There is a whole slew of tools that are often seen associated with witchcraft. Everything from candles to wands, divination tools to ritual daggers. There are so many it can get overwhelming to people just starting out on their journey.
Tools can be very helpful, but you don’t always need them.
Why you don't need tools
I never really got caught up in the overwhelming need for tools. I think a good part of this is because I have a hard time spending money in general. But I actually attribute most of it to a YouTube video I watched early on from Tylluan Penry, one of my very favorite YouTube witches.
Mrs. P. talks about how you don’t necessarily need all those fancy tools. Of course you can use them, sometimes they help. But what is really needed is your own energy and intent. As long as you have those you’re good to go.
I took that to heart. Mrs. P. and many other witches have shown me that tools are simply a way to visualize and/or channel your energy.
Tools can also be distracting. They might shift your attention to the tool instead of the magical working you are using it for. Your search for tools may distract you from searching for activities or beliefs that would be more beneficial to you and your practice.
I can’t not mention the amount of money you can spend on tools if you get too carried away. It adds up quick and leads a lot of people to feel like they don’t have enough money to be a witch which just isn’t true!
You don’t always need tools. But they can help.
why you may want tools
Some people, especially new witches have a hard time visualizing certain aspects of their craft. Tools can be a powerful way to understand how to do that!
Even a simple candle can be a tool to help focus your energy on your intent.
A wand can help to direct energy in ritual work and circle casting.
Some tools can add some extra oomph to spell work. Things like charged athames, herbs, crystals, etc, can add either general or specific energy to your spells.
Tools can also help you to connect to energies that are different from your own. Or you may want to do the opposite, find tools that match your natural energy!
Here are some commonly used tools and just a little bit about them:
- Book of shadows/grimoire – A place to record what you do and learn.
- Divination tools – Tarot cards, runes, crystal balls, anything you use for divination. Very common for witches to use but not absolutely needed. Oftentimes you can even make your own!
- Candles – My favorite tool for spell work. Simple and inexpensive.
- Incense – Not just used for scenting a room, incense can be incredibly powerful for getting into the right headspace for meditation, rituals, or spells.
- Bells – Bells are often used for cleansing spaces, especially where smoke isn’t a good option.
- Athame – A ritual dagger used to symbolically cut things like ties to other people or doorways in casted circles.
- Wand – Wands are used to project energy like when casting a circle or directing energy into something.
- Chalice – Something to hold/represent water.
- Pentacle/pentagram – Represents earth, unity of the elements, and protection.
- Crystals/stones – Many people’s introduction to witchcraft is through crystals. They are believed to have specific energies.
- Crystal grid – a guide for laying out crystals for a specific purpose.
- Cauldron – A heatproof container to burn things in.
The one essential tool
While most tools are not completely necessary, I do think one is needed. That is a grimoire or book of shadows, something to record your experiences in. It is so important for us to take note of spell work, divination, even dreams, anything that effects us and our practice. This could even be digital!
A note on finding your tools
There is one other important reason why I personally haven’t felt a need for tools (eventhough I think a ritual dagger would be kick ass). This is that I believe the right tools will find me at the right time.
There are very few things I feel the need to seek out. When I do seek them out I find what feels right.
I would really love to have a small cauldron. But I haven’t found the right one yet so I don’t have one.
When I felt like I really wanted runes but couldn’t make sense of why, I was pulled to the perfect ones that feel like home!
If at some point I am at a metaphysical shop and find myself drawn to a particular athame, you better believe I’ll get it if I can. It probably means I’ll have a use for it soon!
Also, don’t be afraid to make your own tools! I plan on making a wand if/when I find a nice stick for it. I’ll decorate it however I see fit and will have a strong bond because I’ll put my own energy into it.
In short, don’t get something just because you feel like you need it or have been told you need it. Listen to your gut and explore using your own energy first. It will help you to get more in tune with yourself. Plus it’s way more cost effective!
And if you do want to get tools, make sure it is out of wanting to and that it will be useful to your practice, not just because you feel pressure to get it in one way or another.
What tools are important or essential to your own practice?