When practising the Craft either through ritual or spell work, various tools are commonly used to assist in directing one’s will. The tools used can represent several different aspects, such as gender, a Deity, season, elements, Sabbats and so on. The use of these tools together in different combinations or in different varieties (e.g. in different colours or scents) is how many rituals and spells are created. Most of these tools I had previously come across before reading about them although I wasn’t entirely sure what they represented or were used for until I read the first guide a good few years ago; the tools are such a big part of Wicca for a practising witch, but it can sometimes be easily overlooked.
I will give a short list of some tools commonly used in ritual and spell craft and a brief description of each, I am not going to include any niche or divination tools (such as tarot and runes) in this list as I’m hoping to go more in depth into these sorts of tools later on.
An altar is any kind of surface you can use to place the rest of your tools onto. Personally, my altar is a small cabinet which was inexpensive made out of cork board with a faux pine finish decorated with a simple altar cloth; this means that I can store my tools underneath while I’m not using it and pull them out easily when I wish to.
A pentagram is a five pointed star which is used as a symbol of worship for Wiccans, the pentacle is simply this star but encircled. The pentacle represents the balance between the five elements and is also used to represent the God and Goddess. It is one of the most essential items to have in ritual or spell craft for Wiccans, these can be worn and/or on the altar.
Chalices, cups or goblets are commonly used in ritual to represent water, the Goddess and feminine energy. Chalices can be ornate or plain, it depends entirely on the person(s) choice. They can be made of just about any material such as glass, metal, china and clay.
Athames are knives/daggers with a black handle. Some witches do not like taking metals into their sacred circle and so will use a knife made of another material such as wood or bone, or not even to use an athame at all and opt for either a wand or their own finger. An athame represents the God and masculine energy.
A wand is a tool that represents male energy and the God. Some Wiccans prefer their wand to be more feminine or to represent the Goddess more and so they go for wands made out of silver or pewter, or out of feminine woods such as willow, apple, cherry or elm. Wands can represent different elements depending on what materials that they are made out of or what carvings they may have along them.
Incense in ritual or spells generally is used to represent air, from the smoke that it gives off. Incense has different uses and genders depending on what type you go for, for example sandalwood is a feminine scent and is used in protection, good luck, success and other spells whereas jasmine is used in love, money, purification and wisdom.
Candles are of the fire element and can represent many different aspects depending on what colour the candle is, gold candles can represent fortune or the God, silver candles can represent the Goddess, pink candles represent romance, red represent passion and love, white candles purification, black candles to banish and so on, and so on. These are only a few of many different colours and uses as many colours have more than one aspect and I hope to go into colours in more depth in a future post.