Altar Tools for Spells and Ritual.
Whether you’re a fledgling witchling, or an adept, magickal tools can aid you in focusing and unlocking your natural power. The tools of a witch are very ancient symbols which aid us in unlocking centers of power that are deep within us. Each tool serves as a physical representation of an invisible principle, so that we may train our minds to create the powerful magick we desire.
1. Your Magickal Wand. While they may not shoot lightning like in Harry Potter, they are very powerful tools. The wand is usually attributed to the element of air. It’s a thoughtful, and compelling tool. It’s used to invoke deities or angels, devotions, prayers, invocations, and petitions. Some witches will use different types of wands for different magical workings. How you use your wand is entirely up to you.
2. Your Athame. Arguably the most powerful tool, the Athame can aid in focusing your power, psychic energy and will. It’s typically used to draw magickal circles, charge amulets, and more, by focusing your energy in to the handle, and out the tip of the blade. Some witches use their athame exclusively for ritual and meditation, and will use a second blade, called a boline, for carving chopping, and cutting.
3. Your Chalice. Some see the chalice as a symbol of the womb of the goddess. You can use it in different ways, such as mixing potions, holding salt and water for cleansing or ritual, or (my favorite) drinking ritual wine. You can also use two chalices, one for salt and water, and one for ritual wine.
4. Your Pentacle. The pentacle is an altar tile with a five pointed star. It’s a powerful and ancient symbol used to charge spells, candle rituals, consecrating tools and more.
5. Your Incense burner. Also called a thurible, it’s used for creating smoke and fragrance. In addition to incense, magical herb mixtures for spell work can be burned. You’ll need special incense charcoal for burning herbs and incense. Do not use BBQ charcoal, it is poisonous.
6. Your cauldron. Every witch needs a cauldron Haha! If it isn’t big enough for a bubbling brew, you can still use it for mixing herbs and potions.
7. Your Book of Shadows. You may come to love this tool the most. It’s a record of all your magickal work. Just like in our favorite show, Charmed, you’ll want to consult your Book of Shadows to see if you can use an existing spell to aid you in your magickal work. The book of shadows, or a BOS, or grimiore, is a book filled your spells, incantations, ceremonies, recipes, and anything else you like. This is your main and most treasured book. You might also like to keep a magical diary, to record what you said, what you did, and the results you obtained. Some witches keep a recipe book, for all their potions, herb mixtures, oils, and incense. Some also keep a dream diary to record their time spent in the dream realm.
You’ll of course keep your tools on your altar, or stored away for use on your altar. Many witches prefer to keep symbols of the four elements, earth, air, fire, and water, on their altar. These can be rocks for the element of earth (tumbled stones are pretty and inexpensive). Incense for the element of air. If you’re in a position where burning incense isn’t an option, a nice feather can also be used. A candle for the element of fire. And a filled chalice for the element of water.
You might also like other magickal items on your altar, such as altar cloth (different colored cloths can be used for different rituals, spells and seasons. God and Goddess candles (Typically white for God, and black for Goddess). Altar candles for reading light. A small chest or cupboard to store your herbs and oils. A pendulum for scrying and divination. A candle snuffer, both for ease of extinguishing candles, and to show respect to fire. And lastly, statues of your favorite Gods and Godesses, or fairies and other magickal creatures to grace your magickal work space.
Your tools and altar are a great way to put you in a magickal frame of mind, and to encourage you to adopt a daily magickal practice.