In order to start working with White Magic we need a set of tools that will help us channel and direct our energies. These tools will always represent either the God or the Goddess. Now let’s go through each of them and learn what they are used for.
The Athame is a double-edged knife, it could even be a simple kitchen knife, but do not use it for cooking or eating, it should only be used for magic purposes. Once you have decided what your Athame will be, it is recommended that you customize it with a symbol that means something to you or represents you. An example would be inscribing your witchy name with a pentagram. But it can be anything you want as long as it means something special for you. The Athame represents the element of Air and the masculine God, so when we have our altar ready we will place it facing the east.
Its function is to direct the energy of the witch during the casting of spells, such as while casting the magic circle, the consecration of the water, salt, wine or cakes; it is also used in the invocation of the four elements and to charge an object with a certain elemental energy. It is used as protection against evil spirits and as a means to keep at bay and to vanquish evil, violence, hatred or aggressive forces. In this cases, the witch will use the Athame before the wand.
The boline is another knife, but the shape of its blade is curved. It is used to cut plants that will later be used during the ritual or spell. Being crescent moon shaped, it is considered a feminine tool and was used by the Celts for this same purpose of cutting herbs and branches to make magic wands for rituals.
In the case of the herbs that one collects, a special ritual is usually performed to ask permission of the plant or tree to use its leaves, branches or roots. Also to thank and transmute the energies that are being given to us.
This knife is a smaller version of the Athame, but with a single edge which can be toothed or smooth depending on the owner. Its handle is generally white and its blade must be made of steel. If it is a knife that we will recycle, it is necessary to clean it physically and then bless it with a little incense.
The cup that represents the Goddess, the element of Water and it simbolyzes fertility. The cup is used for all rituals since it is the one that will contain the water or other liquids depending on what we are going to do. The cup can be made of glass, gold, silver, brass, clay.
The symbol to be inscribed is that of the Goddess, and we can also manufacture it or design it ourselves. As it represents the feminine and the element of Water, we will place it in the west side of our altar.
This is a tool of invocation, it directs energies just like the Athame and also represents the element of Air. The wand is a sacred tool. They are usually made of oak, elderberry, apple, hazelnut, cherry or peach wood, although they can also be made of metal. Some initiated Wiccans recommend that the length of the wand be the same lenght from our elbow to the tip of our index finger, but the most important thing is that the wand feels comfortable to you, then it will surely work for you.
The wand directs magical energy streams, but being wooden and not having a sharp point of iron or steel like the Athame, it does not serve to banish the bad influences or as a way of defense, that is why witches cast their protection circles with the Athame.
As the Book of Shadows itself states: “Its function is to invoke and control certain beings which the Athame and the magic sword must not summon, for it is communicated by invitation, not by command.”
This is where magical transformations occur. It represents the Goddess, femininity and fertility. In spring and summer rituals, water is often used to represent the Goddess, and in the fall and winter a fire is lit inside of the cauldron to represent the God and his arrival in the womb of the Goddess. The material is usually iron or also mud. It is very important that our cauldron is fire-resistant. Nowadays it is easy to find one online.
This should be a flat base made of wood, brass, gold, silver, clay or wax. We must inscribe the symbol of the pentagram (five pointed star). It is a tool of protection, or to invoke spirits. It represents the element of Earth, and a safe space where we can place the amulets or stones that we want to consecrate. It can be hanging on a door for protection.
This is where we will burn our incenses, it could be made of metal, a sea shell, or a cup filled with salt or sand to put the charcoal or incense and thus prevent the cup from breaking. This censer is used for casting magic spells at home, because when performing rituals in the open air we can just take the incense rods and nail them to the ground. Incense helps us to relax and enter into a different state of consciousness. Always remember to have a ventilated room, because it can be annoying to some people if this incense accumulates in a closed space.
The bell is used to drive away evil spirits or to conjure up good energies. It is usually used to mark the beginning of a ritual and the end of it. We can buy one in esoteric stores. It is not a must, but it is interesting to know what it is used for.
Different sounds help us enter different mental states. The clapping of palms creates a distinct and clear sound, which still today is used by Wiccans to release power during magic rituals. Rhythmic instruments such as log drums were traditionally used for making sounds with more consistency, even people without minimum musical skills are able to sweetly and rhythmically beat one stone against another or beat palms while dancing during their spellcasting.
Yes, wiccans use brooms as a negative energy cleansing tool. The broom is used by sweeping the area and visualizing we push those negative energies towards the street. This purifies the area, thus allowing better ritual work. Once done, we can begin our spellcasting. The broom does not need to touch the ground when we make the floor sweep over. We can place it in the entrance of house like protector, or under the bed, on doors and windows.
The Broom consists of the brush (female) and the stick (male). The stick is the part where the force is applied and then the brush transforms this force into a cleaning action, giving it a particular form of manifestation. The Broom is a symbol of unity, the masculine-and-feminine in one.
Since the broom is a purifier, it is associated with the element of Water. Thus, it is also used in all types of water enchantments, including love and psychic magic works. Many witches collect brooms, with infinite varieties and exotic materials that make this an interesting hobby.
The Book of Shadows
The Book of Shadows is a manual containing invocations, ritual descriptions, spells, runes, magic rules, and more. It is somehow also the witch’s diary.
To create your own book of shadows, you can buy a rather large notebook, and customize the decoration on the cover, drawing something that represents your approach to magic if you have some artistic talent. Otherwise, you can also glue flowers, leaves. The design is left to the imagination of the witch. The goal is especially to personalize it to be in harmony with you. Then you simply have to include all the rituals, spells, magic invocations and instructions, as you find them. Of course, you can get them from many different sources, such as this website.
Ideally, you should know all the rituals by memory, but make sure your sheets and texts are legible. There are people who choose to make their own book of shadows on a computer. That is also valid.
On many occasions, the book of shadows has been inherited from one Wiccan to another through initiation, but today it is more usual for each to write their own book of shadows. This book should not be shown to anybody, it is like your own secret diary. The book of shadows is also known under the term “Grimoire”.
Consecration of tools
The tools we make or buy are associated with a set of very different energies and vibrations. Not only because of the material which they are made of but because they have been manipulated by other people or have been exposed to certain environments.
Before we start using them, we must consecrate them so as to clean them from any alien energy that could disturb our magical works. We must remove them from the everyday world to make them suitable for their use in sacred magic.
What we need to consecrate the tools:
- A candle.
- A bowl full of water.
- A dish with salt
- Incense of rue to burn.
In a quiet place, light a candle. We take a handful of salt and pour it over the bowl of water. We stir it a bit. Salt is a potent magical agent whose function is to purify and open paths. It allows the entrance of new energies and, for our objective, it is fundamental that we purify with our tools.
We place the tool that we are going to purify in the center of our altar and spray it with the water with salt. Besides this, do not forget that the incense or rue is also purifying the room and, therefore, the tool. Once we have done this, we will recite the following spell:
Be consecrated and imbued
By the Sacred Power of the Ancestors.
May your Spirit be lifted up by the Moon,
For the Sun and the Stars, for Heaven and Earth,
For Water and Fire.
So be it.