The Working Tools
by the Farrar’s
There are no magical supply shops, so unless you are lucky enough to be given or sold tools, a poor witch must extemporise. But when made you should be able to borrow or obtain an Athame. So having made your circle, erect an altar. Any small table or chest will do. There must be fire on it (a candle will suffice) and your book. For good results incense is best if you can get it, but coals in a chafing dish burning sweet-smelling herbs will do. A cup if you would have cakes and wine and a platter with the signs drawn into same in ink, showing a pentacle. A scourge is easily made (note, the scourge has eight tails
and five knots in each tail). Get a white-hilted knife and a wand (a sword is not necessary). Cut the marks with Athame. Purify everything, then consecrate your tools in proper form and ever be properly prepared. But ever remember, magical operations are useless unless the mind can be brought to the proper attitude, keyed to the utmost pitch.
Affirmations must be made clearly and the mind should be inflamed with desire. With this frenzy of will you may do as much with simple tools as with the most complete set. But good and especially ancient tools have their own aura. They do help to bring about that reverential spirit, the desire to learn and develop your powers. For this reason witches ever try to obtain tools from sorcerers, who being skilled men make good tools and consecrate them well, giving them mighty power. But a great witch’s tools also gain much power; and you should ever strive to make any tools you manufacture of the finest materials you can obtain, to the end that they may absorb your power the more easily. And of course if you may inherit or obtain another witch’s tools, power will flow from them.
Book of Shadows
The Book of Shadows is the workbook of the witch. In it is recorded: Rituals guidelines, Invocations, Spells, Runes, Rules of a particular Coven or Tradition, Symbols, Poems, Chants, and anything else of use to the witch during ritual.
Traditionally the Book of Shadows was always hand written by the individual. A common custom was for new initiates into a Coven, is to hand copy his teacher’s Book of Shadows exactly as it appeared, then later to add his own material as he progressed in the craft. Today with the advantages of technology, they are often typed, photocopied, and even computerized onto Floppy Disc’s.
To make your own Book of Shadows, you can use any form of blank book, but perhaps the best to use are those of a loose-leave nature, thus allowing pages to be shuffled around when preparing for rituals.
The athame is the traditional ritual dagger of the witch. Commonly it has a black handle and steel – double-edged blade. Many Wiccans engrave the handle or blade with magickal symbols indicative of deities, spirits, or the elements as sources of power.
The athame is a tool of command; used to direct what power we pass through it. It is used to cast circles by tracing the circumference, to charge and consecrate objects and banish negative energies. In most traditions, the Athame is never used as a mundane knife for cutting purposes etc., being used strictly of magickal purposes only.
The athame is one of the elemental tools of the craft, and in most traditions it is associated with the elements of Fire, in others it is associated with Air. The phallic symbolism of the knife links it with the God.
The bell is a ritual tool of invocation and banishment. The bell is a feminine symbol of the creative force, that of the Goddess. The bell can be rung to indicate the start of a rite by banishing negative influences before the ritual begins. Often it is used to invoke the Goddess during ritual, or sounded at the four quarters to call forth such spirits as the Watchers and Elementals.
Bells can be used to guard the home by warding off evil spells and spirits, or evoking good energies when placed in cupboards or hung on doors. Hung from a cord, the bell symbolizes the human soul suspended between heaven and earth.
Broom or Besom
The broom is a ritual tool of the witch, sacred to both Goddess and the God. The God – through its symbolic phallic shape, The Goddess – through its three- piece make up, the stick, brush and binding cord being symbolic of the triformis aspect of the Goddess.
Traditionally the broom was made from three different woods. Ash for the handle, Birch twigs for the brush and Willow for the binding cord. Ash is protective and has command over the four elements. Birch is purifying and draws spirits to one’s service. Willow is sacred to the Goddess.
The broom is used for a variety of purposes. Generally, the broom is used to purify and protect. It is used to ritually cleanse an area before magick is performed, by symbolically sweeping away negative energies and astral build up. It is used to guard the home and persons within against psychic attack or evil curses, by placing the broom across the threshold, windowsills and doorways. Also place it under the bed or a pillow to protect the sleeper.
Traditionally and perhaps the use which most people identify it with, are the old wedding ceremonies of the Gypsies and the early American slaves, where a couple leapt over the broom to ensure fertility, domestic harmony and longevity. Today, pagan hand-fasting rituals often include a broom jump.
The Witches’ broom is as much a part of the Craft as the pointed hat or cauldron. Once charged with magical intent, the Witches’ broom, or besom, can serve many purposes. It can direct energy like a wand or athame. You can even cast a circle with it. And as we’ll see here, it is perfect for protecting the home. First pluck three straws from your broom and light them like a candle. Carry them through your home like a smudge stick to clear out any negativity. For protection, sprinkle some salt near your front door, then sweep the salt away from your home. To bless a new home, anoint the tips of the bristles with a bit of honey and sweep your front porch. And if a grouch has just left your home, sprinkle some ground cloves at your front door, grab your trusty broom, and sweep his energy away.
The cauldron is probably the tool most associated with witchcraft and is steeped in magickal tradition and mystery. The cauldron is the container in which transmutation, germination, and transformations may occur. It is symbolic of the womb of the Goddess, and is the manifested essence of femininity and fertility. Everything is born from the cauldron of the Goddess and everything returns back to it. It is also symbolic of the elements of Water, reincarnation, immortality, and inspiration.
In ritual the cauldron is used as a container for making brews and potions, or to contain a small fire for the use with spells. It can also be used for scrying (divination) by filling it with water and gazing into its depths.
In ancient times the cauldron was used as a cooking vessel and for brew making. Traditionally it was made from cast iron, resting on three legs and has an opening smaller than its widest part. Cauldrons were made in many sizes but can be difficult find, so you will need to persevere if you want one.
Can be either a heavy string used in binding & releasing magick, or it can refer to the piece of apparel circling the magician’s waist. In many covens and magickal lodges, the color of the cord indicates the wearer’s degree of attainment.
Another Tradition says that cords are of importance in initiate groups, in which cords often symbolize the bond of love and responsibi1ity shared by the members. Cords are also used in some initiation rites. Cords can certainly be used by the Solitary wiccan, but needn’t be constantly on the altar. The cords are truly tools of coven working.
The pentacle is a traditional tool of the craft. Originally, it is thought, adopted from ceremonial magic? It is usually a round solid disc often made from stone, wood, or cooper. On the disc is engraved or painted the five pointed star (Pentagram), inside a circle. In some traditions other symbols are added indicative of deities, spirits, or the elements as sources of power.
The pentacle is normally the centerpiece on the altar. Objects are placed on it to be consecrated or charged. Such things as amulets, charms and tools are placed on it, as is the salt and water for blessing.
The pentacle is one of the elemental tools of the craft, and represents the elements of Earth. It is sometimes used to summon the Gods and Goddesses.
The Chalice or Cup
The Chalice is one of the four elemental tools of witchcraft and represents the elements of Water. It is a symbol of containment and often represents the womb of the Goddess. The base is symbolic of the material world, the stem symbolizes the connection between man and spirit and the rim or opening symbolically receives spiritual energy.
The chalice can be made of any material, in times of old – Horns, Shells and Gourds were used to hold sacred liquids during ritual, and then in later times -Silver became the preferred material, having long been associated with the moon and the Goddess. The chalice is used to hold the blessed water and wine during ritual. It is traditional in many covens to pass the chalice around all members, who then take a drink as a token of unity.
The censer is an incense burner used to contain burning incense during ritual. Any type of censer can be used, even a simple bowl filled with sand will do. The censer represents the elements of Air and is normally placed before or beside the images of the Goddess and God on the altar.
The wand is one of the prime magical tools of the witch. Traditionally the wand was made from the wood of a sacred tree. These include the Willow, Elder, Oak, Apple, Peach, Hazel and Cherry, to mention just a few. Its length should approximate the crook of the elbow to the middle of the index finger. These days many modern materials are used instead, and even tipped with crystals and gems.
The wand is a tool of invocation, used to evoke Gods, Goddesses and Spirits. It is also used to bestow blessings, charge objects and draw down the moon during ritual.
The wand is one of the elemental tools of the craft and in most traditions represents the elements of Air, for other traditions it represents the elements of Fire.
White-Handled Knife or Boline
The Boline or White-Handled knife as it is now known, is the practical knife of the craft. Traditionally it was used to harvest herbs and had a blade in the form of a small sickle. Today it is normally a mundane knife used for cutting and carving. It has a white handle to differentiate it from the Athame, which has a black handle and is used only for magickal purposes. The boline is used to cut wands and herbs, to mark and carve candles with symbols and to cut cords for use in magick. Any other ritual function requiring the use of a knife, such as cutting flowers for the altar, can be performed with the boline.
Also called a Crystal Ball. Most crystal balls on the market today are made of glass, leaded glass, or even plastic. Genuine quartz crystal spheres can be determined by their high prices and inclusions or irregularities. The crystal has long been used in contemplative divination. The diviner gazes into the ball until the psychic faculties blossom and images seen in the mind or projected by it into the depths of the crystal reveal the necessary information. Its shape is Goddess symbolic, and its icy cold temperature is
symbolic of the depths of the sea, the Goddess’ domain.
Make your own Crystal Ball
Use a clear glass filled to the brim with water, seat it on a piece of black velvet, in a low lighted area – like a single candle placed behind you, so as not to reflect too much light onto the glass itself. You can use incense to set the atmosphere (Stands are usually preferred when using balls).
Learn to gaze, not stare into the glass of water. Do not be afraid to blink your eyes, just relax. Breathe deeply; inhaling fully and exhaling fully. Do not try and picture anything while you are doing this – and do not gaze for too long – not more than ten minutes, maybe push it to fifteen, no longer. If nothing happens, do not give up, just put it away and try again another time. You will eventually see a picture within the glass, maybe with a foggy like smoke that will fill the glass as well, maybe not. Most see moving pictures.
What you see may be symbolic – interpreting can be a problem, you must read into what it is you are seeing. Like for instance, the dog was running through the woods and came to a split – the person you are reading will soon have a decision to make, something like that. We are going back to that dream interpretation conversation of many moons ago. I would suggest meditating before you gaze on what it is you are wanting to know, then fix your gaze with NOTHING on your mind. After readings begin to be seen, you could gaze for half an hour, but I wouldn’t recommend any longer. It is draining.
After you have figured out if this is for you, you can purchase a ball – chose a comfortable size. The larger they are the greater the chance of an imperfection. The material can be anything that is clear enough to view in- glass, quartz, amethyst or even rose quartz can be used. Be careful not to scratch them.
Once you perfect this art then the imperfections are not as important. Every full moon it should be washed and dried and exposed to moonlight. Never expose it to sunlight. If you choose one of quartz it will emit energy as all minerals do which may help in your readings. It is kind of like the 3D pictures, once you see it, you wonder why you never could before.
You can make smudge sticks out of other herbs besides Sage. You take the herbs when they are still fresh and bind them with cotton twine or string(must be cotton as synthetics will melt and give off possibly toxic fumes). You’ll want to use branches that are about 6 to 8 inches long and when you wrap them do so in a criss-cross manner to make a stick. Once you have a nice tightly wrapped stick wrap the string tightly around the base several times and then give it a nice tight knot. You then want to hang the bundle in a nice dry place so it can dry and won’t get moldy. Make sure your stick is nice and dry before using it.
Using already dried herbs can be difficult since they will crumble when you wrap them.
Some herbs I’ve heard being used in smudge sticks are rosemary, pinon, pine, juniper, cedar, mugwort,
sweetgrass, lavender, copal, vervain, peppermint, St. John’s wort, hyssop, of course sage, or a mixture.
Mini Altar Pouch
Tools for pouch
Coin with a pentagram etched into it- pantame or altar pentagram
Shell- Represents the Goddess
Small piece of Antler horn- Represents the God
2 small candles- altar candles
Ground up herbs for incense (or a stick/cone)
Sea Salt- for purification
Small bottle of oil – for anointing
9 ft cord
Small finger bowl
Small stone that is small, smooth and round to represent Earth
Small Feather – Color of your choice (white or yellowish is best) to
Small candle to represent Fire
Small amount of Ash to represent Spirit
Small vessel of pure water to represent Water
You may add gifts of your choice to give to the God and Goddess or the spirits.
Consecration of the pouch
Present filled pouch to all four elements (air, fire, water, and earth) and say:
Blessed be by the spirits of East,
Blessed be by the spirits of South,
Blessed be by the spirits of West,
Blessed be by the spirits of North.
Bless the pouch by touching it on each element. Always start in the East for a gesture of power by tracing a crescent moon or a pentagram on it. Once this is completed say:
O Great (Deity names) bless and empower this pouch and all this is within it. Making it a bridge to power, I am linked to thee and you are linked to nature. We are 1 from 3, we are the triangle manifest in the names of (Deities). So be it done!!!!
This is a larger version of this which I created. The list is not set in concrete. You do not need every item or you can exchange them. Remember, the most powerful tool a witch has is their mind. As we can only perceive reality, we can bend it by changing states of consciousness. The universe is like a web, we can change the strands, and we can even break them with our magick. Be careful of what you do. Before every magickal working ask yourself:
‘Do I dare disturb the fragile energies of the universe?’
In The Closet?
If you have to keep your magickal practices quiet, here are some ways to work magick that are more subtle:
*Incorporate angels in your decorating scheme. Most people don’t question the positive energy of angels.
*Sew herbs into the lining of drapes or place under rugs.
*Draw protective sigils on the back of floor mats.
*Slip stick incense into drinking straws. Keep the straws in their original box.
*Convert a bread box to store magickal tools or notes.
*Use trial-size products, use the contents, then convert them for storage of oils, powdered incense or holy water.
*Draw a magickal symbol for abundance beside each deposit entry in your checkbook.
*Mist ironable clothing with empowered water. Iron. Chant as the steam rises.
source: Silver Ravenwolf’s To Light a Sacred Flame
Tools of a Kitchen Witch
BLENDER : Mingling with others, Stirring up energy
COOKBOOK : Book of Shadows, Excellence, Virtue
COOKIE TIN : Sweet things in life, Pleasure
CRISPER : Invigoration and Restoration
CUPBOARDS : Savings, Supplies, Providence
DISH TOWEL : Stricture, Determined precision
DISHWASHER : Leisure, The Water Element, Convenience
DRAIN : Troubles, Burdens, Bad habits
DRAWERS : Hidden matters, Material goods
FOOD WRAP : Prudence, Conservation, Control, Secrets
FORK : Piercing, Penetrating, Perception
FUNNEL : Flow, Unhindered order, Coaxing energy along
KNIFE : Cutting away, Sharpness of mind, Separation
MEASURING CUP : Evaluation, Allotment, Caution
MICROWAVE : Acceleration, Legal expedition
OVEN: Passion, Fertility, Fire Element
OVEN BURNERS : The Four Directons/Elements
OVEN FAN : The Air Element, Movement, Clearing vision
PITCHER : Abundance, Invigoration, Refreshment
REFRIGERATOR : Cooling temper, Preservation, Protection
ROLLING PIN : Discipline, Moderation, Control
SIFTER : Sorting out confusion, Organization, Filtering negativity
SPATULA : Sensibility, Recycling, Changing directions
STEAMER : Slow processes, Even temperament
TEA KETTLE : Divination, Alertness, Kinship, Health
THERMOMETER : Observations Skills, Analysis
WHISK : Excitement, Increasing bounty
WINDOW : Winds of change, Refreshment, Vital energy
source: Patrica Telesco, “A Kitchen Witch’s Cookbook”
Magickal Tools Cleansing
It stands to reason that our magickal tools should be cleansed periodically, and the waning Moon is the best time for that task. Gather up your tools and place them on a clean cloth away from your altar. Assemble a bowl of salt water, a burning smudge incense blend, a smudging feather or fan, some clean cloths and a white candle. Light the white candle and invoke your guardians. Begin a methodic cleaning of your tools, wiping down with salt water those that can be exposed to water without harm, and then passing them through the smoke from the smudge while focusing on clearing and cleansing them from unnecessary influences. For items that cannot get wet, pass them three times through the smoke from the smudge or hold them near to the smoke while directing it with the feather or the fan. Thank your guardians and return your tools to their proper places.
By: Winter Wren