Curiosités Arcanes::Paganisme::Wicca::Accoutrements

n.  additional items of dress or equipment, or other items carried or worn by a person
or used for a particular activity

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Please note that no tools are mandatory in the practice of Wicca.

There are four elemental tools of modern Wicca:  Athame (Air), Pentacle (Earth), Wand (Fire), and Chalice (Water).

Tools used for magical purposes shouldn’t be used for anything but ritual work. Some witches will not allow their tools to be touched or used by anyone else. Whether these tools are hand-crafted (Green/Garden Witches make their own from natural materials), found (Kitchen/Garden Witches use tools that are readily at-hand), or purchased, they should be cleansed (consecrated) prior to use.

  • Athame
    Ritual knife. Male energy. Element of Air.
    Double-edged dagger (usually black-handled) which may be inscribed with symbols, as the owner dictates. Used primarily for directing energy and casting circles. Being phallic in form, it is used in combination with the chalice (the Great Rite) to represent the union of male and female principles by evoking the act of procreation.
  • Pentacle
    Magical tool. 5-pointed Star. Element of Earth.
    An amulet or talisman which may be worn or used as the centerpiece of the Altar – in upright position (with the single point on top). On a 5-pointed Pentacle, the points represent earth, air, fire, water, and aether (spirit).
  • Wand
    Ritual tool. Male energy. Element of Fire.
    The most potent wands are made from one of the woods sacred to the Mother Goddess: elderberry, willow, rowan, hazel, oak, or mistletoe; although they can be of metal, crystal, or other material. The Wand is used for channeling energy, invocations, casting circles, and “drawing down the moon” during rituals.
  • Chalice
    Ritual vessel. Female energy. Element of Water.
    Used to contain water (one of the four elements), to honor the Mother Goddess, in the Great Rite (in conjunction with the Athame), or to hold liquids that are to be consumed during rituals. The Chalice can be made of any material, although lead crystal is to be avoided (Saturnian energy). Ones made of silver are especially associated with the moon and the Mother Goddess.
  • Boline
    Male energy.
    Traditionally, a white-handled knife used for cutting cords, make other magical objects or tools (such as wands), for harvesting herb to use in rituals, and to carve letters or symbols into candles, etc. The blade can either be straight or crescent-shaped (homage to the moon), and it’s never used for ceremonial or ritual work.
  • Cauldron
    Ritual vessel. Female energy.
    A metal or cast iron pot or kettle used for making potions, burn items during a ritual, or hold ingredients necessary for a spell or incantation. It can also be used to prepare Sabbat feasts and, when filled with water, for scrying. It is symbolic of the female (the womb).
  • Besom/Broom
    Male/Female energies.
    Generally made from ash or hazel (handle) with bristles of hawthorn, hazel, rowan, willow, broom, blackthorn, birch (traditional) – even straw or herbs – it’s used for sweeping negativity away from a space. The Besom is an important part of Wiccan handfasting ceremonies; and placing an upright broom over or near a doorway will protect the house from negative energy.
  • Censer
    Ritual vessel. Element of Air (incense) and Fire (charcoal).
    A vessel in which you can burn incense. (This item is in addition to the Cauldron, as you don’t want to burn incense in the latter.) Any container made of fire-resistant material will work. I found a small enameled baking dish (below) at the thrift store for 50 cents. Pour a layer of sand in the bottom and you’re good to go.
  • Bell
    Female energy.
    Drives off negativity and evil spirits. Used to invoke the Mother Goddess.
  • Grimoire (Book of Shadows)
    A handcrafted and personal journal of spells, incantations, rituals, and recipes. Any material can be used for the cover, but you may want to make your own parchment for its pages. Tradition holds that the book be destroyed upon the owner’s death.

Further reading:
Spirit Walk Ministry
Witchcraft and Witches
Witchpath Forward