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Tools for Ritual

Ritual Tools
From: Tryskelion

Ritual tools are used for many reasons. They aid us in focusing our concentration, and assist us in visualization exercises. Ritual tools can help us to quickly set the aura of a “world outside this world,” and their symbolic meanings can give comfort during trying times.

One of the most important things to remember about ritual tools, however, is that they are not necessary! In a pinch, your finger works just fine. Most of all, never doubt the fertility and creativity of your own mind; in Magick, your most problematic issues will be the limitations you place upon intuition and imagination.

The following is a list of some of the most widely accepted ritual tools. Please note these are only the personal and/or group ritual tools. This list does not include such items as candles, oils, scents, and other items that are commonly used in ritual.


    A ritual knife. The athame is used to direct personal power during ritual workings. It is seldom (if ever) used for actual, physical cutting. The term is of obscure origin, has many variant spellings among Wiccans, and an even greater variety of pronunciations.


    The table upon which you place your ritual items. Indoors, this can be any table top you use specifically for this purpose. Outdoors, a flat rock, a tree stump, or an even piece of ground can be used for an altar.


    The white-handled knife, used in magick and ritual for practical purposes, such as cutting herbs.

Book of Shadows

    A book of spells, rituals, poetry, chants, meditations, divinations, and other glimpses of personal experience while walking the Pagan Path.

Broom (Besom)

    The Broom is often used to sweep the ritual area before building the Circle. This is an astral cleansing with a magickal tool and not a physical cleaning; all dust bunnies should have been removed much earlier! An old magickal way to make a broom is with an ash staff, birch twigs and a willow binding.


    A container in which magickal transformations occur. This ancient cooking and brewing kettle is steeped in magickal tradition and mystery. As a symbol of the goddess, it is the manifested essence of femininity and fertility. Symbolic also of the element water, it represents reincarnation, immortality and inspiration. It is mostly used for controlled fires and water spells and visualizations during rituals. Can also be used for scrying.


    A heat-proof cantainer in which incense is burned. It symoblizes the element of air.

Cup (Chalice)

    The Chalice symbolizes the Goddess and fertility, and is related to the element of water. It is a vital component in the cakes and wine ceremony, representing the Cauldron of Rebirth which is the Lady, Herself.


    A ritual object upon which a five-pointed star (pentagram) is inscribed, painted or engraved. It represents the element earth.


    A tool of invocation and also of challenge. Used in similar fashion to a wand, in that it directs energy, and can be utilized to trace out the Circle.


    A tool of invocation and healing. The wand is used to direct energy, draw magickal symbols upon or trace out a Circle on the ground, to point toward danger while perfectly balanced on the palm or arm, or even to stir brew in a cauldron. The wand represents the element of air and is sacred to the Gods. Traditional woods used for the wand include willow, oak, apple, peach, hazel, cherry, and so on.

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