The Ultimate Guide to Witchcraft Tools
When performing your rituals and casting spells, you will likely incorporate a variety of tools. This post is dedicated to describing commonly used tools of witchcraft. Keep in mind that this is not a list of tools you HAVE to use in your practice, rather a list of tools you might WANT to use.
Remember that witches make do with what they have available to them. No tool is inherently magical until the witch assigns it a task. Be resourceful, inventive, and scrappy, and don’t break the bank trying to furnish your witchcraft practice.
Resourceful Witch Tips:
Check flea markets and thrift shops.
Look for tools in nature.
Repurpose and make things yourself.
Make witchy friends online and in person to trade and gift tools.
Shop during sales and clearances.
Ask for tools as gifts for birthdays and other holidays.
This is a general term for all the objects that you choose to place on your altar. Pretty self-explanatory. It includes candleholders, Incense burners, vases for flowers, crystals, altar cloths, and so on. These items are not specifically used for a magical purpose, however they are often necessary for magical items to function and to create a pleasant aesthetic for your sacred space. Depending on your belief system and practice, you may want to cleanse them and charge them with their purpose.
An athame is traditionally your ceremonial knife, which is used in performing spells, such as indicating the directions and cutting a way out of a circle safely. It is not intended for use as a kitchen knife such as for cutting herbs and other practical uses, however, this depends on your preferences. Many witches prefer the athame to be made from pure metal and have a black handle and some believe that it gains more power as it is passed on from one witch to another.
Besom or Broom
This is a particularly personal tool, often made either by the practitioner or specifically for them of twigs from the tree of their preference. It is generally used, not as a traditional broom for sweeping physical dirt, but rather for cleansing energetically. Many witches keep their besom within their sacred space and some believe that it should never touch the ground.
Unlike the athame, the boline is a knife that is intended for cutting plants, herbs and other objects for use in magical workings. It is a practical magical tool, but even so, many witches cleanse and program their boline for it’s magical purpose. Often, the boline has a curved blade and a white handle.
A burine is a thin-pointed tool witches use to carve words, symbols and designs into candles and other magical objects. It can be chosen from almost anything that serves this purpose: a crystal point, a pin or nail, clay tools, and so forth. As usual, the witch dedicates the tool to it’s purpose and it becomes magical.
Candles are an integral part of witchcraft. There is even an entire branch of magic dedicated to working with them. Candles are very convenient for magic as they are easy to find and are generally inexpensive. Additionally, they make it easy for witches who are not out of the broom closet to practice openly. This is such a broad topic that I won’t get into now. For more information about candle magic, please refer to my ecourse.
The Practical Candle Magic eCourse includes:
Lifetime access to over 3 hours of video lectures
Five downlodable PDF spellbooks organized by magical intention
Downloadable PDF reference guides for your Book of Shadows
Forum for discussion and sharing experiences with other students
Lessons on fire and color magic, how to choose a candle for your purpose, source herbs, crystals and essential oils, and being resourceful, the steps involved in preparing a candle for spellwork, and what to do after the spell is complete.
PLUS a live candle spell demonstration for self confidence.
The cauldron is another tool that was traditionally easy to hide in plain sight as they were indistinguishable from a cooking pot. A kitchen witch might still use a cast-iron pot as a cauldron, however most modern cauldrons are small enough to fit on an altar and made from practically any heat proof material. It is used for collecting burned material, and for holding herbs and candles.
A chalice is a ceremonial drinking vessel that is often made from precious metal, though any food safe container is appropriate. Depending on your preferences it could be elegant and ornately decorated with designs and jewels or it may be simple and casual.
The purpose of charcoal is to burn herbs, incense or oils. It is usually found in a compressed small disc that burns for about 45 minutes. Modern witches can find quick light options that burn uniformly.
Many rituals and spells ask the witch to acknowledge the four cardinal directions and to do that, a less spatially aware witch may need a compass to orient themself. The directions are also necessary for Feng Shui and other energy alignment practices.
Crystals are both magical tools and magical materials. Crystals are everything. Different crystals are associated with one or more of the four elements and are believed to have various powers, magical properties and attributes. One very important use for crystals is in cleansing and charging your other magical tools. They can also be used in creating a sacred space and for helping you get into the right mindset for spellwork. Additionally, many magical tools can be made out of crystals.
Related: Every Crystal Blog Post
Many spells call for the witch to write something down: wishes and goals or things you want to release. It’s good to have some different kinds of paper on hand for a variety of purposes. Some paper burns faster or slower, some paper shouldn’t be burned at all. Some can be buried and seeds grow from it, some changes color, some dissolve in water. If you want to charge your paper for magical use, simply wave it through the smoke of some incense for a short period of time (careful not to light it on fire!).
Pen and Ink
You may wish to keep a variety of pens in different colors based on color magic uses. You can charge your pens for magical use similarly to charging paper. Some witches will separate pen and ink to charge individually, this is personal preference. You can also buy or make ink that is created specifically for magical purposes if you prefer.
There is some confusion about the difference between a pentagram and a pentacle. A pentagram is a five-pointed star. A pentacle is a five-pointed star enclosed in a circle (PENTA-gram + cir-CLE = pentacle) This symbol is used for all sorts of purposes dependent on your belief system. One common practice is as a charging station for other objects (like the chalice, a crystal or an amulet).
Pestle and Mortar
The pestle is a club shaped object used to crush and grind wet or dry herbs and incenses in the bowl shaped mortar. The process of pressing and rotating the pestle against the mortar in order to create an herb mixture is very meditative and is often considered part of the spellwork.
Scrying is a divination practice using certain channeling tool so receive spiritual messages. Usually these tools are reflective such as a crystal, mirror, water in a basin, and so on. Through employing the arts of concentration and contemplation, one can gaze into the scrying tool to gain insight about external or internal events.
A wand is a very personal magical tool used for directing your magical energy to a precise location. Choose it carefully and attune it with your energy. Generally a wand is not longer than your forearm and quite often it is made from a sacred wood.
As a reminder, you do not need to use all of these magical tools, only those that call to you and work for your practice. Additionally, you won’t necessarily need every tool for every spell or ritual.
Over time you may find you have collected quite a few magical tools and will need to sort out how to store them. Many witches keep them on their altar or in the sacred space, sometimes in a specially dedicated storage container or shelf. Some witches keep all tools wrapped in silk or velvet out of respect, your storage method is up to you.
Depending on your practice you might not want other people to touch your tools. If so, you’ll have to make sure they are somewhere out of the way for the other people who use your space.