A Wiccan of 25 years, Sage likes to put her background as a writer and teacher to use by helping people learn about this NeoPagan path.
Minor Wiccan Tools
Wicca is a ceremonial religion, and as such Wiccans tend to use a lot of tools that are both major and minor players in ritual. I have a hub outlining the 5 primary Wiccan tools, and a hub outlining secondary Wiccan tools. If you are not familiar with these, you may find it useful to read these as well. This fourth hub in my series on Wiccan tools and supplies refers to minor items that may be useful to you.
This list is not a shopping list; Wicca is not a scavenger hunt. No Wiccan needs any of these things, nor should you feel shut out of Wicca because you don’t have any of them. Indeed, you can be Wiccan a lifetime and never get 95% of these things. Once you decide to become Wiccan, what ultimately works or does not work on your altar is up to you.
Learn more about the role of tools in Wicca here.
What Kinds of Things Do Wiccans Need?
Minor Wiccan Tools:
Moratar and pestle
Bottles and jars
Wiccan Altar Cloth
General Altar Supplies
Candles: there seems to be something very spiritual about the glow of a candle, and you will find many religions keep candles flickering during prayers, services or religious observances. Wicca is no exception.
Candles in Wicca can be used as symbols of the Gods, the elements, to mark the four quarters or simply to promote a ritual atmosphere conducive to worship. They give great mood lighting for prayers and meditations. Of course, candles are the main ingredient for candle magic.
Vast majority of Wiccans utilize candles. It’s good to keep a fresh supply on hand in an assortment of styles and colors. I like to keep pillar candles, votives and tapers in assorted colors in the closet. Each candle color has its own specific associations, but white can be a substitute for anything so it’s good to have a lot of white candles.
You can get candles anywhere, but I’m personally skeptical of buying really cheap candles. They don’t burn very well and have a high soot and smoke level. I find that if you spring for a bit better quality they will burn longer and more evenly. I would rather have a box of white Jewish Shabbos candles for spells than cheap discount store tapers.
Candle Holders: Naturally if you are going to use candles, you’ll need an assortment of candle holders so you can burn them safely. I love to pick up candle holders at thrift shops, they can have some very dramatic kinds for a great bargain, and very simple, plain ones for a few cents.
Altar Cloths: I love to dress my altar for the occasion, and it all starts with an altar cloth. For an Esbat, I go with something white or silver. For a harvest festival, a sunflower or autumn leaf print. For Spring fertility festivals, pastel colors and little flowers are the thing. It keeps my altar tables clean, and since I get them in the discount fabric bins I don’t feel horrible if something spills on the altar cloth.
Elemental representatives: For Wiccans who work more with the elements, it’s always good to have representatives of the actual elements on the altar. Water for Water, a candle, lamp or lava rock for Fire, a bowl of salt, sand, soil or a potted plant for Earth and a feather, fan or incense for Air. Of course, it’s not entirely necessary as the five primary tools represent the elements.
Deity Symbols: In Wicca, there is nothing wrong with keeping statues and images of our Gods. We have been accused of ‘idol worship’ because of this, but we certainly understand that the artistic rendering of a God is not a God itself. If you have or want to make a God or Goddess figure or picture, you’re more than welcome. In the absence of such figures, many will use the appropriate color candle.
If you prefer, you can use symbols of things held sacred to your God or Goddess. For example, you might keep keys on the altar for Hecate, a hammer for Thor or an owl carving for Athena.
Bottles and Jars Collection
Containers and Practical Items
Assortment of small bowls: You never know when they’re going to come in handy. I use small bowls to hold water and salt on the altar for cleansing and consecration. I put out a small bowl of incense for easy sprinkling onto the coals. If you’re going to perform a spell and need some herbs, or beads or whatever, a small bowl is a great place to keep them so they’re easy to contain during ritual until you need them. I always keep a libation bowl out on the altar and shrines for offerings that later get returned to the Earth. I’ve even used sea shells or shot glasses for these purposes.
Bottles and jars: If you work with herbs, if you like to make your own incense blends, if you like to work with essential oils or make infusions of any kind, you’ll find keeping little bottles and jars beneficial. When I harvest and dry herbs, I keep them in cookie jars or old baby food jars. When I run out of a kitchen spice, I clean out the bottle, peel off the old label, put on a new label and fill it with a home-made incense blend. Jars are also a great place to store collections of crystals, beads, buttons and other little do-dads you might use for any spiritual crafts or magical purposes.
Baskets: I love keeping baskets around for when I have friends over to ritual, or for big family Sabbat celebrations. They’re so pretty for holding things that might get passed out, such as flowers or ritual pouches filled with herbs. They’re also great for collecting things like messages or offerings.
Mortar and Pestle: Another excellent item for working with herbs, I have one large granite one in my kitchen (it was a gift), a small one I use for teas and infusions, and another medium sized ceramic one I use when making incense or working with toxic herbs. I won’t use that for anything intended to be consumed. If you do not work with herbs, you won’t find it very useful. If you want to be more modern, get a spice blender or a small coffee grinder to do the job, but I just love hand grinding with my mortar and pestle, even when I cook.
Wiccan Crystal Wand
For Magic and Energy Work
Crystals: Wiccan’s don’t need to work with crystals and gemstones, but they are excellent for absorbing or amplifying energy. They are also great used symbolically to represent Gods, elements or on anything your ritual might be focused.
Herbs: Being Wiccan does not require one to work with herbs. Wicca is not equal to herbalism. But even a few herbs can be useful. Sage, for one, is great for cleansing. Rosemary branches make great aspergils. If you like to make infusions, potions, or blend your own incense, it’s good to have your most commonly used herbs on hand. I like to keep an herb garden— it’s fairly elaborate for a patio container garden, but it gives me a plentiful supply. You can also pick up herbs at farmer’s markets or supermarkets—don’t feel you have to grow them or shell out a bundle for them.
Essential Oil: Like herbs, they have some great uses and it’s good to keep at least a couple of all-purpose oils around. You can use them in ritual for blessings and consecrations. Add them to incense blends or steam them for scent.
Divination Tools: Divination is not a necessity, but many Wiccans see something more to the world than what meets the eye. As such, some form of divination is fairly common. There are many systems of divination from which one can choose—the Tarot, I-Ching, runes, scrying mirrors, crystal balls, etc., but there are no must-haves. Use the system that most interests you and that you find useful.
Robes: Robes are really a personal preference. For some people, putting on a robe helps them slip into ritual consciousness. For others, they’re clunky and awkward to wear when trying to navigate in small places around open flames. Out at a group Sabbat, I think they’re great. They promote the spiritual atmosphere and unity, reminding us of the solemnity of the occasion. At home alone I have no use for them at all, they’re not very comfortable. I just slip into one of my large all white men’s cotton t-shirts that I reserve for rituals.
Musical Instruments: They can be useful for chanting and songs, and promoting joy and reverence in the circle. Music does touch something deep inside and tap something primal. Drumming, tambourines or even maracas can be a nice addition.
Bell: Bells are believed to purify the vibrations in an area and banish malevolent spirits. On a more practical note, they are a great way to signify the end of one portion of the ritual and the beginning of another, particularly with groups. It signals the brain that it’s time to move on to the next activity.
Wiccan Tools Colection
Wrapping it Up
By no means is this a comprehensive list; but these are things you might consider getting along the way. Most of these are not specifically Wiccan, you’ll find they are fairly common among Pagans or Witches of any religion, but many of them can be very useful to Wiccans (whether they practice Witchcraft or not).
On a budget? Here are some tips for finding very affordable supplies: Where to Buy Your Wiccan Tools on a Budget.
© 2013 Mackenzie Sage Wright
Mackenzie Sage Wright (author) on February 10, 2013:
Thanks Nell Rose, I appreciate your comment.
Nell Rose from England on February 07, 2013:
What a great read, and I want all of the paraphanalia now! I could do with some more statues, and the bowls and...! lol! I do have at least 7 gods and goddesses on my fireplace! Pan, Mary, Shiva, etc. That's the great thing about wicca we can use what we please, great hub, and voted up!