The tools used in Wicca are used to invoke the Deities, banish that which is harmful, direct energy through our touch and intention and much more. Tools, however, are not necessary for the practice of Wicca but they do enrich our rituals and our magic.
Before you use a tool in either ritual or magic you need to first clean it physically if it is dirty. Next you need to cleanse it of unwanted energies. To do this you can do one of several things. One method is to bury it in dirt, sand or salt for a few days or you can plunge it into the sea, river or lake or even in your bath tub of water after adding a bit of salt or you can pass it though the smoke of an incense such as sage, cedar or lavender. Choose the method that won't harm the tool. Obviously you wouldn't put your athame into salted water or just salt but it would be ok to put it in dirt or sand. Most tools do best when passed through the incense smoke and that is my preferred method. Next you would consecrate them to the Goddess and God. This is done with a simple ritual.
But how do you get the tools to begin with? Well you can buy them at your local Pagan/Metaphysical store or online. But better yet, you can make them yourself or find items at your local thrift store that will work just as well as those fancy ones you found online. What if you don't have the skills to make your tools? Well you can get together with your Pagan/Wiccan friends and barter or trade for what you feel you need. So you aren't any good at sewing. Get with your friend who sews like a professional and trade with her a wand you made or a statue you made out of clay for that ritual gown you've always wanted. As for books, you can join up with friends and have a swap meet to trade with each other books you've read for books you would like to read. Don't forget the library too.
However, don't think you need to gather together all the tools suggested in this list before you can practice your rituals and magics. Truth be told you don't need any of them. Yes, they enhance your practice, but as long as you've got a strong focused intent you will succeed in your working, whether it was a ritual, rite or magical spell. A strong focused intent is the key to your practice. Without it, you might as well not bother. Having all the beautiful tools you can gather is nice, but not necessary.
Now for making your tools, gather the materials mindfully and respectfully. Give thanks for them. Cast a circle, and have a clear intention for the Power you want the object to have. Put as much of that Power into it as you can. Breathe your spirit into it. And ask your Deities to do so too. When you've made a really magical item, you'll know. It's wonderful! It feels less like arts and crafts, and more like giving birth. You will feel its life, its consciousness. Welcome it! Bless it. Thank its spirit for coming to you. (Now remember that you've brought a being into the world, and it is dependent on you for its care and its affection. Don't let it down, and it won't let you down.)
Now that you have your tools, take responsibility for them. It is a little like having a baby. It entails a certain responsibility of care. If you have decided to not use a tool anymore then look for a new home for it. This is where you can trade,sell or gift your tool. Just don't toss it into the trash. And be sure to cleanse it before you give it away. I like to do a simple ritual of breaking ties with the tool before I give it away.
Remember you don't need these tools to practice, but they will greatly enhance your practice. Also remember that you don't need to spend a lot of money on your tools. The price of a tool does not indicate its true magical value. Just gather your tools mindfully and as you are able to afford them. And remember that in truth, none of these things are truly needed for worship of the Goddess and God or even to do your spell work. For in the end all the work and worship is done with your mind and soul. Intent is the key word here. Also remember that you don't have to spend a lot of money to practice.
Altar : This can be any flat surface. An altar can be anything from a table to a tree trunk. It can even be a flat stone or a cleared space on the ground. Basically it can be made of any material as long as it's flat. Usually a table of any size or shape or color. Ideally it's something you have dedicated to this purpose. Many don't have space to set up a permanent altar so they will use something like the living room coffee table to set up on to do their rituals or spells. Others use a shelf on the wall or even the top of a chest. If you have a permanent altar set up then it's usually best to have it where it won't be disturbed. Also many won't set up a permanent one because they don't want anyone to know they are Wiccan or a witch. So they keep everything put away until they need to set it up for use. Whatever your choice, remember there is nothing that says you have to have one set up all the time. Also remember you don't have to spend a lot of money buying an altar.
Altar Cloth : This actually isn't necessary but it does dress up the altar nicely. Most prefer a natural fabric, but anything will do. I suggest that you don't spend too much money on your altar cloth as they tend to get dirty from ashes and herbs and also you will enviably get candle wax on it at some point and burnt holes.
The easiest way to procure an altar cloth is to buy yourself a piece of fabric large enough to cover your altar (larger, if you want the edges to hang over the sides of the altar). This can be relatively cheap at the fabric store, depending on the fabric you choose. I recommend some kind of cotton or other washable fabric, as the chances are fairly high that you will spill something or make a mess on your altar at some point (candle wax, ritual juice/wine, charcoal ashes - the possibilities are endless!). You may also burn a hole in your cloth from using incense or if you burn other things like a piece of paper or parchment as part of a spell you are casting. I suggest inexpensive fabrics rather than high-maintenance velvets or silks. If you want the edges to look neat, you can hem them yourself by hand or with a sewing machine. Alternately, you can buy an inexpensive scarf, tablecloth, etc.
It's up to you what color or design is on your altar cloth. I have a couple of different ones, and I tend to vary mine depending on the seasons or ritual I intend to do. In the summer I might put a gold-orange one with sun designs; in the winter, a dark cloth. If you just want one to start out with, green is a good basic color that can fit year-round. White is equally universal, but not very practical. Black seems to be popular also. A large square scarf (or even sarong) will work. Just remember that the altar cloth helps to keep wax and other things from damaging the altar. So if you do not want wax on your cloth, find some other material. You can buy expensive and beautiful altar cloths online or in a store but I don't recommend it unless you have the money to replace it every so often.
Athame: The athame is also called the magic knife or the black handled knife. It is never used to cut anything in the physical plane. It is used to direct energy raised during rites, rituals and spell works. One of the uses for the athame is to direct energies when casting a magic circle. It is also used to cut a doorway into a magic circle if you need to leave the circle during your rite or ritual. It is an instrument of commanding and power manipulation. You never use it to command the Deities, well you never command the Deities, but you can invoke (ask or invite) Them to attend your rite, ritual or spell work.
The athame is traditionally a dull edged, double edged knife with a black handled. However, I've seen many with different colored handles, some sharp and some not. The reason for the black handle is that black stores energies easier. When used it will store a small amount of the energies in it. You can also raise energies to store in it for later use. It's element is Fire and is linked to the God as it is a phallic symbol.
Many carve protective symbols into the handle or etched onto the blade itself. Also stones can be attached to the handle for both decorative reasons as well as for protection and energy use and storage. You can buy one in a store and decorate it yourself or if you are really handy you can make the athame yourself or you can barter or buy one from a friend who is handy with making athames. There are instructions on how to make a magical knife in "The Complete Book of Witchcraft" by Raymond Buckland. But if all else fails, you can use a kitchen knife. You can also generally find them in your local pagan/metaphysical store or online.
Bell : The bell is used in banishment spells, but also used during rituals and rites to mark the start or ending of a segment of the rite or ritual. It is used to chase off spirits or to cast away baneful energies. The bell can be made of silver or brass or even glass. It doesn't have to be large. Small ones work just as well as the larger ones and can have any shape you wish. It is symbolic of the Goddess and is often used to invoke Her. Its sounds unleashes vibrations which have powerful effects according to volume, tone and the material it is made of.
Besom : Also known as a round bottom broom or just the broom. This tool is a fertility symbol. Used in weddings where the Bride and Groom, while holding hands, jumps over it. It is usually decorated for this occasion with ribbons and flowers and sometimes stones. It is then placed in the home to protect the home and family. Be sure to bless and charge the broom for this purpose. It is also used to cleanse an area. You do not have to let the bristles to touch the floor or ground, but using a sweeping motion sweep away all baneful energies. It is usually used to cleanse your circle. Start in the center working clockwise sweep the area. You can also cleanse a room or home with it. Start at the farthest point from the front door and sweep out the baneful energies right out the door.
Traditionally the besom is kept near the hearth, but a small one can be hung on or over your doors to keep out baneful energies. Other uses are in spells as it can be used for protection and purification. But never use your besom for everyday house cleaning. It is for your ritual and magical workings only. And don't use your household broom for sacred workings either.
It is sacred to both the Goddess and God. It can be successfully used against curses and hexes. It's element is Water and it can be used for water spells such as love and psychic workings.
To make a besom one would traditionally use an ash staff, which is protective, birch twigs, which are purifying, and willow binding, which is sacred to the Goddess. However, you can also use a branch from a tree or bush, or a tiny besom can be made from pine needles. Besoms can be found in your local pagan or metaphysical stores usually. Though you can find them online.
Boline: The boline is also known as the white handled knife. It is used to cut things in the physical plane, such as cutting herbs or cutting things during a spell or any kind of carving. The boline is traditionally a curved blade with a white handle. Any knife will do as long as it's sharp enough to do the job. This knife can be found in a thrift store or any store that sells knives. You don't need to spend a lot of money on this knife.
Book of Shadows: The BoS is your workbook and journal. You will want to put copies of rituals, rites, spells, correspondence charts and any other information that pertains to your beliefs and practices in it. You will want to record the spells that you have done. The day as well as the time of day and the astrological significance. You are the author of your BoS. You may borrow from many sources and/or create your own information. If you are in a coven then you will probably write out a copy of the coven's BoS and then add your own information. Many will write in it in a secret alphabet or language. Don't forget to record the Sabbats and Esbats for the year. Your BoS is not "holy writ". You are not bound to what is written down in it by any law. Nor is there one true BoS that all must use or follow.
Your BoS can be a fancy leather bound book or a 3 ring binder with loose pages or any kind of notebook you can find. It is up to you what you wish to use to record everything in. I do believe though that you should hand write all entries or most of them. Hand writing your BoS adds your energies to it. Also, you will remember the information better if you hand write it. You should also write a dedication for it as well as a protection spell for it to keep prying eyes out of it. If you use a 3 ring binder then I suggest that you get sheet protectors to put your pages in. They will protect the paper from getting damaged from usage.
If you wish to own a leather bound BoS, you will probably find them in your local pagan or metaphysical store or online. Though this is an item that will not be easy to find and is rather expensive. You can craft one yourself if you are handy that way though. If you choose a 3 ring binder then I suggest that you get a good sturdy one as you will be keeping this tool for a long time.
Bowls: Most practitioners have salt and water on their altar. These would be in small bowls made of anything you wish. Though I wouldn't use a wooden bowl for your water. You may wish to also have a small bowl that you use to mix things in like herbs and resins for spell work or ritual.
Candles : Candles have been used in ritual and magic for thousands of years. Candles were first made from either bees wax or tallow, which is made from animal fat. Only the rich could afford the bees wax candles so the average person used the tallow. It wasn't until the we began to use petroleum that the wax we use today became available and then it wasn't until some years later that they invent dyes that could color candles. Before that they were white or off white..or suet was used to color them black. As to colors, the choice is almost endless. Colors have meanings and different energy signatures to use for different spell workings or your worship. But truth be told, if all you have is white candles then you have all you need as white is the universal color in magic. Candles are placed on the altar for worship or for doing magic.
A candle should be consecrated with an oil before use. There are different ways to do this. First put a bit of oil on your fingers. If you are bringing something to you then you can start in the middle of the candle and twisting it clockwise rub the oil to the top. Then starting at the middle and twisting clockwise again, rub downward to the bottom of the candle. Or to send something away from you start at the ends and twisting rub to the middle Or you can start at the bottom and twist clockwise rub the oil on the candle to the top when doing a spell to bring something to you. Or starting at the top and twisting clockwise rub the oil on the candle going to the bottom to send something away from you.
Traditionalists will use only bees wax that isn't colored but there is no reason why you can't use any other kind. Traditionally you are told to not blow out a candle you've used in worship or spell work as that is an insult to the elements fire and air. You can purchase a candle snuffer for only a few dollars or use a fire safe item like a small piece of ceramic tile to put it out with. Don't use your fingers as you will hurt yourself. However there are those that will put out the candle by first saying Blessed Be before blowing it out.
Remember fire safety. Don't leave a burning candle unattended or near anything that could catch on fire. Some spells will say to let a candle burn all the way down or to burn for a certain length of time. Remember to keep a close eye on it if you do that. Also you always use a fresh candle for each spell unless you are doing the spell over several days. Then you can use the same candle. You can also use the same candle if you are using it as your Deity candle as you're using it for the same purpose each time. Pillar candles are generally not a good investment for spell work. Votive and smaller candles are best for this use. Tealight candles works great for spell work and worship. Candles comes in many different shapes and sizes and colors. Use what you feel works right for you.
It's up to you as to where you get your candles. Just about all Pagan and metaphysical stores sells candles of all sorts of sizes, colors and shapes. You can even go to your local dollar store or department store to find candles as well as online. You are only limited as to what you wish to spend. You can make your own candles if you wish as it's fairly simple to do but can be messy. Some Pagan stores make their own spell candles which already have oils in them so they are ready for a specific spell use.
Candle Holder: Of course if you are using candles you will need candle holders. You can find them in many stores that sells candles. They are made in many shapes, sizes and materials and what you use is up to you. Though I suggest you stay away from wooden ones as they are a fire hazard. Dollar stores and thrift stores usually have candle holders very cheap. Or you can spend more for fancier ones. You are limited only by how much you wish to spend. But you don't need fancy candle holders for your practice.
Cauldron: The cauldron is a well known tool of the witch. It is sacred to the Goddess and it's element is Water. It symbolizes reincarnation, immortality, inspiration and the Goddess's womb. Ideally it should be made of cast iron, resting on 3 legs with the opening a bit smaller than it's widest part. However, this is not a steadfast rule. It can be made of other metals such as brass or steel. I don't suggest glass, crystal or wood as you may wish to light a fire in it or burn incense in it. Just be sure to cure it, if you use a cast iron one, as you would a cast iron skillet so it doesn't rust.
It can be used in spring rites where you may fill it with water and flowers or at Yule a fire may be kindled within it to represent the returning of the God (the Sun) from the Goddess (the cauldron). It can also be used for scrying (gazing) by filling it with water and staring into it. It is also used for brewing potions, but most Wiccans today use cooking pots for brewing their potions. If your spell calls for burning something like a piece of parchment then you can drop the burning object into the cauldron where it can burn safely.
You will probably find one in a pagan or metaphysical store or online. Though you might find one in your local thrift or antique store.
Censer: The censer is your incense burner. It's element is Air. It is traditionally a bowl with dirt, sand, or salt in it to keep the charcoal from causing it to crack and break due to heat from the charcoal you are using to burn the incense with. It can be made of glass, crystal, metal or even a sea shell. Never use a wooden bowl for your censer as it would be a fire hazard. However, many don't use charcoal or loose herbs and resins for their incense. Some use incense sticks or cones. So you might use something else. This is perfectly fine.
You can go to your local thrift store to find a bowl to use as your censer. Otherwise, your local pagan or metaphysical store will probably have incense burners that you will like. They are generally inexpensive unless you want a fancy one. You can also make one if you wish out of clay.
Chalice: The chalice is your cup. It is simply a cauldron with a stem. Though it doesn't actually have to have a stem. It is a fertility symbol and also a symbol of the Goddess. Its element is Water. Like the cauldron it is also called the womb of the Goddess. It can be made of almost anything that will hold a liquid, like glass, ceramic, any metal, crystal or certain stones that are safe when filled with a liquid that you will drink. Any cup or cup like vessel will work.
This is another item that can be found in a thrift store or any store that sells cups. Pagan and metaphysical stores will sell fancy ones as will online stores, but it isn't necessary to have a fancy one. You can even make one yourself if you are handy in that way.
Charcoal Disks : These are used to burn herbal and resin mixes used for incense. These ARE NOT BBQ CHARCOALS. These disks are usually round with an indentation in the middle on one side. They are specially made to be safe indoors. BBQ charcoals are not safe indoors as they put off chemical fumes. To light one I suggest you get a pair of tongs and a candle in a holder. Light the candle then, with the tongs, hold the charcoal over the flame till it is lighted. It will will be very hot and you should see a small red glow on the edge of it. It is easiest to light the edge than to try to light it's center. The fire within it will spread through the whole disk. Now put the disk in a container that is fire proof. If you are using a ceramic or glass dish then I suggest you put either salt, sand or dirt in the dish to prevent the dish from cracking. But you can use a metal dish or even your cauldron. Let it sit for a minute or two before putting your herbal/resin mix on it and only put a small pinch on it at a time or you will have way too much smoke. More can be put on the disk as it is used up. Remember this is hot and can cause a fire so be sure to not walk away from it and leave it unattended while it is still burning.
Crystal Sphere: The crystal sphere is probably the most expensive tool you might own. One way to know that it is genuine is that it has inclusions within it. If it is totally clear and not very expensive then it may actually be glass. Also it will be heavy and cold to the touch if it's real crystal. It is symbolic of the Goddess because of it's spherical shape.
The crystal sphere is used for divination, placed on the altar to represent the Goddess as all things that are spherical are representative of her, and to store energies raised in rituals or rites or even spell work. You will want to place it in Moon light from time to time or rub mugwort on it to spark your psychic abilities. You will probably find one in a pagan, metaphysical store or online.
Essential Oils : This is used in your worship and spell work. You can add it to your incense or use it to consecrate your candles or other items. Real essential oils aren't actually oily and will generally be of moderate up to expensive to buy. Though nice to have, you can always use olive oil for the same purpose or make oils that aren't essential oils but made from a carrier oil, like olive oil or jojova oil or grape seed oil, etc, and herbs and resins and even stones. Remember that essential oils are not always skin safe as well as not safe for consumption so keep them away from children. I don't suggest putting essential oils or any oil straight on a charcoal disk as they will smoke 10 times worse than the herbs or resins will. But you can add a drop or two to an herbal mix your are making for an incense.
Essential oils can be found in most Pagan and metaphysical stores as well as may health food stores. Also look online for them, but be careful as to where you buy them from. Essential oils are generally a bit expensive. If the price you see is low then it might not be real essential oil and could be a chemical imitation.
Herbs : Also used in your worship and spell work. You can grow your own or buy them in the grocery store, health food store, on the internet or your local pagan or metaphysical store. Remember that some of the herbs used are not safe for consumption so label them carefully and keep them separate from the herbs you use for cooking or teas. If you have small children then I suggest locking up your magical herbs or simply don't buy the ones that are dangerous. You can practice your craft with nothing but cooking and tea herbs. Fancy hard to get herbs are not necessary. There is always another herb that you can use.
Herbs are used in charm or mojo bags as well as in poppets. They are also sometimes scattered about the altar. They can be mixed together to make an incense too. They can be put in jars for magical works and much much more.
Incense : This can be either a stick incense or cone or you can use an herbal and/or resin mixture that you would burn on a special charcoal disk. Choose your scent according to what you are doing or simply something that is pleasant to you. Again remember fire safety and never leave it unattended or near anything that can catch on fire once you light it. Incense has been used for thousands of years in worship and magic. Most Pagan and metaphysical stores carry incense. You can actually find incense in many department stores as well. And of course you can find them online.
Libation Dish : This is a small dish, usually a bowl, though it can be shallow. It can be made of any substance that can hold a small amount of liquid. Its purpose is to hold the offering to the Deities till you can take it outside and put the offering on the ground. Some people bury their offerings. Others put it on a paper plate. It is usually not a good idea to use a good plate when setting the offering outside unless you are willing to accept that you might not be able to retrieve it. This is an item that you can find in a thrift store or dollar store as well as anywhere else you can find bowls or dishes.
Mortar and Pestle : This is used to grind and mix your herbs. They are usually made of stone but can be metal or ceramic. Also you can use a coffee grinder for the same purpose, but don't use the same item to grind your cooking or tea herbs with that you used for your magical herbs and resins as some magical herbs and resins are not safe for consumption and residue is usually left in the grinder or mortar and pestle. Some Pagan and metaphysical stores sells these as well as department stores and stores that sells cooking supplies. You can also find them online.
Object/s that represents the Deities : Most practitioners have something on their altar that represents the Goddess and God. This can be statues or anything that to you represents the Deities. Some will use candles, white or silver for the Goddess and yellow or gold for the God, are just a few examples. The statues may be made of any substance you wish and in any shape that has meaning to you. You can also use tarot cards with Deity images on them or any two cards with a goddess and god image on them. What you use to place on the altar as representations of the Goddess and God is up to you. You can sometimes find statues of the Goddess and God in your local pagan or metaphysical store or online. Even thrift stores may have statues or objects that you can use to represent your Deities.
Offering Dish: You will need a dish to put your offering in. This is usually either a bowl or a small plate. Most Wiccans will set out an offering of food for the Deities. This may be a simple piece of bread or cake or a full meal. It is up to you and your practice. You can buy a suitable dish in a thrift or dollar store or even your local pagan or metaphysical store as well as online. this item doesn't have to be fancy or expensive.
The Pentacle: The pentacle is a disk with a five pointed star with a circle around the star on it. It can be made of just about anything, wood, clay, glass, wax, or metal. You can make one yourself or buy one in your local Pagan or metaphysical store or online.
This tool was borrowed from ceremonial magic practice. It was used to evoke spirits. Its element is Earth. In Wicca it is used as a place to put amulets, charms, talismans and other objects you wish to charge to a given purpose. It is also sometimes used to invoke the Goddess and God. It can also be hung over doorways and windows as protection. Many wear one for personal protection or as a declaration of their religious practice.
Resins : These too are used in your worship and spell work. These can be harder to find. You can usually find them in your local pagan or metaphysical store or online. They are actually tree saps. Different trees gives you a different resin. They have been used for thousands of years. Again they are not necessary for your worship and spell work and don't let your small children eat them.
Ritual Clothing : Some people wear jeans and a t-shirt to ritual. Others prefer to go skyclad. While others like elaborately decorated ceremonial clothing. Still others wear simple robes or flowing clothing. This is a style preference and is usually up to you, though your coven may have a dress code and dictate what is appropriate dress for ritual gatherings. Unless you are in a coven with a dress code then you shouldn't feel any pressure to dress the way someone else thinks witches "ought" to dress.
If you do want to make a robe, there are patterns you can find fairly easily for monk costumes or choir robes. If you are not gifted at sewing or don't have access to a sewing machine, making your own robe may be difficult. In this case, put off making a robe until you have more time or money, or a friend who's good at sewing. Some people own more than one ritual robe in different colors for different kinds of rituals or spell works, though this isn't necessary. You can sometimes find ritual clothing in your Pagan or metaphysical store and also online.
Salt : Also used to represent earth or to cleanse and protect the area or objects. Traditionally sea salt is used but in truth table salt can be used as well. Black salt is generally used for protection and banishings but regular salt is just as good. Black salt is made by burning certain herbs, depending on what you plan to use it for, and then mixed in with the salt. Though you can buy black salt that comes from Hawaii. There is also a black salt that is on the market that is nothing but dyed salt. Many will say this isn't true magical black salt and will tell you to not use it. But I have had no problems using it. But I still prefer the traditionally made black salt. Again, both white and black salt can many times be found in Pagan and metaphysical stores as well as online, but you can use white salt that you buy at the grocery store if you wish.
Soil : This is used to represent Earth. Any soil will work though some prefer to use soil from their own back yard or from a place that has a special meaning to them. I do not suggest that you gather dirt from a graveyard. It's illegal in most places to dig in a graveyard without a permit. But it's up to you to gather it from wherever you wish.
Stones & Crystals : These are used in your worship and spell work and can be gotten anywhere, including from your own back yard or the creek near your home. They can be placed on the altar to represent Earth. There are many books out there that will help you find out which stones are good for what but in the end it's what you feel the stone is good for that counts. Most Pagan and metaphysical stores sells stones and you can get them online too. Just remember you don't need to spend a lot of money for your stones to do effective magic and worship.
Storage for your supplies: Some people have a cupboard to store their magical materials (candles, ribbons, herbs and oils etc). But you can use anything you wish to store your tools and supplies that you use. You may wish to have something that you can lock up to keep your children and others from opening it. Some of the herbs you may use can be harmful if ingested. Also there could be small objects you may not want your small child to put in their mouth and get choked on or sharp objects they can hurt themselves with. You don't have to spend a lot on this item either. Just be sure it's sturdy. By the way, trunks can make a great storage place as well as an altar when it's closed. This item can usually found in thrift stores and department stores as well as antique stores.
Wand : The wand is probably the most well known of Wiccan tools. I'm sure we are all familiar with Harry Potter where a wand was the main tool that they used. However, in real magic, it is used as an instrument of invocation. It is also used to direct energy, draw magical symbols or a circle on the ground, and to stir a cauldron. It's element is Air and is sacred to the God. Many will use a wand in place of the Athame. It is best used during rituals and spells to send energies into objects but that isn't it's only use. It can be used to cast your circle and send forth your energies when doing a spell.
Wands are usually wooden, though I've seen crystal and metal ones. Traditionally it is made of willow, elder, oak, apple, peach, hazel, cherry, pine and etc. Even dowel rods can be used, which you can buy in your local craft or hardware store. Basically it can be made of any wood, but you should know the magical uses of the wood you're using as that affects what that wand is best used for. Most will put a crystal or stone on one end. You can make your own wand to please you. You can decorate the wand with carvings, stones, wire, etc. It is best to take the wooden stick from a live tree. When cutting the stick from the tree be sure to first ask permission and to take it in a way that will not harm the tree. Be sure to leave a gift behind, water for the tree, a crystal, even bird seeds. Many kitchen witches use their wooden spoons as their wands. You can buy a wand online or in a pagan or metaphysical store or you can trade with a friend who makes them.
Water : This is of course to represent the element of Water. Any water will work but many prefer to use spring water or water from a river, creek, pond or lake or rain water. And yes you can buy bottled spring water if you have nothing else to use. The water should be as fresh as possible as it will turn stale after awhile. Some people will make or get Holy Water to use. This is up to you. Holy water is nothing but consecrated water. Though some will make it by putting in a little bit of rose water and a pinch of salt into the water before consecrating it. Rose water can be made by taking fresh rose petals and first rinse them well before putting them into a jar and then filling jar with fresh spring or distilled water and then putting the lid on the jar and letting it sit for a week out of direct sunlight. Then strain out the petals and you have rose water. It won't keep forever though, so don't make too much at a time.
Other things you can include on your altar are:
Feathers, for spells, the goddess and the element of Air.
Ribbons, for spells, rituals and ribbon magick.
Cords also for spell workings.
Pictures, symbols and drawings for spell work, invocation and personal likes.
Elixirs and Potions, for spell work and offerings.
The Four Elements
The four elements should be represented on your altar. Here are some suggestions.
Earth: Earth can be represented by a small bowl of salt or dirt or a stone. During ritual, any fruit, bread, or other food you place on the altar represents Earth. You can also use a statue of an Earth-related animal (a bear comes to mind). Many people like to keep a pentacle on their altar to represent the element of Earth and/or to symbolize the five elements (Earth, Air, Fire, Water, Spirit). Pentacles can be made out of wood, clay, paper, or any other material. The cheapest way is to make one yourself. It's up to you what you wish to use.
Air: Air can be represented by a feather you find on the ground; a bell or a string of bells (small, cheap bells are easy to come by at craft stores); or a statue or picture of a bird (an origami bird would be perfect). Incense also represents Air. Also, any Air symbol that hangs over the altar provides a beautiful visual representation of the element, as it sways and swings in the air currents (origami is great for hanging, and so are bells, which ring or tinkle when the air moves).
Fire: The most common representation is a candle, whether lit or unlit. An image (such as a photograph, drawing, or Tarot card) of fire, flames, or a desert landscape can be used. You can also have a statue of a Fire-related animal such as a phoenix or dragon. Red pepper or another hot spice (like curry powder) could be placed in a small bowl or shaker; you can smell or taste it when you invoke Fire in a ritual or rite.
Water: Obviously, a bowl of water represents Water! A seashell is also easy to find if you live near the water, and probably inexpensive if you don't (fake seashells are usually available in craft stores as well). A chalice is a symbol of Water, especially if it is filled with water, wine or juice (though I don't recommend leaving juice or wine on your altar when your ritual is over!). A statue or image of a fish, dolphin, or other Water animal is always good.
These are the basic tools use in Wicca practice. There are others that can be used as well and you also don't have to use all of these listed. You don't have to spend $100's of dollars on your tools. I found many of my tools in a thrift store or I made them myself. If you are crafty with your hands, you can make your tools. This is a good idea as when you make them you are putting your energies into them. But that doesn't mean you can't buy your tools from a pagan or metaphysical store, online or a brick and mortar store or from a friend who makes them. Just remember that tools helps you to do your ritual and rite or magical spell, but you don't NEED them.