Thursday, April 20, 2017

[Cratejoy] Box of Shadows April/Beltane 2017 Review

Since 2010, subscription boxes have been all the rage and it's not hard to see why.  Who doesn't enjoy a box of their favorite themed items delivered to their door?  Seven years later, the subscription box industry has exploded with multiple subscription box services for just about any concept you can think of.  So which one do you choose?  How do you even find them all?

Enter Cratejoy, an amazing website that collects tons of your favorite subscription boxes (and more that you may not even know about) and puts them all in one place!  Cratejoy conveniently sorts boxes into select categories, such as "Beauty and Fashion" or "Geek and Gaming," and even offers the ability to search for whatever topic you choose.

When Karen over at Cratejoy asked if I would be interested in reviewing some subscription boxes offered through their website, all I did was hop to the search bar and type in "witch."  It didn't take me long to discover a plethora of new subscription box services I didn't even know existed!

One such subscription box is Box of Shadows.  Started by two eclectic pagans with little access to affordable witchcraft supplies, Box of Shadows strives to offer affordable pagan and witchcraft supplies while still supporting the overarching community.

While Box of Shadows appears similar to other similar subscription boxes, what sets it apart is its multiple box tiers.  Instead of having one fixed price, you can choose a tier that works best for your budget and receive a fixed number of items.  The Initiate boasts that it's perfect for the beginner and includes 5 undressed candles, one incense, one smoke cleansing bundle, an herb OR a gemstone, and three surprise items.  The Priestess states that it's the complete worship box and adds an additional item to the mix.  Finally The Supreme is their themed box, includes five surprise items and is the only one to definitively include a book of some sort.   It's also the only level to include both the herb and the gemstone of the month.

Today, we'll be reviewing their Supreme tier for April/Beltane 2017.

Upon opening the box, you're greeted with a pamphlet that states the contents of the box.  Inside the pamphlet, you can find some correspondences as well as a bit of information about the sabbat and an informational article.  This one just happens to be on witch jars, which perfectly parallels my circle who will be teaching a Witch Jars class to our local community next Wednesday.

A card inside states that they utilize EcoEnclose, an earth-friendly packaging service.  Plastic packaging is the most detrimental to our environment in terms of shipping,  Unfortunately, I still see some used in the package, but I'm also not sure it was avoidable to ensure that the items arrived safely.  It's finding a good balance between what's safe and what works, right?

The first item clearly visible in this box is a package of meadowsweet. Found growing natively in the meadows of Europe and Western Asia, meadowsweet or mead wort is typically used to flavor wine and beer and may be strewn in a room to give it a pleasant scent.  In magical terms, meadowsweet is used for balance, happiness, harmony and love, most of which are listed properly in the included pamphlet.

Next, we have the stone of the month: Labradorite.  In this box, it comes in the form of two loose tumbled stones and a bracelet!  Labradorite enhances clairvoyance, self-discovery and is a wonderful shielding stone.

Those who subscribe to The Priestess or The Initiate likely only got either meadowsweet or labradorite.  It certainly helps make The Supreme a worthwhile investment!

Next up, we have a candle dressed for Beltane from Modern Magix. According to their website, this candle is designed to "boost existing goals and encourage new ones."  Seems like this Beltane is all about enhancing and boosting, wouldn't you say?

As promised, the crate includes five undressed spell candles of varying colors for the season.  In the pamphlet, the correspondences for each candle color are listed.  Their uses range from general success to purity and peace.  These colors are common with Beltane and fit right in!

Incense of the month is Amber Sun from Triloka, described on the box as "uplifting and comforting."  I might associate this incense more with Midsummer based on the name and description, but I can certainly see how it might also connect to Beltane.  The sun is a fiery entity after all.

Also included in the box is a juniper smoke cleansing bundle (referred to in the pamphlet by its appropriated name as a "smudge stick," unfortunately).  Juniper and I have never really gotten along.  It smells strangely of urine to me, but that's my personal preference of course.  While the pamphlet gives no information about why juniper was chosen, I assume it's because juniper doesn't just remove negativity in a space - it also attracts the positive.  It creates a nice balance for an uplifting ritual.

The next two items may be recognizable from a box I've reviewed in the past.  Given that both were sabbat themed, it would make sense that items might span both boxes.  The first one in this box is a goddess figurine candle holder.  The pamphlet again doesn't describe the item or why it was included, and the previous box I reviewed included it in their Ostara bundle, not Beltane.  However, given that it's a candle holder and Beltane is a fire holiday, I can see the connection!

The second recognizable item is Llewellen's Sabbat Essentials series with this book for Beltane.  This book is fantastic for the beginner witch unsure of what to do for the sabbats.  It's chocked full of great information and I would highly recommend it.

Finally, the last item in the box is this gorgeous altar cloth (modeled by Artemis of course).  The Celtic knots and green to blue tie dye is an interesting combination for Beltane, but could easily work for just about any altar!

Artie was of course paid for his hard modeling work.  My familiars don't work for free!

So let's discuss some pros and cons of Box of Shadows in comparison to other subscription boxes I've experienced.

(+) Tiered subscriptions
I absolutely love the tiered subscription options.  It allows you to choose what works best for your budget so you can get a witchy subscription box without breaking the bank.  That's something I haven't seen with other services.

(+) Consistency
Box of Shadows makes it clear that, in each box, you will at least receive a bundle of undressed spell candles, an incense, an herb OR a gemstone and a smoke cleansing bundle.  These are the basics of a sabbat ritual and are incredibly useful.  It's good to know that will never change.

(-) Informational Pamphlet
The pamphlet include does have a nice set of information, but I feel like I'm missing some essentials.  Why were certain items included?  What company did they come from?  I would love a little more transparency!

(-) Waiting List
Like many subscription boxes of its kind, Box of Shadows is at capacity.  Cratejoy of course lets you set up a notification to let you know when it becomes available and, with its tiered subscription options, I feel like it might be more likely to be available sooner than competing boxes.

If you're interested in checking Box of Shadows out, click here!

And, of course, I can't say enough about how fabulous Cratejoy is.  A website that collects a multitude of subscription boxes and puts them in one place for ease of purchase?  Sounds like a win to me!  So go check it out and see what's out there.  You certainly won't regret it.


  1. Thank you for this beautifully written article and the lovely pictures! I was so excited when approached about the opportunity and have been waiting on pins and needles for the result. I couldn't be happier and I'll definitely be taking some of your feedback on the pamphlet into consideration.

    Blessed Be!

  2. I reviewed Box of Shadows last October, November, and December. I enjoyed the box. I only did the initiate though. Could not afford the supreme. I am currently reviewing Gaia Collective's Moon Box. I am REALLY loving the Moon Box. I honestly may keep this one up for more than 3 months. Mojo Mamas is next on my list.