A table or area dedicated for ritual work. A place to put tools and decorations appropriate for ritual. Can be permanent or temporary. There is a basic structure to where certain tools and altar items are to be set, but the nature of The Craft allows you to do as you please, whatever feels right to you. You can have a very elaborate or very simple alter, whatever fits your needs. It may change with the seasons or stay the same with limited additions and subtractions. It's your altar, you create it as you desire.
Athame or Magick Knife:
(Ah-THAM-ay) This knife is often dull, usually double edged with a black or dark handle (though the color doesnt matter if you are comfortable with it). It is used for the casting of the circle and other ritual workings. Rarely if ever is this tool used for cutting of any type. It is a tool that should be respected, and should not be used outside of ritual workings. Some wiccans engrave their knives with magickal symbols, but it isnt necessary.
A Bolline is a practical, working knife. It is used to cut herbs, inscribe symbols, and to cut cords. It is usually white handles to distinguish it from the Athame.
A wooden or metal rod with gemstones or crystals. It serves a similar purpose as the athame for directing energies and casting the circle. The wand represents the element of Air.
A goblet or cup. simply a cauldron on a stem. It symbolizes the Goddess and fertility, and represents the element of Water. It is used to contain the ritual beverage imbibed during the ritual. It can be made of nearly anything.
A pot on three legs, preferable fire-proof. The cauldron can be used for many things. To burn things in or to hold water. Wiccans see the cauldron as a symbol of the Goddess, and represnts the element of Water.
Hand bell or chimes. It is a feminine symbol. Some use it to mark significant moments in a ritual. it is used to invoke the Gods and elements
Incense holder. It can be a complex, swinging metal censer or a simple sea shell. Any bowl or cup half filled with sand or salt will serve well. Incense and burner also represent the elemnt of Air.
Symbolic for all directions and the God and Goddess. Can be used for spirit and specific candle magick workings. It can also be used to specify the element of Fire.
A five pointed star upright in a circle. Symbolizes all the directions and elements including Spirit. The circle is the symbol of The Mother, Goddess and Earth. It is a symbol of spiritual awareness and protection. It can be drawn in the dirt in the center of the altar or a tile with a pentagram can be used at the center of ones altar. It is used for focusing magical energies when working with items such as herbs or divination tools. They are also hung over doors and windows to act as protection. It represents the element of Earth.It has many uses, and is highly symbolic of The Craft.
Witches Broom. Usually made by each individual. It is used in ceremonies and rituals. Mostly it is used to brush around the circle or sacred space. It's symbolic of cleansing. It is said to use birch or ash, with a willow binding.
Deity Symbols: usually either statues, pictures, symbols, candles. Anything that symbolizes the God and Goddess. A crystal Ball can also be used to symbolize the Goddess. The God can be symbolized with a "Green Man" statue, picture, or antlers or horns. A helmet with Antlers is often used in the Gardnerarian Wiccan traditions.
Book of Shadows © 2001, Dana (Huntress of the Dark)