The world is on fire and everything is terrible, so frankly it’s no surprise that tarot, astrology, and witchcraft are still wildly popular in 2019. Everybody is looking for ways to reclaim power, find personal magic, and carve out a little bit of happiness in this hellscape of a timeline. And if you’ve got an aspiring witch in your life (or are one yourself), I’ve got just the gifts and goodies to help anyone reach their full, magical potential.
Witchy Books for Beginners
Autostraddle has already published several excellent guides for witchy and magical books over the last few years, all of which are worth checking out — these lists include YA novels, non-fiction guides, practical workbooks, and brilliant fantasy epics. But a few particularly helpful new works have been published this year, including Astrology for Real Life, a workbook by Theresa Reed that is a perfect introduction for those who want to learn about astrology beyond sun signs; and Queering the Tarot, a guide by Cassandra Snow that offers alternative interpretations for all 78 cards in the tarot through a queer lens (and was reviewed here at Autostraddle dot com by Sophie Saint Thomas). I’d also recommend The Green Witch by Arin Murphy-Hiscock, which explores plant magic and herbalism; HausMagick by Erica Feldman, offering advice on transforming your spaces into sacred sanctuaries; and Witch in the Kitchen by Cait Johnson, providing simple recipes and celebratory rituals for all eight pagan holidays.
There’s a persistent and irritating rumor that tarot decks must be gifted rather than purchased. And while it’s absolutely untrue, decks still make lovely gifts, especially for an ambitious witch that’s eager to learn the language of tarot. For someone just starting out, I highly recommend Isabella Rotman’s new deck, the This Might Hurt Tarot, which modernizes the traditional Rider-Waite-Smith into something more accessible, and the Next World Tarot by Cristy C. Road, which offers a beautiful, empowering interpretation of the classic fool’s journey.
Pre-made Candle Spells
Magic can be an intimidating practice, especially with so many resources and rituals out there to choose from — but candle magic is one of the most accessible and intuitive places to start. And while plain chime candles can be dressed and used to set intentions and cast spells, pre-made candle spells are simple to use and make gorgeous gifts. I love these beauties from Etsy seller AnitaApothecaryShop, but there are a huge variety of options to fit any need and budget, including lovely little tea lights and bigger, prayer-style candles.
Step-by-Step Ritual Kits
In the same spirit, ritual kits can offer an easy entry point for a wide variety of spells and magical methods. With kits for sex magic, moon cycles, healing, abundance, anxiety, and holidays, Etsy seller CrimsonSageApoth has a number of simple and affordable pre-packaged ritual kits that make perfect little presents. For larger kits, check out sellers LakeWitchShop for bath teas and candle kits, SacredMoonRituals for simple home blessings and abundance kits, and waxingthemoon for beautiful bath ritual kits and spell salts.
Crystals & Starter Sets
Whether you wear them as jewelry, keep them in your clothing during the day, or hold them during meditation or prayer, crystals can provide cleansing, protection, and help to focus intentions. Many people like to choose their stones in person, so if you have a local metaphysical bookstore or crystal shop a gift certificate can be a great way to go — but if you’d prefer to choose an individual stone or set online, I highly recommend Etsy seller RockAndTumbleCo, a shop that offers loose crystals, pendants for easy wear, and both raw and tumbled sets built around specific needs and intentions.
Tinctures & Teas
I drink approximately 500 cups of tea per day, especially in the colder months, so I love collecting herbal remedies and special teas to keep me energized — and if used intentionally, specific herbs can be very effective in spellcraft, meditation, or during rituals. I absolutely love the offerings from Etsy seller TheWitchwoodTeahouse, who offers a wide variety of tea blends along with a few gorgeous gift sets, and RootLoreGoods provides beautiful tinctures and elixirs to add to your favorite beverages for an extra boost of magic.
Blank Spell Book
For the aspiring witch, a grimoire is the perfect place to record spells, intentions, meditations, ideas, and inspirations. Plus it’s always lovely to have a gorgeous, leather-bound blank book at your fingertips when you want to start putting together your next ritual. This blank spell book includes spell record pages, a Wheel of the Year reference guide, and a blank spell list to keep everything organized. For a simpler version, Etsy seller CarnetsPerlesetFanFr makes beautiful leather-bound journals with plain lined paper to fill with your witchy writings and tarot reflections.
Corina Dross, who writes the brilliant horoscopes for Autostraddle, also creates clever, custom portraits of birth charts called astrograms — and their patterns and colors become stunning works of art for study and display. Get your friend one based on their own chart, or blend multiple charts of friendship or partnership together to make a piece that’s beautifully unique.
Professional Tarot or Birth Chart Reading
Whether your friend is interested in learning tarot or astrology, or whether they simply want to understand more about who they are, a reading from a professional makes an amazing gift and can go far in showcasing what these tools can do. Recommendations from people you know can be a great way to choose a reader, but there are also amazing options online. For birth charts, check out Rebecca Gordon, Mecca Woods, and Alice Sparkly Kat; for tarot readings, try Tatianna Morales, Delffin the Queerophant, and Abbie Plouff. Chani Nicholas offers brilliant online astrology workshops for each season and moon cycle, which are more general but also pretty affordable. And if you like my tarotscopes, I also offer written tarot readings.
I’m really in love with the Queering up tarot book, HausMagick book and the the lovely teas! I know what I’ll be buying myself either this month or next month! Thank you so much Meg 😘🖤🎃🍁
Love the list! Will be gifting some of these to myself I think!
For more inspiration, some things that I would like to be gifted to me. Most of these are great on a budget! I’m really into herbal magic and incence btw. What your friend might use and like can be very different depending on their interests. These are just some ideas.
– Dried herbs (possibly dried at home if you’re on a budget)
– Nice storage jars (I prefer plastic-free ones for the magical things), pretty labels, tiny spell bottles to fill up.
– Pure incense, like my personal favourite frankincense. Get the grains if you can find it. A little goes a long way.
– Incence charcoal and a dish to burn it in (you could add coloured sand). (I find the charcoal at a local asian shop) This produces quite a lot of smoke, so if your friend has airway issues this might not be for them.
– An incence sieve! Great way to heat incence, without creating harsh smoke and a very pure smell. It’s a sieve that is put over a small candle. The ones with adjustable hight are best.
– Candles. Lovely coloured ones are great.
– Decorated storage boxes.
– A small, practical knife made from natural materials that can be used for collecting herbs and plants or cutting up ingredients. I got mine at a kitchen store, cheaply. It has a wooden handle and I made a little felt sheath. Preferably get a new one, because a lot of pagans want them only used in their craft.
– A mortar and pestle for grinding herbs.
– If they are hippie nature loving freaks like me: a wicker basket to use when collecting herbs etc. I also use mine for shopping. I’m weird.
– Small bags from a natural fabric to use for spells or carrying things around. If you’re crafy you could make them yourself.
– If you know them well, know about their styles, and their pagan paths; consider decorative items for an altar. This is very personal however. A god/goddess statue can be used (even if they don’t whorship a certain deity. Some (ancient) religions (native american, egyptian, norse) have deities that appear trans or non-binary. Just be sure it’s not appropriating. Some people like a cauldron, chalice, pentacle. I like flowers on my alter, and in winter I have dried leaves and flowers, pinecones etc. Seasonal decor. Peacock feathers. If you are on a budget you could collect some yourself and put them in a nice display.
For a lot of pagans it’s important that what they use in their craft does not harm anyone or anything. This might apply to your friend. So find ethically sourced and durable materials. Crystals are often not mined responsably. I am personally fine with thrift store finds, this might be good if you’re on a budget. I’m a pagan who tries to take care of mother earth, so not producing more things is a great way to save recources.
Another option is a charity donation in their name of that is something they would like. I try to do some offerings/oblations to give back. About once a year I donate to a charity as an offering. (This year red cross, for the famine in Yemen.)
This list went on way longer then planned. Sorry AS writers, I’m not trying to steal your jobs!
Hope you guys like this list!