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A list of witches tools used in spells and rituals

Altar
A table, that is used in rituals to hold all tools and ingredients needed for the ritual or spell.

Anointing stick
A piece of Greenwood, with one end mashed, used to apply oil to things.

Athame
Black handled, double edged dagger, knife that is strictly a ritual tool used to work with energies. It is a symbolic representative of the element of fire. It can be used as a tool for laying down a circle and also as a symbol representing the male aspect. Athames can be used to invoke the quarters, release the quarters, and are customarily used to assist with blessing the waters of life inside of the chalice, this blessing being symbolic of the Great Rite.

Bolline or Boline
Also known as the white-handled knife or Goddess knife. The witches working knife. Generally used for cutting herbs, cords, carving candles, sacred cakes, etc. Used for physical cutting where the Athame is used in energy working.

Book of Shadows
Traditionally hand copied book of rituals, recipes, training techniques, guidelines, and other materials deemed important to a Witch or a coven. Each tradition has it's own standard version of the Book and each Witch's book will be different as he or she adds to it with time from many different sources.

Broom
The Witches broom is used for sweeping any harmful energies from the area that the broom is cleansing I.E.... House, room, circle, sacred space etc. Of course on the practical side you can use it too to sweep your floors.

Cauldron
The cauldron represents the gift of birth, death and rebirth, also knowledge and inspiration. The cauldron is a female aspect and is a symbolic representative of water, and it may also be used as a representation of fire. It is often referred to in connection with Cerridwen. It is used for containing ritual fires or holding items to be ?charged?. It can be used to hold water for cleansing or scrying.

Censer
The censer is a container in which incense is burned. The censer sits on the Altar, but is walked around the circle, for this reason, many prefer Hanging Censers. The burning of the incense purifies the air and helps to bring on the correct mental state for circle casting.

Chalice
The chalice or cup is representative of the female aspect and represent the element of Water. It is used to hold the waters of life, and is used again in the symbolic ritual of the Great Rite. Once the waters of life have been blessed during ritual, the chalice is often passed around the circle so that all may share in it by symbolically ingesting the Goddess and the bringing of the Goddess within.

Cords
Mainly used in spells or for handfasting's. Most cord ceremonies are Magickal, and non-religious in nature, although some of these magickal rites are added to rituals.

Hand
Located on the side of your wrist opposite your arm, usually used in ritual with the first two fingers extended and the thumb holding the other two, I've included "hand" as a tool because it's used so often and is considered to be "different" when used this way. When using your hand instead of an athame ? or wand, visualize it as a focus point for all of your energy. The hand has the unique benefit of being the one tool you probably already have.

Jewelry
The Crown of Stars is worn by the priestess in a ceremony invoking the Goddess; the Horned Helm is the masculine form. They often represent Herne or Pan, and Diana, and are omitted by traditions using other gods. A Crown of Stars shows the crescent moons and the moon full, or a horned moon, often with stars around the band. A horned helm is usually what could be called a "Viking" helm, or the "Helm of Herne" which uses a deer's head and neck. Other jewelry like rings or necklaces can be worn to help transform the state of mind.

Oils
Anointing oils are usually vegetable based, and are charged with energy and used to convey that energy to something else. In one rite, for instance, Clary Sage is used to anoint the head of a Priest that he may think his way through a difficult scenario. Oils for clear thought are commonly used on the forehead of members of a circle. Sage, Jasmine and Pine are common.

Pentacle
A disc shaped talisman; in particular a piece of clay, wood or metal used on the altar as a decoration and a place to put items to be "Charged" with power or purified. It also represents the earth element among the witch's working tools.

Priapic Wand
Is used in the fertility festivals and handfasting's of some traditions. Its use seems to have greatly declined in the past ten years or so, but it still is the standby at handfasting's. Its use is included in the rituals of many eclectic groups across the country. Named for Priapus, the Roman God of Procreation, the wand is "The length of a man's arm with the last bit the size and shape of a male member (phallus)"1 for this reason it is sometimes referred to as the Phallic Wand. Other forms of the Priapic wand end with an acorn or pine cone, and are used as symbolic phalluses. Feminist Wicca seems to prefer these alternate forms. Also called the Maypole Wand or God Wand.

Representations of the deities
It a personal choice of what to use. These range from statues to tarot cards. Any personal object that represents one's deities or belief can be placed on an altar to lend it's power to the proceedings. In group situations, we recommend only a pair of candles, so that the personal gods of the conveners aren't in any way suppressed.

Robes
Some people choose to wear a special coloured robes to identify them immediately as a master of a path. Robes help people to get into the right mind frame to work magick.

Salt
The salt used in ritual represents both Earth and, when mixed with water "The seed of life" or semen. It is purifying, male and grounding in this form.

Sickle
(see Bolline, above) The sickle is used to cut sacred herbs at certain moon phases. It represents "Crone hood" and is often given to a menopausal convener as recognition of a new life phase.

Smudge
In European practices, herbs were thrown on the fire to produce clouds of scented smoke. Smudge, which is either a bundle of herbs for burning or the ash of sacred herbs used for anointing, is borrowed from Native American Practices and can usually be held in the hand instead of thrown on a fire. For a nice change, burn rosemary instead of the traditional sage or sweet grass. Stick incense can be used as burning smudge.

Staff
Like the Sword, the Staff is essentially a larger version of another tool, the wand. It is sometimes used to draw the circle in the earth, but it seems more important as a walking stick than anything else. In at least one bardic tradition, the staff is a mark of level, with the larger staff a mark of a high rank. In some Native American-flavored traditions, the staff is the Speaking Stick, passed around the circle so each member may speak without interruption, coupled with eagle, falcon, or seagull feathers (depends on area), the staff is a Prayer Stick, and the animal spirits deliver the messages to the sky. . Like the wand the staff may be decorated with crystals, symbols, feathers, or just about anything that makes it your own.

Sword
The Sword is a larger version of the athame?, and it used for many of the same purposes. There are two types of Swords, the Coven Sword, which is used in group rituals by a leader or priest(ess), and a personal sword, which is usually used instead of an athame? for drawing solitary circles. It is never used as a weapon, although in older times a person's own battle sword was their sacred weapon, and since they were ALREADY killing with it. Evidence of sword rituals range from the way a Marine polishes a saber to a Knighting, and the sword has always symbolized more than metal...it is the sword of justice, or peace, or vengeance. It is used to draw a circle in the earth to protect those within and to break the handfasting cord, and the "giving" of the coven sword to a leader or priestess is a profound act of love and trust. Your personal sword should represent yourself.

Thurible
(incense burner) A heat resistant, or preferably fire proof container used to contain a hot coal for burning incense. The incense is symbolic of air, while the coal is symbolic of fire. It is used to cleanse and purify the air within the sacred space, or used in cleansing of a home. A cauldron can be used in its place.

Wand
The wand has been known as a tool that is gentle in nature and has the male aspect, it is the symbolic representative of air. It is another tool that can be used for casting circle, invoking and releasing the quarters, and casting of spells, and some have used this in place of the athame? or sword in the performance of the symbolic ritual of the Great Rite. Traditionally a length of wood, either 13 inches long (the number of full moons in a year) or the length from the user's elbow to the tip of his/her longest finger. A wand is usually made of wood, although whether that wood is stripped of its bark or shaped in any way in up to its crafter. Ash, Yew, Oak, White Pine, Apple, Hawthorne, Blackthorn, Birch, Willow and Rowan are the most common woods used in wand creation, and a wand of lightning struck wood is supposed to be exceptional.

Note
I haven't included candles, crystals, matches, a fire extinguisher, altar cloths and numerous other items which are common enough in their usage to be fairly self- explanatory.

This article was contributed by Raven's Gate.
Read their Book of Rituals.
Read their Book of Spells.

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