The Witch’s Tools

Consecrating Your Tools

Consecrating Your Tools


Most magical traditions make use of the familiar magical Elements of Earth, Air, Fire and Water. Some traditions have specific tools which are important to them. There is also a fifth magical element – that of spirit. The simplest consecration that can be made is to offer each of the objects to spirit that they may be used for the best purpose possible. You can specifically dedicate any tool using a short invocation such as:

I dedicate this magical tool to the purpose for which it is intended

You can, of course, be as creative with your speech as you desire. Anything else that is done will be according to the traditions of your own belief.

With all your tools, when you first purchase them or have them made, cleanse them before use, then dedicate them by filling them with your own energy as you did with your altar objects. You might also offer them to your appropriate deity.

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Consecrating Altar Objects

Consecrating Altar Objects

If you are not using completely new objects on your altar – here we are referring to the basic ‘furnishings’ of candle holders etc – you should cleanse them before you dedicate them to your purpose. Treat them in the same way as you would any crystals you use, by soaking them overnight in salt water to remove anyone else’s vibrations and then standing them in sunshine (or moonshine) for at least 12 hours to charge them with the appropriate energy.


When you are ready, hold each object and allow your own energy to flow into it, followed by the energy of your idea of Ultimate Power. (That way you make a very powerful link between yourself, the object and the Ultimate.) Ask this Power to bless the object and any working you may do with it and perceive yourself as truly a medium or channel for the energy.


Hopefully, each time you use any of the objects, you will immediately be able to reinforce that link rather than having to re-establish it. It is like a refrain continually running in the background. Now place the objects on your altar however it feels right for you.


Finally, if appropriate, create and caste your circle so that it includes yourself and your altar. The magic circle defines the ritual area, holds in personal power and shuts out all distractions and negative energies. You now have a sacred space set up which is your link to the powers that be. Again it is a matter of personal choice as to whether you choose to re-dedicate your altar and what it contains on a regular basis

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Dedicating Your Altar

Dedicating Your Altar


Now you have turned your space into an altar, dedicate it in such a way that it will support any workings you may choose to do. One good way is to dedicate it to the principle of the Greater Good – that none may be harmed by anything that you may do. (Remember that traditionally any harm you instigate deliberately will return to you threefold, particularly when it comes from such a sacred space.) It will depend on your basic belief just how you choose to dedicate the altar further, perhaps to the Moon deity and all her manifestations, perhaps to the Gods of power.


Try to put as much passion and energy into the dedication as you can and remember to include a prayer for protection of your sacred space. Some people will need to cast a circle each time they do a working, while others will feel that just by setting the altar up in the way suggested that that space is consecrated henceforth. If you wish to follow the principles of feng shui rather than Wicca within your work, your placings will be slightly different, as they will also be if you choose to follow the tenets of other religions.


However, whatever you do, you should take care to dedicate all of your tools and altar furnishings to the purpose in hand. You are empowering them and making them usable only in ritual and magical work. If you try to use them for any other purpose, you will negate that magical power.

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Setting Up Your Altar

Setting Up Your Altar


To turn your dressed table into a proper altar, you will need as basics the following objects:


1. Two candles with candle holders – you might like to think of one representing the female principle and one the male. You may also choose, in addition, candles of a color suitable for the ritual or spell you are working.


2. An incense holder and incense suitable for the particular working.


3. A representation of the deity or deities you prefer to work with. An image of the Goddess, for instance, could be anything from a statue of the Chinese Goddess of Compassion, Kuan Yin, to seashells, chalices, bowls, or certain stones that symbolize the womb or motherhood.


4. A small vase for flowers or fresh herbs.
Other objects appropriate for ceremonial working are:

• • An athame, which is a sacred knife for ceremonial use; it should never be used for anything else.

• • A white-handled knife (called a boline) for cutting branches, herbs, etc.

• • A burin, which is a sharp-pointed instrument for inscribing magical objects such as candles.

• • A small earthenware or ceramic bowl, or a small cauldron, for mixing ingredients.

• A bowl of water.

• • A bowl of salt or sand, representing Earth.

• • A consecrated cloth, or a pentacle, on which to place dedicated objects.
Some people additionally use bells to summon the powers of the Elements, whilst others have additional candles with the colors representing both themselves and the work they wish to do. You can also have other items on your altar, such as crystals, amulets and talismans.


You can do what you wish with your own altar provided you have thought through very carefully your logical or emotional reasons for including whatever you have there. You might, for instance, choose to have differing representations of the Earth Mother from diverse religions or include a pretty gift to establish a psychic link with the person who gave it to you.

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Ingredients and Tools of the Witch

Ingredients and Tools of the Witch


When performing your spells and magical workings, you will probably find that you tend to use some objects more than others. Below is a list of the ones that are most commonly used.


These is a general term for the objects that you place on your altar – candle holders, flower vases, crystals etc. – which do not necessarily have a specific magical use of their own – they are present to create an ambiance. You should remember to dedicate them to the purpose in hand by presenting them to your chosen deity. Some may prefer to work according to Celtic tradition, Norse, Graeco-Roman or Wiccan.


By tradition, the athame is a ceremonial knife used especially in the performing of spells. It is not used for cutting of herbs and so on: its role is ceremonial – for example, indicating the quarters or directions. By tradition it should be of the best and purest metal available. Its handle is usually black and sometimes carved with magical designs and symbols. Many experienced magical practitioners consider that the most powerful athame is one which has been inherited.


A besom is a different name for a broom, and is particularly associated with the easily recognisable so-called ‘witch’s broom’ of old. A particularly personal tool, it is often made specifically for the practitioner, from twigs from the tree of her choice. It is usually kept specifically to be used in the sacred space or circle – this time for cleansing – and is also used both symbolically and spiritually.


The boline as a knife traditionally used in cutting plants, herbs, wands and other objects for magical workings. It is not the same as the athame which is purely ceremonial, but is akin to the gardener’s pruning knife as a useful, practical tool. It often has a white handle and a curved blade. It is consecrated because this is a way of honouring its purpose.


A burine is a sharp pointed instrument used for inscribing candles and other magical objects with symbols, words and pictures in order to make spells more effective. In many ways, it is more effective than either the boline or the athame and is seen much more as an instrument which pierces a surface rather than cuts it.


Candles are such an integral part of a spell makers work that they have become a whole branch of magic all their own. They represent the element of fire, but also light. As explained in more detail later, various colours bring different things to magical workings and they are an important part of any ritual.


Because cauldrons were easily disguised as cooking utensils in olden days, most people today tend to think of them as a large cast-iron pot. There has lately been a return to original materials and nowadays they can be made of almost anything. They are often of a size that can be stood on the altar, or in the sacred space. They are used mainly as containers for herbs, candles and other magical objects,


Used as a ceremonial drinking vessel, the chalice is sometimes made from precious metal, although it can also be made from glass. An elegant object, the chalice will usually be beautifully decorated with elaborate designs which may have magical significance – or jewels and gemstones.


During spells we often need to write our wishes or aims down and it is good to have some paper ready prepared, Parchment type is best, but heavier good quality is also good. You consecrate it by holding it for a short period in the smoke from your favourite incense.


Traditionally, quill pens were used for writing spells and incantations, but if you can’t find a quill then use the best pen you can afford. Try to keep it especially for magical work and consecrate it by passing it carefully over the top of a candle or through incense. Also buy a good quality ink and, if not already formulated for magical purposes, consecrate that in the same way. Neither pen nor ink should be used for other purposes.


The pentacle is a shallow dish which is usually inscribed with a pentagram – a five-pointed star. It is used as a ‘power point’ for consecrating other objects such as water or wine in a chalice, amulets and tools.


The pestle and mortar are so symbolic of the union of God and Goddess that they deserve a special mention within the use of magical tools. Mainly used to prepare herbal mixtures and incenses they can also become part of your altar furniture when consecrated.


Scrying is the practice of using certain channelling tools which should be consecrated before use – such as crystals, mirrors, coloured water, runes etc – to try to gain an insight into external events. Any object can be used for scrying, though usually they are reflective, and they employ the arts of concentration and contemplation.


The staff is used very frequently by practitioners today, particularly if they are of the Druidic persuasion. Longer than the wand, it has the same attributes and uses. A staff is deliberately fashioned for the practitioner from wood taken from sacred trees, such as oak, hawthorn and hazelnut.


The wand should be no longer than the forearm and is often made from sacred wood. Since this is a very personal object, it should be chosen carefully and equally carefully attuned to your own energies. It cannot be used magically until it has been consecrated.

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WOTC Extra – “Hidden in Plain Sight: Altar Alternatives”


 “Hidden in Plain Sight: Altar Alternatives”


Most Witches like to have an altar, but not every Witch lives someplace where he or she is comfortable having all that magickal stuff right out in plain view. So here is a list of the usual items we witchy types tend to have on our altars, and a few possible, less obviously Pagan substitutes:






You can always put out flowers as an offering and a few colored stones (for the quarters), and no one will be the wiser. After all, you know what they’re for-and so do the gods-and that’s all that really matters.



Everyday Witch A to Z: An Amusing, Inspiring & Informative Guide to the Wonderful World of Witchcraft

Deborah Blake


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Let’s Talk Witch – Your Altar, Of Course


Your Altar, Of Course


They say that home is where the heart is–if so, then a Witch’s home is her altar. That is where your most precious tools live: athame, god and goddess candles, incense, crystals … whatever you use to connect with the gods in your most private rituals.

Your altar is where you go when you are most troubled and in need of help. It is where you go in your greatest moments of joy to give thanks.

You stand at your altar to summon what you want and banish what you don’t, to ask for help and to ask for answers.

What better definition of home could you have?

So tend your altar carefully. Find items that you will treasure, and set them lovingly in their places. You don’t need a lot. One candle or six (god and goddess and the four quarters)-it’s your choice. That one perfect leaf, feather, or rock. As long as it means something to you, your altar is where it belongs.

And your altar is where you belong, too. It is the one place where you can truly be you, with nothing hidden or held back. Laugh, cry, howl, or simply be silent… it’s all good.

So go to your altar often, even if only for a minute or two at a time, and check in with yourself, the gods, and the universe. Ground back to the earth and to your truest self. And don’t forget to dust on occasion, either.



Everyday Witch A to Z: An Amusing, Inspiring & Informative Guide to the Wonderful World of Witchcraft

Deborah Blake


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WOTC Extra – Sample Ritual To Dedicate a Book of Shadows

Veteran's Day Comments

Sample Ritual To Dedicate a Book of Shadows


You can adapt this ritual for any tool or object. Before you begin the ritual, take a moment to compose a short book blessing that you will copy into the book itself during the ritual


Piece of plain white cloth (of natural fibers)

Book, tool, or object to be dedicated

Bowl of salt or soil to represent element of earth

Stick or herbal incense to represent element of air

Censer or heatproof dish (and charcoal tablet if using herbal incense)

Candle and holder to represent element of fire

Bowl of water to represent element of water

A prepared book blessing

Anointing oil (plain olive oil, or a blend of oils for blessing


1. Center and ground. Create sacred space or cast your circle, as you wish. Either is appropriate for this ritual.

2. Invite elemental energy to be present. For example:






Do this for all four elements.

3. Invite the Divine to be present in the form of the Goddess and God. Use the names of specific god-forms if you work regularly with them.

4. Pick up the white cloth and run it over the book’s covers, both inside and out. Run it gently along the edges of the pages. If there are any tags or foreign matter on the book, remove them. In this step you are physically cleansing the book.

5. From the bowl of salt or earth, take a pinch and sprinkle it on the book, saying:





If you wish, you may purify with the remaining three elements, although the salt will suffice.

6. Center and ground again. Hold the book in your hands and open your energy center. Allow your awareness to flow into the book. Feel your energy filling it, and visualize it glowing brighter and brighter. As the glow of your energy permeates it, visualize any other energies clinging to it simply dissolving away. Say:






7. Take the book and touch it with another bit of earth or salt; pass it through the smoke of the incense; let the light cast by the flame of the candle dance across it; and sprinkle it with a few drops of water. As you do so, imagine the energies of each element filling the book with positive energy and the touch of elemental energy that will further consecrate it.

8. Open the book and write your book blessing inside on the first page. Take a touch of oil on your finger and draw whatever symbols of protection and wisdom you desire, if any, on the front and back covers. As you do, charge the book with the positive energy that you and the elements have created.

9. When you are done, thank and release the deities you have invited to be present. Thank and release the elements for their help as well. Dismantle your circle or declare your ritual complete if you have used sacred space. A simple “It is done” can suffice..



Solitary Wicca For Life: Complete Guide to Mastering the Craft on Your Own

Arin Murphy-Hiscock


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