What are your tools?
I've been thinking a lot lately about the 'tools' of my craft. Its something I've contemplated on and off for quite some time and recently I did a huge cull of my props. I'm going through a period of re-evaluating my beliefs and solidifying my practice and one of those aspects is looking at the tools I use. I will admit that much like many who pick up this path (especially at a young age) I started feeling like I needed to have all the tools that the books said. You know the kinds of books, they tell you how to set up your altar and give you a list of 20+ items that you must have in order to be a Wiccan. Obviously I progressed past that point, mostly this is a part of growing up, partly it came from moving countries and having to get rid of a lot of stuff, and partly it was an extension of realizing I didn't want to be Wiccan. I was a witch, but Wicca wasn't the specific path I wanted to follow.
So I moved forward, I didn't have all the paraphernalia but as I recently discovered when I pulled apart my altar and bagged up a lot of things to go to a gypsy swap I still have a lot of tools that I just never used. There were tools I used to use, when I did more elaborate rituals on Full Moons and High Holy Days but I have moved away from elaborate practices in the past few months. I have come to realize that I enjoy the simple yet meaningful in my spiritual practice as in my life. I was trying to create these elaborate rituals etc (and sometimes it is fun and I may do it still occasionally) when in essence I felt more just making it up as I went along, doing what the moment and event moved me to do. So I got rid of things
I had an athame that I sometimes used to cast circle, but most often I would cast through visualization alone. Its a very pretty dagger and I will keep it because of that, but it is no longer a part of my ritual toolkit. I had a chalice, it was a makeshift one that I'd always meant to replace with something prettier but that I never used, so out it went. My little cast iron cauldron with my salt is still awesome, so it has remained in my home and will eventually reside on my ancestor altar as a place to put offerings (the salt is gone). My wand - I had a beautiful wand, I never used it, I don't see myself ever using it, so it is gone. I do have a selenite wand and a sodalite wand (both smaller than the size of my palm) that now reside on my new altar, they each serve a purpose and have special meaning in my heart so they stay, but I don't use them as wands. I also got rid of my pentacle.
So what do I have now. Firstly, I no longer have a large altar space in a separate room. I have a small meaningful altar located in my bedroom and several shrines throughout the house. What is on this altar? I have my two crystal wands, an offering bowl, a candle, an oil burner (or sometimes and incense burner) my meditation beads and some crystals for the fey. It is simple, what is there serves a purpose and provides a trigger for my practices.