Witchcraft 101 – The 5 Things A New Witch Really Needs to Get Started

You know those lists of stuff you have that so-and-so blogger says are a must have or whats-their-face author swears you need? Yeah, skip it. At least at first.

If you’re getting into witchcraft I recommend just five things:

  1. White tealight candles + lighter and/or LED candle
  2. A stoneware cereal bowl (plain black, plain white, or clear preferred)
  3. A glass jar with tight closing lid (jam jars are great)
  4. Thread or ribbon (your color preference)
  5. Plain paper + smooth rolling pen

With all of that, you can do just about any spell. Seriously.

Here’s the break down the whys.

Tealight candles

Tealights are the perfect candle. They’re small enough that you can sit in a park, light the candle, sprinkle some powdered herbs into it, let it burn itself out, and be on your way by the time your podcast episode is over.

Tealight candles burn fast so you don’t have to wait around forever for a candle to burn out. This is super important because there are times where a spell will say “and let it burn out”. If you’re using a votive candle, that can take upwards 6+ hours. Anything larger and you’ll be there for days.

Minced or powdered herbs can be added too. You don’t want these ingredients to be too large or you’ll drown the flame, but a bit premixed from your kitchen ingredients and stored in a tic-tac container or mini shaker is perfect.

You can write on the metal tin to dress the candle, if you don’t feel like pulling the candle apart to write on the wax. Getting a tealight out of the metal tin can take some practice for some candles, but for others, it’s easy. Depends on your candle.

You don’t need a candle holder or a candle plate. You can get a tealight candle holder (there’s so many you could choose from), but you don’t need one.

They’re cheap. You can usually get a pack of tealights at the dollar store. At my local IKEA (Stoughton, MA), I can get 100 unscented tealight candles for $3.99 plus tax. If I want to go fancy, I could grab 30 color and scented tealights for $2.99.

I recommend candles over LED because you can burn stuff. If you have no intention of burning stuff and want it merely for light or symbolic reasons, use LED candle. At my local IKEA I can get a 6 pack of tealights for $5.99, but I can usually get a 2 tealight pack at my local dollar store.

Stoneware bowl

A stoneware bowl sounds weird, but you’re essentially looking for a heavy ceramic cereal or soup bowl. Why stoneware? Glass and metal bowls can be too hot to handle when heated. Plastic melts.

The ideal stoneware bowl will have a heavy bottom, a bottom ridge, or even feet at the bottom. Your coffee cup may have a bottom like this. You want the base to be thick so heat doesn’t spread easily from it and so it doesn’t break easily.

The inside should be nice and smooth so it’s easy to clean. Stoneware almost always it this way, unless it was made to be porous in some fashion.

You want it to have a thick or heavy bottom so it doesn’t break easily or burns the surface under it. It should be smooth on the inside, so it’s easy to clean. Black, white, or clear allows you to use it as a scrying divination bowl by pouring water in it or can be used for tea leaf reading.

While a bowl is ideal in size, a coffee cup or baking casserole dish could also be used.

Glass jar with tight lid

A glass jar with a tight lid, such as a jam jar or mason jar is great for mixing herbs, gathering water, making and keeping oils, etc. You can hold stuff in it, make stuff, keep stuff and so on. Sanitize your jars by boiling them with water and make sure they’re completely dry before using them for anything. Skip using jars like pickle jars or mustard jars, as the smell can be hard to get rid of.

If the lid is metal, you can use a piece of parchment or wax paper between the lid and jar to help protect the jar from rusting.


A cotton ball of thread can be bought in most places – check the hardware or cooking area. You can use twine, but it they often shed. Embroidery thread can be bought in any craft store or the craft section of a store. Same thing with ribbon. You can even use shoelaces, but it might not be cost effective. This can be used for any knot spell, to tie stuff up, or even make simple poppets.

Paper + Pen

With paper and a pen that moves nicely across the paper, you can write spells, take notes, try automatic writing, make sigils, and hundreds of other things.

Printer paper or a cheap sketchbook are perfect choices. Chalkboard or white boards are also excellent choices, especially because you can erase them and save time and money that way.

You can keep your notes and so on in a binder or folder, making a grimoire (book of spells/shadows/etc).

Alternatively, some people get by just fine without pen and paper, but I recommend it to start.

Bonus Tips

  • Start with the herbs in your kitchen rather than buying a special herb. Many times, you can substitute an herb in a spell.
  • Use the colors of your clothing for color symbolism rather than candle colors. It’s far cheaper than buying and storing special candles and you’ll be able to sense and remember the color meanings more easily.

That’s it an all. With those items, you can start just about anywhere with any kind of spells and you’re not going to need a lot of space to store it. They’re ordinary enough to hide in plain sight. And they’re cheap. The bowl’s probably the most expensive thing and that’s only if you can’t find what you’re looking for at the dollar store.