New Moon ♉
I was inspired by this post from the Ditzy Druid. She was in turn inspired by someone on Instagram called Via Hedera who started a challenge called the “Regional Witch Pic Challenge” and tasked everyone to post a photo “that highlights the toolkit of magic” where we live. In fact, if you click on the link above, you can see her post which also contains the link to Hedera’s Instagram. Plus, if you look at the Ditzy Druid’s blog you’ll see she has written a few novels. They might be your thing, so check her out above!
Ok, so I’m very much a Druid who lives and works in an urban environment here in Nottingham in the UK.
I’m lucky enough to have my own back and front garden and not only are there flowers and trees, but my wife has had a long time to grow it to how she likes. Nottingham is blessed with having several parks, even in industrial places and there are also nature reserves where mines used to be….
And so, there’s plenty of natural inspiration and resources to meet and connect with. And out of the tools I use in both my personal and group ceremonies, only three items are from Nottingham itself. All of these are normally situated on the window ledge in this order on my altar. For the purpose of this photo, I laid them out on the rug in the room where I practice. The rug reminds me of the sea.
Allow me to introduce you to the gang starting with the small stone 12 O’Clock from the candle holder:
• Stone of the North. I found this during a camp at Bestwood Country Park, Nottinghamshire. It originally helped with amplifying any hands-on-healing, but became much more convenient for being my cardinal direction pointer for the North. Especially when carried by….
- Belt Pouch. A gift from my dear friend, Kelly who introduced me to OBOD in the first place. This pouch would carry a few of these items which I used as a travel altar. I believe it is important to respect the cardinal directions in any new place. The pouch now contains two small sticks: one of Birch, the other of Rowan. I’m learning the Ogham and so, the pouch will become more full in time.
- Pocket Knife. A gift from my brother, it’s authentic Sheffield Steel and as that’s where I’m originally from, it serves as a link to my family and a reminder of my past. It has never been sharpened and not used to actually cut anything. Not yet.
- Emissary Stone. I use this to connect with the Earth, in paying respects, blessings and in grounding if need be. I found it outside the Queens Hospital in Nottingham.
- Deer Antler. Given to me by my Grove Brother, Cthulhudruid. Not only does this represent the element of fire in the south, I use this in ritual when calling upon that element too. Worry not, the antler was part of one that was shed, not forcibly taken.
- Holly Wand. Originally one of the last Morris dancing sticks I had before it broke. I held the broken piece in my hand and instantly knew what I could carve it into. It became a project over the years until it came into it’s completion back in 2018. Sliced, carved, filed and sealed all by myself.
- Washed Slate. I’ve had this since I was a kid! As a child we went on holiday (vacation) to Wales and I remember playing in the sea and shouting “Thank you Poseidon!” Can’t remember why though, but I do remember picking the stone up and was very excited as it had a shell fossilized into it. I have used this as the cardinal point for the West since my early days in Paganism. Now, when I see it, I think of Manannan Mac Lir.
- Chalice. A gift from a friend back in my university days. I have used this not only as a cardinal direction marker, but as a drinking goblet, spell-work vessel, blessing and anointing cup, but have also used it in performing for a friend’s handfasting. I’ve even used it as a scrying bowl, too! Out of all the items present, it’s definitely had the most use.
- Glass Candle Holder from Mdima, Malta. I bought this because I thought it looked like the sun. And so it sits proudly in the centre of my altar, and in the centre of any solo ceremonies or magic work requiring a fire…. Especially when it isn’t particularly safe or practical to light an actual one. I also use it when opening up my Ovate ceremonies and for housing any candles lit for the gods, the ancestors, the spirits around me, anyone who has recently died, when I want to give thanks or for anyone I feel the need to remember.
I am thankful that a lot of them are mainly gifts and will always be grateful for them. I use these mainly in my own circles, usually still sat on the altar, most of the time I’ll either use some of them or none at all.
Even though Witches, Pagans and Druids may have their own items and tools, the tools alone don’t make you magical. You do that, in what you bring and do for yourself, the people around you and your community. In whatever you do, let your spirit shine through, that will be magical tool enough.