I know a lot of us want to practice witchcraft with limited resources. Not everybody can go to the store to buy herbs or store supplies in their house. But sometimes looking for constant shortcuts just turns in to an ineffective, watered-down form of witchcraft.

Plants DON’T just operate on whatever personal correspondences you make up. Sometimes when the spell calls for wormwood, you need wormwood. If you work with a plant and it gives you special uses, then that’s cool. But don’t disrespect the spirit of plants by giving it new identities because you can’t get what you really need.

Sometimes you need some tourmaline or opal, and you can’t use a chunk of quartz, no matter what people say. Sometimes you need graveyard dirt or crossroads dirt and charged dirt from your yard won’t cut it.

Sometimes you have to go to a person’s house and bury something on their property. Sometimes you need some of their hair. Sometimes you do need blood and you can’t use red dye or rainwater.

Be wary when you see resources that say, “oh, in olden times they said [something difficult or socially unacceptable], but what they really meant was [something really convenient for modern day people].”

Ask yourself why magical practitioners throughout the ages would have done such difficult, dangerous, and labor intensive work if they could have just collected rosemary for every purpose, mediated on healing energies, and used stream water instead of blood.

Witchcraft is pretty hard and dirty stuff. If that isn’t what you’re looking for, find another spirituality that resonates with you. But if you do want to be a witch, don’t constantly seek out ways to cut the craft down in to something that fits neatly in to your life.

As someone who operates predominantly on personal associations, this is 110% true. Sometimes you need the actual thing not just a substitute.