Ingredients and Tools of the Witch

Ingredients and Tools of the Witch


When performing your spells and magical workings, you will probably find that you tend to use some objects more than others. Below is a list of the ones that are most commonly used.


These is a general term for the objects that you place on your altar – candle holders, flower vases, crystals etc. – which do not necessarily have a specific magical use of their own – they are present to create an ambiance. You should remember to dedicate them to the purpose in hand by presenting them to your chosen deity. Some may prefer to work according to Celtic tradition, Norse, Graeco-Roman or Wiccan.


By tradition, the athame is a ceremonial knife used especially in the performing of spells. It is not used for cutting of herbs and so on: its role is ceremonial – for example, indicating the quarters or directions. By tradition it should be of the best and purest metal available. Its handle is usually black and sometimes carved with magical designs and symbols. Many experienced magical practitioners consider that the most powerful athame is one which has been inherited.


A besom is a different name for a broom, and is particularly associated with the easily recognisable so-called ‘witch’s broom’ of old. A particularly personal tool, it is often made specifically for the practitioner, from twigs from the tree of her choice. It is usually kept specifically to be used in the sacred space or circle – this time for cleansing – and is also used both symbolically and spiritually.


The boline as a knife traditionally used in cutting plants, herbs, wands and other objects for magical workings. It is not the same as the athame which is purely ceremonial, but is akin to the gardener’s pruning knife as a useful, practical tool. It often has a white handle and a curved blade. It is consecrated because this is a way of honouring its purpose.


A burine is a sharp pointed instrument used for inscribing candles and other magical objects with symbols, words and pictures in order to make spells more effective. In many ways, it is more effective than either the boline or the athame and is seen much more as an instrument which pierces a surface rather than cuts it.


Candles are such an integral part of a spell makers work that they have become a whole branch of magic all their own. They represent the element of fire, but also light. As explained in more detail later, various colours bring different things to magical workings and they are an important part of any ritual.


Because cauldrons were easily disguised as cooking utensils in olden days, most people today tend to think of them as a large cast-iron pot. There has lately been a return to original materials and nowadays they can be made of almost anything. They are often of a size that can be stood on the altar, or in the sacred space. They are used mainly as containers for herbs, candles and other magical objects,


Used as a ceremonial drinking vessel, the chalice is sometimes made from precious metal, although it can also be made from glass. An elegant object, the chalice will usually be beautifully decorated with elaborate designs which may have magical significance – or jewels and gemstones.


During spells we often need to write our wishes or aims down and it is good to have some paper ready prepared, Parchment type is best, but heavier good quality is also good. You consecrate it by holding it for a short period in the smoke from your favourite incense.


Traditionally, quill pens were used for writing spells and incantations, but if you can’t find a quill then use the best pen you can afford. Try to keep it especially for magical work and consecrate it by passing it carefully over the top of a candle or through incense. Also buy a good quality ink and, if not already formulated for magical purposes, consecrate that in the same way. Neither pen nor ink should be used for other purposes.


The pentacle is a shallow dish which is usually inscribed with a pentagram – a five-pointed star. It is used as a ‘power point’ for consecrating other objects such as water or wine in a chalice, amulets and tools.


The pestle and mortar are so symbolic of the union of God and Goddess that they deserve a special mention within the use of magical tools. Mainly used to prepare herbal mixtures and incenses they can also become part of your altar furniture when consecrated.


Scrying is the practice of using certain channelling tools which should be consecrated before use – such as crystals, mirrors, coloured water, runes etc – to try to gain an insight into external events. Any object can be used for scrying, though usually they are reflective, and they employ the arts of concentration and contemplation.


The staff is used very frequently by practitioners today, particularly if they are of the Druidic persuasion. Longer than the wand, it has the same attributes and uses. A staff is deliberately fashioned for the practitioner from wood taken from sacred trees, such as oak, hawthorn and hazelnut.


The wand should be no longer than the forearm and is often made from sacred wood. Since this is a very personal object, it should be chosen carefully and equally carefully attuned to your own energies. It cannot be used magically until it has been consecrated.


Different types of spell working

Different types of spell working



In this particular type of magic the Elements of Fire, Earth, Air and Water are given their own directional focus to create added power and give extra energy to your spells. You will no doubt find that you tend to favor one particular direction but should be able to use all of them.



Perhaps the simplest form of magic is that which involves color. This method of working is also used in conjunction with various other forms of magic. Color can enhance, alter and completely change moods and emotions and therefore can be used to represent our chosen goal. At its simplest it can be used alone and can be used in dressing an altar.



Herbal magic is often used alongside many other forms of magic. Used as talismans and amulets – for example in a pouch or bag – herbs become protective; the oil from herbs can also be used in candle magic. There are many different types of herbs available for use in this way. Each herb has its own specific use, but frequently is used along with many other herbs and oils to produce a desired result.



In candle magic, man discovered the ability to control light and this is one of the oldest forms of magic as well as one of the most simple. Using candles to symbolize ourselves and our beliefs means that we have access to a power beyond ourselves. Candle magic also forms an effective back-up for most other forms of magical working.



Every stone or gem has its own attribute which can be used in magic. Crystals are used extensively in healing because of the vibration impact they can have. Because of this, they lend themselves to the enhancement of any spell-making or magical working. Even ordinary stones have their own power and can be used as repositories for all sorts of energies and powers.



Knot magic works partly with the principle of binding, which is a type of bidding spell and also with that of weaving, which was traditionally a female intuitive occupation. It utilizes ribbon, rope, string, yarn, or anything that can be knotted or plaited to signify our aspiration. It is a type of representational magic, and is used in conjunction with many of the other forms. The techniques of colour, form and use of energies are all used in its practice.



Representational magic involves using an object that represents something or someone for whom you are working the spell. It helps in concentrating the energy and visualizing the desire and the end result. Representational objects should never be used for negative purposes.



In this system different symbols, rather than objects, are used to represent various ideas, people or goals. These symbols can be personal to you or such things as Tarot cards, Runes, Hebrew letters or numerology. You will often use symbolic magic in your magical workings and will soon develop your own preferred symbols.


Talismans, amulets and charms

These devices use all the other forms of magic in their formation, but principally representational and symbolic magic. They are ‘charged’ (given power) magically and usually are worn or carried on the person for protection or good luck. Many are worn around the neck, perhaps as jewellery, or carried in a pouch and incorporate crystals, herbs or other magical objects. There are many types of each of these objects and you will gradually learn to differentiate between them.