Neo-pagan Tools

Hardware which are used to perform Witchcraft rites often look like common household items. Although there is much variation among individual Wiccans and their covens, the following are typical:

A primary tool, which is owned by most witches, is an athame or ritual knife. Used for many purposes, but never for cutting. It is either created by its owner, or is a re-worked purchased knife. A sword is sometimes substituted for the athame.The athame is charged with the energy of the owner and is used as a pointer to define space (such as casting a sacred circle) and as a conductor of the owner’s will and energy.

Other important tools are the symbols on the altar which denote the "Aristotelian" Elements: Earth, Air, Fire, and Water (some "maps" include Spirit).

A pentagram or pentacle (a five-pointed star sometimes surrounded by a circle) is often used to symbolize Earth and its properties — stability, material wealth, the body, and practical affairs. Alternatively, a small dish of salt or soil can be used to symbolize the Earth Element.

A thurible (or censer) or a bell can be used to symbolize Air and its properties — communications, vitality, intellect and understanding. Also rung to delineate sections of the rite.

A sword or wand may be used to symbolize Air or Fire, and many "maps" disagree on with which element the sword or wand should be associated.

A candle or small pot of fire may symbolize the element of Fire and its properties — will, transmutation, life-force, and power.

A chalice of water or goblet is used to symbolize the element of Water and its properties — cleansing, regeneration, and emotion.

A cauldron, for mixing herbs and essence

Four candles just outside the circle, at the four cardinal directions. Two candles representing the Goddess and God.

In the traditions which include the element of Spirit, an ankh or quartz crystal is used to symbolize Spirit and its properties — perfection, summation, balance, illumination and eternity.

There are many other minor tools which are used for some specific purposes within magical workings, but the tools described above are the basic ones used in the practice of Witchcraft, and many of the minor tools are extrapolations of the basic ones (e.g. the broom of the wand, the sword of the athame, the cauldron of the cup, …).