So, I had planned a week with a theme about “Secondhand Magick”. I wanted to write about how and why I think there is so much power to vintage and antique altar pieces. So, I started doing some research and I found almost nothing. Nothing! I was shocked. So, it might be — given that no one else has even bothered to write about it yet — that no one is terribly interested in the magick of pre-owned. BUT — this week I am adding some content because I know it’s something I would want to read about. I truly love a great vintage/antique altar piece and one of my passions is finding and curating pieces to pass along to you! So, this week let’s talk about WHY they’re so awesome:


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It took some thinking outside of the box in my research to try to put words and concept to what I have long felt intuitively regarding the innate power of secondhand. And I know that I’m not alone in my feelings, so this blog is all about trying to help explain it:


History = Identity - Forgive the curt subtitle, but I couldn’t think of any better way to phrase what I was trying to convey succinctly! Although we not consciously realize it, when we expose ourselves to history it helps us to better understand and frame our current existence by understand where we came from. This explains the draw we have to visit places like museums and read books about history. Working with secondhand and antique altar tools is a way to draw on this idea on a small scale. I think this is especially true as many of the antiques that get used as witchy tools (cauldrons, chalices, candleholders, etc) all rather remind us of a time when

History = Identity

Forgive the curt subtitle, but I couldn’t think of any better way to phrase what I was trying to convey succinctly! Although we not consciously realize it, when we expose ourselves to history it helps us to better understand and frame our current existence by understand where we came from. This explains the draw we have to visit places like museums and read books about history. Working with secondhand and antique altar tools is a way to draw on this idea on a small scale. I think this is especially true as many of the antiques that get used as witchy tools (cauldrons, chalices, candleholders, etc) all rather remind us of a time when

our ancestors couldn’t practice magick or indicated any sort of pagan belief publicly. It was a time when the accusation of heresy was a serious one. And using tools that remind us of that oppressive and different time it allows us to appreciate the peace and freedom we now get to enjoy in regards to our right to practice and believe whatever religion we choose.


Cultural Significance - Antique and vintage tools and supplies don’t always come from stores. Sometimes they are inherited pieces with a long lineage that call back to our own cultural heritage. Cuckoo clocks, ethnic textiles, antique bells and perfume bottles — the list goes on and on and on. There are a lot of items that get tied into our families and cultures. Just like the historical significance of an antique or vintage piece helps us shape our own identity, perhaps even more so do pieces we inherit or are gifted by family. I think a special power comes from accessing the power of your ancestral line in your spiritual practice.
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Cultural Significance

Antique and vintage tools and supplies don’t always come from stores. Sometimes they are inherited pieces with a long lineage that call back to our own cultural heritage. Cuckoo clocks, ethnic textiles, antique bells and perfume bottles — the list goes on and on and on. There are a lot of items that get tied into our families and cultures. Just like the historical significance of an antique or vintage piece helps us shape our own identity, perhaps even more so do pieces we inherit or are gifted by family. I think a special power comes from accessing the power of your ancestral line in your spiritual practice.


The Eternal Life of Energy - Any witch worth her salt can quote the law of physics that says that energy can be neither created nor destroyed. The extended life of old objects which often outlive us can be a reminder that in a different sort of way — even when our bodies are dust a part of us will still live on. In memory. In kindness. In spirit. All the more is this true when those object come from our dearly departed loved ones. It gives us a feeling of continuity and belonging to a greater picture than just that of our single lifetime.
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The Eternal Life of Energy

Any witch worth her salt can quote the law of physics that says that energy can be neither created nor destroyed. The extended life of old objects which often outlive us can be a reminder that in a different sort of way — even when our bodies are dust a part of us will still live on. In memory. In kindness. In spirit. All the more is this true when those object come from our dearly departed loved ones. It gives us a feeling of continuity and belonging to a greater picture than just that of our single lifetime.


The Value of Old Age - I touched on this in my blog a few weeks ago about Crone Magick, but we live in a culture that primarily values youth and modern aesthetic. We leave our elderly to rot in nursing homes while burying our noses in Instagram feeds and falling down TikTok scroll holes. I like to think that minimal value that we collectively, as a society, place on items of antiquity is a holdover from a time when we viewed our elderly as valuable for the wisdom and accumulated knowledge they hold. I think that virtue is a way to remind ourselves that WE have more value as we age than our cultural would otherwise tell us.
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The Value of Old Age

I touched on this in my blog a few weeks ago about Crone Magick, but we live in a culture that primarily values youth and modern aesthetic. We leave our elderly to rot in nursing homes while burying our noses in Instagram feeds and falling down TikTok scroll holes. I like to think that minimal value that we collectively, as a society, place on items of antiquity is a holdover from a time when we viewed our elderly as valuable for the wisdom and accumulated knowledge they hold. I think that virtue is a way to remind ourselves that WE have more value as we age than our cultural would otherwise tell us.


Accumulation of Good Vibes - Just like the static electricity you generate wearing socks walking over a carpet, when we interact with daily objects they accumulate energy and, over time, take on the energy signature of what they were used for and by whom. I have long loved the idea of using magickal tools and objects that have accumulated love and energy over a longer period of time than even I’ve been alive. I feel like that adds a little extra something that I can’t get from something made new. To that end, I couldn’t finish up this section without discussing the merits of cleansing and charging secondhand magickal items.
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Accumulation of Good Vibes

Just like the static electricity you generate wearing socks walking over a carpet, when we interact with daily objects they accumulate energy and, over time, take on the energy signature of what they were used for and by whom. I have long loved the idea of using magickal tools and objects that have accumulated love and energy over a longer period of time than even I’ve been alive. I feel like that adds a little extra something that I can’t get from something made new. To that end, I couldn’t finish up this section without discussing the merits of cleansing and charging secondhand magickal items.

If, like me, you relish in the energy that comes from a long-loved secondhand object you might decide that a traditional cleansing where you remove all prior energy on the object isn’t exactly for you. I’ve seen suggestions from other websites that cleansing objects like these may take more than one go of it to really scour it of any other energy. (Energy gets “sticky” over time as it sits in the same place!) Obviously, you’ll want to choose a cleansing method, if that’s the route you’re going, that won’t damage the item. (Don’t use salt water on wood, etc.)

But what if you don’t want to cleanse at all? What if you like the feeling you get from it just the way it is, but you just want to add your own energy signature on top of what’s already there? I pose here that a better approach to working with new-to-you secondhand items is instead to charge them. To add your own magickal intention to them, so that the item “knows” that it is now yours and “knows” how you intend to use it so your energies can mesh and work most effectively together. The easiest way is to leave it in the light of a full moon and charge it there with a small prayer or incantation claiming ownership of the object.


The Allure of Antique - And, finally, not to be cliche but there’s something to the saying, “they just don’t make it like they used to”! I’m sure there are witches out there that prefer a minimalist, modern aesthetic and maybe it’s because I am a New Englander through and through and colonial New England aesthetic just runs in my blood but I think there is something undeniably witchy about the visual style of antique and vintage items. I theorize that everyday objects were made with embellishments, bells, and whistles decoratively speaking because it made people feel, well fancy and rich — even if they weren’t. No harm in bringing an abundance mindset into your magickal practice in the same way!
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The Allure of Antique

And, finally, not to be cliche but there’s something to the saying, “they just don’t make it like they used to”! I’m sure there are witches out there that prefer a minimalist, modern aesthetic and maybe it’s because I am a New Englander through and through and colonial New England aesthetic just runs in my blood but I think there is something undeniably witchy about the visual style of antique and vintage items. I theorize that everyday objects were made with embellishments, bells, and whistles decoratively speaking because it made people feel, well fancy and rich — even if they weren’t. No harm in bringing an abundance mindset into your magickal practice in the same way!

Do you work with secondhand/antique/vintage magickal tools and decor? Tell me about your experience and why you love them so much in the comments below!

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