As promised in part 1 of my gift guide, here are some more magical gift ideas. I’m including three shops across the U.S. that are run by ethical friends who make exquisitely crafted products and offer magical or spiritual services, too. They all ship anywhere in the U.S. and some of them ship overseas as well.
I only ever promote people and businesses when I am absolutely certain they are principled and their materials or services are top-notch. I know the owners and I have used their products and recommend them without reservations.
Thorn & Moon Apothecary
If you’re lucky enough to live in or nearby Houston, Thorn & Moon hosts a regular Magickal Market, with dozens of vendors, tarot readers, and entertainment. I spoke at one of their events and was blown away by the diversity of the crowd and the number of vendors and their wide array of products. If you’re of the witchy or pagan persuasion, Thorn & Moon carries everything you need. I’m especially impressed by their evocative oil blends.
Tell Jessica I sent you!
The Cauldron Black
You can’t throw a hunk of moldavite in Salem without hitting an occult shop nowadays, but for the absolute best experience and quality, The Cauldron Black beats them all. It’s the antithesis of the cheesy witch shops selling Harry Potter Wands, pointy hats, and vials of glitter — TCB is the real deal, with expertly handcrafted items and gorgeous jewelry. My favorites are their Black Label 7-Day Candles (I have one of Mercury burning next to me right now). They also offer a variety of courses and consultations services (always great gift ideas).
Tell Jacqui I sent you!
Really three shops in one, Spiritus Arcanum includes Ars Magica Apothecary and Salem Conjure Co. The artistry and craftsmanship of the ritual items, many of which are crafted by owner Matthew Venus, are just beautiful — works of art in their own right and worthy of displaying even if you never use them ceremonially (but of course you will).
I particularly love the handmade ceramic incense vessels lovingly crafted by Matthew.
And speaking of incense, you’ll want to burn some exotic resins and blends in it, right? Which leads me to my next recommendation:
Mermade Magickal Arts
It’s time to put away your headache-including incense sticks and cones and sage bundles and level up your incense game.
Mermade Magickal Arts has been my go-to for quality incense for years now. I have yet of find any incense supplier with the level of ethics (in sourcing their products) and high quality resins, herbs, woods, and blends.
These types of incenses need to be burned on charcoal, and you can purchase self-igniting charcoal discs very easily online.
If all this sounds complicated, it’s not, and I will go over the process step-by-step in a video coming soon to my YouTube channel.
Mermade sells all of my favorites — multiple varieties of copal, frankincense, and myrrh resins — and their recreation of the Ancient Egyptian kyphi blend simply must be experienced to be believed.
Even better, for those sensitive or allergic to smoke, they offer electric incense heaters, which produce a lovely scent of raw materials without smoke and particulates.
Incense is a vital part of my magical and ritual work. If you’ve only ever used commercial sticks or cones, you’ll be blown away by the purity, clarity, and complex olfactory pleasure you will experience with burning quality resins, woods, and blends. Trust me on this!
And now it’s time for some magical “music.”
Environments 2: Tintinnabulation
Music can enhance any ritual or magical working, but musical taste is also extremely personal. So it’s often hard to make recommendations that work for a large group of people.
But you may have noticed I put music in quotes. Environments 2: Tintinnabulation is much more of an environmental, ambient soundscape created by digital manipulation of various bells. This is music you play very low and feel more than listen to. And I swear to you, it is the most magical soundscape I’ve ever discovered, even better than those live singing bowl sound baths that are all the rage (especially because you can just drop this into a CD player — or even stream it — any time you want).
I’ve used this as a soundtrack for my mentalism performances in front of large audiences, for tarot readings, and in rituals. I also use it when I meditate. It instantly elevates my consciousness while simultaneously dampening mental chatter. I like to describe it as “tuning” my environment, especially when combined with candles and other visual stimuli and a favorite incense. After all, doing magic works best when the environment is tuned for it.
This unusual “music” has been my companion for years now, and I really believe you’ll get exactly why within a minute of ”hearing” its subtle shifts in tone and vibration that hang just below perception, bringing on an instant altered state that is conducive to any magical or meditative work.
For the best results, play on the best speakers you have at low volume — you want to feel it more than play for active listening like regular music.
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So that wraps up my gift suggestions for this holiday season. I hope you can find something here for your favorite magical friends, or even pick up a little gift for yourself — because after the past years, I think we all deserve a little something special!
Next time, I’ll go deeper into the magical and ritual use of incense, with some step-by-step and practical advice for bringing ancient olfactory magic into your home.
Michael M. Hughes is a writer, speaker, and magical thinker. He is the author of Magic for the Resistance: Rituals and Spells for Change as well as numerous other works of fiction and nonfiction, and he speaks and teaches classes on magic, tarot, occultism, and more.
His work has been featured in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, CNN, The L.A. Times, Rolling Stone, Comedy Central, Wired, Elle, Vox, Cosmopolitan,and even the ultraconservative The American Spectator, which wrote: “He may play footsie with the devil, but at least the man has a sense of humor.”