*I’m just going to preemptively apologize for the busy pictures. I’m learning how to take artsy photos- and this was definitely not what I had in mind. However, I can only get better from here, right?!*
Witchcraft has gained a certain aesthetic in some circles, hasn’t it?
While having the air of mystery and magic all the time is neat and everything, when I’m working on my craft, I don’t have the time or inclination to always be fancy. Though I’d love to be able to afford to have one of those amazing apothecary cabinets, or even a centuries old bone-carved athame, I’m not even sure I would buy them if I could. It’s just not who I am. I’d much prefer to spend the money on experiences than “stuff”.
If it gets the job done, it doesn’t have to look pretty for me to love it. In fact, some of my favorite tools are everyday items that I’ve picked up from local stores.
I thought some of you might enjoy seeing some practical tools that you can run out and get almost anywhere. And they won’t break the bank! Then, we can save up for much fancier things, like this bathtub that I’m sure I’ve placed in another post before because I can’t stop drooling over it.
The important thing to remember when picking our your tools isn’t what it looks like, but whether it will function as you need it to. Then, if you can, go for aesthetic as a second priority. I bought a wonderful little ornate box some years ago that was purchased simply because it was pretty. It sat and sat, unused and collecting dust because it was too small to do anything with, for years before I finally gave it away when we moved. It was gorgeous, but it had absolutely no functionality to it.
However, each of these things, though not known for their amazing look, will be extremely useful and may even become your favorite witchy tools!
I am always using mirrors in my magick, as they not only amplify magick, they reflect negativity. I burn candles directly onto many mirrors, which leaves wax puddles all over them. I don’t like to start a new spell with remnants of old spells lingering, so cleaning the mirrors is a must. This handy little scraper, bought in the paint section of Home Depot, cleans my mirrors (and any other hard flat surface that might have wax) without damaging them. In less than 30 seconds, the mirror is brand new again, and I can dispose of all spell remains without issue!
I love to smoke cleanse my crystals to restore their energies. However, I have an abundance of them; too many, though I’m not quite sure that’s really possible. This little wire colander, found in the kitchen supply portion of Walmart, holds many stones at once saving me time and energy during the new moon! It’s also wonderful for larger stones, as I can penetrate all sides of the colander with smoke and get a really good cleanse on the stones without having to handle them. I also use it for other items that need to be cleansed, like tools. It’s kind of like the post office- if it fits, it’s getting cleansed!
This cheapy little burner is in the craft section of most any store. Menards here has some, Walmart, Michael’s, etc. They’re not hard to find, but they’re not great quality either. However, this little baby is perfect for inscribing candles, creating little wooden altar pieces, and making crafts. I’ve used this one so much it’s almost time for a new one, but I’m waiting to upgrade to a better one.
Remember the bone-carved athame? Well, this one might not be as pretty, but it definitely works. Inscribing candles, directing energy, or even chopping herbs, this knife is all purpose in my witchcraft. My husband picked this up at Bass Pro for me some years ago, but I know many other shops carry something similar. I think Walmart even sells something close for even cheaper than he bought this one.
Another gift from hubby. He searched and searched for this lighter, because of its engraving- and happened upon it one day in a random shop after giving up hope of ever finding it. Though this particular zippo isn’t one you’d find in a normal shop, lighters of all sorts are scattered about my home to be used. I love the long-necked refillable ones because I can use them for the tall candles on my living room altars without having to move them- but this one stays on my altar and is used in many spells.
Need a quick spell, but don’t want to wait hours for your candles to burn? $0.98 at any grocery store, these precious things are perfect for mini-altars, quick spells, and even the occasional birthday cake! I keep a set around the house, because you never know when we’ll be celebrating something, but I’ve used them many times when I’ve run out of chime candles, or just don’t feel a spell needs that much time to manifest. They’re also great for dripping onto other candles, to create intentional magick candles!
My altar always has pieces of herbs, or ashes, or some kind of debris from workings on it. Not to mention living with three dogs and the dust that never seems to leave, no matter how much I clean. In order to keep it clean and tidy, I picked up a big bristled paintbrush at a hardware store to “sweep” my space after spellworkings. One day, I realized my amethyst cluster was a bit dusty and used it to clean that too- even a cloth couldn’t get into the spots this brush did. It’s one of my most used, and absolute favorite, tools to this day.
Chinese Markers are oil based markers that are wrapped in paper and use a string to “sharpen”. Found in the marker aisle of Home Depot, I use these for sigils on surfaces from glass to my front door. They’re semipermanent, which means they won’t fade with time, but with a little elbow grease and some goo-b gone, they come right up. I love them because unlike the next item, they’re visible for a very long time.
Chalk is found everywhere. I got this pack in the school section of Michael’s, but I know it’s in Target, Walmart, and even the grocery store in that little aisle they keep school supplies in. Like the Chinese Markers, I use this for sigil work, or even inscribing candles that don’t need permanent markings. However, unless the area is covered afterward, the chalk tends to disappear which usually doesn’t matter- but in areas like my front door, I like being able to see the sigil of protection. However, on my altar space, under my cloth, there are sigils written in chalk that have stayed for over a year- and I love that if I were to ever decide to change them for any reason, simply wiping them with water would remove them. Chalk is also great for marking on hardwood floors, as I’ve done under our beds- because it won’t ruin anything.
Jars are everywhere in my house. They hold herbs, rocks, dirt, water, and pretty much anything else you can shove in one. They’re necessary to keeping my spaces organized, and probably have many more uses than just holding shit. I buy a big box of them every six months or so from the Canning aisle of Walmart for like $8, and never run out. You can also keep your jars from things like Jelly and Salsa, as like with stones- you can never have enough jars!
*Bonus* This one is filled with Lint from the dryer which is a great fire starter. Perfect for bonfires, ritual fires, or even campfires (which are magickal all by themselves).
These little things are incredibly handy for charcoal. I have a few of those tongs that you get with the packs of disks, but I tend to burn my hand with those. This is not only cheaper, it allows me to stay far enough away from the flame to be safe. And, it’s long enough that I can easily set the disk in my mini cauldron without dropping it. Don’t ask how many times I’ve done that with those other tongs. *facepalm*
Grimoires and Book of Shadows don’t always have to look like they walked out of the Charmed Series to be functional. A notebook where you write your thoughts, or where you keep your spellworkings, is just fine. I got this for less than a dollar at Staples or something during Back-to-School season. I use it for dream work, but I have others that are used to write down moon phases and dates for spells, including what I did and what I used. A friend of mine uses a binder for her Book of Shadows, and I think it’s brilliant!
Ribbon and String are incredible useful in witchcraft. Used in crafting binding spells, tying satchels, or wrapping candles, it doesn’t have to be fancy to be effective. This string was found in the craft section at one of the local stores, and it’s been used for several things. I even plan to use it to make a craft out of twigs which I’ll be posting sometime shortly! You can get different colors of string or ribbon for different intentions which can be used in place of candles- in case you’re in a situation where burning isn’t practical!
What do you think? Are there certain tools that you love that aren’t necessarily part of the witchy aesthetic? I’d love to hear about them!
Until next time, my friends…