The tools and ornaments of witchcraft are many and varied. While many of them, such as the broomstick and the witch’s cauldron, are very familiar to most of the population, most of the magical tools used by practitioners of Wicca and Witchcraft are unknown or highly misunderstood. This article will address the uses of many of the most popular magic tools out there and hopefully eliminate some of the misconceptions out there.
The specific tools addressed are:
– The Athame
– The wand
– The cauldron
– The altar
– Book of Shadows
The Athame The Athame is probably the most misunderstood of all the magical tools mentioned here. What is an athame, anyway? It is a ritual dagger used by witches during rituals and ceremonies. It is usually a double-edged blade made of steel, iron, or, for wealthier Wiccans, silver. The hilt of the blade is usually black and is painted or engraved with a variety of hidden symbols.
Stories and movies, which often depict a witch as a bad guy, often glamorize the athame as a sinister weapon used in sacrifices and other outlandish practices. This couldn’t be further from the truth! The true purpose of this tool is to help the practitioner direct his will in the ritual. It is Never it is used to cut anything physically, and if it does, it is considered contaminated and cannot be used until an extensive “psychic cleanse” can be performed.
For those who practice witchcraft, the athame is a representation of the air element and mental energy. It is one of the most used and often appreciated ritual tools.
The wand The wand is another very common item used in witchcraft. The image it brings to mind is very accurate. It is a piece of wood, approximately the same length as the forearm of the individual witch. It can be constructed from a variety of materials, and the magical properties of the tree from which it is cut often play a role in its choice. The look and style of the wand is as varied as the people who carry it. They are often decorated with crystals, stones, feathers, and ribbons.
The uses of the wand are very similar to those of the athame. It is used to direct the will in rituals or ceremonies. However, the biggest difference to the wand is that it is often the preferred means of repelling negativity from its user. As such, it is often the preferred tool for cleansing and purification rituals.
The cauldron Now this is a really misunderstood tool! When one brings to mind the image of a witch’s cauldron, the phrase “bubble, bubble, work and trouble …” is often there with it. People seem to think that witches like to brew some of the strangest things in their cauldrons. Although the cauldron it is Used as a magical mixing bowl, ingredients are often found in the average kitchen pantry. For a witch, the cauldron represents the element of water and the energies of emotions and feelings. In ritual, the cauldron is often used to prepare infusions for a magical bath, tinctures for a variety of uses, or simply a fireproof container in which to burn a piece of parchment.
The altar This is another tool that is often misunderstood. In the Hollywood version, the altar is the creepy table decorated with skulls and black candles where the victim is helplessly tied. Try explaining that to the neighbors!
On true Witchcraft, there are two main types of altars: the functional and ritual altar and the altar that serves as a shrine to honor a specific deity. The shrine type altar is self explanatory. It is a special place to connect with a specific deity and is decorated with items that represent or are associated with that deity.
A functional altar is one that is used during most Wiccan rituals and is often the centerpiece of the ceremony. It is the place where Wiccans do most of the “dirty work” of burning candles, spilling ink, and burning incense. It is a focal point for your ritual intention and the place in the ritual circle where you connect and pray to your Deity.
Book of shadows This is the quintessential spell book that all witches carry. There are many ways to describe this particular item. To begin with, let’s say the Book of Shadows is a combination of a diary, an instruction manual, a song book, Y spell book.
One of the most common things found in a book of shadows is the Wiccan Rede. This is basically a code of conduct for witches and empowering prose. Also commonly found in one of these books is a piece called The burden of the goddess, or the single “The Charge”. This is a very elegantly written piece of poetry that empowers practitioners of witchcraft and reminds them of their common values and beliefs. Both elements are often included in Wiccan ceremonies.
Other than that, the contents of a Book of Shadows can be almost anything. Most witches include their favorite rituals, incense recipes, correspondence tables, and other hard-to-memorize magical curiosities.