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Tools Of the Craft

The Wand | The Broom | The Chalice | The Pentacle | The Athame

The Bolline | Incense Burner | The Cauldron | Book Of Shadows

Taken from "To Ride a Silver Broomstick" by Silver RavenWolf and "Wicca: A guide for the Solitary Practioner" by Scott Cunningham.
With some adlib from me. Please be patient while I update this list. It takes lots of time, that is so spare these days.

Just a little note before I begin. Some witches use tools while others do not. It is the energy projected from the witch that works the magick. Tools enrich the ritual and serve as a focus for complex energies. I personally use tools. But someday I hope to achieve a level of skill, where I do not need tools to focus my energy on. When shopping for any tool, have a simple picture of what you want in you mind. The goddess will work her magick and you will find just the right thing. I have personal experience with this. Remember also, do not haggle the price of your tools, if it is worth it, and you want it, you will have the money for it.
Also, I wanted all of you to know that I take my information from many different traditions and sources. I thank the goddess that I am able to do this. I consider myself eclectic because of this fact. I feel that you should use what works for you. But always remember the wiccan rede:

For the Free Will of All, and with Harm to None."

The Wand

The wand is your magickal "pointer" if you will. It is used to project your energy and wishes to a certain place, thing, person, or dimension. You can make a wand out of most anything.
Wooden ones are very special, because they are a gift from the trees. Be most careful to do a little thanking and healing ritual when you take any piece from a tree. You should probably ask permission of the tree, and tell it why you want part of it. It is also a good idea to look up the magickal properties of the tree, to aid in your magickal workings.
Some people tip their wands with a crystal or feather. Choose what is best for you, and what feels right. You will know when it is right.
Wands traditionally stand for communication and matters of business. Keep this in mind during your magickal workings.

The Broom

The Broom can be used for decoration, magick and ritual. It has been considered a symbol of a female witch and is her transportation during the dreamtime. Sometimes, witches name their brooms for it can be used as a temporary vessel to house a spirit.
Brooms are laid across the threshold of your house or at the gateway to a magick circle. This serves as protection. You can use the broom to ritually "sweep" the negative energies out of their ritual space. Then they can begin the ritual work. The everyday wear and tear of mundane life leaves energy all around us. So it may be a good idea to sweep the negative "dust" away.

The Chalice

The chalice is a symbol of emotion and fertility, and is related to the element of water. Chalices are used in dedication and initiation ceremonies. I use mine with every sabbat holiday ritual. It is used to honor the god and the goddess.
The chalice is not only a drinking vessel but a symbol of prosperity. You may choose what ever medium you want for your chalice. Mine is made of glass. I have a friend that makes the most wonderful carved chalices out of coconut shells and various large horns. Choose what feels right to you.

The Pentacle

The pentacle is usually a flat piece of wood, stone, clay, metal, etc. It may have many symbols inscribed on its surface. The most common inscription is of course the pentagram. The five pointed star with a circle surrounding. The pentacle is an object of protection. It is also used to evoke entities. The pentacle stands for material things and is used in money spells.
This tool is wonderful for empowering other tool, gems, herbs, etc. Basically anything you are using in your ritual. Mine is a simple circular piece of wood on three legs with the pentagram written on it.
You should always keep the pentacle upright. (Meaning, a point is alway facing up, or towards the direction your alter is facing.)

The Athame/Sword

This tool is the magickal knife. It is not used for physical cutting, but rather for directing energy raised in rituals. It is usually double-edged and black handled. The black handle is for absorbing energy. The athame is linked to the element of fire and is a phallic symbol of the god. It also stands for intellect, right thinking and calculation.
You can carve symbols onto the handle if you wish. But remember to be careful with this tool. It is still physically a knife and can cut you.
The athame is used for directing energy and may be used to cut a hole in the ritual circle, if need be.

The Bolline

This is the practical, working knife. It is usually white handled and has a curved blade. It is used to cut herbs, candles, cords, or for inscribing symbols onto candles, wood, etc... Some witches use this tool only within the ritual space. Others use it in their mundane (meaning non-magick oriented) lives. It is really up to you where you use.

Incense Burner

This is the tool used for cleansing and purifying. There are several kinds of burners and incense. One of mine is vintage from my mother, a small brass cauldron-shaped burner with a cone top. I also have a plain wooden one for stick incense.
Incense is used in ritual to help the witch reach altered states of mind. You can purchase sticks, cube, cones, and raw incense. I like all of these. The raw incense is really neat, because you burn it on a little brick of charcoal made just for incense. I make my own incense out of herbs and use the charcoal burning method. As I've said before, use what works for you. Try and Try again.

The Cauldron

The Cauldron is the symbol of the goddess. It is an ancient tool of cooking and brew making. It is also a symbol of manifested femininity and fertility. It is related to the element water. Ideally, the cauldron should be made of iron. (fire proof, at least) It has three legs with a smaller opening than it's widest part. They come in all sizes. Mine is about a seven inch diameter. I feel it is just the right size for me. The cauldron has many uses. You should never tire of the possibilities.

Book of Shadows

This is your workbook containing rituals, spells, invocations, rules about magick, and anything else you want to keep a record of concerning wicca. Sometimes, when you join a tradition or a particular coven, you will receive a book of shadows with that particular trad.'s information. But more often, you can compose your very own book. Mine is simply in a black and white composition notebook. I have been putting my book onto disk, so that it is easier to transfer to the internet. Plus, I have a neat printer copy in a three-ring binder, that is just great. Some witches like to keep their book of shadows secret, only viewing it themselves. But, now with the wonderful on-line capabilities, there are several books of shadows on the web. Either way is great!

Stay tuned for more