Wicca is a pagan belief structure that is nature-based. Roughly translated, Wicca means "wise," but the word has had several meanings throughout the history of its practice, such as "witchcraft," "wizardry" and "wise craft." Though Wicca incorporates witchcraft in its belief system, not all witches are Wiccan, just as not all pagans are Wiccan either. When practicing Wicca you need a variety of tools, depending on your tradition, and they can be pricey. You need these tools much like clergy members of other faiths need their ritual tools. Many Wiccans prefer to make their own tools at home for both economical and spiritual reasons.
An athame is a knife or dagger that is used in ceremonies and rituals. It is never to be used for actual cutting, nor is it to be used for any bloodletting. Athames are used to direct energy and to carve magickal symbols and messages onto candles. To make one of your own, you can simply carve a plain dagger from any wood that has meaning to you. You can also purchase a very cheap, decorative dagger or letter opener from a pawn shop or novelty store, and bless it with your energy.
An altar is a small area that is designated for ritual purposes, and is left untouched otherwise. This can either be a raised platform like a traditional Wiccan altar, or it can simply be a space in your closet or other part of your home that will be undisturbed. It is your own personal place of ritual. Some people want the look and feel of the traditional altar and purchase intricately designed podiums, and the cloth that will adorn it. However, an easy altar can be created by blessing a small area with good energy, and using a rug or blanket as the center piece to be under all of your tools.
Some people use candles so frequently that it is economically reasonable to make your own candles at home. Purchase what are called "melt-and-pour" kits from any craft supplier, and create custom candles to fit any spiritual need you can think of. You can incorporate the use of dyes, scented oils and magickal herbs to boost the potency of your spellcrafting.
A pentacle is a five-pointed star in which the central point is facing upward, as opposed to the "Satanic" version that is completely unrelated to Wicca, and opposite in appearance, with the central point facing downward. A pentacle can be with or without a circle surrounding it, as the magick is in the star itself. You can make your own by simply using modeling clay and carving a pentacle into it. This can be used as a plaque to sit upon your altar. You can also wear pentacle amulets.
Wands are used in essentially the same manner as athames. However, many witches choose to use both, and delegate particular uses for their wands. Wands can be made by simply using a fallen branch from a tree. It can be decorated with stones, or inscribed with spiritual messages.
Incense and essential oils are often used in Wiccan practices, and different scents have different meanings. Sage is one of the most basic of Wiccan herbs. It's burned in its whole form to ward off negative energy. Purchasing fresh herb seeds and planting them, as opposed to purchasing herbal incenses, is much cheaper and more constructive on the Wiccan path. If you don't have a large yard, you can always grow a small herb garden in your windowsill. There are specifically designed planters for windowsill gardens in many home and garden shops.
Wiccans use talismans and amulets a lot in magickal practices, and making your own can be fun and also add to the mystic feeling of the object. Wooden chips with Runic symbols carved into them serve as very effective talismans, without having to buy them at an expensive occult shop. Semiprecious gem stones and crystals are also used.
- pottery image by Artyom Davidov from Fotolia.com