Some Basic Tools
The athame is the witch’s knife also known as Seax or yak-dirk. It is always a double edged knife with a blade about five to six inches long. The athame is a witch’s primary tool for circle magic and rituals. It is the tool to use to draw magical circles and other diagrams. Some witches engrave their athames with magical symbols but it is not necessary. As with most magical tools the athame becomes empowered by your touch. The athame is linked with the element of Fire and because of its phallic nature it is linked with the gods. The handle is most preferably black as black absorbs power best. When the knife is used to direct energy in a ritual, some of the power is absorbed into the handle – only a tiny amount – which can be called upon later. Some witches engrave their knife with magical symbols, but this is not necessary. NEVER use the athame for blood-letting. If you do, even accidentally, the knife must be destroyed.
The amulet is a piece of jewelry that can be helpful to the magickian, both as protection and as a stimulus for the magical transformation which takes place when performing rituals. Acquiring an amulet can restore a person’s self-confidence. The amulet is usually a small item made of natural materials which is charged for the magical purpose of protection. Amulets can be worn as jewelry or carried in a pouch.
The armband represents the personal male or female energies with which you work; in other words the very personal you. Women most commonly wear silver or silver toned bands, often with a crescent moon, horns turned upwards. Men use gold or gold toned bands, often with a symbol of the sun.
The bell is a ritual tool of incredible antiquity and meaning. The ringing of a bell unleashes vibrations which have powerful effects according to its volume, tone and construction. The bell is a feminine symbol and is often used to invoke the goddess in ritual. It is also rung to ward off evil spells and evil spirits.
The bolline is a minor witches tool. It is usually a white handled knife that is sometimes called a burin. The bolline is used for cutting herbs and any other material that may need cutting.
Book Of Shadows
The Book of Shadows is a witch’s workbook or spell book. It is like a witch’s diary where all spell work, magical recipes, witch’s goals and laws are written. The Book of Shadows is a witch’s most sacred tool. It is a pagan book of rituals, spells, and magic lore. Once hand copied upon Initiation, the BOS is now often photocopied, typed or even digitized on computer. No one “true” BOS exists as each is unique to the witch it belongs to. It also contains research, invocations, runes, correspondences tables, rules governing magic, and so on. Remember, the BOS is not “holy writ”, you should not feel tied down to these words; many witches use a three ring binder, shuffling around pages, adding and subtracting information as they go. It is a good idea to copy spells and rituals by hand for it allows you to learn them better as well as allowing you to make sure you can read them by candlelight or firelight. A BOS is a very powerful thing, and it grows more powerful thing, and it grows more powerful over time as the years pass and you add to it. You must always treat your BOS with respect and never let anyone handle it.
Candles are used for everything from lighting the altar to specifics in spells. Wax composition does not matter, however the color does. They are used frequently in spells, with their particular colors, fragrances, shapes and inscriptions serving a symbolic purpose. See also Candle magic.
The cauldron is an ancient vessel for cooking and brew making. The cauldron is the container in which magical makings occur. It is a symbol of the goddess and is the essence of femininity and fertility. It is also symbolic of the element of water.
A censer is used for burning incense during rituals. It can be a complex, swinging metal censer like those used in Catholic churches or something as simple as a seashell. If you cannot find a suitable censer, make one. Any bowl or cup, half full with sand will work well. The sand absorbs the heat from the charcoal or incense and prevents the bowl from cracking. Incense sticks can be pushed into the sand or cones placed on its surface.
The cup or chalice is simply a cauldron on a stem. It symbolizes the goddess and fertility and is related to the element of water. It can be used to contain water for ritual purposes or to contain the ritual beverage which is to be consumed during or after the ritual. The chalice can be made of any substance: silver, brass, gold, earthenware, glass, etc.
In ritual, often used for inscribing; and ceremonial incense is often burned on charcoal saucer.
Felt and velvet cloths are often used in magic to contain charms and herbs that have been charged with power.
The cord is basically used to measure the radius of the circle and for binding things. You can use different color cord to match your magical need. The cord is also known as the girdle or the cable tow.
Essentials oils have long been used for their power of healing and to help specific states of mind. Oils have many purposes and different oils are linked with different uses.
Herbs are best gathered by the magickian using their own athame. However, this is not always possible, especially when you live in the city or certain herb are required that do not grow in your area. If you purchase a larger quantity of herbs, be sure to store them in an airtight container to keep them fresh, away from heat and sunlight.
In sticks, cones, or powders, with aromas varying from floral to herbal. The incense burned depends on the purpose of each ritual. Frankincense is said to have many properties and can be used for most spells.
The pentacle is usually a flat piece of brass, gold, silver, wood, wax or clay, inscribed with the pentagram symbol. The pentagram has been used in magic for thousands of years; it is used to represent the element of earth, and is convenient tool to place amulets, charms, or other object upon that are to be ritually consecrated. Pentacles are also hung over doors and windows to act as protective devices. The five points of the pentagram represent the five elements: earth, air, fire, water, and spirit.
Colorful stones of various shapes and sizes are used in some spellwork. Whether purchased or found, make sure their vibrations feel comfortable to you. There is no set number, however, there must never be more than 13 stones at one time. An Earth element, they play an important part in spellworkings. Crystals and other stones are good conductors of magical energy in their natural state and need not be polished to be of use.
The sword is a tool of command. It is not used often, but is necessary for some spells and rituals. It’s size and length are a personal choice; it needs to be comfortable in your hand, not too heavy. For women, a sword length of 17-25 inches is a good choice.
A drawn symbol or a constructed item that is charged with specific energies. The talisman can be worn as jewelry or carried on the person, allowing its energy to exert a continual influence on the holder.
The wand or staff is one of the prime magical tools. It has been utilized for thousands of years in magical and religious rites. The wand can be used to direct energy, draw magic symbols or a circle on the ground. The wand represents the element of air to some witches and is sacred to the gods. The wand can be made from tree branches or copper piping and can be decorated with ribbons and stones and whatever else you would like.