Magical tools often used in Wiccan rituals and spell work are explained here in alphabetical order. It's important to remember that tools are simply that. The real power of a tool comes from you, not the tool. The purpose of a tool is to focus your own power and to serve in visualizing what is happening. When collecting tools it's important to cleanse and consecrate them prior to using them. This removes any negative energy associated with the tool and blesses it for proper use. To the right here is a sample diagram of where tools are commonly placed. See my page on Altar Setup for more information.
Click on the Tool Name to see real examples.
|Tool Name||Tool Description|
This is a cloth that is used to dress the Altar. It can be specially bought or just any fabric that you like. There are a huge variety of pre-made altar clothes in various shapes and colors. It's traditional to use different colors for different purposes and sabbats. You can make your own if you have any sewing flair buy picking out your fabric from a cloth store. Altar cloths are typically inexpensive though. The benefit of having an altar cloth is that your altar is protected from dripping wax and water stains. It also adds magical properties to your altar by virtue of symbols and colors. For a selection of Altar Cloths, Click here.
This can be anything used to sprinkle saltwater for purification. Feathers, small paintbrushes etc make very good aspergers. It is associated with the element of water. A catholic supply house is a good place to fine premade ones of various types. Priests use them in aspersing holy water during their own rituals. You can find them listed under Holy Water and Sprinklers. Sometimes called Aspergilliums.
ath-ah-may, This is traditionally a black handled knife with a
double sided blade. It is used to direct your will and channel your
intent. It's never used to cut anything. It's most common use is in
casting the Circle and invoking things. It is associated with the
element of fire. For
a selection of Athames, Click here.
bell is often used to mark the beginning and end of a spell. It is
associated with the element of air and is a feminine symbol and so is
often used to invoke the Goddess in ritual. It is also rung to ward off
evil spells and spirits, to halt storms, or to evoke good energies.
Placed in cupboards or hung on the door, it guards the home.
a selection of Bells, Click here.
Bee-some, This is a special broom used to sweep the circle. It's
use is to remove negative energy from an area when creating sacred
space. This broom is usually round, not flat.
a selection of Besoms, Click here.
bow-lean, This is traditionally a white handled knife with a
curved blade used for cutting and preparing herbs and plants for
rituals. Some bolines can be scythe-like in shape with a crescent moon
type curve or fairly straight with just a slight curve to the blade (as
pictured to the left). This can also be used to inscribe candles or
cut cords in rituals. For
a selection of Bolines, Click here.
some, a Book of Shadows (BoS) is akin to a “magical cookbook” with
sections on various sorts of topics. For others, a BoS is more of a
journal, with a running commentary of all the things you’ve been
working on and bits of stuff you’ve collected. It can also be a
combination of these two ideas, or something else entirely. It all
depends on what you’re doing and how you like to have things
organized. For folks just starting out, I highly recommend using a
three-ring binder or creating a word processor file to house your BoS.
You’ll be grabbing a lot of material left and right, and these methods
allow you to keep things organized. If you do decide to keep your BoS on
your computer, please make sure you back it up on disk or CD. For
a selection of Blank BOS's, Click here.
food and drink to be shared after a ritual. It is customary to set aside
a portion as a libation to deity in gratitude and to honor the God and
are an essential tool, not only for illumination or representation of
the Fire Element but also to mark the Quarters of a circle and to
represent each element by it's associated color. Green/North/Earth,
Yellow/East/Air, Red/South/Fire, Blue/West/Water. Candles should be
out, never blown. This is so that the Fire Elementals are not
a selection of Candles, Click here.
is normally a three-legged vessel, ideally made of iron and has the
opening smaller than the body of the cauldron. They come in a variety of
sizes and has many different uses.
It can be used to contain a small charcoal fire for burning papers or other ritual
items in spellwork. If you fill it with water it can be a device for
scrying (a form of divination). The Cauldron represents the womb of the
Goddess or fertility. It also signifies transformation since elements
enter it in one state and leave it in another. It is a traditional symbol of the Goddess.
A tool of the west, it is associated with the element of water. For
a selection of Cauldrons, Click here.
is an incense burner used during ritual. There are all manner of
censers. Some are metal and can be hung from chains, others have small
legs to keep the hot bottom off of the ground. Some are wood and hold
incense sticks in the bottom. Most prefer a ceramic or metal bowl type
which can be filled with sand to absorb the heat. Good ones have metal
inserts for burning charcoal. You can use sticks and cones or you can
use raw incense like herbs or resins which ignites on charcoal tablets.
Each type of incense has specific energies depending on the herbs used
to blend it. Incense is chosen specifically for each sabbat or ritual
depending on it's magical properties. For
a selection of Incense Burners, Click here.
is a goblet or cup usually made of silver, glass or pewter used to represent the
female aspect of deity, the Goddess. It's usually filled with a spirited
drink (wine is common) or juice and passed around the circle with the words 'May
you never thirst' for each member to sip from as a bonding experience.
It has many of the same properties as the cauldron (minus the
cooking/burning aspects). It's a tool of the west and associated with
the element water. If using with wine one should take care to use one
which is lined with glass or silver as some metals can be poisonous when
in contact with alcohol. Wedding or bridal shops are a handy place to
find these. Second hand thrift shops also have a few to spare usually.
Just be sure to do a good cleansing ritual on them before putting them
to use. For
a selection of Chalices, Click here.
really tools but many Wiccans like to use them as either representations
of the Earth Element on the altar or to mark the boundaries of their
circle. Each gemstone has differing attributes which can be used for
spell work depending on the need.
See my list of Magical Gemstone Correspondences for more information.
and Goddess Statues
really tools but many Wiccans like to use them as representations of the
God and Goddess on the Altar. The God statue goes on the Right. The Goddess
statue goes on the Left. Some people use candles instead or in addition.
The God's candle is usually Gold and the Goddess' candle is usually
Silver or White. You can also select a general icon of the God or
Goddess (Moon or Sun etc..) if you don't feel an affinity for a specific
Deity. Many people identify with a specific Deity from Celtic, Norse,
Egyptian, Indian, Roman, Greek pantheons and so use statues to honor
them specifically. For
a selection of altar statuary, Click here.
like incense are essential components in magical workings. They can be
burned in ritual or boiled into a potion for various purposes depending
on their attributes. Though not technically a tool, herbs are extremely
useful to have in stock. For
a selection of Herbs, Click here.
See my list of Magical Herbal Correspondences for more information.
like candles are an essential tool. Composed of a combination of herbs,
plants, oils and resins, they are used for purification and meditation.
Incense is associated with the element of air. Different incenses have
different attributes depending on their composition. For
a selection of Incense, Click here.
See my list of Magical Incense Recipes for more information.
to grind herbs to a fine paste for potions, spell workings and in making
your own incense. There are many different types - Stone, Ceramic, Wood
etc.. It's a good idea to use a separate mortar and pestle for magical
and mundane use since some of the herbs used in spell work can be poisonous.
a selection of Mortar and Pestles, Click here.
|Oils, like Incense and Herbs are not technically tools but are essential in magical spell work. Oils have various attributes depending on their herbal composition. They are used to anoint or charge candles and during blessings and purifications. For a selection of Essential Oils, Click here.|
heavy object, often stone or metal, fastened to the end of a strap,
string or chain; It is commonly used for divination or meditation. Small
pendulums are prevalently used in dowsing, radiesthesia, and related
divination systems which once employed diving rods. Questions are so
phrased as to acquire answers by the clockwise and counterclockwise
movements of the pendulums. There are many divination charts you can use
with a pendulum. I recommend Pendulumcharts.com
for printing out free charts. If you are just getting started consider
a selection of Pendulums, Click here.
Pentacle is a symbol of a star encased in a circle. Always with 5 points
(one pointing upward), each has its own meaning. The upward point of the
pentacle star is representative of the spirit. The other four points all
represent an element; earth, air, fire, and water. All the elements and
the spirit are within the circle to symbolize that everything is
connected. Altar Pentacles or Patens, are placed on the altar and may be
used to consecrate various tools and are a point of concentration during
spell casting and other ritual workings. The altar pentacle paten is
associated with the Goddess, North, and the element of Earth. For
a selection of Altar Patens, Click here.
are an ancient Germanic alphabet, used for writing, divination and
magick. They were used throughout northern Europe, Scandinavia, the
British Isles, and Iceland from about 100 B.C.E. to 1600 C.E. Runic
inscriptions of great age have even been found in North America,
supporting stories that the Vikings arrived in the Americas long before
Columbus. Since ancient times, runes have been used for divination and
magic, in addition to writing. The word "rune" actually means
mystery, secret or whisper. Each rune has esoteric meanings and
properties associated with it, beyond its mundane meaning and phonetic
value. Each translates into a word or a phrase signifying concepts
important to the early peoples who used them, representing the forces of
nature and mind. Each rune has a story attached to it, a relationship to
a Norse God. For
a selection of Runes, Click here.
is associated with the element Earth. It's used to cleanse and purify
and is most commonly combined with water in ritual to make saltwater for
consecrating the circle. Some Wiccans use salt to mark the boundaries of
their circle. Coarse Sea Salt is often kept on the altar in a small bowl
or cauldron for cleansing tools of negative energies and as a
representation of the element of earth.
dark mirror, glass ball or black bowl. This is a divination tool used for scrying.
Scrying is an example of the ancient art of clairvoyance. One
concentrates on an object with a reflective surface until visions
appear. The term "scrying" comes from the English word
"descry", which means "to make out dimly" or
"to reveal". The magickal potency of your scrying mirror or
from your focus and intent. You may wish to empower the mirror or bowl with
spells or personal ritual. When using the mirror or bowl for scrying you do not
want to see your reflection. Use an adjustable base or look at it from
an angle. Look into the depths of the mirror or bowl as if you are looking into a
bowl of water. It may turn grey then colors may come and go. With
practice you will see images like still photographs. For
a selection of Scrying Mirrors and Bowls, Click here.
larger version of a Wand, the staff is the sword and wand rolled into
one. As such it is a symbol of both magical knowledge and the right to
petition deities or archetypal powers. The length of the wand depends
upon what feels comfortable to you, but tradition states that it should
be no longer than your forearm. The staff should be at least
shoulder-high and as thick as is comfortable to hold, usually about 1
1/2 inches in diameter. It should be cut during the waxing moon and
allowed to dry out thoroughly at room temperature. You may strip the
bark off of it or leave it on, whichever you prefer. It may be left
natural or stained/varnished/oiled. It is used to direct your
will and magical energies in rituals. The Staff is associated with the
Element of Air and is aligned with the East (although some traditions
hold that the wand is an instrument of fire and aligned with the South).
larger version of an Athame, this is a tool for directing energy and is
never used for cutting or slicing. The sword is more commonly used by
the High Priestess and/or High Priest of a coven, rather than by a
solitary practitioner. Like the Athame, the Sword is a masculine tool
associated with the element of Fire and with the God. For
a selection of Swords, Click here.
tarot is a deck of 78 picture cards that has been used for centuries to
reveal hidden truths. Tarot cards are a favorite method of divination
among Wiccans. They can be used in spell work and meditation too.
If you are looking for a deck of your own take a look at some of these: Goddess Tarot, Golden Dawn Tarot, Gothic Tarot, Lord of the Rings Tarot, Medicine Woman Tarot, Moon Garden Tarot, Old Path Tarot, and of course the Classic Rider-Waite Tarot. More Tarot Decks and be seen by Clicking Here.
made of wood by the person who will use it. This tool is cut during the
waxing moon and allowed to dry out thoroughly at room temperature. You
may strip the bark off of it or leave it on, whichever you prefer. It
may be left natural or stained/varnished/oiled. The length of the wand
depends upon what feels comfortable to you, but tradition states that it
should be no longer than your forearm. Associated with the Element of
Air, it is used to direct your will and magical energy during ritual.
Many wands are fashioned with a stone or crystal at the tip to help
focus energy. For
a selection of Wands, Click here.
|Water (Bowl of)||Water
is a feminine element and serves to cleanse and purify when combined
with salt. It's usually kept in a bowl on the altar's west or left side.