Intro to Magick - Tools
Tools. Apart from casting spells it seems to be
one of the foremost concerns of the new practitioner – but why? In a lot of
cases you will see material or perhaps even one more “experienced” in the craft
telling you that you MUST have this tool or that altar cloth, or your magick
will be ineffective. Simply put, that is complete baloney (I could use a
stronger word, but I want to keep this as clean as possible). You do not NEED
tools to be effective, you need only one item – YOURSELF. I am not pulling your
leg, this is the honest truth. Now this is not to say that tools do not help us
focus or achieve our goals, but we can function without them.
Allow me to explain a bit more in depth if you
will. Take the broom for instance. It represents both the male/god and
female/goddess aspects and can be used in various workings, fertility rites and
cleansings to name two. Would you be able to perform a fertility ritual or
cleansing of ritual space without it? Of course! You just have to focus on your
objective with a little more resolve. This broom is really just a symbol of
what we wish to happen with the spell or ritual we are performing, and while it
can be important, rest assured you CAN achieve your goal without it.
So if we don’t need tools then why have them?
Well I would say it is a matter of personal preference. If you lined up ten
witches, you would find ten very different tool set ups. We are unique
individuals after all, and our strengths and talents may differ, hence the
preference of one witch to have a wand over another who might favor a staff. I
am not against owning tools or utilizing them in my practice – to the contrary I
own and use them, but not in every working. Then there was a time when I was
fairly new to the path and didn’t have a ton of money to spend on things like
that. At that time my finger was a wonderful substitute for an athame (ritual
knife sometimes used to construct the dimension and barrier of the circle), and
even to this day if I think its appropriate, my finger is used in place of it.
I even use it in place of a wand when directing the release of energy (also
known as the “cone of power”).
What determines which tools you have and which
you don’t? Well there are as many reasons as there are stars in the sky, but
here are a few that you might find more often than not:
Common workings performed
That seems to be pretty straight forward – but
is it really? When you are newly on the pagan path, you are inundated with an
amazing amount of information, and it takes some time to sort through it all.
Along with that, comes the task of figuring out who you are - you as a pagan
have the personal power to choose your own path and type of practice, and it
might take some time to figure out exactly what you REALLY like, and what things
were amusing to you for a short time. So my advice would be to read, study,
research - whatever you need to do to decide who you are and how you wish to
practice. This doesn't mean that you won't evolve and make some changes along
the way - you will (we all do, its part of being human). So you are free to
change, drop, acquire whatever tools you wish. I just would advise buying
everything you see as part of a complete altar set up right off of the bat.
Oh yes I KNOW that this is a huge concern, and
I was one who had it. Some times tools can be extremely expensive, other times
they might not be. It depends on your preference for materials, and also if you
have the inclination to make your tools yourself. What, you think that the first
earth based practitioner has his or her local occult shop to visit? Right, and I
have some swamp land here to sell to you for practically nothing. Tools were
made from whatever was available, providing that the person didn't wish to use a
finger as a wand or athame, or something along those lines. You can go outside
and see what the deities would give to you to use as tools! Branches from trees
make excellent wands and staffs, rocks from the ground can be used as
decoration, etc.. One caution though. I would go for the branches and such that
are already on the ground and not part of a living plant or tree. You CAN use a
branch from a living tree, but you need to ask permission from the spirit that
resides within that living thing. How would you feel if someone came along and
decided that your left arm was the perfect wand and cut it off from your body? I
know I wouldn't like it.
However plants have an amazing ability to
regenerate, and if you asked they might be inclined to give you a gift of
themselves. It is only right though, that if you take from nature, whether it be
directly from a living thing or the ground, that you provide a gift back to help
There are other options also for those who are
budget conscious. Don't have the green candle you need for that prosperity
spell? Then draw one! I am not being silly, it DOES work! How about combing the
local yard & garage sales to see what you find? The seller might not have
thought that the pot was a cauldron, but your eye might catch that same piece
and think just that! You will have to cleanse, empower, and consecrate any tool
you intend to use, but there is nothing that says that it has to be store bought
and brand new for you to have it as part of your magickal supplies.
Some traditions use different tools than
others, and some use similar or same tools but in different ways. You would have
to investigate any traditions you wished to participate in to see, because it
might even differ from coven to coven, solitary to solitary. For instance, in
some groups a wand is considered to
correspond to the element of fire, in others air.
SPACE/LIVING ARRANGEMENTS & ENVIRONMENT
I put these two factors together because they
seem to be intertwined. How can you have a ton of tools and such if you are
limited to a small corner in your house or apartment? What if you are not able
to practice openly because you know that your family and friends would severely
disapprove? In that case you might not have that 10'X15' altar decked out with
tons of tools, but you can have an altar! Use a small table top, dresser top, or
even the back of your toilet with a tray on it. These are places that you can
have your magickal tools out, but are also easily packed away when the need
arises. If you think back to when it wasn't so "cool" to be a witch
(yes that was stated with tongue firmly lodged in cheek), it was literally life
threatening, not on to the witch themselves, but anyone who associated with
them, if it was obvious that they had tools for a magickal purpose in their
possession. They had three options (that I can think of):
- Not possess any magickal tools of any sort
- Hide their magickal articles from prying
- Use everyday items that could double as
their magickal tools
Let's look at choice number 3 shall we? I
think that if you stopped to look around your home you would find things that
would double for magickal tools. Case in point, the Kitchen Witch. The
same pots, pans, utensils and such that they use to prepare meals for themselves
and their loved ones can be the same things that they use when performing any
magickal work. A wooden spoon would make a good wand, and a butter knife would
make a perfect athame, and the list goes
on. In times past, the cauldron was the same pot that food was prepared and the
washing done in.
SPECIFIC TASKS OR WORKINGS
This might not be a huge concern to you, but I
felt the need to bring it up anyway. If you are someone who has a healing
practice, you might have more oils, herbs, stones, etc geared towards that end
than someone who is more focused on general workings. You might find that you
have an affinity for protection, and your tools will in time reflect that.
Regardless of where you are in your practice, budget constraints, preferences,
etc there are two things that I believe is a MUST - creativity and adaptability
- in your workings.
CLEANSING, EMPOWERING AND CONSECRATION
Lions and tigers and bears - oh my! *G* O.K.
so I am a wise guy, but I can't help it - I wrote the heading out and that was
the first thing to come to my mind. Seriously though, cleansing, empowering and
consecration of your magickal tools is an important step and I would be remiss
if I didn't touch on it.
There are many methods of cleansing, and it
sometimes depends on what the item is that you need to cleanse as to what method
you use. For instance, if you were cleansing an opal, which is a relatively soft
stone, you would not use a corrosive or abrasive method of cleansing, favoring
instead leaving it out in moonlight and sunlight or perhaps running it under
water. So why cleanse them anyway? I mean they look clean to me!
Sure they do, but as with everything, whatever
the item is in question has energies that it's acquired over time, and you can't
necessarily "see" them, but you probably can feel them. When you were
young and you got a toy for your birthday, didn't it sometimes take awhile
before it felt like it was "yours"? This can be what tips you off to
other energies that your tools might have - it doesn't feel quite right, or feel
like it's yours. That's what cleansing, empowering and consecration are all
about - making the tool your own, for your determined purpose. The energies may
not be positive, negative or otherwise, but in my opinion, I would rather start
with a clean slate than find out later on that there was something still
attached to the piece that might counter any working I use it in.
Here are some common methods of cleansing,
- Water - no kidding! Putting your tool under
running water is a great way to cleanse it.
- Incense - passing your tool through the
- Candle flame - again passing your tool
above or through the flame (be careful if what you have is flammable; you
might want to consider an alternate method)
- Earth - burying an item in the earth for a
predetermined number of days will ground the existing energies and leave the
tool ready for you to impart your own.
- Salt - another "earthing"
ingredient. You can sprinkle over, or bury the item in salt - but again
consider the make up of your tool before doing this.
- Moonlight/Sunlight - both will cleanse by
leaving your tool in one or both types of light for a predetermined amount
There are many other forms but these are the
ones that I know are most common - feel free to come up with your own!
Empowering is just what it sounds like -
imparting power into a certain object or person (for the purpose of this lesson,
object). This is done after cleansing (or perhaps at the same time, but I do I
after), and can simply be done by handling the object. You can do this over
time, or spend a moment focused on infusing the tool with your magickal intent
and energy. There are rituals also that can be used, but again YOU are the most
important factor in this.
consecration n 1: a solemn dedication to a
service or a goal; "his consecration to study"
It simply means to set aside or dedicate to a
purpose, and that is precisely what you do when you consecrate your tools. You
vow to use them only for the magickal purpose(s) that you decree and do whatever
you can in your power to keep them for that purpose. Now this will not apply in
the case of the person who's tools double for some other everyday item, but you
can still consecrate it when you need to use it, or perhaps state that it is for
this "mundane" purpose and this "magickal" purpose.
Regardless of what the situation might be, it is a sign of respect and also
organization on your part to set your tools for specific uses. It helps to
ensure that the energies you will need to perform whatever your working is
effectively is there when you want it to be. You can perform an intricate ritual
to accomplish this or simply state to your chosen deities that this tool is
dedicated for (certain purpose). It is entirely up to you.
HANDLING AND STORING YOUR TOOLS
This is always a sticky subject, and I can
offer my own opinions on this but you have to decide for yourself what is good
for you. Who handles your tools? That depends. Some say no one but yourself,
others say it shouldn't matter. I say that it is up to you - if you feel that
the person in question has energy that is congruent with your own, then by all
means. I personally do not allow my tools to be handled by anyone else but
myself, unless I plan on re-cleansing, empowering and consecrating them prior to
use. I am not the tool police - I have a niece who is inherently curious about
my altar and with her mother's permission has asked to hold my wand, and yes I
allowed her to, because at the time I felt that to deny her might have made it
so attractive, that she would have done so behind my back. Also, her energy is
much like mine and she approaches my practice and my tools with a measure of
respect that I have not seen in many adults, much less a child of six. My tarot
cards are handled by whomever I read for, but those do get cleansed after every
usage anyway, even if I am reading for myself. Rule of thumb, no one handles
your tools unless you want them to. If they do, I guarantee that you will find
out sooner or later.
Example of this. My first tarot deck that I
owned was very much imbued with my energy - and I developed a close enough
relationship with it, that when I came home from work one day I KNEW it had been
handled the moment I opened the drawer where it was kept. Now there was nothing
to indicate physically that it had been moved, but I knew - it didn't
"feel" solely like "me" anymore. At the time one of my
sister's was living with me and despite my request that no one handle the deck,
she thought she's put one over on me...well was she surprised when I held the
deck up in front of her and reiterated my wishes. She never touched it again.
Storage is also a concern for some, and there
are options there also. You may wish to buy a cabinet or chest that you can
lock, or perhaps leave most of your tools out. It depends on your comfort level,
your living environment, and what sort of items you have. If you have
potentially dangerous or toxic herbs or oils, you will want to keep them out of
the reach of any pets or children that might get into them. If you live in a
place where there are those not comfortable with paganism, then you will want to
most likely have them out only when you are actively using them.
Then again, you can utilize the "double
usage" option and no one will know you have your magickal tools out!
Here is a listing of some tools and items you might find in a witch's set up.
This is by no means a complete listing, nor am I suggesting that you need have
all of these things in your possession to be a "real" witch - nothing
could be further from the truth. I am simply showing you some possible options
that may enhance your workings.
Here is a listing from "the Wicca
Handbook" by Eileen Holland
A Witch's Tools
Tools are the implements we use to work magic.
Some traditions make a great fetish of tools. This can be daunting for new
witches, who sometimes think they cannot begin to cast spells until they have
acquired everything on the list. Unlike many witches, I take a minimalist
approach to tools. For years, I used a sword, an athame, and a pentacle. That's
it. Occasionally I used a marble mortar that served as a chalice and for
grinding herbs. A mortar is also a great place to burn things.
Start making or acquiring tools as you need
them. Covens of ten give sets of tools to new members. I have found that,
whenever I had need of a tool, I suddenly acquired it by one means or another.
These are some of the (often-conflicting) superstitions about tools:
- They must be formally consecrated before
- Tools should only be used inside the
- Using tools in the kitchen consecrates the
food they are used to prepare;
- Tools must be made by yourself or received
as gifts, not purchased;
- It is bad luck to haggle over the price of
- You should never allow anyone else to
handle your tools; The finest tools are those you make yourself, from
- Any sword, knife, or dagger that has ever
drawn blood must be purified before consecration;
- Athames and swords should be symbolic, not
Accept or reject these beliefs as seems right
to you. I have never consecrated my tools, because I have never felt the need to
do so. Magical use seems self-consecrating to me. I dislike having the
vibrations with which I imbue objects disturbed. I, therefore, never let someone
touch my tools or my grimoire. I agree that actual weapons are unsuitable tools
for a witch. With the exception of the sword, my tools "hid in plain
sight" while I lived in Egypt. I expect the notion of 'kitchen witch' came
from the fact that most of the things we use - like herbs, cauldrons, and
candles - can be left about the kitchen without attracting attention. This
probably helped some witches survive the Burning Times.
Branch into wand, goblet into chance, knife
into athame, pot into cauldron.Consecration is a short ceremony that dedicates
an object for sacred use. Lay your tools on the altar, cast a circle, and
consecrate them. You can devise any sort of ceremony you like for this. Keep it
simple, cast the circle, mix salt into water, and sprinkle the tool, saying
"Knife, you are brought within this
circle of transformation to be forever after my athame." Handle the object
with reverence, steeping it in your vibrations, then put it in its appointed
place on the altar before closing the circle.
An athame is a ceremonial knife that
corresponds to the element of fire in some traditions, to air in others, and to
the direction East. Like all the phallic tools, it has male energy and
symbolizes animus. It a witch's weapon and most important tool. In some
traditions, it must be black-handled (white-handled knives are used only as
cutting tools). The hilt of your athame can be plain, or inscribed with magical
markings. It can be a new knife acquired for this purpose, or it can be
something you have had for a long time and now dedicate for ritual use. Antique
stores and flea markets are good places to find daggers and interesting knives,
but you must purify (with water, salt, sunlight, crystals, or any combination
thereof) any object with unknown provenance in case it has black vibrations. My
athame is a bronze letter opener with an enameled handle that was given to me by
a business mentor many years ago. The athame is used for:
- * Mixing salt and water, or potions;
- * Inscribing the circle;
- * Charging, consecrating, or empowering
amulets, talismans, or Poppets;
- * Drawing lines;
- * Discrimination and setting limits;
- * Making choices and carrying them out'.
"'With this in my hands, I am the ruler
of the circle." A sword is used like an athame, but is more formal and
authoritative. It corresponds to the planet Mars. Some traditions link to the
element of air, others to fire. It has male energy.
Your sword could be an actual weapon or
ceremonial object. I use a ceremonial sword that could not easily inflict damage
on anyone. I bought it at Magickal Childe years ago, and chose it because I
dislike the martial connotations of the real weapon. Use your sword for:
- * Invoking the Lords of the Watchtowers;
- * Ruling the circle;
- * Making salutations.
A woman who straps on a sword becomes male in
the context of a ritual. You can keep yours on your altar, mount it on the wall
above your altar, or keep it hidden away. Swords are irresistible to small boys
so are best kept out of sight if you have young children in your house.
Anyone who's ever been to the movies knows
what a wand is. Some traditions correspond wands to the element of fire, others
to air. South is their direction; their energy is male. Wands were traditionally
cut from one-year-old trees, in a single stroke, at sunrise on a Wednesday. It
is said that a wand's length should be the distance from your elbow to your
fingertips. As with other tools, you can use any sort of wand you like, even a
metal one. If you cut your wand from a tree, do ask the tree's permission first
and leave it some small offering in return, like a feather or, a stone. Some
witches prefer to use a fallen branch or a piece of driftwood rather than cut a
tree. Witches who make their own wands often carve magical symbols into them, or
affix small crystals or gemstones to them. Wands are used for many things,
- * Casting circles;
- * Channeling energy;
- * Inviting and controlling entities;
- * Manifestation (changing spirit into
matter, concept into form, idea into reality, etc.).
The Egyptian wand was called ur bekau, the
mighty one of enchantments. It consisted of a sinuous piece of wood adorned by a
ram's head wearing a uraeus at one end. Ur hekau was used in the opening of the
Mouth ceremony. Held before a mummy's entombment, this ritual allowed the
deceased to speak and eat in the afterlife.
Aaron's rod, a biblical magic wand, was made
from an almond tree. The Druid wand was made of ash, with a spiral decoration.
Sometimes a curved yew branch hung with tinkling silver bens was used for lunar
magic. Irish Druids made their wands of hazel, rowan, or yew. Gallic Druids used
A wand with a pinecone on its tip is used to
invoke Dionysus. Chinese wizards used peach branches for their wands. The Ainu
people of Japan used long pieces of bamboo with leaves attached to make their
sacred wands. They whittled the tops into spiral designs. Witch wands for
divining metal are made of rowan wood.
A pentacle is a 5-pointed star, usually inside
a circle (the circle symbolizes unity and infinity). It corresponds to the
element of earth. North is a pentacle's
direction; its energy is female. This is the star of the Goddess. It is pointed
upward for protection, blessings, consecration, meditation, and positive energy;
downward for banishing and binding. Some say you should never invert a pentacle,
but rather draw it backward for banishing or binding. The five points (starting
at the top) can represent any of the following sets of symbols:
- * Birth, initiation, consummation, repose,
- * Love, wisdom, knowledge, law, power.
In some traditions the points represent
- * Spirit, Air, Water, Earth, Fire;
But in other traditions
- * Spirit, Water, Fire, Earth, Air
A pentacle is also a tool used in magical
workings. It is usually placed at the center of the altar and magic worked atop
it. It can be simple or elaborate, handmade or purchased, fashioned of whatever
you like. A pentacle that is drawn or written is called a pentagram. I use
glass-a round sheet of glass with smooth edges. I draw the pentacle on one side
of it with a metallic magic marker. I like glass because of its availability,
transparency, and clean vibrations. I often put something related to the
spell-photograph, documents, whatever-under the glass while I work the spell.
You are supposed to break your pentacle when you move to a new home, so glass
has another advantage. Pentacles are also meditation tools. They can be used to
call spirits or invite entities. You make the sign of the pentacle by tracing
the star in the air, or on some person or object. A silver pentacle offers the
Do pentacles really protect? I believe so. I
kept bees at home for bee venom therapy. They escaped one day. More than fifty
bees were loose in my bedroom. My little boy and I were home alone. I closed the
bedroom door, trapping them in there, and opened the window. I managed to get
out of the room without any of them escaping, shut the door tightly and sealed
it with the sign of the pentacle. Then I remembered my son's diapers were in
there, so I went back in and repeated the process. It is in the nature of bees
to fly out of windows, but this was a cold, overcast day, so I wasn't sure that
they would. By nightfall, the bees were gone, except for the ones who never left
their box. No one got stung. I just had a lot of honey to clean up. Would the
bees have left anyway, without the pentacle on the door? Probably. Did I worry a
lot less because I had put it there? Definitely.
Satanists use a downward-pointing pentacle as
a symbol of Satan or evil. Their perversion of our sacred symbol doesn't make
our symbol evil any more than their inversion of the cross makes that Christian
symbol evil. (**Note from Athena** I do not agree with this...to me
"evil" is a very individual and perceptual concept. In fact, in some
traditions, an inverted pentacle is a sign of attaining the second degree within
The chalice is the vessel of the Goddess, the
Holy Grail. Water is its element; its energy is female. Made of glass, metal, or
wood, it is used for:
- * Mixing salt and water;
- * Mixing potions;
- * Invoking the power to be human, to be
real, to be whole;
- * Conjuring emotions;
- * Nurturing;
- * Presenting offerings and pouring out
- * Drinking ritual wine (in traditions that
I usually use my athame to pour a quantity of
salt into a chalice of water, stir it with the athame, then proceed with the
spell. I always use tap water, but you can use spring or distilled water if you
like. The chalice I use now is just a glass goblet from a set in my kitchen. It
sits on my attar, always full to remind me of all my blessings. It usually just
contains water, but I use rosewater when I am giving special thanks to Isis.
Water evaporates, so I wash and refill it periodically.
This is the womb of the Goddess, the cauldron
of inspiration, a place of resurrection. Its element is water, its direction is
center, and its energy is female. Cauldrons are sacred to the Welsh goddess
Cerridwen, Keeper of the Cauldron of Inspiration. They are traditionally made of
cast iron and have three legs. I don't have one because I'm a city witch, but
I'd get one if I lived in a house with a hearth or a place where I could make
fires in the yard. I'd make pumpkin soup in my cauldron for Halloween, if I did
have one. The cauldron is used for:
- * Brewing herbs and potions;
- * Renewing (rebirth, regeneration, and
- * Reflecting the Moon (for lunar magic);
- * Jumping over (for fertility);
- * Safely burning things.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York
City has a wonderful ancient cauldron in their Islamic Art collection. It's huge
and oddly shaped, has a fancy rim, and it's made of black iron and has three
legs. I always wonder if it was used for cooking or magic.
A censer is a vessel, usually brass, in which
incense can be burned. It corresponds to the elements of air and fire, for
obvious reasons. Its directions are East and South. A censer may be simple or
elaborate, and is usually kept on the altar. Middle Eastern shops and Catholic
religious stores sell covered censers that come with chains so they can be swung
back and forth. These are dramatic when used in rituals. Put some sand or salt
in the bottom of the censer. Heat lumps of charcoal until they are red hot, then
use tongs to drop a few of them into the censer. Sprinkle solid incense-dried
herbs, gum resins, or seeds-on them. Seeds tend to pop, so covered censers are
safest. The bottom of the censer may get very hot, even with the sand or salt,
so place it on a surface that is not likely to bum. Censers are also good
for burning incense cones. Joss sticks can be safely burned stuck into the earth
of a planter, or in ceramic, metal, or wooden holders made for this purpose.
Incense is used for:
- * Fumigating and smudging;
- * Purifying;
- * Raising power;
- * Achieving trance states;
- * Banishing evil spirits;
- * Encouraging and welcoming good spirits.
The witch's besom is a decorative broom used
- * Symbolic cleansing;
- * Sweeping away evil, negative influences,
or bad vibes;
- * Expelling evil spirits;
- * Aspurging and purification (with water).
A broom symbolizes the union of male and
female, the joining of phallic stick to feminine brush. Because of this, brooms
have long been used in fertility rites such as jumping over at handfastings or
"riding" through crops for the fertility of the land. A mistletoe
besom is the broom of the thunder god.
Since water and salt are almost always used in
casting spells, you may want to have two special bowls for this purpose. My
grandmother's china set came with small footed bowls, so I just use some of
these from the kitchen. Witches also often have a special bowl for making
offerings to god/desses.
A bell or gong can be kept on the altar and
rung to banish spirits, entities, negativity, or anything else. It can also be
used ceremonially, to indicate that a ritual is beginning or ending. Whatever
use you make of your bell, remember the old saying that you cannot 'unring"
Priestesses sometimes wear a special necklace
inside the circle. This necklace is the circle of rebirth, a sign of the
Goddess. It is traditionally made of alternating jet and amber beads, but you
can select any sort of necklace that has meaning for you. I wear a gold ankh
from Egypt that I never remove, and I have a string of blue and yellow Sumerian
beads that are about 5000 years old. I don't see why priests can't also have
Solitary witches don't need these unless
they're for cord magic or knot magic. Usually made of silk and 9 feet in length,
cords are used by some traditions in coven work for:
- * Binding;
- * Initiations;
- * Control;
- * Taking someone's measure.
There are initiation ceremonies in which
novices are literally bound, sometimes naked, to the altar. This is supposed to
be a solemn, symbolic, religious act and no doubt has ancient origins. It seems
darkly sexual to me, however, and I see much potential for abuse in it. I think
it's safest to follow the same rules for sex and Wicca: never, ever, allow
anyone to tie you up.
Solitary witches don't need this either. A
scourge is a many-tailed whip that is used by covens in some traditions. Like
the flail of the pharaohs, it is an emblem of authority. (Having lived in Egypt,
however, I suspect the pharaohs actually used them as fly whisks.) Scourges are
- * Severity;
- * Enlightenment;
- * Astral projection;
- * Gaining the Sight;
- * Domination/power over others;
- * Initiation ceremonies.
They can even be used for punishment in
hierarchal traditions in which coven members are under the authority of a high
priestess. Forty (gentle) lashes is traditional. This seems more like 'S &
M' than Wicca to me, but to each his own. Fasting is another way to achieve the
first four objectives on this list.
The Celtic torc, a metal circlet worn around
the neck, symbolizes power and divinity. The four Tools of Power in ancient
- * The sword/arrow of Nuadha;
- * The spear/rod of Lugh;
- * The cauldron/cup of the Dagda;
- * Stone/shield/mirror of Fal.
~Tools of the Trade ~
taken from the Complete Idiot's Guide to Wicca
* Altar cloths come in all shapes and sizes to
fit your altar. You can make them as magickal as you like. They are both bought
and made in different colors to rep- resent the Sabbats or to decorate the
altar. If you have a very special one and don't want to worry about wax or oils
dripping on it, you can either put a small topper over it or set your candle or
work on a place mat.
* Amulets are nature made-objects used in
protection or with magickal intent.
* An athame is a double-edged knife,
approximately 6 inches in length, which is used in ritual to represent the male
phallus. Athames are usually dull because they are never used to cut anything
but energy. Traditionally, athames had black handles. Many witches own athames
made from a variety of materials, including crystal, pewter, steel, bone, and
copper. Some are plain, and some are very fancy. Because an athame is a ritual
tool that you will use frequently, be sure to pick one that is special to you.
* Baskets are used for many things. Plain
baskets are good to keep your magickal notions, potions, and powders organized.
That way you can find everything you need, when you need it.
* Bath salts, both plain and magickal, are
used in the ritual bath taken before doing ritual or magick. They help calm and
relax you and make your bath a special treat. Bath oils are used alone or in
conjunction with bath salts and have the same purpose as bath salts.
* Beads are used in decorating talismans,
medicine bags, feathers, and many other objects.
* A bell is used in ritual when calling in the
quarters and deity (asking the four directions and the God and Goddess to join
you). At the end of ritual, the bell is rung to let the elements return to their
* A bolline traditionally is a white-handled
knife with a curved blade. This is your working knife. It is used to cut a
variety of things-string, clay, herbs, candles, or what have you-while doing
magick or ritual.
* A Book of Shadows is your personal magickal
book. In it you record your spells, magickal information, dreams, chants, or any
other material that has to do with your workings in the craft.
* Bowls are important for your altar. You will
need at least two small ones. In one keep
salt, in the other water.
* A broom-a magick one-is used to sweep out
negativity from an area where you are going to do ritual or magick.
* Candles of various shapes, sizes, and colors
are used in magick and on the altar. Candleholders of various shapes and sizes
are needed to hold the type of candle you are working with.
* The cauldron represents the womb of the
Goddess and is used to cook, burn, scry, or hold things that are used in ritual
* Chalices represent the female. They are used
to drink wine from during ritual. A chalice is also used in doing the great rite
a symbolic unification of the male and female in which an athame is lowered into
a chalice. Many witches own more that one. You always seem to find a great one
that you just must have. Keep an extra inexpensive one on hand in case someone
in ritual doesn't have one.
* Charcoal is used to burn powdered incense or
* Clay can be used in poppet magick. It comes
in all colors and can be formed into many shapes.
* A censer is a special container used to bum
incense. Censers often have feet so that the heat they contain will not scorch
the surface upon which they rest. Some censers have chains attached on top so
that you can lift them easily and spread the smoke from the incense around the
* A compass is used to determine where your
directions are. It's a hard call in the north wind when you are facing south!
* Cords of different thicknesses and colors
are used to do binding magick.
* Crystals and gems are used in magick,
healing, ritual, and talismans among other things. Your collection of these
pretty objects will continue to grow and grow.
* Crystal balls come in various sizes and
colors. They are used for pulling in energy and scrying.
* A decanter is used to hold wine during
* Divination tools such as tarot cards, runes,
pendulums, and the I-Ching are used in looking into the future, to aid you in
decision making, and in doing magick. It's best to learn more than one type of
* Feathers are used in magick to represent the
element of Air.
* Felt is used in poppet magick, in making
pouches and dream pillows, or to wrap items to cover or protect them.
* Fiber stuffing is used for filling pillows
* Herbs are used in healing and in magick, and
can include dried plants or spices, dried corn, and even tobacco.
* Holy water is used to cleanse and consecrate
ritual tools and magickal items.
* Holy oil is used to consecrate ritual tools
and magickal items.
* Incense comes in stick, cone, and powder
form. In ritual, it is used to represent the element of Air. It is also used in
Air magick-magick in which you call upon the element of Air-and to cleanse
ritual or magickal tool.
* Lighters are great to have on hand to light
* Magickal inks: homemade, dragon's blood, or
dove's blood. No, these inks are not really made from the blood of a dove or
dragon. They are specialty made from herbs and resins to enhance your magickal
spells. These inks come in a variety of colors, and some have essential oils
* A magick mirror is a mirror that has been
cleansed, treated with herbs and magickally charged to help you see things as
they really are or as they should be.
* Magick pens can be quills, hand-blown glass,
or antique. These are very special pens that are used only for writing your
magick spells or in your Book of Shadows.
* A mortar and pestle are used to grind your
herbs to a fine powder.
* Tapes of special music are used in ritual
and magick. The music helps you ground, center, and relax, or it helps you build
a cone of power or celebrate in dance.
* Needle and thread are used to sew magickal
bags and poppets and to attach talismans or amulets.
* Oils of various types-essential, fragrance,
and herbal-are used to consecrate, anoint, or charge people and tools both in
ritual and magick.
* Parchment paper is paper that is usually
enhanced with cloth fiber. It is used when writing magickal spells or rituals.
* A pentagram can be used as jewelry. It is
also placed on the altar for protection.
* A pocketknife is great for cutting or
* Pouches are used for keeping crystals, tarot
cards, herbs, jewelry, or anything else special.
* Powders come in various colors. Mixed with
herbs, they are used in magick or to mark boundaries.
* Scissors are used for cutting cords for
binding spells or cloth for poppets.
* A scrying mirror is usually made of black
glass and is used in divination or magick.
* Sea salt is used on the altar to represent
Earth. It is also used in making holy water and in magick.
* Seeds are used in magickal ritual. Various
kinds are used to represent different intents in your magickal working.
* Smudge sticks are bound herbs and grasses
used in cleansing an area or item.
* Statues, which represent the God or Goddess
you are working with, are usually placed on the altar.
* String is used in beading, tying, or binding
* Talismans are man-made objects or symbols
that have magickal intent placed in them.
* A wand, which can be made from a variety of
materials, is used to direct energy.
* Wooden spoons are used to stir
notions-magickal mixtures, potions, and powders.