Magical Tools of a Witch
A question we often get asked on our Instagram page concerns the tools of witchcraft and how to use them. Do I need a pendulum? What if I don't have space for an altar? and 'how do I decide which crystals to buy? and 'what do I need for witchcraft'? are common themes.
While it's totally true that you don't need ANY tools to practice witchcraft (witchcraft can be a purely internalized practice in which you work only with your mind), there are many magickal tools associated with the craft which we'll list below. Tip: remember witchcraft is a practice, it's not a religion. There are no tools that you must have. Decide what you like, what works for you, and go from there.
Runes are ancient symbols predominantly used by Germanic-speaking peoples, from at least c. 160 CE onwards. Each rune has a different meaning. Witches like to work with runes magically for divination, manifesting, and spell casting. Runes are also useful as divination tools to aid in uncovering conscious and subconscious held beliefs and energies. Not all traditions of witchcraft work with runes.
An athame is generally a knife or dagger with a double-edged blade used for magical purposes. A witch might work with an Athame to carve sigils into candles, cut herbs, and plants or to clear and cut energy. Tip, before working with an athame, make sure you cleanse it of any unwanted energies. This can be done by simply passing the blade through incense smoke.
A wand is a magickal tool used to direct energy. Wands are sometimes used in traditional covens, often by the high priest or priestess, to gather up and direct scattered energies. Some Wiccan witches like to decorate their Wicca altar with ritual tools, such as a wand, birch twigs, earth, a Book of Shadows, and representations of the goddess.
The first thing people often think of when they hear the word 'witch' is a woman riding a broomstick. There's a very interesting history connecting witchcraft with broomsticks which you can read about here. To keep it simple, we're just going to focus on the energy cleansing aspect of broomsticks. Today, witches simply work with broomsticks to sweep and clear away negative energies.
A cauldron is a symbol of creation. The three legs of the cauldron actually represent the three elements of life - mind, body, and spirit. A witch might work with a cauldron to create magical potions, elixirs, or other recipes. Cauldrons are usually made from cast iron. Some Wiccan witches work with cauldrons in elaborate rituals. Tip, find a tiny cast iron cauldron online and fill it with moon water to gaze into and try to scry.
An altar is generally associated with Wicca. A secular witch might prefer to have a sacred space. There are many types of altars and many ways in which they can be used. An altar is often a table or shelf area, decorated with ritual tools and magical objects, It might be used as a place to worship, pray, brew potions, and cast spells. It is very much up to the individual practitioner how they chose to decorate and use their altar.
A sacred space is anywhere you feel safe and relaxed. If possible, it's great to have a sacred space free from interruptions and noise. If you want, you might like to decorate your space with the same tools and ritual items you use in your spellwork. A sacred space can include an altar but it doesn't have to. Some witchcraft practitioners have more than one altar, other's prefer not to have an altar at all. It's really up to you. It's a good idea to cleanse your space the same way you would your magical tools and such things. A cleansing ritual might involve visualization, smoke, or sound.
Magical tools are generally used to give your spells and rituals a boost. When you cast a spell, you are directing energy. This energy can be strengthened through the use of certain tools. Not all witchcraft traditions work with magical tools. For example, some witchcraft practices rely only on the moon and its specific phases whilst others work with an elaborate array of magical tools and devices.
Generally, a witch will select their tools based on experience and personal preferences. Baby witches might like to start with a few crystals only and slowly add to their witches tool kit as their skills improve.
Tip: read through this list and see which (if any) of the magical tools appeal to you. If something catches your attention and triggers a feeling of intrigue or excitement, it's probably the right place to start.
Bay leaves are a super versatile magical herb. Work with bay leaves in your spell work to attract luck and abundance. Tip for working with bay leaves: Write a word that represents your goal or desire onto a bay leaf. Burn the bay leaf under the light of the full moon whilst visualizing your goal to manifest it into being.
A grimoire is a witch's book of spells. Some witches work with online grimoires, for example, they might create Pinterest boards filled with spells, recipes, and witchy inspirations. Others keep their own grimoires in the form of journals or books that they add to overtime. A witch might also like to work with a published grimoire such as the ones we sell. Tip, beginner witches are often confused about the difference between a Book of Shadows and a Grimoire. A Book of Shadows is a spellbook belonging to a Wiccan witch. A grimoire is a spellbook that belongs to a secular, non-religious witch or anyone who doesn't identify as Wiccan.
A pendulum is a tool used to direct energy. Just like tarot cards, pendulums are often used to reveal how you really feel. Pendulums are often made from crystal and hang on a longish chain. A witch will generally work with a pendulum by holding it in their non-dominant hand and allowing it to dangle. Depending on how the pendulum moves, an answer to a specific question will be revealed.
A pentagram is a five-pointed star. It symbolizes the elements, as well as protection, power, and strength. A pentagram with a circle around it is a pentacle. Witches work with both pentagrams and pentacles for protection, to draw power, and to direct energy. The pentagram is not inherently associated with black magic. Pentagrams and pentacles are often used in pagan rituals and by witches who practice the Wiccan religion.
Many witches work with candles. Candles form the basis of candle magic and are an accessible and easy-to-use ritual item. Modern Witchcraft often features spell candles. Witches work with spell candles when casting spells to attract, banish, or clear energies.
Many witches burn incense or smoke bundles to clear away negative energy, cleanse tools and prepare their sacred space for meditation, rituals, or spell work.
Crystals hold great power and energy. They can be used in spellwork and rituals, during meditations, or for specific purposes such as to enhance astral projection. Traditionally, each unique type of crystal holds special magical powers that correspond to specific intentions. For example, citrine corresponds to abundance and prosperity and might be used by a witch to attract a stream of prosperity. Some witches work with crystals to banish evil spirits, use them to decorate their altars or to represent the elements such as Earth or Air.
Sigils are pictorial representations of intentions or spells. Sigils are actually very easy to create. To learn how to work with sigils, check out this post: Sigil Magic – Unlocking the Secret World of Symbols.
Mirrors are useful items for many rituals. They can be used for scrying, defensive magic, divination, and amplifying and capturing energy. A mirror can be charged in moonlight or through the use of crystal grids. Mirror magic is often used in rituals concerning beauty and sensuality as well as those invoking the goddess.
An elixir is a liquid that has been charged with magical intent. For example, elixirs might be made with moon water and crystal essences. To make a moon elixir, fill a glass jar with water. Cover it with a lid and place it outside under the moon. Tip: this works on cloudy nights too, even if the moon isn't visible.
Book of Shadows
As mentioned above, a book of shadows is generally a spellbook belonging to someone who follows the religion of Wicca. A Wiccan high priestess (or priest) may have a coven bos (Book of Shadows). Just like a grimoire, a Book of Shadows normally contains, ritual and spell instructions, information about deities (god or goddess) coven traditions as well as ritual and spell ingredients. Many Wiccans keep their book of shadows on their Wicca altar.
Knot magic is an ancient form of magic using the power of knots. Knot magic works by capturing the feelings and energy of the person at the exact moment they tie the knot. The energy contained within the knot can then be held or released at a later date. Traditions using ritual knot magic abound. Physical cutting of the knot can be done using an Athame. Some traditions also call for the knot to be buried in the earth for a specific duration of time.
A crystal ball is used magically for divination purposes. The full moon and waning moon phases are the best times for scrying with a crystal ball. First altar decorations often include a crystal ball as optically, it aids in creating a magical mood. Crystal balls come in different sizes and price points. Traditional Wicca often calls for a ball made from onyx or obsidian.
A crystal grid is a magical method of combining different crystals within a particular shape or grid pattern. Combining crystals within grid patterns is thought to enhance and boost the overall vibration and frequency of the crystals used.
A charm bag is a small pouch or drawstring bag containing special ingredients designed to attract or repel specific intentions. A charm bag might be filled with small crystals, herbs, sigils, and moon water droplets. Often they are charged with an intention, for example 'I am protected' or 'I am wealthy'. Some people also like to include written affirmations or spells in their charm bags. Carry your charm bag with you to enjoy its magical properties.
If you have only one crystal in your collection, make sure it's clear quartz. Considered a master healer and magical amplifier, clear quartz will boost and empower your spell work on all levels. Some tips on working with clear quartz: Add a crystal to the center of your crystal grid to magnify the grid's overall energy. Make a crystal elixir with clear quartz. Wear and clear quartz amulet for increased energy. Keep clear quartz near your plants to encourage healthy growth.
Tarot cards are a much-loved form of divination and self-reflection. Many a good witch consults with the tarot before undertaking any spell work to ensure that the spells being cast are in alignment with the greater good.
Every witch we know has at least a minor penchant for recycling glass jars. Jars are an excellent way to store dried herbs, moon water, spare crystals, foraged ingredients, and whatever else a witchy heart may desire. Small jars can also be used to make jar spells.