Tales of a Southern Pagan Mom

Handmade Tools

 “…with these hands, and with this heart, and with this mind, I can do anything!” ― Derek VitatoeWith These Hands

That’s how I feel about tools. Obviously, some things are better bought – an athame (since I am not a silversmith), a mortar & pestle, a chalice – but that’s not to say that I wouldn’t make a blade, or that I wouldn’t treasure a large flat stone and rock like Native Americans used to grind maize, or that a red solo cup wouldn’t work well in a pinch… but there is a certain joy in making your own tools.

One of the main reasons I tend to make my own things is price. The other main reason is energy. I mention price first simply because I have seen some breathtaking tools and supplies that I would love to have in my cabinet. But the second reason plays just as much of a role. When I buy something, I can’t use it until it is cleansed, and sometimes the cleansing process is lengthy. I bought a deck of tarot cards once and couldn’t use them for over a month (they still don’t read well for me). On the other hand, things that I have made usually work very well, sometimes even before they’re finished.

I also seem to have more success making things from scratch rather than re-purposing things. That, I feel pretty strongly, is about energy and vibrations – the reluctance sometimes of things to function in a new capacity. But with time and practice, my handmade items usually cooperate fully and work well.

Some things I have made are pendulum boards (for myself and for friends), pendulums, scrying mirror, pendants and other spiritual jewelry, and other decorations for my altar and home.

You might wonder – do I think that handmade tools are superior to store-bought tools? Well, yes and no. Yes, because I believe that anything I make myself (whether for myself or not) carries my will and energy and intent with it. Since magic is all about energy and will and intent, I believe that my handmade tools – or those made by someone else’s hand and gifted to me – work better than those that are commercially produced. That’s not to say that superior results cannot be found with commercial products; I love my crystal pendulum! But they lack a certain feel to them.

One area that I stray from the ‘handmade is better’ camp in is with my Shadow Book. Though I love the idea of a fully handwritten book, and have not removed that goal from my list of Things I would Like to Do One Day, I am not a fan of my handwriting – I tend to write things, then go back and edit, make notes and changes and the page ends up looking like a jumbled mess. Some might find that appealing – I’d rather everything stay neat and legible. So, I usually type and print. I do have an art-Book of Shadows that has a lot of drawing in it, but that’s not a ‘working’ book – more of a journal. More on the virtues of handwritten vs. printed later {wink}.

How about you? What’s your take on handmade vs. store-bought tools? Do you work with tools you created yourself?

Brightest Blessings,


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