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Witches Tools

Wicca, like most other religions, uses  ritual tools. Some of these, like
the dagger (Athame) and the cauldron, are known to non~Wiccans and a
great many misconceptions and tall~tales have grown up about their
use in our ceremonies.
Basically, the tools aid concentration and, through consecration and
use, build up a psychic power of their own. Tools can belong to a whole
coven, a working partnership or an individual. The only tool  that is never
shared is the dagger or Athame ~ each witch has their own. It a very
personal symbol of one's witch~hood.

You do not need to have all the tools to practise Wicca.
Wicca is a religion of improvisation and, because of persecution, many of the
tools had to look like everyday household objects or
be easily and quickly destroyed.
Wicca is also a religion in which the "intention"
is the  important factor, not the tools being used.
If you do not have a wand, use your hands!

You can buy tools ready made for you, or you can make your own~
you can chose the most simple or the most ornate.
The most important thing  is to use what feels right for you!


The Athame or dagger is a very personal tool. An Athame should never
be handled without the owner's permission (unless, of course, it is one's
working partner). Traditionally the Athame has a black handle and a steel
blade, but this is really up to individual covens or personal choice. The
handle and/or the blade may be decorated but that, too, is a matter for
the individual.
The Athame is a purely ritual tool so forget the tales about human sacrifice,
it is never used to cut.

(most Athame's have their blade blunted). It is interchangeable with the Sword and is used in rituals for casting and banishing circles.


The Wand can be made from a variety of woods according to personal
preference or to aid  the work being undertaken. Willow, for example, is
an excellent wood for enhancing one's wish and working with moon
The Wand evokes, directs and binds the energy of a spell.
The traditional length of the wand is from elbow to fingertip but, again,
it is up to the choice of the individual.

This is a working tool ~ in other words it is used to cut things ~ e.g.
gathering herbs or making markings on a candle. Any kind of knife can be
used as long as the handle is white.


The very quintessence of the witch according to folk lore and, yes, we
do use cauldrons ~ not, however, to boil up eye of toad
and tongue of newt! Witches use their Cauldrons to hold water, incense,
or even flowers as the occasion directs and is seen as a symbol of
The Cauldron is normally made of cast iron, but a brass or copper variety
is just as good, and cheaper and more easy to obtain.


The mysterious pentacle!! The uninformed often find this tool a good subject for tall tales. What it is, in actual fact,  is a disk of copper,
wood or metal, about 5~6 inches diameter which is inscribed with a pentagram (the 5 pointed star). It is the centre piece of the altar and is used to consecrate objects.
In the days of persecution the pentacle was made of wax so that it could
be easily destroyed ~ it is rare to find a wax pentacle these days.


The Censer or incense burner is used in our rituals and is important in
creating an atmosphere conducive to the ritual being performed. Any kind
of burner can be used, from the most ornate (the type used in churches
- church suppliers are a good source and have quite a variety) to the
most simple. Stick incense, too, is a good and acceptable alternative.


The chief use of the Chalice is to hold the consecrated wine. This is not, I should point out, a parody of the Mass! The ritual sharing of wine as part of religious ceremonies is far older than Christianity.



Originally the besom was a "dancing pole" disguised in households as a
broom. It is used to symbolically sweep the circle of negative forces and
energies and is used in handfastings.........and no, we don't fly on them


Contrary to popular belief there is not one Book of Shadows. Each Witch has
her own. It contains core material such as lore, rituals and spells which each witch copies. Each witch then adds her own spells, rituals, invocations etc, thus each Book of Shadows is different and ever growing as we  progress on our spiritual journey.Each Book of Shadows
grows with the development of the individual witch on their spiritual journey.
The Book of Shadows is not a cast~in~stone directory of what to use
and how to do ~ Wicca has little dogma. Apart from the basics such as
seasonal rituals (which, in any case, are in outline form) each
witch or coven are free to use their own adaptations.

As I said earlier, you do not have to have the tools to practise
Wicca ~ just use whatever feels right for you.
Wicca looks to the good in people, rather than focusing on the bad and
seeks to bring out that good. We do not see people in terms of "saved" or
"damned", rather that they are, at different  stages on their "path".
Whilst Wicca does not set down many rules we do adhere to the
concepts of truth, honour at all times, dignity, joy, love and trust and do
our best to live by those concepts.
We do not believe we have the monopoly on truth or the way to worship.
All Goddess and Gods, we believe, are aspects of the one Goddess
and God. After all, there are many paths to the truth, they may all be
different ~ but they are all paths.

Blessed Be!

Copyright Fred Batt - 2009 - 2013