While magic comes from within your being, you do not really need any tools to create magic. On the other hand, tools can help you pinpoint your energy and focus much better at times. Below is a description of some basic altar tools. You may use any, all, or ones not even mentioned here. All you need to help you in your magical workings are anything that feels comfortable and has meaning to you.
The athame (ATH-A-MAY) is a ritual knife or dagger, usually double-edged with a black handle. The knife represents Fire and may be used to cast a circle and only symbolic. You never use an athame to cut anything physical.
Your chalice (cup, mug, or what ever works for you) represents Water. It is used to hold the water or wine for drinking at the end of a ritual or circle.
Your wand can be any material you feel drawn to (wood, metal, or other). Your wand represents Air, and is used to direct energy during ritual. Wands are usually homemade, but can be bought at stores that cater to new age or pagan peoples.
Cauldrons are cast iron pots, usually pot-bellied in style, and used to burn incense or paper with spells written on them. Make sure you have a cauldron that can tolerate heat and be careful not to burn down your house.
Bowl of Salt
You can use a bowl of salt to represent the Earth and the god. It is used to spiritually cleanse other tools or anything you want. A small bowl of salt (sea salt is best) is simply kept on the altar.
Bowl of Water
A bowl of water, preferably rainwater, to represent the water and the goddess can be kept on the altar for ritual. Obviously, you canít keep water in the bowl all the time (evaporation), but you can keep the bowl there and add water when you do a working or a ritual.
Candles -Represent Fire, and some people keep a special pair of candles to represent the God and Goddess.
Boline - Curved knife for harvesting herbs. Not necessary, but nice to have.
These are all just basic items and you are more than permitted to add or delete any item as you see fit. After all, it is your altar and your workings and you have to be free to do, as you will. So long as it harms none, so mote it be!