The Firebowl is an essential altar item and magical tool for any magician or shaman. Used primarily to cleanse people, areas, sacred space and tools, the Firebowl can also be used for divination, finding lost people or objects, and meditation.
Although almost any bowl will do for a Firebowl, most traditional Firebowls are made of brass, ceramic, cast-iron or hardwood. Except for special bowls used for specific rituals, the bowl should be light enough and small enough that you can carry it in your hand.
To make a working Firebowl, put about two inches of fire clay (unscented cat litter will do), rice or beans in the bottom of the Firebowl to prevent the bowl from getting to hot. Put self-lighting mini-charcoal tablets on top of the fireclay, then add any resins or botanicals you want to burn.
Choose your resins and botanicals based on what you want to do with your Firebowl. For instance, if you want to meditate, use a Water element botanical to help you get in touch with Spirit. If you want to "see" a lost object, you might use an Air element botanical. Here's a short list of resins and botanicals, listed by element, to get you started:
All Purpose: Sage, juniper, copal and frankincense.
Air: Sandalwood, sage, mint and sweetgrass.
Fire: Pine, juniper and frankincense.
Water: Gardenia, lotus and rose.
Earth: Musk, mosses and myrrh
If you have difficulty quieting your mind during meditation, you can use the Firebowl. Simply light the charcoal tablet with paper or wooden matches until it starts to spark, then put a Water element botanical on top. When the combination begins to smoke, focus on the column of smoke. Having a visual focus that is irregular and difficult for your mind to follow will occupy your mind while you meditate. Good luck!
Wand: Magical Air Tool
The Wand is an essential magical tool and a crucial part of any magical altar. Like most magical tools, the Wand is an extension of our own energies, amplifying and extending those energies for psychic communication, healing, protection and energy balancing.
The most common misconception about the Wand is that it is a Fire tool. The Wand is actually an Air tool for the simple reason that it is made out of wood, which burns easily when in contact with Fire energies. While popular movies, such as Harry Potter, often portray the Wand as a multi-purpose tool that can handle Air and Fire energies, it is actually the Athame, or magical knife, that can handle multiple types of energy.
Wands should be made from the limb of a live tree (with proper permission from and thanks to the tree) or recently fallen from a live tree, preferably of a light-colored wood, since Air colors are clear, white and sky blue. The limb should be between ¼ and 3/8 inch, and be no longer than from the bend of your elbow to the tip of your middle finger.
While some Wands are carved with various patterns and designs, we find that a smooth surface with no carving produces the greatest and most effective flow of Air energies. The Wand should be pointed at one end and notched at the other.
Like most magical tools, your Wand should be "keyed" or personalized to your own energies. Keying aligns the flow of the Wand from base (notched end) to tip, and ensures that only you will be able to use it. If you're a beginning practitioner, the Wand is an excellent first tool, allowing you to practice the major techniques of sweeping, pulling, flowing and flaring without endangering yourself or others.
Athame: Magical Fire Tool
The Athame, or magical knife, is one of the most powerful of the magician's tools. As a Fire tool, it has the characteristics that are most often attributed to the Wand in popular movies and TV shows, including blasting, fireballs, lightning bolts and shields. Just as the Wand could not possibly be a Fire tool since it is made of wood, the Athame must be a Fire tool since it's forged in Fire. In addition to Fire energy, the Athame can also handle some Water and Earth energies. That makes it one of the most versatile of the magician's tools.
Most often used for self defense and shielding, the Athame is also a powerful healing tool. For instance, a skilled magician can use a beam of Fire energy from the Athame to seal or cauterize a wound that won't stop bleeding. This tool is also used to create full-cast circles, invoke deity beings during ritual and release psychic "ties" to other people.
Athames should be made of high carbon, nickel alloy, or chrome alloy steel. In addition, it should have a full tang, which means that the steel goes all the way through handle, and not be a folding knife. Finally, beginners should start with a single-edged blade with a straight edge (it's harder to control Fire energy through a double-edged or curved blade).
Like the Wand and other magical tools, the Athame should be "keyed" before use. Keying clears the tool of junky energies, aligns the energy to flow from handle to tip, and personalizes the Athame so that it is in tune with your own energies. Finally, you should store your Athame in a sheath or wrap it in a natural material such as cotton, wool, leather or silk.
Chalice: Magical Water Tool
The Chalice is often called the magical tool of the Spirit, since the Chalice is the magical Water tool and Water is the language of the Spirit. Most often used for divination, psychic communication and blessings, the Chalice is also used for protection of sacred objects, self-defense and healing.
The Chalice is associated with the West, and is the tool of feeling, emotion and connection. Goblet-shaped chalices work best, and should have a bowl that is large enough to store small magical objects (storing objects in your keyed chalice keeps them clear of unwanted energies). Chalices should be made of a single material, such as glass, ceramic, silver, pewter or copper. With the Chalice, as with all magical tools, you need to consider the characteristics of the element you're working with to determine what materials will work. Wood chalices, for instance, don't work well because wood doesn't flow Water energies well.
To work with your Chalice, you'll need some additional items, such as spring water (don't use chlorinated water, which has some unhealthy energies), rock or sea salt (don't use iodized salts) and an all natural material in which you can wrap your Chalice. For the most effective use, you'll also want to "key" your Chalice to personalize it to your own energies and set the Chalice energies rotating in the correct clockwise direction.
Plate: Magical Earth Tool
The Plate, also known in magical circles as the Shield or Pantacle, is the magical tool of the element Earth. Associated with the direction North, the plate is primarily a tool of protection and healing. Magicians and shamans often use the Plate to protect magical operations, such as divination or spellwork, from outside interference. Plates are also useful for storing magical objects you want to protect, similar to the chalice, and for self protection.
Ideally, Plates should be round in shape to produce the strongest energy vortex and beam, and should be of earth-colored material, which include greens, browns and blacks, or have plant-based designs on them. Ceramic, wood or porcelain Plates work well, as do metal and glass Plates. Avoid Plates that are too heavily carved with designs or patterns, since this can interfere with the Plate's energy flow and pattern.
To key or personalize your Plate for magical use, you'll need rock salt, non-chlorinated water and a pure cotton cloth. You'll also need a Firebowl and a spare Chalice. Keying ensures that the energy in your Plate flows in the appropriate direction for protection, healing and spellwork.
A little known fact about the Plate is that it is an important tool for simulacra or "voodoo" type magic. In addition, the Plate is also a "broadcaster," meaning that you can use it to broadcast certain energies into your environment.
If you are interested in expanding your magical "reach", then using magical tools will help you do that. You can find ebooks for each tool separately on our website, or just get some specific ways to use magical tools with our Kindle book, Learn How to Do Witchcraft Rituals and Spells with Magical Tools.
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