Tools are very important to a Witch. To practice the magickal arts, you may want to obtain at least a few of these items. Keep in mind that you don't have to purchase the most expensive tool you find, only that the tool “feels” right to you. Remember that you are a solitary and you wont be casting spells or doing rituals in front of a bunch of people. So there is no need to worry about what your tools “look” like. You can get tools almost anywhere including thrift shops and even in the woods. We will start with...
The Witches Wand
The wand represents the air element and is one of the most important magickal tools you will need. On an altar, it should be placed at the east. It is used (for example) to call the Goddess and the God, for invocation rituals, for circle casting and sometimes used to direct energy. You can find a great wand by simply taking a walk in the woods and the wand can be any size or shape. Once you have found one, you can decorate it any way you like. If you pick from a tree, remember to thank the tree!
This is an incense burner and also represents the air element. This is also placed at the east on an altar. Incense burners can be purchased almost anywhere and are relatively cheap. If you don't have the money to buy one, you can always use a small bowl with sea salt or sand in it. This absorbs the heat and will keep the bowl from cracking. (sea salt can be purchased at your grocery store somewhere next to the regular salt. I got mine for around 50 cents.)
This is a pot that should be made of cast iron. It represents the water element. Smaller cauldrons are normally placed on the west side of an altar. You can fill it with water, flowers or any other item you wish to sacrifice to the God or Goddess. (notice I said “items”, NOT people or animals!! If that’s the sort of thing you're looking to do, you are at the wrong website as this is NOT something that is practiced by Witches!) It is also used for mixing witches brews, scrying or even burning paper with spells written on it. My husband bought me a small one for around 20 dollars at a local magick shop.
Magickal Knife or Athame
The athame represents the fire element and is normally placed on the south side of an altar. It is normally double edged and most people prefer a small one. Mine is small enough to fit in the palm of my hand. The athame is never used for cutting, but is used for directing energy during spells or rituals. A good example of its use is cutting an imaginary opening after or before a circle has been cast, either to leave the circle or to enter a circle. You can find athame’s at thrift shops or at your local hardware store. Letter openers also make a fine athame! I think mine cost around 7 dollars.
This is a cup and also represents the water element. It is normally placed on the west side of an altar. The chalice is simply a cauldron on a stem. It is used to hold water and even ritual beverages such as wine or even apple cider. This is another easy item to obtain. It can be made of silver, brass, gold, earthenware, crystal or even glass. The best place to buy one if your on a budget is the Dollar Store. They normally have a nice selection of glass wine goblets.
The pentacle is a symbol of protection for a witch and is by far one of the most important tools. It is normally placed in the middle of an altar, or, can be placed on the north side of an altar. It represents the earth element. It can be made of brass, gold, silver, wood, glass, wax or clay. You can place amulets, charms or other objects to be ritually consecrated on top of it. It is also sometimes used to summon the Gods and Goddesses. If you are on a budget, you can make one out of clay and have it fired. Ask your local hobby shop to recommend a good ceramic shop. (I've heard this is cheap, probably around 2 dollars.)
As you collect each tool, prepare them for charging with your own energies. If you purchased any from a thrift store, you must strip it of its old energies. You never know what someone else may have used it for!!
I want to take a moment and comment about the placement of your altar tools. There is no right or wrong way to place them, you simply put them where you "feel" they should go. In all actuality, you don't really need to have tools but if your a beginner then you may feel more comfortable using them until you are more experienced and can do a spell anywhere at any time without them.
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