Grovedaughter Witchery

A Witch's Workbench

Craft workings can utilize any number of tools, from the fantastic to the mundane. The lovely thing is that there IS so much flexibility. An object does not necessarily need to be fancy or expensive to be useful. Many modern witches head to craft shops, dollar stores, and even the Goodwill to find items for magical use. Listed below are some of the items most commonly used in magical practices.

Note: This list is by no means exhaustive. Always feel free to be creative and seek out the tools and trappings that are the best fit for your personality, lifestyle, budget, and preferences.

Books - Happy is the witch who is well-read! Read voraciously. Build your own library of reference books, both magical and practical. Collect anything that you feel is related to your area of study. Due to the modern proliferation of "fluff" and New Age literature, a certain amount of fact-checking and critical thinking must be done, and books should be examined before being purchased. Online sources are to be taken with a grain of salt as well, as they may contain people's personal views and practices in addition to proffered reference materials. If something smells hinky, double-check it. When in doubt, ask a fellow witch. The only stupid question is the one you don't ask.

Burning Bowl
- When an iron cauldron just isn't in the budget, a fireproof bowl, usually clay or ceramic, can easily take it's place. Since the bowl is usually for fire magic and will have burning material in it, it's best to have something that's not used for anything else. Burning bowls are also recommended for outdoor use on a heatproof surface only, since heat and smoke are not always desirable for indoor workings. (In all things, practice fire safety. No amount of magic can take the place of common sense.)

Candles - Useful for just about anything. Chime candles are particularly good for spells which require you to light a candle and let it burn all the way down. The wax is also soft enough for basic carving. Tapers, pillars, and jar candles make great additions to the altar for rituals or special occasions. Tealights are fantastic for quickie spells, especially with you don't have candleholders or a whole lot of space. A few tealights in a saucer on a table works just as well as a fancy candelabrum.

Cauldron - Yes, the iconic iron pot. Good for decoration and ritual, as well as a neat place to store stones or small objects. Since iron cauldrons tend to be expensive, many witches substitute a dedicated "burning bowl," which is used for any sort of fire-related magic that might call for a cauldron. Kitchen witches may also substitute a large saucepan or crockpot. (The latter especially works surprisingly well.)

Elemental Water - Any water gathered directly from a natural source can be considered elemental water. (Tap or bottled water is generally considered to be "processed" water, but it can be used in ritual after consecration. Yes, witches have holy water too.) Elemental water commonly comes from collected rain, melted snow, or hail. Witches living near the sea collect saltwater as well. Rivers and streams are a little trickier, since they can be polluted. It is recommended that you only collect elemental water from a river or stream if it is far from an urban area. All elemental water should be strained through cloth or a paper towel to remove dirt and random particles, and then stored at room temperature out of direct sunlight. (This prevents the growth of algae and icky smells in the container.)

Note: There are such things as "sun water" and "moon water." Making these involves leaving a jar of water to soak up the light of a high-noon sun or a particular phase of the moon (usually full). For these, tap or bottled water is perfectly acceptable to use.

Herbs - Plants and flowers and trees of just about every sort are useful in magic. There are some herbs you won't find unless you go to a specialty shop or look online, but there's a laundry list of magical herbs that you can find, cheap and pre-dried, right in the grocery store spice aisle. Herbs lend themselves well to charms and cleansings (think smoke-cleansing), and of course there's always the burning bowl of loose incense for ritual purposes. Herbs are also a staple of kitchen witchery and can be used to imbue food with magical purpose. (No, I'm not kidding.)

Magical Uses of Plants

Jars & Bottles - Give that witch a jar. Witches love jars. No, seriously, witches LOVE jars. From storage to spellcraft, jars and bottles are some of the most useful things you'll come across. Mason jars are particularly good for storing dried herbs. Bottles of all shapes and sizes can be used to hold oils and potions. Glass containers like these are great for holding spells of many sorts, if that's how your workings roll. (Plastic is also acceptable.) Plus, there's just something so satisfying about a shelf full of bottles and jars.

Knife - Here's where it gets a little tricky. Not every witch feels the need to have a knife for magical workings; some even avoid them altogether. Knives are useful for harvesting herbs, shaving or carving candles, ritual symbolism, and a host of other spell-specific things that I won't go into here. However, they're hardly mandatory. Scissors can be substituted in many cases, for working purposes, and pins or needles carve just as well as a blade, and sometimes with better accuracy. Whether you wish to have an athame (ritual dagger) or a boline (curved working knife) for magical use, or if you prefer to stick with scissors, the same principle still applies. Whatever blade or carving tool you use, it helps to have one that's dedicated for magical purposes and isn't used for random tasks around the house.

Oils - Essential oils and magical scented oils aren't every witch's cup of tea, whether because of finances or rarity, but they are useful for strengthening intent, sealing, binding, refreshing, and anointing. You can make your own essential and magical oils with fresh herbs and a thing bland oil like grapeseed or almond. (Olive oil is also useful, but again... can be expensive.) A few drops of essential oil added to water can be used for cleansing or refreshing when put in a spray bottle, the mopping bucket, or the bathtub. Magical oils are general used more sparingly, usually in a ritual setting, to anoint participants or objects.

Stones & Crystals - Like herbs, stones and crystals have a thousand-and-one uses. There is something for every sort of spell you could bring to mind. Stones and crystals may not have the material flexibility that herbs do, but they can serve many of the same purposes (i.e. a stone charm is easier and less messy to carry in your pocket than an herb-filled charm bag).
The views expressed on this website are the Unshared Personal Gnosis of the witch known as Bree NicGarran. They are not intended to be taken as absolute truth, nor are they intended to invalidate the religious views of the reader. They are meant only as a suggestion and are limited by the knowledge of the writer. Please always be sure to double-check your sources, refer to medical texts, and read critically before using any information in your own practice.
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