The Witch’s Tools

WOTC Extra – Preparing Your Altar for Spellwork

Egyptian Comments & Graphics

Preparing Your Altar for Spellwork


Altars have many uses within witchcraft, they can be used in spells, as a way to display the turning of the Wheel of the Year, or just as a place for contemplation and meditation.

Altars can vary in size and form as much as magic practitioners themselves do. They can be a small wooden box containing a few items, right up to a 6 by 4 foot carved oak slab. I’ve seen many altars set up on windowsills, shelves, bedside tables and mantelpieces. Altars also do not need to be in a fixed place, or permanent. Tree stumps make excellent outdoor altars (just be careful with any candles).

The important thing is to stop worrying about how your altar should look, and think about what you actually want an altar for. There are a few things that a lot of altars do include, but an altar is your personal work space, and it should include what you feel necessary, not what anybody else does.

Below are a few things that you typically find on an altar before any spellcrafting is done:

Elemental representations – These can be anything that represent Earth, Air, Fire and Water. These do not have to be anything elaborate it could be, a small crystal or bowl of soil for Earth, a feather or incense for Air, a candle for Fire and a small cup of rain/stream water or a sea shell for Water.

Deity representations – Statues or pictures of a specific Deity. If you are not working with a specific God or Goddess then you may still want to light candles or have representations of general male and female energies.

Seasonal representations – Foliage, flowers and symbols representing the time of year, especially if your altar is set-up to celebrate one of the Wheel of the Year festivals.

Pentacle or Pentagram – Often people put a Pentacle or Pentagram at the centre of their altar. This is often either as a tile or sewn onto an altar cloth. On smaller altars you could paint one on a pebble or shell.

Magical tools and diaries – If people have tools they use for magical purposes, wands, runes, athame, tarot decks, crystals, etc, then they often like to leave these displayed on permanent altar leaving these tools on your altar (especially during a Full Moon) can be a simple way of cleansing them.

This is by no means any kind of definitive list, you can put anything on your altar that you feel has a significant meaning to you. Have fun with it remember that setting up and maintaining your altar after spellwork should be something that you can enjoy, not something to worry about or view as a chore.

Hedge Witchery

Lily Oak

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WOTC Extra Extra – Sending Psychic Messages with a Water Bowl

Gothic Comments

Sending Psychic Messages with a Water Bowl


Since the magical element Water is directly related to the emotions, it makes a wonderful medium for sending psychic messages. One of the great aspects of using a water bowl for psychic communication is that you can actually hold Spirit-to-Spirit conversations with another person ( if the recipient is willing). Because Water is associated with the emotions, conversations of this type will take place at an emotional and spiritual level.


Since Water can be compulsive , you want to be sure to keep your conversations relatively light and happy, the exception being when you are using water bowl communication for self defense (a topic too major to be discussed in this beginner’s book). If you make your water bowl conversations too heavy and compel someone to certain detrimental behaviors without cause, the Universe will hold you responsible by Rules of the Road.


The compulsive quality of Water does, however, make the water bowl a useful means to recover stolen property or unpaid debts, or to banish someone who is harassing you. To use the water bowl for messages:


1. Make a water bowl and be sure that the surface is clear and calm. If it is not, use the techniques discussed previously (by flowing Water around your water bowl) to balance your energies until you get a clear, calm surface.


2. When the bowl is full, stop the inflow and hold the bowl quietly so the Water stays calm. Do not circulate the Water.


3. Get very interested in the person with whom you are communicating, and feel a strong desire to establish communication with them.


4. Put the person’s face clearly in the bowl beneath the surface of the Water. This establishes a direct psycho-spiritual link. If you are having difficulty seeing the person’s face in the water bowl you may shut your eyes.


5. Speak the message to the recipient as though she or he were actually present. Be sure to focus your attention on the message and recipient and nothing else.


6. Since the water bowl forms a two-way link, you are likely to receive a response from the person. The responses you receive may be very different from responses you would get in normal conversation because you are speaking directly to the person’s Spirit, not the person’s mind. The mind rationalizes and justifies while Spirit does not.


7. Repeat the message if you like. This will really get the message across to the person you are communicating with.


8. Once you have completed the message or conversation, disassemble the water bowl being sure to reabsorb all the Water energies.


9. When using a water bowl in these applications, if the Water becomes turbulent, cloudy, or steamy, or if you begin to get a headache or burning eyes, you are pushing Fire into the bowl. Stop looking into the bowl for a moment, rebalance, relax. and restart, staying as level emotionally as possible.


You may want to repeat the water bowl communication for several days in a row, since repetition always improves the rate of reception.



Learn How to Do Witchcraft Rituals and Spells with Your Bare Hands

Alan G. Joel


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WOTC Extra – How to Build A Water Bowl

Gothic Comments


Building a water bowl is a simple procedure. With practice, it will take you only a minute or two to build one. In this section, we give you instructions on how to build a simple water bowl with smooth and calm Water. Once you have learned this procedure, we will teach you how to use a water bowl for other purposes, such as scrying. To build a water bowl:

1. Have a Water Blue color source (something bright blue) available as a reference.

2. Seat yourself so you can rest your elbows comfortably against your sides at or just above your hip bone points with your arms and hands extended horizontally or slightly up angled in front of you and the tips of your fingers interlaced. This results in a “bowl” at about the level of or just above your navel.

High or low bowls will have different effects. Standing, you will only affect the area above and at the level of the arms. If you do a bowl too low or are bent over, it will affect intestinal tract, kidneys, or bladder. If you make one below the waist, it will trigger the body’s mechanism for clearing Water and you will go to the bathroom a lot.

3. Envision or “mock-up” a dry stream bed or ditch descending from the region of your heart into the bowl on the side nearest you. Build a spout right above the heart and allow a stream of Water to flow down the ditch or stream bed into the left side of the bowl. Just see it in your mind’s eye. You can also allow the Water to flow out of the spout directly into the left edge of the bowl. Be sure and look at your Water Blue source as you are flowing Water.

4. You can decorate the bowl on the edges if you so desire with palm trees, birds and flowers. The Water flowing down can be a cascading mountain stream or a fountain-like stream pouring into the corner.

Fill the bowl, which should be a fairly deep bowl, until the Water reaches the edge. As the bowl fills, you will likely have a sense of a rising coolness or pressure in your linked fingertips. Begin reabsorbing the Water by pulling the Water in your hands and up your arms from the bowl’s far side. You don’t need to think about this—your body knows what to do. The goal with reabsorbing the Water— and re-circulating it in later steps— is to develop a smooth surface to on your water bowl.

5. As you absorb the Water energies, re-circulate the Water back out to the spout so you have a continuous flow.

6. If you have alligators in your water bowl and they are dark, leave them alone. If they are healthy and you don’t want them, you can blow them over the edge of the bowl.

7. As you re-circulate your Water, let the turbulent feelings rush out and down the stream bed into the bowl, as with a turbulent stream down a hillside, without concerning yourself about their source. The only goal here is to smooth out the feelings so you can function in your situation at this time. To accomplish this goal, you want to have a clear top surface so continue circulating the Water until it smoothes out.

8. Continue recycling until one of the following occurs:

-The outflowing Water is running smoothly in the streambed (usually takes three to five minutes).

-The outflow stops of its own accord, often with a “chug” feeling. Do not force a restart if this happens! A forced restart may trigger release of an overwhelming amount of suppressed or repressed fear, anger, and grief.

When you stop flowing, either intentionally— having achieved a smooth surface in your water bowl— or because the Water stopped flowing spontaneously, pull all the Water back up into your palms and up your arms. Failing to pull all your Water energies back in may cause you to feel emotionally drained or physically dehydrated.

9. Unlace your hands. You have just completed a water bowl!

You can use the water bowl, as outlined in this procedure, consistently to clear out emotional “junk.” if you do so, you will find that your moods will stablize and you will experience a more peaceful state of being in your daily life. You can also release all forms of stress and tension accumulated during the day, and this technique works especially well if you tend to have trouble sleeping.

Learn How to Do Witchcraft Rituals and Spells with Your Bare Hands

Alan G. Joel

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Let’s Talk Witch – What is a Water Bowl?

Gothic Comments


A water bowl is simply a “bowl” formed by holding your elbows snug against your sides. You lace your fingers together in front of you to form a bowl, and visualize flowing your energetic Water into this bowl. This procedure takes very little time and handles a lot of life’s daily difficulties. It also allows you to accomplish a lot without changing your overall water level, but simply re-circulating it. To make the most of your water bowls, read the following safety cautions until you understand them thoroughly:

-Flow only Water Blue (a bright blue) energy for this exercise. Do not flow dark blue, blue-black, or black.

-Be sure the “bowl” is at or above the level of your navel.

-Do not drop the bowl without first reabsorbing the Water energies in it. If you accidentally drop the water bowl before you have reabsorbed all the Water, it may leave you short of Water which could produce a feeling of being emotionally drained or could cause dehydration. It could also possibly cause diarrhea. Also, keep the bowl level to prevent sloshing.

Learn How to Do Witchcraft Rituals and Spells with Your Bare Hands

Alan G. Joel

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WOTC Extra – Two DIfferent Book of Shadows Blessings

Two DIfferent Book of Shadows Blessings

Book of Shadows Blessings #1

Preparation: At the time of the Full Moon, take your Book of Shadows (one that hasn’t been written in yet) and some incense (pennyroyal, anise or rue) outside.


Ritual: Under the light of the Full Moon, draw a pentagram on the first page and under this write the following information: date, time, place, your magical name (and sigil if you have one), the moon’s phase and any other info you feel is important. Hold the book up to the Moon and say:


Here as the Full Moon shines upon me,

Bless this Book I’ve made tonight.

I humbly ask this of thee,

Underneath your most sacred light.”


Book of Shadows Blessing #2

You can say this blessing over your Book of Shadows:

In the realm of magick this book shall reside.

No one but the chosen shall see what’s inside.

If breath be to Air as passion to Fire,

Let harm come to none, this is my desire.

If life be to Earth as Water to emotions,

This book be filled with magickal potions.

May the Gods protect it, keep it from harm,

And upon it bestow power, magick, and charm.

No one without wisdom shall peer at its pages,

Or the knowledge inside handed down through the ages.

This book be it mine, it harbors no fears.

The knowledge obtained through blood, sweat, and tears,

My Magick’s my passion, the spirit’s my guide.

The book may she bless it with spiritual light.

And let only her children read of its rite.

For those of the Wicca truly can see,

That this is my will, so mote it be.


“The Complete Idiot’s Guide To Wicca and Witchcraft”

by Denise Zimmermann and Katherine A. Gleason

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Let’s Talk WItch – Book of Shadows, Book of Mirrors and Magical Journals

Book of Shadows, Book of Mirrors and Magical Journals


Traditionally, a Book of Shadows was a record of your tradition’s lore. It was written in your own hand, copied directly from the Book of your coven elders. It will contain the structures of rituals, the law and lore of that tradition and must be copied exactly as it is in the original.


These days, it is more commonly used to document everything magical or witchy. All of your research, spells and rituals are recorded and sometimes include dreams and divinations . It has become a term used to describe a Magical Journal rather than what has previously been known as a Book of Shadows.


Many traditional Wiccans object to the modern usage of Book of Shadows and will explain that what you really mean here is a Book of Mirrors or a Magical Journal.


Whatever you call it and however you choose to do it isn’t important. The salient point is that you keep a record of your magical work. In your magical journal you should write spell plans, immediate impressions upon completion and any results you see from the spells. That way if you need to go back and see what worked or didn’t, you have it all there. Writing it while it’s fresh is important. Seemingly unimportant details will be missed if it’s left for a day or a week and minor things will change in your memory . Those little things can have more importance than you realise and could leave you struggling to understand why it worked differently next time.


It can be difficult to remember just how much frankincense you used in an incense if you don’t write it down as you’re doing it— was it one part or one and a half? Did I go to get it and realise that I’d run out and used Copal instead? Were there still a couple of small chunks and I did a mix of both frankincense and copal? There is nothing more frustrating than making the most fabulous incense ever (and I’m sure we all do this at least once) and then not having any idea just what went into it and being completely unable to recreate it.


Dates are crucial. If you’ve set a time frame on your spell how can you be sure when that time is up? I did a money spell that saw us get $ 10,000 from a radio competition. A year to the day later, I received $ 10,000 as part of a settlement payout and a year to the day after that, I received the last $ 26,000 of that settlement. While I’d only really been hoping for the first $ 10,000 at the time, I found it interesting that I received all the other money on the same date for the next two years. I probably wouldn’t have made the connection at all if I hadn’t been looking through my book.


In addition to a magical journal a dream journal is also an important . You can keep a record of your dreams in your magical journal or have it as a separate book if you wish.


There are several different types of dreams and it can be useful to try to recognise them. The first is when your brain is sorting and filing your waking experiences. You may find yourself reliving aspects of your day, even in a somewhat fantastical sense. There are dreams that seem to be normal everyday events or situations but with one aspect rather exaggerated . These are telling you that there is something in those events or situations that you aren’t paying enough attention to. Other dreams are prophetic. Sometimes useful and sometimes not. These are not always clear. Odd crazy dreams where the strangest parts of your brain just come out and play will not make sense no matter how hard you try. I’ve also had dreams of past lives. These dreams I had categorised as odd and crazy until I saw something from my dream clearly on a documentary.


Don’t worry if you can’t remember all of your dream. The points that are the most important will stick with you. Write them down. Even if it’s a few keywords and no cohesive story.


I personally think that Dream Dictionaries are a complete waste of time. Your unconscious mind creates the symbols that appear in dreams and they will differ from person to person.



The Common Sense Spell Book

Debbie Dawson


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WOTC Extra – Common Craft Tools

Fairy Comments & Graphics

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)
Kardia Zoe

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Let’s Talk Witch – Your Magical Tools

Fairy Comments & Graphics

Your Magical Tools

Tools can be helpful in creating a magical life. In Wicca, certain objects are traditionally used in ritual to help invoke the Deities, banish negativity, or direct energy. Your Craft tools can help you create the proper frame of mind or atmosphere for your magical work. They don’t need to be elaborate, but they should be special to you.

To better understand the role your tools play, think back to a time when you dressed up for a job interview or an important social event. What you wore made you feel better about yourself, and thus improved your chances for a successful outcome. You knew that your clothes didn’t really have magical powers, but there was no question that having the right outfit and accessories boosted your self-confidence, and THAT is why these things are important. Magical tools work the same way. They are a part of our rituals because they can help us focus our thoughts and generate the ideal atmosphere to work in.

In the next post, you will find a list of the most common tools and their general uses. While these items are not required to practice Wicca, you may want to collect some of them to enrich your rituals. You can shop for these tools in our Magical Store, or search through antique and second-hand shops for them. Some prefer to make their tools and infuse them with a little of their own energy.

In addition to the standard tools like the athame, cauldron or broom, use tools such as relaxing nature sounds and music, fragrance or aromatherapy, and candles, stones, pendants or even wands, to help you focus your thoughts. Just remember, these are ONLY tools, and not the real source of your power.

Wicca: A Beginner’s Guide to Earth Magic (Living Wicca Today Book 2)
Kardia Zoe

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