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- Paganism & Witchcraft
Basic Tools of Magick
Athame: An athame is a double edged knife (think dagger). It usually has a black handle. It is used to represent either Fire or Air, your choice. It is a phallic symbol and represents male (God) energy. The athame is used to cast circles, direct your energy, carve symbols on candles, and some say it can be used to harvest herbs for ritual use. The athame is never used to draw blood.
Wand: The wand can be made of wood, glass, a long straight crystal point. It can be decorated any way that you see fit. Like the athame is represents either Fire or Air. If you athame is Fire your wand is Air. It is used to direct your energy, cast your circle. A wand can also be a phallic symbol.
Chalice: The chalice is a glass on a stem (like a wine glass) it can be made out clay, glass, metal. It is used to represent Water and represents female (Goddess) energy. It holds water during ritual.
Cauldron: A cauldron is a fire proof pot, usually cast iron. It represents Water and Goddess energy, rebirth and is also used to burn things in during ritual.
Salt Dish: The salt dish is a shallow dish that holds salt during ritual. It represents Earth. Editor's note: Some pagans do not use a salt dish, and instead have a Pentacle to represent Earth.
Pentacle Disk: The pentacle disk is a disk with a pentacle drawn or engraved on it. It represents spirit and sits in the middle of your altar. It is for protection. It can be used to petition the Lord & Lady and to purify items for ritual work. Side note: Some pagans do not use a salt dish, and instead have a Pentacle to represent Earth.
Incense: Incense represents Air. It also has qualities that allow it to represent different days of the week, moon phases, God/desses, Zodiac signs, emotions. The use of incense can enhance your magickal workings, and meditations. The use of incense, like candles adds focus and energy to your work.
Censer: A censer is a fire proof dish, sometimes with chains for carrying around the circle. You burn a charcoal disk in it on which you place powdered incense or herbs. The censer represents fire.
Broom: The broom is used to cleanse your circle/area of negativity. You sweep the area East to West to cleanse it of any negative influences. The broom doesn't necessarily have to touch the ground of floor it is the sweeping action that does the cleansing. The broom is also used for some rituals. In a handfasting it can be used to signify over coming obstacles together by having the birde and groom jump over it. It is believed that the thought that witches could fly on brooms was brought about by the practice of them jumping with their brooms in fields to show the grain how high to grow.