One of the things I suggest anyone who is seriously studying the Craft is to begin to collect your tools. The most important of the magikal tools are a broom, cauldron, wand and athame. These items have a great deal of significance to the witch.
Broom- why do witches use brooms if they do not fly on them? The broom is strong symbol of the hearth and domestic life and a tool for cleansing. In antiquity there were those who believed that witches flew on their brooms, using them as magikal conveyances to Sabats. It was also symbolic of the May Pole, a fertility symbol and is also a sort of phallic symbol among my Wiccan and Pagan friends. The broom is in reality a "woman's" weapon. It is her staff and defender and her baton of authority in the home. Modern witches use their broom to cleanse their sacred space and when used in a coven, it symbolizes the sacred circle.
Cauldron- For my Wiccan and Pagan friends, it is a symbol of the Goddess, the murturing mother providing food and medicine for her children. For the Christian witch it is the well of healing. In my cauldron, which is simple affair, I brew herbs for ointments and washes, burn incense from time to time, light the Beltaine fires from it and consume negative energies in small fires in it.
Wand- My wand is a found holly branch which has been stripped of its bark and smoothed and varnished using tung oil. It is about 16 inches long and hanging from its grip are symbols of my faith, my culture and my magik. In and of itself, it is not magikal, but used in castings, it is tool to direct my intentions. For the Christian witch it is one of my weapons, my rod, with which I protect my family.
Athame- an athame is a dagger or knife that is used very much like a wand. I use it to inscribe candles with intentions and to direct protective spells. It never tastes blood. Contrary to many people's belief, the athame is not used to kill anything. Wiccans and Pagans do not use the athame for blood rituals either. Wiccans do not have blood rituals, Pagans may, I don't know, and I invite Pagan brothers and sisters to write to me and let me know so I can up date my information.
Candles, the pentangle and other objects can be tools as well. Contrary to popular belief, the pentangle is not a sign of the Devil. Even when inverted. Wiccan and Pagan practitioners use the inverted pentangle to represent the forest god commonly thought of as Pan or the Forrest Lord. Satanists have annexed the symbol to represent a horned image they call Satan. I myself do not use the inverted pentangle, but I will use the pentangle to represent the elements, the seasons, the four directions and the spirit of God. Orthodox Christians such as the Amish have been known to use the sign of the pentangle to ward off hexes and curses. Christians in antiquity used the pentangle to represent the star of Bethlehem.
All tools should be dedicated and not used for anything else, least of all any mundane household task.
My next blog I will discuss angels, ghosts and spirits, and necromancy and magikal names.