If you are new to the practice of Magic and Witchcraft, you are probably wondering: What tools do I need to cast spells? And the truth is: you don’t really need any special tools because the Magic is not in the wand, it’s in the Witch! That’s why we’ve included DIY options or homemade alternatives to each tool in this post.
Witchcraft is all about meanings. Your tools have a meaning and an identity that is uniquely linked to you as a Witch, and that’s what gives them power. By understanding the significance of each tool and ingredient, you will be able to create successful rituals and spells of Magic, and develop a path towards a more spiritual and meaningful life. In time, your tools will become a part of you, helping you define an identity as a Pagan and playing a major role in the journey to becoming a Real Witch.
In this lesson, you will learn:
- The Baby Witch’s Toolkit
- Traditional Spellcasting Tools
- Candles & Supplies for Casting Spells
The Baby Witch’s Toolkit
You’re about to put together your first Pagan altar. Here’s the best way to avoid unnecesary spending by only buying what you will actually use:
Beginner’s Shopping List:
- Candles (pack with all colors)
- Cauldron (for burning incense and herbs)
- Chalice (for libation and potions)
- Incense pack (for focus and inspiration)
- Sage bundle (for cleansing and purifying)
That’s it! You will be able to cast most spells in our library of spells with these items. Scroll down to learn more about these and other Witchcraft tools, and learn how you can make your own tools for free.
Traditional Spellcasting Tools
These are the generally accepted Formal Witchcraft Tools. They will be your assistants when you are casting spells. If you can’t find them at your local esoteric shop, check our suggestions and shop online. Avoid cluttering your altar by finding a nice place for your tools to rest. Store them in a drawer, box, or shelf when you are not using them.
Let’s see a quick list of Wiccan tools and supplies.
Find spells and rituals on a Virtual Altar here.
An athame is a knife or dagger for ritual purposes. It’s not used to cut anything physically. Conventionally, it has a black handle and a double edge, and it is used to direct energies during the rituals. For example, to command and summon elementals and spirits. It is a projective tool that, within the system of classical elements, represents the Air and should be placed on the East side of your altar.
Once you have decided what your athame will be, you can customize it with a symbol that means something to you or represents you. An example would be to inscribe your name or draw a pentagram. But it could be anything you want as long as it means something special for you.
Where to Buy?
Buy local! Find a metaphysical shop near you. Or explore these online alternatives:Shop for Athames OnlineDIY
If you don’t want to buy an athame, you can use a kitchen knife. Wash it well and consecrate it for its Magical use. Don’t put it back in the kitchen drawer! This tool will now only be used during your spellcasting works.
The Witchs’s bell is a very spiritual musical instrument that is played to evoke positive energies, to summon spirits or deities, or to indicate the beginning or end of different parts of a ritual. Its sound is very sacred and therefore useful when entering a ritual mental state. In the same way, there are those who use tibetan bowls or drums. The idea behind the use of these instruments is to create an action in your world that differs from your everyday actions.
Where to Buy?
Buy local! Find a metaphysical shop near you. Or explore these online alternatives:Shop for Ritual Bells OnlineDIY
If you want to make sounds during your rituals but don’t have a bell or any other instruments, you can simply clap your hands, hum, or sing a song that sets the mood throughout your spellwork.
A ritual broom – also known as a besom – is mainly a tool of protection that is used for spiritual and Magical cleansing and sweeping away all negativity before, during, or after a ritual act. The ritual broom should only gently sweep the floor, almost without even touching it. But it can also be used in warding or cleansing spells such as this elemental protection spell with salt.
The most important thing is to visualize clearly how negativity and distracting energies are being swept out. While sweeping, focus on removing all the astral excesses that typically arise where people live. This purifies the area, allowing you to focus on your ritual works. Since the broom is a purifier, it is associated with the Element Water. Traditionally, brooms were made of birch and willow, but any type of broom will work fine.
A boline is a knife for practical use. Traditionally, it has a white handle and a curved blade. You will use it to harvest flowers, cut herbs, branches, thread, or to carve symbols on wood, wax or clay. Basically, the boline is used to to physically cut any materials before or during the casting of a spell.
Its white handle will help you distinguish it from your athame. Also, it’s usually smaller and with a single edge, which can be serrated or smooth depending on the owner. In this case, a kitchen knife can also turn out to be a great option. If you want to step up your candle-carving game, you could also get a candle carving toolkit.
For the consecration of the boline, Scott Cunningham recommends:
“Early in the morning, head to the forest (park, garden). Choose the most beautiful and vibrant plants. Touch them gently with the tip of the knife, forging a connection between the knife and the plants (and thus the Earth).
Then sit on the ground. Making sure you are alone, make a pentagram on the ground with the tip of the knife. It’s ready.”
Where to Buy?
Buy local! Find a metaphysical shop near you. Or explore these online alternatives:Shop for Bolines OnlineDIY
If you don’t want to buy a boline, you can use a kitchen knife. Wash it well and consecrate it for its Magical use. Don’t put it back in the kitchen drawer! This tool will now only be used for harvesting or cutting ritual ingredients.
Book of Shadows
This will be your personal spellbook. It will also often be used to record important information about Witchcraft, as well as observations and thoughts. Some like to write down their personal observations and ideas in a separate “Book of Mirrors”, leaving their Book of Shadows for Magical recipes, invocations, spells, guides, etc.
To create your own book of shadows, find a notebook and decorate it according to your personal taste. You can draw something on it or paste some flowers, leaves, anything you want! The design of the cover is left to the imagination of the Witch. The goal is to customize it so it will be unique and in harmony with you. Then simply write down all the rituals, spells, Magic invocations and instructions that you plan to use during your practice.
Copy the spells and rituals step by step with their respective illustrations and decorations. Ideally, you should know all of these by memory, but at first you will need to read them, so make sure that the pages and text are readable. The book of shadows is also known under the term “Grimoire” (from French, alteration of grammaire, “grammar”).
Where to Buy?
Buy local! Find a metaphysical shop near you. Or explore these online alternatives:Shop for Books of Shadows OnlineDIY
Your first Book of Shadows doesn’t need to be fancy! The most important thing is to get started. Find any notebook and decorate it to make it personal and unique. Maybe you already have a journal that you don’t use much. Turn it into a Magical tool by logging your experiments, your findings and your successes in it.
The cauldron is the tool of the Witch par excellence. It is an ancient culinary container imbued with mystery. In many magical traditions, it is the vessel in which Magical transformations take place. Wiccans see the cauldron as a symbol of the Goddess, the manifest essence of femininity and fertility. It is also a symbol of the element Water, reincarnation, immortality and inspiration.
In contemporary Witchcraft, the cauldron is still used but not to create brews and potions. Think of the Cauldron as the belly of a pregnant woman. Inside of it, a new life is getting ready to exist. In your Cauldron, you could place candles, incenses, perfumes, offerings such as fruits, liquids, and all kinds of elements to be used during a ritual.
It can be filled with water and contemplated during divination, or filled with flowers or some other items related to the spellwork you are doing. You will see that many spells require making fire and burning things, herbs, etc.
For this, it is advisable to have a heat-resistant container as your cauldron. They come in many different sizes, but usually small ones are preferred. They are traditionally made of iron, with three legs (the three legs represent the triple Goddess: Maiden, Mother and Wise Woman, and it also alludes to the three levels of being: Physical, Mental and Spiritual).
Where to Buy?
Buy local! Find a metaphysical shop near you. Or explore these online alternatives:Shop for Cauldrons OnlineDIY
A cast iron skillet of any size will work wonders as an entry-level cauldron. Just like with any other tools, wash it well, consecrate it and use it only for Magical purposes. That is, don’t go back to cooking with it after casting a spell because that would ruin its sacred identity.
The chalice is a cup with a long stem that will be filled with various liquids during spellcasting and rituals. Often, it simply contains water, representing this element, which could be always present on your altar. It can also be used for pouring wine during Sabbat offerings and ritual toasts, or even blood and other liquids depending on the spell you are casting. You could also use a chalice to mix water and salt for tracing your protective circle and also for blessings and purifications.
It can be made of silver, brass, glass, stone, or ceramic. Some groups in the tradition of Wicca usually have two types of chalices, one for clean water and one for the wine and other liquids as described. In a coven, there is a main chalice that is carried on to the altar for consecrations. This cup is shared by all the members during the ceremony, and it is filled every time so that everyone can share the beverage (with or without alcohol). Some other covens prefer that each member have their own chalice and they pour from the main one.
Wiccans typically garnish their chalices with runes or other symbols to decorate it. Some paint it or they attach semiprecious stones, so that it will also contain and provide energy to the liquid inside.
Where to Buy?
Buy local! Find a metaphysical shop near you. Or explore these online alternatives:Shop for Chalices OnlineDIY
If you’re new to the practice and you don’t want to invest in a fancy chalice that you don’t know if you’re ever going to use, start with a regular glass of wine. Wash it well, consecrate it and keep it near your altar reserved only to use during rituals and spellcasting works. Alternatively, you could turn your favorite mug into your chalice using it to drink your daily potion.
A compass can be a beautiful decorative item in your sacred space, but it’s also a very useful tool to have near your altar. Many evocations require calling the Quarters while facing each of the four cardinal directions, and some spells involve placing various elements on specific directions. So for sailors and Witches alike, it’s vital to be able to find the North at all times.
Where to Buy?
Buy local! Find a outdoors shop near you. Or explore these online alternatives:Shop for Compasses OnlineDIY
Learn how to make a homemade compass in this video tutorial.
The Wand is a prominent tool because it symbolizes the Will of the person who performs the Magic, and serves above all to direct the energy, and sometimes to cast the Circle of Protection. It is highly esteemed within most Witchcraft traditions.
The wand, like the athame, is used to direct energy. It is usually made of wood and can be decorated or inscribed with symbols. It is a projective tool that represents the Element Fire, although some consider it to be a tool ruled by Air.
Unlike Harry Potter books, the wand does not serve to banish negative influences or for defense, hence many Witches prefer to cast their circle using an athame instead of a wand.
Its function is to evoke and control certain beings to whom the athame and other tools should not summon, since it works by invitation, not by command.
For all this, it is often said that it is a more “peaceful” tool than the athame and the boline. The wand symbolizes evocation, fertility and enchantment.
Where to Buy?
Buy local! Find a metaphysical shop near you. Or explore these online alternatives:Shop for Wands OnlineDIY
Consecrate all your tools: Click here to Learn How to Consecrate Any Tool or Object
Candles & Supplies for Casting Spells
There are lots of different types of spells. Some of them require only your words and concentration. Others require specific materials or supplies. Some are easy to find. Others not so much. Let’s see a few examples:
Candles will play a major role in your rituals, in part because they help create an ideal state of mind. Their aroma, color and presence can put us in a good mood. You have probably used candles before when taking a relaxing bath or setting up a romantic dinner, so you are already aware of their power.
A well-chosen candle can promote feelings of health, prosperity and love. Stock up on candles of every color so you won’t have to worry about finding one before casting a spell.
Where to Buy?
Buy local! Support your nearby occult shop. Or check out these alternatives:Shop for Candles Online
Interested in Candle Spells? In the next lesson we will learn How Candle Spells Work
Charcoal is the easiest and safest way to burn incense. You can use it to cleanse the home and it’s perfect for palo santo, frankincense, copal and loose white sage. When done, you will have a cake of ash that is easily disposed of.
Small cloth bags or sachets are used to make good luck charms, such as mojo bags to attract love and positive energies on a daily basis. Fill them with your favorite herbal combinations or use them as tea bags for your daily potions. They also make great gifts, especially when using plants from your own magical garden.
Strings, thread, and ribbons are the main ingredient for working with Knot Magic, which involves tying or binding together. Black thread is also used to make dolls in many traditions. Mojo bags used for creating amulets are often sewn by hand using threads.
Here’s a list of other useful materials that are very often necessary to cast spells, sometimes even more so than the formal tools. In no particular order, you might want to pay a visit to your local Witchery shop and get:
- Lighter or matches
- Jars and bottles
- Pen and paper
- Herbs and flowers
- Mortar and pestle
- Crystals, stones
- Tarot and Oracle cards
- Aluminum foil
What does it mean to “consecrate” a tool?
As you move further down your magickal path and welcome ritual and spell work into your life, you will find yourself using certain items, such as a wand, athame, or amulet, that have meaning and significance only to you again and again. Traditionally these items are placed on the altar and are treated as sacred, thus they are set aside for magical purposes only.
In this way, an athame, for example, can absorb your Magical energies and positivity. This will increase the object’s power for use in future rituals and spells. Additionally, using ritual tools solely during spell casting helps to denote the sacred space for your spells, clueing in your subconscious that the time you are about to spend should be focused on the divine.
I can’t afford these tools, what do I do?
There are many people who want to practice Witchcraft, but for various reasons they can’t get some of the necessary materials and tools. If this is your case, you should work on developing your visualization and concentration skills.
Learn to work with basic elements such as sand, rock or tap water, and transmit your intention so that they become the tools you need. A handful of rice loaded with the intention required for a spell or potion can be much more effective than a certain kind of super exotic herbs that is thrown into a bowl without thinking. Magic is, in essence, pure will and intention.
Can I make my own tools?
Actually, it’s preferable that you create your own tools by hand. Like everything in Witchcraft, you want empower yourself to create and manifest what happens in your own life. That includes tools, candles, soaps, teas, food and more, so that you can transmit your unique Magical imprint to these objects. In Witchcraft, the most important thing is to believe in yourself and in the Power that resides in you. That’s the Power that you carry in your spirit as a Witch.
The tools, ingredients, and materials can help you connect on a physical level – by means of ritual acts – to materialize your Will. But they act just as training wheels on a bicycle to give you extra confidence and guide you during your first steps. The truth is, you can cast 100% effective spells without anything other than your mind.
Ready to Cast a Spell? Browse our Library of Spells