Common Craft Tools
Athame: A ritual blade, usually double edged, with a black or dark handle. The two sides symbolize the God and the Goddess, coming together at the point to join the spiritual and mundane worlds. It is never used to cut anything on the physical plane. This tool is only used to direct energy that is raised during rites and spells . It is most often associated with the element of air and the east quarter, but some associate it with fire and the south. Coven members can share many of the ritual tools, but the athame is always personal. The sword is a larger version of the ritual knife or athame, and stories of magical swords seem to be quite common in mythic literature!
Bells: Often used to invoke directional energies, to ring in the sunrise on a Sabbat, or to invoke the Goddess in ritual. Some believe they can be rung to ward off evil spells and spirits, and good energies or bring good luck. You can place them in cupboards or hang them on a door to guard your home , or ring them in ritual to signal a spell’s beginning or end. Any type of bell can be used.
Besom: A witch’s broom is still used in Wicca today. Some begin rituals by sweeping the energy out of the circle space (indoors or out) before drawing the circle. The bristles do not need to touch the ground. While brushing, simply visualize the broom sweeping the area to purify it for your ritual workings. The broom was traditionally thought to be a powerful tool against curses and practitioners of evil magic. Some believed that laying a broom across the doorway could block any spells sent to the house or to those in it. Some also use the broom to raise energy in a circle. The broom is most often associated with earth and the north, but some traditions link it to air and the east.
Book of Shadows: Also called a BOS, is a witch’s book of spells, rituals and magical lore. It’s your personal magical journal and can be one of your most valuable tools.
Boline or Bolline: A white-handled knife used in magic or ritual. Unlike the Athame, which is only used in ritual, this is a working knife. It may be used to cut wands, cords, sacred herbs, flowers, or to inscribe symbols onto wood, candles or wax.
Candles: Candles are used at most all Wiccan rituals and celebrations. You can place candles on the altar to represent the God and Goddess, to mark the quarters, or simply to help set the mood for something magical. We suggest you keep a good supply on hand at all times. Candles represent fire and the south.
Cauldron: This tool symbolizes the Goddess or feminine aspect of the Divine and the waters of rebirth. The cauldron is an ancient vessel used for cooking and brew making. It is the container in which magical transformations take place. It is also symbolic of the element of Water. Celtic legends about Kerridwen’s cauldron have influenced some Wiccan traditions . The cauldron can also be used as a tool for scrying (gazing) if you fill it with water and stare down into its depths.
Chalice or Cup: A ritual tool, the chalice represents the female principals of creation. It is used to drink from, especially in rituals where feminine symbolism is important. The chalice can be made from most anything. Feel free to use one made from glass, ceramic, wood or metal. The chalice is most often associated with water and the west.
Crystal Sphere: The quartz crystal sphere has been used in Divination since ancient times. Most crystal balls on the market today are glass or plastic. Genuine quartz crystal spheres can be determined by their inclusions or irregularities. Larger crystals are beyond most budgets, as they often retail for several hundred dollars. Small crystals can be effective too. The diviner simply gazes into the ball until images appear in the mind or in the depths of the crystal, revealing the information they are seeking. Some use the crystal ball at Full Moon rituals, and believe that exposure to moonlight can increase its ability to inspire our psychic powers.
Grimoire: A magical workbook containing ritual information, magical properties of natural objects and preparation of ritual equipment. Often used interchangeably with Book of Shadows.
Incense: You can burn herbs, oils, or other aromatic items to scent the air during acts of magic and ritual. Incense purifies the ritual space and you can consecrate items being used in ritual by passing them through the smoke. Any type of incense and censer (burner) can be used in a Wiccan ritual. The incense represents fire and air, as well as south and east.
Pentacle: A circle surrounding a five-pointed, upright star (pentagram). Worn as a symbol of a witch’s beliefs. The five points represent the Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Spirit. This symbol is often worn as a pendant or placed on the Wiccan altar. Some also hang Pentacles over doors and windows to provide protection for those within.
Wand: The wand has been used for thousands of years in both magic and religious rites. This tool is often used to invoke the Goddess and God. It is also used to direct energy, to draw magical symbols on the ground, or even to stir brew in a cauldron. For some Wiccans it represents the element of Air and it’s a symbol of the God or masculine aspect of the Divine. The length and type of wood vary by tradition, so feel free to cut yours as long or as short as you like. You may also want to strip the bark or carve magickal symbols into your wand. The choice is yours.
TIP: Don’t be too concerned if you lack the proper candles, aromas or other suggested tools for magickal work. Focus on sending out positive thoughts and feelings. The words you utter or the tools you use in your magickal rituals, will not affect the results nearly as much as the actual thoughts and feelings you send forth into the Universe.
You won’t fail at magick because you used the wrong color candle or different incense than suggested. Always remember that wands, candles, oils and other items are simply used to help you focus your thoughts and set the mood for magickal activities.
Wicca: A Beginner’s Guide to Earth Magic (Living Wicca Today Book 2)