Magical tools can be a witch's best friends; they allow us to shape and send energies through them in specific ways so that the energies are best able to perform their task. It is very often said that your tools will best suit you if made yourself, or barring that, unique to you. Dig around antique stores, attics and garage sales until you find things that are perfectly suited to your tastes and style of witchcraft. My first ritual blade was made from a dinner knife that felt just right in my hand, and my favorite chalice is a blown-glass goblet filled with bubbled inclusions, a perfect mix of water and air.

The Ritual Blade

Most neo-pagan witches model their ritual blades after the Wiccan athame. However, calling them 'athames' is incorrect - the athame (prounounced Ath-A-May) has a specific method of consecration nescessary to create it, and this method is oathbound material for Wiccans. People who are not initiates of British Traditional Wicca are therefore unable to have an athame, specifically. But anyone can have a ritual blade!

Generally dark-handled (but it does not have to be), it channels and directs energy away from the witch's body. It is very precise, having a point which very accurately directs power. It can be used to direct energy as a cutting tool as well. The ritual blade is traditionally considered masculine, and associated with Air or Fire.

The Chalice

The chalice is often a goblet of some kind, wine, water, or other fluids as offerings or ritual components. They are usually made of something silver, but can also be found in glass and ceramic. Some people avoid using metal chalices, partially for the taste they may impart fluids one intends to consume, and others to avoid giving what is considered a feminine tool any masculine energies. The chalice corresponds with Water.

The Wand

The Wand is another energy-direction tool, like the ritual blade. Some people prefer them to a blade, since they are less threatening in appearance. Like the ritual blade, they can be used to channel energy; some people prefer to use a wand to invoke their deities, or draw energies to themselves.

Different kinds of wood have different properties, and wands are as different from one another as people. They may be decorated with leather, feathers, beads, stones and crystals, or none at all; often they are carved or painted in runes and other magical symbols. The wand is traditionally considered a masculine tool, being a phallic object, and associated with Fire or Air.

The Pentacle

Pentacles of the altar variety come in many different forms; carved in wood, stone, made of clay or sometimes just sewn into cloth. Pentacles are used as consecration tools - objects may be laid upon the pentacle, or the pentacle placed on the object.. The symbol of the pentacle is symbolic of all the elements, but is usually associated with Earth as a tool, and considered feminine.

There are many other tools as well, not perhaps as vital to the solitary's practice, but still useful and lovely:

The Cauldron

Cauldrons are used for a larger group as a chalice would be, but is considered to be where magickal transformations take place. Filled with water, they are often used for scrying. Like the chalice, the cauldron is considered feminine, and is associated with Water.

The Staff

The Staff is a larger version of the wand, again highly personal. The decision to use a staff over a wand often comes when practicing in groups, but I like to use mine when I am outdoors.

The Besom (or Broom)

The besom is a powerful symbol of home and hearth, and used to clean ritual spaces, as well as cleaning negative energies from your own home. The besom plays a role in some handfasting ritual, when the bride and groom leap over one to exit the circle.

The Herb Knife

The herb knife is a small, sharp, white-handled knife used for cutting herbs and plants, In Wicca, the athame should never be used to physically cut, so a herb knife called a 'bolline' is traditionally used to do so. It is often sickle-shaped, but does not have to be. Some traditions don't use the bolline; it is up to the individual solitary if they wish to.

The Sword

The Sword is again a larger version of the ritual blade, used as a potent energy-cutting tool. It is often used by coven priestesses to draw the boundaries of circles and open and close gates therein.