minimalist attitude is the way to go. No clutter and better space for the mind to "breathe". Not only that, everything you own somehow has more meaning than if you owned a thousand different things. No judgement intended, but to me it seems like there are a LOT of pagans who have this compulsive need to engage in "buying" and consuming to get a dopamine rush, and use their spirituality as an excuse subconsciously.
    We live in a materialistic culture, and it's ingrained in us from a very young age (my daughter, 4, is already very entrenched even though we've worked really hard to prevent it). It's not something easy to overcome. I wouldn't say that people use their spirituality as an excuse to indulge, but that what's already so much a part of our culture just tends to flood over into the spiritual aspects as well.
    Service to your fellows is the root of peace.

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    Re: Pagan minimalists

    Quote Originally Posted by Shahaku View Post
    We live in a materialistic culture, and it's ingrained in us from a very young age (my daughter, 4, is already very entrenched even though we've worked really hard to prevent it). It's not something easy to overcome. I wouldn't say that people use their spirituality as an excuse to indulge, but that what's already so much a part of our culture just tends to flood over into the spiritual aspects as well.
    Indeed. Not saying it is intentional, but that's pretty much what I meant.

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    Sr. Member SleepingCompass's Avatar
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    Re: Pagan minimalists

    Interesting topic; I do think keeping things from going overboard is helpful both in terms of life and your path. Less stuff generally means less work, especially if moving becomes necessary. This tends to be something I need to work on honestly; but I also think from the other side of the coin that objects can bring comfort in a way and have their own energy that can enhance your craft.

    I do get better tools if I use natural/found objects or create them myself or buy something used and repurpose them as opposed to buying something mass produced and new, though mass produced tools can eventually become good tools as well if you put time and energy into them. The pentacle I use is a mass-produced thing from a teen witch kit I got from when I was young and I continue to use it since it now has energy and a connection that is personal for me.

    I have a good-sized rock/gemstone collection, a lot of books (my Uncle helped me move once and asked me if I had ever heard of a kindle, lol), and I have a thing for ocarinas and flutes and other random woodwinds that seems to keep growing. I don’t know, I can see the benefits (especially when it comes time to move) in keeping a more minimalist lifestyle, but I also like having my possessions around me. I guess I also like the idea of a witch’s cottage kind of look with lots of interesting, beautiful and magical things surrounding me. I also think part of why I don’t fully embrace the minimalist style is that growing up my Mom always kept a very modern, bare kind of house that embraced the minimalist look. My friends often said my house looked like a museum and I felt like it lacked a warmth and lived in feeling that my friends’ houses all seemed to have.

    I see the benefits of the minimalist lifestyle, but I just don't think it will ever be something that I'll ever be able to fully embrace personally. I don't think buying stuff just to fill up a house is the way to go either though. It's better if possessions have a personal meaning and time to accumulate energy in my opinion. But if minimalism works for you, that's awesome! I can definitely see the value in it, even if it wouldn't work for me


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