Last week, I described some of the tools that you might want or need in your Wiccan practice. I covered the altar, Book of Shadows, athame, wand, sword, staff, chalice, plate, bowls, incense burner, incense, candles and besom in my previous post titled “Tools, Tools Tools!” There are more tools and more to discuss about tools.
Pentacle – Many Wiccans have a pentacle which may be wood, metal, crystal, clay or wax. It is put in the center of the altar. It is nice to have. In an afternoon you can make your own. Patti Wigington gives instructions. See Suggested Investigation.
Bolline – The bolline is a white handled knife to work with ceremonial items such as herbs and trimming and carving candles. As we do not want to ruin an athame cutting items, this is a great alternative!
Aspergillam – This is a tool used to sprinkle holy water. A small bunch of herbs or a small brush may function as an aspergillam.
Drum, Rattle, Bell, Jingle Bells and Singing Bowl – These musical instruments are not necessary but are great for marking an important time during ritual and for clearing space of unwanted energies. You might play one of these instruments when you call the Directions or before, during or after the Invocation. Just give one of the instrument a thump, shake or ring. If you are not allowed to burn incense where you live or are allergic to it, these instruments are wonderful for ridding the area of negativity. I like to hang jingle bells from a besom and both the action of sweeping and the sound of the bells can clear an area. The choice of instrument is yours.
A Mirror or Black Mirror – A mirror can be used for magick and a black mirror can be sensational for scrying. In Earth Power, Scott Cunningham talks about using a mirror in magick and for scrying. Even a broken mirror can be very useful! Macie Gelb tells how to make a black mirror with a mirror or a glass from a photo frame and a can of black matte spray paint. You can also make a black mirror with a bowl that is glazed black inside. Simply fill the bowl with water and add a few drops of black ink or some dribbles of black tempera paint into the water. Stir. It is best to use a mirror or black mirror for scrying when the lighting is dark or dim.
Pendulum – A pendulum is basically a weight on a string or a chain. The weight is about the size of a crystal and often is a crystal. You can ask the pendulum basic “Yes/No/Maybe” type questions and find out the answer from the movement. A pendulum can also be used for healing.
Cauldron – A cast iron cauldron can be very useful. Drinks can be brewed in it, apples can be bobbed for in a big one and with two to three inches of sand or kitty litter in it candles can be safely burned. Cauldrons have interesting stories in myth.
Spell Box and Spell Jar – Both the spell box and spell jar contain items to complete a spell. The box is generally no bigger than six inches and is used for trinkets, money and pieces of paper. The jar or bottle is used for more organic matter like soil, hair, herbs and spices. One example is the witches’ bottle. A small amount of money may belong put in a box in a spell for wealth. I keep a special two dollar bill for that purpose.
Robes – Yes, as an aid to ritual, a robe is a tool, and you may decide to wear robes as ritual wear. To learn more see one of my previous posts titled “Robe Making Made Simple.”
Pen, Ink and Special Paper – I find that it is good to keep these on hand. They are wonderful for writing wishes and spells. To learn more see one of my previous posts titled “Creating Paper for Spells and Other Special Reasons.”
Certain tools are cherished by the Goddess such as the cauldron, chalice and bell. Some are cherished by the God like the athame, sword and salt. The besom, wand, staff, pentacle and censer call to both the the Goddess and God.
Some tools correspond with the Elements:
Earth: Pentacle, soil, salt, sand, clay and herbs.
Air: Incense, wind chimes, instruments played with breath like a recorder and feathers. (Note that there is an old law on the books that outlaws the possession of songbird feathers.)
Fire: Candles, incense and clay.
Water: Cauldron, chalice and bowls.
The wand and staff may be may be associated with Air or Fire depending on your tradition and outlook. The athame and the sword correspond with Air or Fire, too, but they are not grouped with the wand and the staff under the same Element. Since clay is from the earth and is fired it can belong to both Earth and Fire.
Now is a good time to talk about the consecration and charging of tools. To consecrate the tools, the four elements are used. For Earth and Water try sprinkling the tool with salt water. To avoid corrosion of a metal tool bury it in soil. Proceed to consecrate it it with Air and Fire, then either sprinkle the tool with plain water or plunge it in plain water. For Air and Fire, pass it through smoke and incense. As an alternative to incense try fanning it with a feather or use sound to cense it. Then pass the tool over a candle flame. Try using these lines to consecrate the new tool.
Marvelous spirit of the _____________. (Fill in the blank with the name of the tool. It may be a generic name like athame or besom. It may be a special name you give it.) By the grace of the _____________, (Fill in the blank with Goddess and God, Lord and Lady or the deity name(s)). I ask that you do beneficial works and call to me. Through Earth, Air, Fire and Water I consecrate you!
The best way to charge a tool is to set it out in the light of the full moon for a couple of hours. If setting it outside is not an option, set it on a windowsill where the full moon will shine. If the moon is not shining where you are, know that it still has a powerful effect. Think about the power of the moon to create the tides. Set the tool in a special place and burn a candle for it.
The following are suggestions about where to put tools on the altar. Tools associated with the Goddess such as the Goddess symbol or Goddess candle, bell, chalice and bowl with water go on the left side. The censer and the pentacle go in the middle. Items associated with the God such as the God symbol or God candle, athame and salt go on the right. These are not hard and fast rules. I have seen numerous arrangements of altars.
The most important tool is you and all that entails! Your body, mind, emotions and spirit all are of upmost assistance in your spiritual practice.
Enjoy learning more about various tools! Make and consecrate a new one! Charge it on the next full moon!
On the day of this post the moon is a waning gibbous. This is a good time to kick something out of your life.
I will continue to post on Wednesdays.
Cunningham, Scott. Earth Power: Techniques of Natural Magic, Llewellyn, 1983. This book can be found on Kindle Unlimited.
Cunningham, Scott. Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner, Llewellyn, 1988. This book is available on Kindle Unlimited.
Gelb, Macie. “How to Make a Black Mirror for Scrying.” Keleemaize, keleemaize.com/post/how-to-make-a-black-mirror-for-scrying.
Lipp, Deborah. The Elements of Ritual: Air, Fire, Water & Earth, Llewellyn, 2003.
Vera, Alyssa. Pendulum for Beginners, 2021. This book is available on Kindle Unlimited.
Wigington, Patti. “Make Your Own Altar Pentacle.” Learn Religions, January 2, 2021, learnreligions.com/make-your-own-altar-pentacle-4588970.