Witchcraft tools are like a handyman’s toolkit – these are powerful tools. These magickal tools help witches shape and craft their reality faster and easier.
These often contain magickal symbols that represent the element of air, element of fire, element of water, and element of earth.
I didn’t have any magical equipment when I first started practicing Witchcraft. I trimmed the herbs with kitchen scissors, hung them to dry with rope or ribbon, then ground them with the back of a spoon. More importantly, I still had my energy and my intention.
A witch does not require a large toolbox to perform rituals or cast powerful spells. However, while engaging with magickal forces, tangible tools can assist you in focus, direct energy, and completing chores or rituals more easily.
What equipment do I need to practice Witchcraft?
Although there are many metaphysical shops online or, if you’re lucky, on your local high street, the best magical instruments are ones you build or find in the woods. When selecting equipment, use those that feel personal and appealing to you.
Each item serves a purpose, but not all traditions employ the same tools, and they are not always employed in the same manner. Bells, for example, were initially meant to scare away evil spirits. Still, bells are now rung to invoke the Goddess in some branches of Wicca.
You probably know that if you want to banish negative energy or become a powerful witch, you need to surround yourself with magical symbols, powerful magickal tools and a curved blade, rose quartz stone, as well as many other esoteric tools and spiritual tools that re often associated with
An altar is yet another magical tool even though it contains all the other ritual tools in it. The altar is a raised platform where religious ceremonies are held and offerings are made to a deity or deities. The Goddess and Mother Earth, who rule the wheel of birth-death-rebirth, are associated with the altar.
The altar is situated within a Magic Circle in Wicca and Paganism. It usually faces east or north, depending on the Coven’s tradition and practices. In the Craft, there are no hard and fast guidelines for building an altar. If the ceremonies are held outside, boulders or tree stumps can be used. Indoors, the altar can take the form of a table, a wooden box, or a board resting on boxes or bricks.
Regardless of its shape or materials, the altar should not contain conductive metals such as iron or steel, as these could interfere with the energy of ritual tools made of iron or steel (see witches’ tools). Because many covens gather in homes or apartments with limited space, the altar may not be permanent and may be raised only during ceremonies.
The objects of ritual and worship put on the altar differ depending on the coven’s practices and the rituals to be conducted. They may include an athame (the Witch’s primary magical tool), a white-handled knife, a sword, a wand, candles, a cup or goblet of wine, anointing oils, dishes for salt and water, a necklace with no beginning or end, a censer, bells, scourges, dishes for offering food and drink to the deities, and images of the deities, such as figurines, wax statues, or drawings. A broom and cauldron are placed on either side of the altar if a broom and cauldron are required in rituals.
Blood sacrifice, which is forbidden in Wicca and Paganism, is never performed on the altar.
The body of the high priestess is considered an altar of the sacred powers of life in the Great Rite, which includes actual or symbolic ritual intercourse, echoing back to the ancient connection of the altar to the Mother Goddess.
During the witch hunts, it was believed that the high sorceress or high priestess woman acted as both a living altar and a sacrifice to the Devil on witches’ Sabbats. “On her loins, a Demon celebrated Mass, declared the Credo, and deposited the faithful’s offertory,” historian Jules Michelet writes in Satanism and Witchcraft. The eucharist at these sabbats, according to Michelet, consisted of a cake baked on the altar of the woman: “It was her life, her death, they ate.” The morsel was already infused with the aroma of her burning flesh.”
The Book of Shadows
The Book of Shadows is a book of beliefs, rituals, Witchcraft laws and ethics, herbal and healing lore, incantations, chants, dances, spells, divination methods, rituals, and miscellaneous topics in contemporary Witchcraft and Wicca that serves as a guide for Witches in practicing their Craft and religion.
There is no canonical book of shadows for Witchcraft in general; each tradition may have a standard book of shadows that separate covens may add to or change (see coven). Individual Witches also provide their own personal content. The book is should be kept hidden, but some Witches have made their books of shadows public over the years (see Lady Sheba).
Traditionally, each coven had only one copy, which was maintained by the high priestess or high priest. That rule has proven to be unworkable, and all Witches have their own copy. In the early days of Wicca, a newly initiated Witch reproduced the coven’s master copy in her or his own handwriting, retained by the high priestess or high priest and added additional content as inspired. Many shadow books are now preserved on computers.
Material is distributed based on the Witch’s place in the hierarchy. More information is offered as a Witch grows in ability and in the hierarchy — the most typical system is one of three degrees. If a Witch leaves the coven, he or she cannot keep the book of shadows.
Gerald B. Gardner, widely regarded as the “Father of Modern Witchcraft,” stated that when he was initiated into his coven in 1939, he received an incomplete book of shadows depicting the coven’s putative historical tradition. Gardner, who believed Margaret Alice Murray’s theories about an uninterrupted tradition of Witchcraft as a religion since ancient times, said his coven was part of this legacy. Murray’s hypotheses were ultimately proven to be false, and Gardner’s assertion of an ancient Witch religion vanished.
For decades, the true origins of his book of shadows have been debated. Such books are unlikely to have existed in earlier times, as folk Magic was mainly passed down verbally down the generations.
Gardner wrote some rituals down in an unpublished work called Ye Bok of ye Art Magical and published some rituals supposedly derived from his book of shadows in a pseudonymous fiction called High Magic’s Aid (1949). He drew from a range of sources, including Murray, The Greater Key of Solomon (a magical GRIMOIRE), James G. Frazer, Robert Graves, Charles Leland’s Aradia legend, different classicists, Aleister Crowley, Rosicrucianism, Freemasonry, and the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, and others. The majority of this material, to which Gardner most certainly made his own contributions, was most likely compiled between 1947 and 1950.
Gardner met Doreen Valiente in 1952 and initiated her into his coven in 1953. Valiente, a good writer with a lyrical flair, assisted him in revising the rituals and writing new ones; she acknowledged the book as a result of a lengthy witchcraft tradition but opposed to the Crowley material and eliminated most of it, replacing it with simpler terminology, including her own poetry. She also emphasized the Goddess more. By the mid-1950s, it is estimated that she had contributed up to half of the book of shadows.
Gardner and Valiente split up in 1957, and Gardner reworked the book of shadows on his own. He passed away in 1964. When Gardnerian Witchcraft was spread to other nations, including as the United States, the Book of Shadows served as a guide and rule book.
Whatever its origins, the Book of Shadows is a living text in modern Witchcraft. It represents the practices and beliefs of each unique coven, as well as the individual Witch’s interests or skills. It can be a living collection of knowledge, with additions made as needed.
Upon death, a Witch’s book of shadows is destroyed, according to tradition. On the other hand, Gardner’s original book of shadows was given to Valiente after his death. Other shadow books are passed down as souvenirs and historical documents.
The candle is a popular and powerful tool in any witchy arsenal. Candles have long been used in religious worship, magic, and mythology. Candlelight repels negative spirits while attracting positive ones. They are fealty sacrifices to a deity in the liturgy. Candles are used in a variety of rituals and spells in magic.
Beeswax candles were used as early as 3000 BCE in Egypt and Crete. Around the third century C.E., Egyptians employed lamps and possibly candles in a magical ceremony for “dreaming true,” or obtaining answers from dreams. The person went into a dark cave facing south and stared into a flame till he saw a god. He then lay down and fell asleep, hoping that the deity would emerge in his dreams and provide him with the answers he sought.
Candles and lamps were employed in religious observances by ancient pagans, a practice that the Roman Christian scholar Tertullian (about 200) passionately condemned as “the pointless lighting of lamps at noonday.” Candles and lamps were used in Christian rituals by the fourth century, although candles were not put on church altars until the late Middle Ages.
The Catholic Church established the use of consecrated holy lights in blessing and absolving sins rituals, as well as exorcising Demons (see exorcism). Holy candles were used by medieval farmers to safeguard their cattle from harm and bewitchment. During the Inquisition, inquisitors’ handbooks, such as the Malleus Maleficarum (1486), listed holy lights as one of the sanctified articles “for guarding oneself against the injury of witches.”
During the witch hunts, witches were thought to light candles at their Sabbats as an act of fealty to the Devil, who was frequently shown as wearing a lit candle between his horns. The witches ignited their candles from the Devil’s candle, which he periodically lit and delivered to his followers. Witches often lit candles in the faggots of their brooms and rode them through the air to their sabbats.
It was thought that witches used holy lights in a sinister way to cast curses on people. “It hath oft been reported that witches, by reciting of the Paternoster and dropping of the holy flame in a man’s steps whom they loathed, hath done his feet rotten of,” according to an English classic, Dives and Pauper (1536).
Consecrated white candles are set on altars and at the four quarters of a Magic CIRCLE in modern Witchcraft. Candles are put at the points of a pentagram if a ceremony requires it (see pentacle and pentagram). In all religious ceremonies, candles are lit. Colored candles are employed in magical spells, with each color having its own vibration, attribute, symbolism, and influence.
A cauldron is typically an iron pot, and it is a tool used by witches and sorcerers (see sorcery). The cauldron was the vessel in which POISONS, ointments, and philters were produced in European witch. Wiccans may own cauldrons, but they are only used for burning fires and incense in rituals or as decorative items in the home. When used in rituals, the cauldron is placed inside the Magic circle on the witches’ altar. As a vessel, it is a feminine emblem associated with the Mother Goddess’ womb.
Throughout antiquity, the cauldron has held magical importance. During a feast, magical cauldrons never ran out of food, according to Irish folklore. Cauldrons were associated with fertility, abundance, and the resurrection of the dead by the early Celts.
A cauldron is used in gypsy ritual tools as well as one of the most basic magic tools across all traditions.
Cauldrons were employed in human sacrifice, with victims having their throats sliced over them, drowning or suffocating in them. The Cauldron of Regeneration, the container of souls and the source of inspiration, is connected with the Celtic goddesses Cerridwen and Branwen, as well as the Babylonian fate-goddess Siris, who churned the mead of regeneration in the heavens’ cauldron. Cerridwen’s cauldron was thought to produce wisdom and inspiration mead.
The priestess of the Moon goddess was supposed to sacrifice human victims by chopping off their heads over a silver kettle among the Celts. The blood was cooked to create a magical inspiration drink. Cernunnos, the Celtic god associated with the Horned God, was torn apart and boiled in a cauldron in order to be reborn.
The Gundestrup cauldron, made of silver around 100 BCE and unearthed from a peat bog in Gundestrup, Denmark, depicts victims being thrown headfirst into a sacrifice pot. Some shamanic traditions include sacrificial cauldrons. Odin, the patriarch deity in Norse mythology, drank magical blood from a cauldron of wisdom to gain divine power. Medea, the witch goddess of Greek mythology, could restore humans to youth in a magical cauldron. The cauldron is associated with the chalice of the Holy Grail, which became a part of Christian mythology.
In medieval art, literature, and folklore, the cauldron was always put over a roaring fire in every witch’s home. During the witch hunts, it was believed that witches made nasty concoctions from components such as bat’s blood, decapitated and flayed toads, snakes, and baby fat. Witches made flying ointments and drugs in cauldrons before Sabbat. They frequently brought their pots to their Sabbats, where they boiled little children for the feast.
Witches may produce storms at sea by emptying their cauldrons into the sea (see STORM raising). One of the more unusual cauldrons purportedly belonged to Lady Alice Kyteler, an accused 14th-century Irish witch. Lady Alice allegedly mixed her poisons and potions in the skull of a beheaded thief.
A 14th-century Scottish magician was executed in a cauldron, according to one story with an ironic twist. William Lord Soulis, regarded as a pernicious sorcerer and practitioner of “the most wicked sorceries,” was sentenced to death in a cauldron for a variety of heinous actions (see Hermitage Castle). The cauldron was also an important instrument in the alchemist’s hunt for formulas to turn lead into gold or silver, and to shape little jewels into large ones.
Mirrors are used in Wiccan rituals and are a common symbol of clairvoyance not only in pagan rituals but also across many other ceremonial magic traditions. Crystallomancy or catoptromancy, which is conducted with a magic mirror, is one of the oldest types of divination. Mirrors are reported to have been employed by Persia’s magi, as well as the ancient Greeks and Romans. The witches of Thessaly wrote their oracles in human blood on mirrors in ancient Greece. Pythagoras is said to have learned how to divine from Thessalian witches who held a magical mirror up to the moon. Specularii were Romans who were proficient in reading mirrors.
Mirrors, according to legend, reflect the soul and must be believed lest the soul be lost. These worries are manifested in superstitious practices such as covering mirrors in a house after death to prevent the souls of the living from being carried away by the ghost of the recently deceased; and removing mirrors from a sickroom because the soul is more vulnerable during illness (see ghosts, Hauntings, And Witchcraft).
Another myth is that if one looks into a mirror at night, one will see the Devil. Mirrors, according to Russian tradition, are the Devil’s invention, with the ability to draw souls from bodies. To keep witches at bay, the Aztecs employed mirror-like surfaces. In the entryway of residences, a bowl of water with a knife was placed. When a witch looked into it, she would see her soul pierced by the knife and escape. Witches, according to another myth, do not have souls and hence, like vampires, do not have reflections in mirrors.
To perceive the past, present, and future, medieval and Renaissance magicians frequently employed mirrors, basins of water, polished stones, and crystals for divination. Mirrors were commonly used by Village Wizards to detect criminals. Whatever the reason, the magicians would stare into the polished surface until they were lulled into light trances and saw visions that answered the questions posed to them. In the 16th century, England’s royal court magician, John Dee, used a crystal egg as well as a mirror made of polished black obsidian, which Cortés allegedly took from Mexico. Cagliostro, like the legendary 16th-century magician Agrippa, employed mirrors.
According to folklore, in 1525, Cartaphilus, the Wandering Jew, asked Agrippa to create a vision of his dead childhood sweetheart in his mirror. Agrippa urged the guy to count down the decades since the girl died, waving his magic wand after each count. Cartaphilus continued to count long after the girl died. Agrippa felt dizzy at 149 but ordered him to keep counting. Finally, at the age of 1,150, a vision of the girl appeared in ancient Palestine. In defiance of Agrippa’s warnings, Cartaphilus shouted out to her, and the image vanished. Cartaphilus passed out. Later, he revealed to Agrippa that he was the Jew who had struck Christ while he was carrying the cross and was sentenced to walk the globe.
Magic mirrors were believed in and employed by the European aristocracy. Catherine de’ medici, a strong believer in the occult arts, possessed a mirror that predicted France’s destiny. Henri IV similarly used a magic mirror to uncover political conspiracies against him.
Albertus Magnus, a medieval magician, described a recipe for producing a magic mirror: buy a looking glass and inscribe it “S. Solam S. Tattler S. Echogordner Gematur.” Bury it at a crossroad at an inconvenient hour. On the third day, return to the same location at the same time and dig it up—but don’t be the first person to look in the mirror. In fact, according to Magnus, it is preferable to let a dog or a cat have the initial look.
A Witch’s personal, magical knife, usually double-bladed with a black hilt and made of steel or iron. Magnetization of the blade is possible. Witches were thought to utilize magical blades in the Middle Ages.
The athame, according to Gardnerian tradition, is exclusively used for ritual purposes, like as casting the magic circle and never for cutting. In some cultures, the knife is used to cast and cut in the notion that its power grows with usage. In some rituals, the athame is dipped into a cup filled with juice or wine, symbolizing the union of male and female forces (see Great Rite).
The element of fire is related to the athame (in some traditions, with air). It is interchangeable with the sword in some traditions.
Metal is never used in ritual instruments by some hereditary Witches in England because it interferes with energy in the earth. As a result, athame blades are made of flint.
Some Witches cut and inscribe with a white-hilted knife. Knives are never used for sacrifices, which are prohibited.
Before rituals, a small dish or container is used to burn incense, herbs, chemicals, wood, or other substances to cleanse and purify the air. Censing, which represents the element of air, exorcises and keeps bad energies away from the magical place; provides delicious air to Goddess and God; increases vibrational rates and summons energies; calms the senses, and contains and focuses power. The formulas utilized are determined by the ritual’s goal. The burning of incense as a form of protection and offering is an ancient religious practice that can be found all over the world.
A cup (also chalice, goblet).
The cup represents the universe’s female forces: fertility, beauty, the womb, earth, emotion, love, compassion, receptivity, instinct, intuition, and the subconscious mind. It is a spiritual force receptacle. It is linked to the element of water. When held upright, the cup represents an open womb ready to receive. When held inverted, it represents both birth and realization. The cup holds consecrated water or wine, which is used in rituals or shared among coveners (see Coven).
The pentacle, a sign of the earth, is a disk or square of metal (typically copper or silver), wax, baked clay, earthenware, or wood carved with Craft symbols. It is commonly connected with feminine energy. It is used to ground energy and to serve food at the end of a coven’s working session, among other things.
Some covens share a single sword for the entire group, therefore not all Witches utilize a sword. The sword, like the athame, is used for ritual purposes like casting the circle but not for cutting. It is thought to be more authoritative than the athame. The element fire is related to the sword (in some traditions, with air). Gardner made his own swords.
A wand is a tool used to summon spirits. It signifies the element of fire (or, in some traditions, air) and represents the Witch’s life force. The wand is described in the Bible and dates back to primordial times; both Moses and Aaron use rods to bring the plague to Egypt. Hermes, the Greek god of wisdom and healing, is portrayed by a caduceus, a wand intertwined with snakes and winged at the top.
Hazel has long been thought to be the best wood for wands, followed by ash, rowan, and willow; a length of 18 inches is regarded ideal. When the moon is waxing or full, the timber should be cut. Tipped phallic wands are utilized in certain Witchcraft rituals. Wands made of crystal, silver, carved ivory or ebony, and gold are used by some witches. A wand can be used to cast magic circles in some instances.
Silk, other natural fabrics, or nylon cords are commonly employed in the Gardnerian and Alexandrian traditions. A single, nine-foot red cord is used in the initiation of a Witch into the Craft (see Initiation). Witches knot ropes in magic work, either singly or in groups, while chanting a spell (see knots; spells). The knots are made in specific patterns or sequences and are left knotted until the perfect moment for untying arrives, at which point the magic energy is released and the spell is affected. For many spells, a color system is used. Cords are also used to bind areas of the body to restrict blood circulation in order to achieve an altered state of awareness and increase psychic strength.
Beads of prayer
Pagan prayer beads are necklaces or strands of colored beads, each representing a different prayer. They are used in the same way that meditation beads or rosaries are.
In the Gardnerian and Alexandrian traditions, light beating with a scourge made of knotted strands of silk or other light materials is done. Gardner used it in Initiations to represent the need to learn through pain and as a technique to increase psychic power and attain “the Sight” (clairvoyance). Gardner claims that scourging excites both the body and the soul while allowing one to retain control over the force raised for the latter purpose. The scourging should be vigorous enough to pull blood to that portion of the body and away from the brain, but not strong enough to break the skin. It causes drowsiness if done for a long enough period of time.
Scourging is no longer popular among many Witches, and several covens have abandoned the practice. Others use a mild scourge.