Witch Wednesdays Podcast Episode 8 - Traditional Witch Tools

Witch Wednesdays Podcast Episode 8 - Traditional Witch Tools

Episode 8 can be found here and on YouTube here. Tools are linked here.


S: You're listening to episode number eight traditional which tools. As we started talking about witch tools last week when we talked about casting a circle we mention wands so what we want to cover the things today that are associated with with witchcraft because that's a question that a lot of beginners have as you know, what do I need, what do I have to go out and buy? The answer is nothing.

T: nothing ever.

S: It can seem like witchcraft is a very expensive practice, but it does not have to be. There's a lot of things like crystals that are really fun to collect and that can start adding up but nothing on this list is a necessity so we wanted to get into that before we even start this list, absolutely nothing is required the only thing that's required for witchcraft is yourself and your energy. you don't need anything else ever.

So as we go through this list,which is in no order whatsoever I kind of just wrote them down as I was thinking about them, and Tara doesn't know what order we're going in, I'm going to surprise her...

T: She didn't send me a list guys, she did not send me what I should be talking about this time.

S: So as we go through the list, I'll tell you a little bit about what what each thing is if it's not familiar, what you can use it for and then Tara and I will each let you Know if we have one or not.

So the first one is a wand. Which I figured is a good place to start because we already talked about those so a wand is a tool used to direct energy really want to think of it as like an extension of your hand that you're holding it in. and you do need to obviously know how to manipulate energy first, we talked about that a couple of podcasts ago, you need to know how to gather the energy and then manipulated into your hand and then direct it into the wand and then from the tip of the wand, direct it out into the world to do whatever it is that you wanted to do. Like Tara said last week, wands are very good for beginners because they can really direct your attention and your focus and really allow you to see where you're sending something. now personally I do not have a wand and I have never had one.

T: I have had wands.

S: Obviously you can go either way and I do love wands and I've seen a lot of beautiful ones you can have wands of all different kinds they can definitely be made of wood, you can find a fallen branch and make your own. they can also be made of metals or crystals or basically anything. some people tie crystals to the ends of them to the tip to make it you know more focused but yes but you can find them all over the place you can make them yourself and you really want to find one that calls to you but it's definitely not something that's required. and I've never bought one because I just personally have never found a use for one. I feel like it would be something that's just more like pretty decoration in my house than something that's useful.

T: so I actually have a few wands, or I should say I've had a few wands over the years. I'm down to just one. I only use it really to decorate, I don't use it to direct energy any longer. it's a beautiful metal work wand with crystals embedded in it and I bought it years and years ago and cleaned it and made it mine and it was great. and the best one I ever had was when I first got started I bought a wand from a lady and she actually sold me the wand but then told me that I shouldn't use it because it wasn't tune to me and I should make my own so she actually walk me through making my old wand and that one I used when I first get started for a long long time, I use that one for years. but I don't need them to help me direct things and like I said I still have the one wand I don't have the one I made or that original wooden one but I still have the metal one and like you said it's a pretty decoration but I don't need it to set my intention so it's mostly just decorative at this point.

S: The next one on this list is an athame or ath-a-may. They can be pronounced either way which you know is something that's like a tangent sidebar. some people seem to have a lot of issues if you pronounce something that they think is the wrong way. and that really bothers me. because they're a lot of different ways to pronounce some thing and something like you get this a lot with Samhain which is on October 31 and it is spelled SAMHAIN so if you've seen that a lot of people pronounce it Sam-Hain because they've never heard it like it originally an Irish Gaelic word sow-in however it's actually a very ancient word and we don't actually know how it's pronounced, we just think that it's sow-in but we don't actually know that. and it doesn't matter how you pronounce it like it matters what your intention is and if you're a solo practitioner who got into witchcraft through reading about it and you've only ever read that word and have never head anybody pronounce it, you're going to pronounce it the way you read it in your head. The people who read the Harry Potter books as a kid and were in the US and had never come across the name Hermione before. you likely did not pronounce it that Way in your head and then when you saw the movie were like holy crap that's totally different than what I thought it was. So I don't like people who pick on you if you say if you pronounce the word differently than them. it's not necessarily wrong it's just different than they think it should be. they say all like you're you're not a real witch, like you don't you don't even know how to pronounce this word, but give me a break. It's the rudest thing ever, it makes me very angry.

T: And this is why me and Steph can be friends because I get almost all of my knowledge from books also I just have terrible pronunciation on words even if I didn't learn them from a book. so I constantly pronounce things however I want.

S: like yeah which is actually fair, I feel like witchcraft has become a lot more popular but it didn't used to be, so if you didn't know any witches and you just started reading Books, books don't have a pronunciation key in them, you're just reading the words in your head. I mean that's goes completely off topic.

So athame is spelled a-t-h-a-m-e so it could be ath-aim or could be ath-a-may. People pronounce it both ways and there's not a problem with either way so that's that's what it is. so if you're wondering what the heck an athame is, it looks like a dagger and it is a ritual knife but it's blunt, so it's used for energetic cutting not actual cutting. and it's considered the counter part of the want because it can also be used for directing energy and a lot of Wiccans will use an athame instead of a wand to cast their circle. And it is also used for cutting energy so if you have some sort of spell work like cord cutting or something like that but also breaking a circle is also something you would use an athame for. so I personally also do not have one of these for the same reasons that I don't have a wand because I have never found a use for it. and I've never directed energy through on so I wouldn't have directed through an athame either, then it would probably be something that would just be pretty decoration.

T: and I have one I use it to direct energy during ceremonies and things, but I really have it because I don't use I wand anymore so I use it for what I used to use a lot of the wand working. also I just really like knives so this is a lot more useful and applicable to my lifestyle. I use it for a lot of Ritual work, spell work, I keep it out it's pretty, the reason I don't need to wadt anymore is because a lot of the things that I used to do with the want I now do with my athame, yeah I don't need both.

S: The other knife on this list is called a boline and that is a curved knife with a white handle and it's used for cutting herbs and stripping wood, basically sort of nature cutting. yes and I, we are not gonna be surprised, I don't have one of those either. because I am a minimalist and not that I don't cut things in my practice but I am fine with cutting things with knives I already own in the house. I'm not going to go out and buy some thing that I already have a tool in my house that will accomplish the same thing, that's the point of being a minimalist.

T: yeah well and I don't have one even though I do a lot of kitchen work because I already have the athame and I don't need a second one. I also think there's nothing wrong with just using my regular kitchen knives which I keep in use all the time anyway oh but I know some witches that they won't do spell work in the kitchen without it it's just a personal preference.

S: yeah absolutely. Next thing on the list is the pentacle. this is originated in Wicca and is much more pertinent to Wiccans and it's used to represent the five elements it's definitely trickled over into witchcraft so you see that imagery a lot actually but it's not necessary to witchcraft. and pentacles obviously but I say that I mean with that's that five pointed symbol but it can come in many forms. you have a pet like a wooden one you can just have an image of one, like a metal, some sort of jewelry reflecting it, comes in, I'm just talking about the symbol, but it comes in all forms.

T: I have rings, necklaces, earrings, I have clothing, I have a cutting board, I have a lot of these But this is something that is Intergal to my practice but it also my religion so that's why I have so many it's like almost like a Christian having a cross I have pentacles all over there's probably not a room, well I will say the guest bathroom might not have one, but otherwise they are all over my house. They're not all obvious sometimes it's just on I make shapes, with the candles in the guest bedroom I have candles on the headboard and the candles are in that shape it doesn't have to be the obvious star pointed up every time it's just the five points, but I have them everywhere.

S: but it's definitely much more of a Wiccan religion aspect of it. it's not that you can't use it if you're not a wiccan and you absolutely can but, again, not something that I have or use in my practice. I have to think, I Have a lot of witchy sort of things and I imagine that that imagery might appear someplace in my tarot deck or oracle deck but I can't think of a specific instance of just having a pentagram someplace I don't think I do.

T: I was gonna say I know I have some in my Taror deck and I have them in candleholders, like I said there but it's just something has meaning to me and it's a lot more of the religious aspect me then necessarily the witchcraft part so that's why I have so many.

S: well is the using decks to segue the next common witch toold, I'm going to group them altogether is divination tools because that's what all of these are used for. so we just talked about Tarot decks and oracle decks, the other types of divination tools are pendulums, runes and crystal balls. so you might see those all over the place and those are used to, when we say divination, you're basically asking the universe what's comin. Giving a warning, telling the future, not necessarily a bad war ning, and you can you know ask the cards do you know what new career is coming into your life for a new love or something like.

T: Or just ask what should I prepare for coming next.

S: Yes and I have some I do not have runes or crystal ball. I have I want a crystal ball but really bad I really I really want one. so reading a crystal ball,we're gonna we have a whole segment coming up on divination but real quick, reading crystal ball is called scrying and I really like you just like stare into the ball until you have like pictures come to you,

T: until the universe gives you a glimpse.

S: yeah images and then you know decipher what those images mean to you in your life. and they're pretty. Crystal balls are so pretty, they can be clear, they can be cloudy, the can be made of quartz and things like that but I just I really want one I don't have one yet I'm a look out because I do feel strongly about all the things on this list that you need to connect with them like your energy needs to work with it. and there have been times were we got into an occult shop and picked up some thing like a crystal or pendulum or some thing and I can like feel that like we are not going to get along, and you need tools that like work with you so I have a tarot deck, an oracle deck and a pendulum. But I do not have runes or a crystal ball.

T: so I don't use divination very much at all unless I'm with steph and we always do something. but like literally every time I go see her we do it but I am interested in getting a new tarot deck. I have an older tarot deck that I bought gosh probably why I'm not gonna talk about how long ago, it doesn't work for me. It's one of those things where I picked it up and I wanted it to work with me but it just doesn't. It's just weird we don't get along and said oh I would like to get one of those. I do not scry, I had runes at one point, I'm just not into the divination I'm not gonna lie I managed to hurt myself on the runes it's like it's not healthy.

S: Ok, the next thing on the list which is actually the subject of next weeks podcast episode, but that book of shadows or a grimoire. These, we will get into the difference between the two, But at the end of the day they're both basically journals of witchcraft and your practice. so we'll talk about them next week because we don't keep you too long so I do have one yes.

T: I have one and I've had one for many yearsm I actually have multiple ones because when I fill one up I don't throw it away I just got a new one and start filling that up. so I keep them on a bookshelf

S: The next thing on the list is very common in terms of depictions of witches and that's a cauldron. and that's actually a witch tool, it's used in practicing, even with modern witches, it's often used for burning things. Like incense but also Petitions or offerings. we will literally were just talking about this before we started recording and I don't I don't have a cauldron in the traditional sense because again as a minimalist I feel like you can use things that you already have, and I can use other things around house like a bowl or a pot to act as a cauldron. I don't need an actual like dedicated cauldron.

T: whereas I have one and I love it and I use it every day. that's why we're talking about right for this because I literally use it every day. but I highly recommend yeah but I have one I love it that's all I got.

S: I would say again cauldrons are something that are used a lot in Wiccan traditions just because theyare very representative of the fire element.

Which brings me into the next one on my list, which is a chalice, which is at the opposite end it represents the water element. so those are kind of two that go together that are more seen in the Wiccan practice which you've seen a chalice, it's used to hold water during ceremonies. so those two things are much more important to Wiccans than a secular witch cause I'll tell you right now I don't have a chalice is either.

T: I had a chalice and I managed to break it I need a new chalice but it also it holds more than water. if you have an altar a lot of times it holds water on the altar but during religious ceremonies a lot of times it'll hold like we'll talk more about this during coming up episodes, but like if you make your own cider that's generally what you would serve it in is your own chalice that's already been cleansed and purified and everything .and make your own wine that kind of thing so I personally have used mine during ceremonies, during religious ceremonies, for sabbats. because that's when serve, I always have everyone drink out of that, kind of share the community.

S: Which brings us two more things so incense is another common witch tool that people go out and buy because that is something that you can burn in your cauldron, you can get an incense holder and a lot of the different scents we've talked about, you know how it is we talked about Imbolc and the different scents and trees and things that are in the plants are associated with that holidays so a lot of people will buy incense with those particular herbs or flowers in it rather than going to collect those things and using a different way, people were burning incense of that holiday, so incense is very common and there's of different ways that you can use that so it's very, I would say, one of the things that people think when they start practicing witchcraft is oh I need to go by incense. I need Incense all over the place. one of the reasons we were talking about before we started recording it because I can't do incense, there's something in it, in every single scent of it, that bothers me I don't know what it is but it makes me sick every time. so I can't handle incense at all.

T: yeah and I love incense, I burn it in every single room of the house at least weekly and I have specially made incense for that but yeah I burn it in the cauldron.

S: And speaking of the cauldron and chalice, we are just quickly mentioning another traditional witch tool is the altar. and we talked about this in Imbolc that for the Sabbats it's very common to you to decorate the altar with like the changing of the seasons and I already mentioned that I don't have one I don't have a dedicated space for that I just feel like it doesn't fit my life. I like to simplify. We go all out for Halloween the decorating but as far as like other holidays or seasons I don't change up things in my house because I like to be simple and I just feels like adding something to my task list and I know that if I had a dedicated altar set up that changing it out for the different Sabbats would be something I would add to my task list and it would become more of a burden than something fun but it's supposed to be like celebratory, I wouldn't to see it that way anymore because that's just my personality so I don't have one. I'm skipping that altogether.

T: I don't have one currently but it's because in my space there's pretty much no place that my dog can't go so I'm looking to try and find a dedicated space for an altar but I currently don't have one because Beau. He eats anything he get his little mouth around.

S: The next three on the list we can kind of group together and get through in quick succession because they are similar in types of usage and they are essential oils, herbs, and crystals. Crystals are just so fun and pretty to collect which is why I think beginner witches are like let's buy all the crystals and I don't blame you I love them too, they're so sparkly they come pretty colors. I especially love that you can get like small pieces of them so they don't take up a lot of room.

So I love Crystals but yes and herbs Tara and I both use because we are hearth witches, we do a lot in like the home, in the kitchen so herbs are very useful for that as are oils. oils can obviously be used in the kitchen but oils can also be used when you're using a cauldron or chalice or candles, they can just be used for aromatherapy so if you don't want to burn incense and said want to have an essential oil diffuser on your altar and burn the scents of the season you could do that too.

So those are three things that are kind of all grouped together because they each have like their own properties in their own energyies that they're associated with yes and you would use them in your working in the same way to magnify those different energies, those different intentions. and I have all and use all three of those. crystals most of all but yes, all three of them, oils, crystals and herbs I use.

T: if you have not been able to determine that Steph and I are literally the same person except exact opposities, I use everything except crystals.

S: Obviously you don't need any of those things because you can direct your energy and your intention without any of those things, those things are just tools and they can make it easier ,they can give you something to visualize, something to put your energy into it, you can carry around with you but absolutely not necessary.

T: but having said that they're not necessary but if you would like to get them, if you find them useful I highly encourage you go out and find one that speaks to you. because if you find the right tool it can just change your entire practice. Like I love my athame, I've been using it for decades like it's very personal to me and I love it, but Steph doens't have one doesn't need one so it is very personal but the tool can help also.

S: but if you want to go out and try any of these things just get into a store and see what calls to you.

T: don't go get something that says beginner kit and be like that's it.

S: We're down to the last three on the list. So third to last is candles. we are going to have a future episode dedicated just to candle magic don't you worry, because there's a lot that can be done with candles. because you can use them the different colors represent different things so you can use them on your alters set intentions with them, and then you know like burn them down systematically. you can also do candle readings in the form of the flame readings, you can do wax readings. they're very easy tool to direct your energy into, they're so useful. so we are gonna have a whole episode on that but yes we both have and you said yes but the one thing I was like wait except fire in the Alaska unless are definitely too associated wuse and love candles.

And the last two on the list and both definitely associated with witch imagery, the first is a cloak and the second is a besom, also known as a broom. And those two things are always associated with witches, cloaks and brooms. and cloaks are still used, they are found more in ceremonial magic and religious ceremonies because they're often used with what is called sky clad rituals, so being sky clad is being naked, so a lot of religious ceremony do, I think a lot of witchcraft more like comes from this, is like being out in the moonlight naked, one with nature and all of that, so a lot of witches will wear a cloak over themselves to get to and from this ceremony site that you need to be a sky clad for for. so that is what cloaks are used for.

T: and I have one.

S: And besoms have a lot of uses but they are not for flying, we went over this, that's just there there is a reasoning behind why like where that myth comes from if you're interested maybe look it up, but yeah can't fly but they are useful for a lot of other things. one that we are going to have a future episode on is using them for doing a home cleansing, as hearth witches we like cleansing the home and getting like negative spirits out of your home. that's like what it can be use for. like you don't use it for cleaning, the bristles don't actually hit the ground, but you make like that sweeping motion. that is like what they are traditionally used for and besoms can be handmade, you can go out and find twigs and make it into a broom shape, but you can also purchase them. and there are a lot of pretty ones out there but they do look did you look a little more like natural and not so perfect as like a pretty traditional broom you would see in somebody's cleaning closet.

so I do not have a cloak not something I have a use for it but I do have a bedom.

T: I have both and I use my cloak for the intended purpose and then I also use it for Halloween costumes, so it's multifunctional.

For the cloak, I think it's a lot more part of the religious aspect then witchcraft aspect. that is not definitive but I have never used a Cloak just without a religious ceremony.

S: That is all that I have for you on traditional witch tools and why you don't actually need any of them if you want to be a witch on a budget. we will see you next week bye!

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