So the other day there was a posting on Facebook about "How much stuff does one Pagan need?" It really is a very thought provoking question. So many of us tend to gather and horde 'magic' items that very seldom if ever are used. We buy books that never get read. So why bother? As one friend said " It seems that very few people make the jump from physical ritual items to those in your mind's eye." And I do have to agree with him on this, at least in private practice.
A prime example of this is the use of an Athame. Many Pagan and magical practitioners have a dedicated tool called an Athame. This tool is either a small knife or sword which they use to direct energy. In the beginning these are wonderful tools to help train your mind and body in directing energy. But how long do you really need one? A year, two years, your whole life?
Another example is the use of items to represent say the Hallows in Druidry, the Fire, the Well, and the Tree. In the beginning the use of a candle or a cauldron for Fire, a bowl of water for the Well and a stick or plant as the Tree is pretty typical. But again how long do you really need these items?
One thing to look at is 'what purpose do these items serve?' These items in both cases are simply representations that we use to focus our psychic intentions and energies through. That's all. They are aids to help us visualize the directing of energy.
With that in mind., how long do we need to use these tools? At some point shouldn't we have gained enough skill to be able to leave behind the physical trappings of our working? Shouldn't we be able to have a strong enough visualization skill that we can perform magic and ritual at any given time, at any given location WITHOUT these tools? I personally feel this is the entire point of mental discipline. Mental discipline is there to help us train our minds so they become strong enough in needed skills that we can leave physical tools behind.
Now I think that there are times physical items are needed, like specific spells or the creation of talismans that are in place to provide a constant stream of magic or power so that we are not having to constantly having to give a portion of our concentration and energies to them. But then that is a totally different subject. What I am talking about are 'ritual and altar items' that so many feel they need to perform the most basic of functions within Paganism.
I suggest you take the time to read this article and see what it is you can live without. What books can find new homes? What items can be given or sold? How can you reduce all your 'stuff' to make your life less filled with the need to have things that just gather dust.