The altar can be made of anything such as a table, mantlepiece or windowsill, as long as it fits inside your magic circle. Symbols of the 4 elements are often placed on the alter such as a stone for earth, knife or incense for air, candles for fire, and a chalice and or cauldron for water. They can be decorated with talismans, herbs, flowers, crystals, etc. The alter holds the tools used in the magic rite and provides a focal point for meditation. The altar is central to most magic practices. It is often covered in a sacred cloth. These cloths are preferably made from silk and stored in a white silk bag when not in use. They should never be used for any other purpose other than to cover the altar. Altars are usually candle lit and among the assortment of candles there should always be 2 special ones-a gold candle to represent the Lord and the Sun and a Silver one to represent the Lady and the Moon. Or you could use 2 large white candles with the symbols of the God and Goddess carved in them. Altars are usually placed in the Northen or Eastern sections of the room.
You can make an alter out of anything. You could use a bookshelf, a large mirror, a table, a window sill or anything that you feel would make a good altar for you and your needs.
An amulet is an object that is worn or carried to protect a person from harm and to bring good luck. They can be made from stone or metal and are often engraved. But they can be made from anything. A four-leaf clover and a rabbits foot are 2 examples of an amulet.
This ritual knife is linked to the element of air. It is preferably a double headed knife with a black handle. The blade may be magnetized and symbols and runes are often inscribed on the blade and handle. The athame is not used for cutting but used to draw the magic circle or mixing ingredients used in spell making. It can be used as a wand to direct and control energy used in casting spells. The athame connects the energy source from the infinite sky above with the sources of energy below. "As above so below." It is also often used to open and close the doorway to their circle. If you don't have an athame two fingers works just as well.
Baskets are convenient for keeping together and for carrying into the circle many of the things needed in spell making.
A bell may be rung at the beginning of the ritual when calling the four quarters and at the end to tell the elements to return to their realms. It could also be used during the ritual to help call in and build the energy before releasing it.
The boline is the traditional witches' knife. Usually white handled with a curved blade, it is used to cut plants and herbs, wands and other things that need to be cut as a part of spellcasting.
Book of Shadows
The book of shadows is the witch's personal spell book in which they record spells that have been cast, spells they would like to cast, chants and invocations, dreams and any other matters relevant to their personal spell making.
Bowls are an essential part of the witch's equipment. At least two are needed-one in which to keep salt and the other in which to pour water.
Known in the witch's vocabulary as a besom it is used to sweep out negative influences from the area to be used for magic making. It can also be used in cleansing spells in and around a house or building.
Burils are sharp pointed instruments used to inscribe candles and other things that need to be similarly marked during magic making.
Candles are used to represent the element of fire and to help focus the mind and thought. They are also connected to the South. Altar candles are usually placed on either side of the altar. They come in different colors and shapes and are used for different purposes. They may be scored with runic symbols or special patterns. They should be lit using matches rather than a lighter. Candles used for lighting or decoration are not re-lit for use with magic spells. Many witches keep a large sort of them in all sizes and colors. Before rituals, candles are often anointed with essential oils, and loaded with herbs.
The cauldron represents the creative aspects of the female goddess and symbolizes the female uterus. It is known as the Cauldron of Regeneration and may be used in a Yule ceremony. It is linked to water and to the West. A cauldron with 3 legs represents the Triple Goddess and a cauldron with 4 legs, the elements. Cauldrons can be filled with water and used for scrying, or to contain a candle or small fire.
The censer is a small container such as a bowl or dish, used to burn incense, herbs, chemicals, wood, etc. In witchcraft it represents the element of Air.
This is a cup or goblet associated with the element water and the West. It is used to hold wine or fruit juice during rituals. It is commonly made from stainless steel but any thing with work. The chalice is associated with beauty, compassion, the earth, emotion, fertility, instinct, intuition, love, receptivity, the subconscious.
Cords are used in many types of rituals. When casting spells knots are tied in the cord in specific patterns orders and untied at specific times to release the spells energy. Different colored cords are used for different spells, you may wish to use a cord corresponding in color with a specific planet's color. They can also be used to create a visible magic circle.
Every spellcaster and maker of magic has their favorite crystal which they instinctively know works with them. Crystals may be influenced by many factors such as the time of the year or the phase of the moon. All crystals have magical properties and can be used for many reasons.
Essential oils are widely used in casting spells, either to dress candles or by being burned in the censer. All essential oils have magical properties ascribed to the oils used in casting spells.
A varied selection of herbs are used in magic making. They can be obtained from shops and markets and are easily grown in a garden or window box. Herbs can be carried in a handbag or wrapped in a piece of natural cloth and kept in a pocket.
Incense is a must. It can be used in any of its forms-powder, cone, or stick-to represent the element of Air and should be placed on the East end of the altar.
This is a double-headed axe which represents the Goddess in ancient Crete, still used by some Wiccans for this same purpose. The labrys may be placed on or leaned against the left side of the alter.
This is a five-pointed star used to represent all 5 elements (earth, air, fire, water, and spirit). It may be written on paper or formed of more solid material. The base which the pentacle in drawn or engraved, may be shaped as a square or a circle and be made from metal, clay, wood, etc. The pentacle may be used to ground energy or to serve food at the end of a ritual.
The pentagram is a sacred symbol to the witches. It is a sign of protection against evil.
The top point is often painted white or purple. Moving clockwise from there, the next point represents Air which is associated with the color yellow. Next comes Earth usually colored green. Moving round, Fire colored red is next. And lastly comes Water associated with the color blue.
A talisman is a man made object of any shape or material charged with magical properties . It can be inscribed with a sun sign, moon sign, birth date or any other magical symbol.
A wand is used to draw magical symbols on the ground or in the air, to direct energy and to call upon the power of the Lady. Made from a tree branch it can be decorated with runes or crystals.