Tool Time for Witches?

By Athena


This is a subject that I know concerns many people - tools and magical items.  What if you are just starting out?  Have a fixed or limited budget? Aren't able to practice openly? How the heck are you supposed to work the rituals and spells with out that nifty willow wand or huge quartz crystal point?  The truth is, you don't absolutely need these things, or any magical item to do your workings.  Now I am sure there are those of you right now rolling your eyes and breathing heavy sighs - after all I have only been practicing for about 18 months, what could I possibly know?   I thought you would NEVER ask.


Tools and items are used for focus - plain and simple.  That wand or crystal or herb you might use in your rite does have properties that will aid you in your working (provided you have checked the correspondences to see if they are congruent with your goal), but it is not absolutely necessary.  Think on this for a moment.  Do you really believe that when the human race was first finding it's bearings, that the local wise woman, shaman, practitioner had a nice wand or athame with which to cast a circle or direct energy?  Of course not.  They might have intuitively found that certain items worked better in certain situations than others, but the likelihood of them owning these items from the start I would say is slim.


I truly believe that using your finger, hand, or arm can be just as effective as using an athame or wand.  Sounds simple enough doesn't it?  Well here is another interesting thought - an item is magical to us because WE make it so!  Certainly everything has it's own energies - I believe that as much as the next person.  However, what would you do if you purchased or were given a tool, crystal, etc?  You would cleanse it and then charge it yourself, filling that item in question with YOUR energy.  So, to take this idea to an extreme, I could pick up my dog's tennis ball and cleanse that of any unwanted energies, and charge it for the purpose or use I wish.  The tool is not the source of power - you are.


Now what if you have the funds to purchase or procure tools, but you are not openly practicing?  You use what you have around the home and incorporate them into your magical life.  The witches who lived through the church's rise to power in the dark and middle-ages had a necessity to practice in secret - their very lives depended on it.  They could not afford to have wands, athames, swords, divination tools, etc in their possession for fear of being discovered.  Now we know that witches area resourceful lot, and nothing has changed that.  If you are school age and you wish to have something to help focus your energy when sending, would not a pencil work in place of a wand?  What about having the elements represented on an altar?  Simple, use four colored stones to correspond with each element: Green (Earth), Yellow (Air), Red (Fire), Blue (Water).  They are inconspicuous and mobile, should you ever need to break down you altar for any reason, yet they are good focal points for workings and meditation.  No candles?  No problem!  Draw a picture of a lit candle in the color you desire and charge it with your intent.  No mess, fewer questions, and less of a fire hazard. (Yes I truly have told someone to use that technique and have gotten reports back that it was successful.)


Even for the adult who for whatever reason cannot be open about their beliefs, there is a way.  Every day items around the home work very well. In the kitchen you have knives (athame), spoon (wand), spices and herbs for cooking, bowls & pots (cauldron), glasses (chalice).  For the "handy" practitioner: Screwdriver (wand), hammer (athame), bucket (cauldron) and soon.   All of these things can work for you if you desire them to, it's all a matter of your intent.  Whatever household item(s) you choose to use will not cause tons of curiosity, and they are functional as well.  Of course if you are standing out in the middle of your driveway or back yard invoking the Goddess or God with your screwdriver, then be prepared for some odd looks. If you have neighbors like mine, seeing your car in the driveway on a weekday is cause for "inquiring minds" to want to know.


In closing, I wish to reiterate, tools are important but not necessary.  You have to practice at the level you are most comfortable at, using what you have.  If you can procure tools, by all means use them!  If you are unable to for whatever reason, this does not make you any less a witch then the person with a full complement at their disposal.  If you happen to be told otherwise, I would advise you to ignore it, and cultivate your personal power - because in the end that is what makes us the individuals and witches that we are.  We are the only ones who limit what we can do, don't give that gift over to anyone else by allowing them to dictate the height, width and depth of what you can accomplish.


May the Goddess bless you greatly in your workings and wanderings.