Some Common Magickal Tools And Their Uses
Below, you will find a list of some of the most common, along with brief descriptions of their use.
Athame: A ritual dagger, traditionally double-edged, used to direct energy. It can have any hilt you want and it represents both the God’s phallus and the element of Air. In traditional Wicca, a bolline is a white handled knife used for cutting, while the athame is ‘supposed’ to be black-handled and should never be used to cut anything. If you are not in a traditional Wiccan coven, these rules do not apply. (pronounced a-theh-may)
Besom/Broom: Usually with natural bristles and a natural wood handle. Used to sweep away stagnant energy and negative vibrations.
Candles: All colors; tapers and votives and other unusual shapes; used in candle magick and for altar decoration.
Cauldron: An iron or brass vessel used, primarily, as a symbol. Of all magickal systems, it is my belief that use of the cauldron is most common among those practicing Celtic Magick.
Censer: Incense burners; can be made of anything from wood to brass and iron. Should be heat-proof. Used to hold burning incense.
Chalice: Ritual goblet, made of glass, wood, ceramic, or metal. Represents the element of Water and the Womb of the Goddess
Crown: A circlet or headdress worn by a Priestess or Priest. This can be made from metal, wood, or anything else that can be molded to the shape of your head. Some Priestesses like to wear the Triple Goddess symbol (the moon with two crescents attached).
Crystals: Used for invoking power, depending on what type of crystal involved; used in scrying.
Drums: Used in ritual for trance work, ecstatic dancing, healing and journey-work.
Hammer: Used primarily by Norse Pagans; sacred to Thor, the Norse God of Thunder and Agriculture.
Herbs: Used for spell components.
Incense: Invokes the element of Air; used for smudging and invoking various energies depending on what type of incense is used.
Mortar: Used to grind and powder herbs.
Mirror: Used for scrying and beauty magick.
Oils: Essential oils and blends are charged with magickal energy and used to invoke various powers, depending on which energy the herb possesses.
Pentacle: The altar pentacle represents the element of Earth. The pentacle necklace or earrings are worn by Witches, Pagans and Wiccans to symbolize their religion. Represents the five elements (Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Spirit), the human body (the head, two outstretched arms and two outstretched legs) and is a symbol of protection. A pentagram is the five-pointed star but with no circle surrounding it.
Rattle: Used in ritual dance. Used for cleansing and raising power.
Robes: Many Witches like to have special clothing, often referred to as ‘robes’ or regalia, for their rituals. It can help alter mood. Whatever you choose to wear for ritual (if anything), it should be easy to move around in, comfortable, and the sleeves shouldn’t fall into the candle flames.
Statues: Statues of deities are placed on the altar to represent the Gods.
Sword: Used much like the athame.
Water: Full Moon and New Moon waters are used for various spells; other herbal waters may be also used for spellcraft.
There are so many other things I have used in ritual and magick over the years that it would be impossible to name them all.
Making Magickal Tools
I make my own wands, wreaths, and decorate my household brooms. This isn’t that difficult. When I make a wreath, I think first about the mood I want it to embody. This wreath is for late summer/early autumn, and so it has to have that warm glow, but hints of the season to come.
I buy the wreath form—I prefer grapevine for mine. I choose silk flowers and garlands that fit the energy I’m going for, ribbons, fake grapes, pine cones, whatever else might fit. Sparkling butterflies and birds often find their way into the basket, too. You’ll also want floral wire and floral tape. And you’ll need wire cutters (never use scissors to cut the silk flowers—those stems are wire under the plastic).
I personally like to start with a ring of ivy/leaf garland. I tuck the ends in through the grapevine, I use floral tape or wire to affix it to the wreath form…you do what works. Then I add the flowers—one by one and for me, I make sure they all point relatively the same way (thank you to my OCD). Flowers can be easily threaded through the grapevine form, and you can also use the floral tape to anchor them. You can arrange them to get the order you want them in before affixing them, if you like. After the flowers are on, I wrap my ribbon—this can be done however you want. I usually use 3-4 types and colors (that mesh well). After that, I add in little odds and ends—on this wreath I put on fake grapes.
Making Corn Dollies
Corn dollies are traditionally made out of corn husks but I use a cinnamon broom. They represent abundance from the harvest, and on a magickal level, I usually make them around Lughnasadh (August 1st) and keep them till Litha (Summer Solstice), when I burn it to clear the way for the coming harvest.
To make a corn dolly, I use a dowel to form the arms of the Corn Mother (the actual broom part is her skirt) and wrap it with twine/leather thong to affix it to the handle of the broom. Then I use material in a print/color that speaks to me for the year, and I create her face out of cotton and plain material, and paint her features on. I use material to create a hooded cloak for her. Afterward, I enchant her in Circle for protection, prosperity, and to strengthen the work and projects that I’ve been focusing on.
I make masks, wands, staves, wreaths, and all sorts of craft projects (usually for magickal reasons or for seasonal decorations). It’s one way I recharge my creative nature on a level other than words. I do occasionally paint and I also love to cook, as most of you know. These hands-on activities give me a way to express myself and yet, they don’t require the intense focus that my writing does. I would never consider myself a ‘domestic goddess’ (I don’t think anybody could slap the label ‘domestic’ on me), but I enjoy the artsy-craftsy side of life. Though do NOT hand me a needle and thread. I can’t sew to save my life and have never developed the patience to learn. ~smiles~