Hi. Your blog and posts are so full of traditional witchcraft knowledge and practice. Thank you for sharing to us here. I've seen your uses for the broom, the whisk, the bull-roarer. I've also read about your knife/blade. Comparing to the typical tools we hear nowadays on Wiccan practices, what are the traditional tools traditional witches use? I'm not sure if this was asked before. Can you shed light on my question? Many thanks.
Unlike Wicca, there are no ‘official’ tools for traditional witches. Depending on the witch’s cultural and religious influences, the tools change.
Generally speaking, many of the tools found in Wicca are also found in traditional witchcraft, albeit with different names and different purposes. The black handled knife, now known to many as the athame, is something most traditional witches have as a way to compel spirits. The wand is usually replaced by the staff. The staff represents the Axis Mundi to many, the World Tree or the World’s Spine. It is used as a way to send forth not only magic, but one’s spirit as well. However, many still carry and use wands as smaller, more portable versions of staffs.
It’s important to remember that the tools found in Wicca have come from older predecessors. Traditional witches look at the same sources that Gardner and Valiente did to create the religion. They simply translate it differently.
Some tools are specific to traditional witchcraft, or have become heavily associated with it over the years. The stang is one of those things. The stang is a Cochranite tool used by many as both a staff and a portable altar. The two tines represent the Devil’s horns, between which a candle will usually go. It is usually stuck in the ground in the middle of a working space.
As I said before, everyone’s craft and tools are specific to them. My craft has specific cultural and geographical backgrounds to it, so the tools are based around that. My broom is made from materials that are both specific to those cultures and the woods I grew up on. The items I use as the objects of my witchery were found and repurposed (or made by myself). They are everyday tools.
Each witch will have their own personal favorite tools. Some witches love their knives. Some witches love their brooms. Of course, they are bonded with all of their tools, but everybody has their own preference as to what tool is used the most readily.
I think the tools of the traditional witch are a bit more…personal than those of other paths. You bond with them. You learn the spirit inside of them. They literally become a part of you. They are a physical representation of your craft, who you are as a witch, and where you’ve come from.
That’s why sometimes when I feel like I’m not doing it ‘the right way’, I look at my tools and remember that what I do isn’t necessarily like everyone else’s craft, which is an entirely beautiful thing. My craft speaks to the land that I’ve grown up on, the cultures I’ve come from, my ancestors, etc. My tools, in turn, speak to all of that too. They are unique to me.