Wednesday, September 29, 2010


The Witches Toolbox, They Don't Leave Home Without It!

   There are twelve tools that are considered essential for ritual magic.  They are the wand; Athame; pentacle; censer; scourge; bolline; staff; cauldron; cord; cup; Book of Shadows; and the altar (also they have to have transportation to get from witch meeting to witch meeting, so they need their trusty broom).  These tools may have slightly different names or composition depending on the particular magical path that they practice.  The list is of the traditional ones.

The Witches Wand

   The wand, the most important tool in witchcraft, may be made of many different types of wood.  The wand should be made of a slim tree limb about an inch in diameter and as long as the distance from your elbow to the top of your first finger.  Ideally, to bind it to yourself, 2 inches of pith, or the interior of the wand is removed and filled with a piece of cotton containing a few drops of your blood.  It's best that the blood come from the thumb.  The tip of the wand is then sealed with wax from your altar candle.  A pentagram and the ritual name of the witch are then painted or engraved on the wand.  After this it is consecrated with water, fire, wine, oil and three deep breaths of air in the names of the God and Goddess.

The Athame

   The black handled knife or dagger of Witches. It's used to open the circle.  The Athame and the sword are used to perform all magical rites and to subdue rebellious spirits, demons and genii.  Some Athames are incredibly elaborate and some are plain.  It all depends on what you prefer and what you are comfortable in using.  Once the Athame has been used in a ritual it should never be sharpened again.  The grinding of the metal is said to weaken it's potency.

The Pentacle

   This is the symbol of the element of the earth and is usually made fro a round piece of wood, about 7 inches in diameter.  The pentagram can be painted or inscribed on it.  The Pentagram can also be made of copper or brass.

The Censer

   The Censer is used to burn incense and to encourage and welcome good spirits.  It also act to banish evil spirits.

The Scourge

   Traditionally, the handle of the scourge is made of birch and has four thongs of leather attached.  This instrument, used in initiations, is the symbol of power.  It's considered the weapon of the horned God and is generally thought of as being very important in formal ceremonies.

The Bolline

   This is the witches white handled knife or dagger.  This is generally the blade used to cut herbs, make instruments, and carve pentagrams into candles and so on.  This is the knife or dagger you would use for the less ritualistic aspects.

The Staff

   This is a straight piece of wood, ideally Rowan (mountain ash) with a fork at one end.  In ancient times it was used as a stand or walking stick.  A much smaller version of this is used to beat the rhythm on ceremonial drums.

The Cauldron

   In ancient times, this was a large kettle or pot.  In modern times, they tend to be a replica of those used in the past.  Usually a large iron kettle in which food or drink is prepared over the balefire for the rites.

The Cord

   The magic binding cord is ideally made fro strands of red wool or ribbon.  It's braided with a loop tied at one end to represent the female aspect.  The other end is left frayed to represent the male aspect.
   Measure your binding cord around your head and loop a knot.  Continue around your chest, loop a knot, around your feet, and loop a knot.  The finished cord should measure nine feet in length.  It's worn around the waist during all rituals and can be used in binding spells.  Tie your cord around you by passing the male end through the female end and secure.

The Cup
   This is the vessel used for wine offerings to the Gods.  It's usually made of metal and carved with vines and fruits.

The Altar Candle

   The altar candle is ideally the only consumable ritual tool.  The color of this candle is Traditionally white and is used to light any other candles you might be using at the time.  Black can also be used as an altar candle so long as it's completely black as opposed to black on the outside and white on the inside.  That can slightly alter the vibrations.
The Book of Shadows
   The Book of Shadows is the personal grimoire of a Witch.  Within this book is where the ceremonies and rituals are recorded for future reference.  The book of shadows traditionally has black covers and is hand written by its owner.
   Of course in today's world, it's no longer unusual to see Books of Shadows kept on computers or computer disks.  Even some Books of Shadows are printed out of a computer and then bound.  Most prefer the hand written, hand bound books. 

The Altar

   Technically, the altar is any consecrated place or thing used to hold the ritual instruments used in the magic circle.  A very simple definition for what can be a most elaborate location.  What is important is that the setup and location are pleasing to the owner and that the Witch feels comfortable working their magic there.  Some set up the altar before acquiring their tools. Some have their tools before they set up their altar.  This order doesn't matter.  What does matter is that everything is ritually purified and consecrated.  After the purification and consecration, it's usually seen as a good time for the Witch to ritually purify and consecrate themselves as well.