Getting started

When a witch is getting to a point where she feels comfortable enough to start trying out spells…

What are the basic things every witch should have on hand? I understand certain spells call for different items.

But common colored candles? White? Black? If she chooses to cast a circle a wand… Crystals? Stones? Herbs? Pictures on her alter?

I just feel like I can’t get my footing right. Lol.

Where to begin?


Maybe putting together an altar if you don’t have one already?


Your altar is your altar… I’ll add a picture of what mine looks like at the end. I always keep my favorite crystals, fireproof dish/bowl (cauldron, copper bowl), I mostly use black, white & red candles but keep white in an overabundance because it can be substituted for any color. An incense burner of some kind. I have statues of my deities & a shelf where I keep their designated items.

However, when I first started I found a deep purple/maroonish hand towel that was my altar cloth, a couple of glass candle holders, birthday candles, a wooden box, my husband made my first athame & a hanging incense holder for me. I would use what I had in my kitchen or around the house for my first items.

Now my altar looks like this:

I will be changing the cloth this month, I got that one for around Samhain/Winter Solstice. But now Spring is on the way, so new cloth & some reorganization. I am going to find a couple of pictures of my deities to print & hangover their shelf & put smaller ones on my mirror.

Altars! Love to see yours!

This has a lot of pictures of different members’ altars & I think maybe an original picture of my 1st altar but I know there’s a couple of mine so you can see them change over time.


White candles, clear quartz crystal, salt, and a nice bowl for water are a good start. You’ve got your wand but you can use your hand or finger to cast a circle. But you can use a white candle in place of any color, and a clear quartz crystal in place of any crystal. Maybe some good incense, like rosemary since rosemary is protective and can be used for any intention as well.

Then look through the spells on-site and see what ones you’d like to try and make a list of what you need. For instance, if you’re going to be doing the on-site Esabat rituals, you’ll see that in February you’ll need a purple candle, a journal, and a pen or pencil. Since you’ve got a white candle to substitute for purple, you just need to get a journal and a good pen.

But all you really need is a few simple things and your intentions. Youv’e got this, you can do it! I have faith in you!


Like @Amethyst said, clear quartz is an alternative for any crystal. Rosemary is an alternative for any herb and a white candle can replace any color candle.
As for beginner stones, I’d suggest clear quartz, black obsidian or black tourmaline, fluorite, sodalite, lapis lazuli, amethyst, and maybe one of each color for the chakras.


There is just so much to choose from lol


I think Etsy is a great resource :slight_smile: If you look at “baby witch” kits and the description, you can cobble together your own set pretty quickly, probably with a lot of things you already have! Multi-purpose ingredients include white candles, salt, rosemary and clear quartz – those can be used to substitute for an item you don’t have, often.

You can do a lot with just that! You can cast a circle with your finger, as well, until you make or get a wand (or if you choose to just use your hand in your practice)

good basics for starters would be candles: black, white, red, blue, green, yellow, pink; crystal: quartz, rose quartz, amethyst, black tourmaline, selenite, tiger eye, citrine, sodalite or other blue stone (about dollar each for tumbled stones); ingredients: salt, pepper, garlic, cinnamon, bay leaf, basil, cloves, ginger. Incense sticks or cones, e.g. sandalwood, jasmine, frankincense or white sage/mugwort for smudging.

If you go in a metaphysical store, some less common herbs you might want 2 oz of are mugwort, hawthorn and angelica - there are hundreds - but these are used in spells

some items if you find them or have them: keys, mirror, shell, feather, bowl - a box to put everything in!

Some of the Spells8 spells use ingredients like cinnamon, bay leaves, cloves, garlic, honey, lemons, etc.

Protection and defense spells - you might use a black candle, black tourmaline or obsidian, black pepper and salt. a hand mirror for some spells. Lots of common herbs and spices have protective qualities and some are associated with warding or banishing, as well.

Love spells (including self-love, friendship, etc.) - pink candles, rose petals, hibiscus/sorrel tea, honey and rose quartz…

Money and luck spells - green candles, green aventurine, pyrite, basil, cinnamon, etc.

Divination - any color but yellow or purple candles would be good, a black bowl for scrying. You could buy or make a pendulum and pendulum board. You can print Tarot cards from the spells 8 site.

And then there are the things you can find outside, like acorns (luck, protection) and pine needles (new starts, good luck) or leftovers like egg shells (to grind up and make protective black salt), dried orange rind (happiness, prosperity), bones (Samhain, connection with departed.) or strawberry leaves (good luck).

You might save small jars with lids. Jar spells are fun and easy to make and you get a good idea of correspondences with jar spells. I know there are some great jar spells on this website and a wealth of them on Pinterest.


Thank you dear!!

THAT was the layout I needed! :relaxed::relaxed::relaxed::heart::heart::magic_wand::crescent_moon::broom::new_moon::feather:


Merry meet.

My wiccan altar is basic. Folding TV table with my tools on top. Other than my Deity statues which are almost always present, the other tools vary based on the spell I will cast or work I will do.

The altar sits atop a 6’ round area rug that represents the boundaries of my temple/circle. Does wonders to help visualization.

Just another reference point.

Hope it helps.


That’s a nice alter :slight_smile:

I was wondering, what kind of sage do you use when doing a ritual blessing on your book of shadows?


I use natural white sage for my purifying and consecrating needs. Are there alternatives? Yes. But I like sage, preffer sage, and have best results with sage. Cones and sticks don’t work well when it comes to white sage. Has to be the actual plant. Just smelling of sage is enough.
That being said in response to @triplemoonlove9091 , the rest below is just a personal gripe based on comments I always get after stating my preffered method. (Not in this coven yet, just in general)

Before anyone jumps on me for endagering the plant, know that I buy from a sustainable sourced vendor in CA. They grow their own, or so I’m told. One just has to come to terms with the high price tag compared to others.

Other than that, I follow my own path. If I’m going to limit myself by taboos of other religions and what they find sacred or right or wrong, I would find myself with limited to the point of oppression. I’ll not be shamed into compliance or submission.

If I wanted rules I’d go to church. Live and let live. En it harm none, do as thy wilt.

Sorry for the ranting bitterness in this post. I’m tired of being admonished (to put it mildly) by the native Americans and others over smudging and other things.

My sincerest apologies. Just had to get that towering redwood of a chip off my shoulder.


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