Despite the huge array of magickal and ritual tools available in every metaphysical shop, the best tools available for any Witch are those they make themselves. The entire process of creating a tool, from choosing the right materials for construction to the final consecration and first use, is a ritual act, fraught with magick and intent.
This process begins, like all magickal acts, when the idea first occurs to make the tool. The energy behind the idea then builds and grows, with further thoughts and inspiration occurring often in dreams and waking visions. Materials for the creation of the tool may appear surprisingly, such as the perfect branch for a wand being blown off of a tree during the night only to land in your yard, or a friend stops by because they felt compelled to give you some of the river stones they’d just collected.
As you craft your tool, you impart your energy upon it, thus creating a link between it and you. This increases the potency of all workings utilizing that tool as the tool is thus an extension of yourself, amplifying the energy sent forth and bettering your aim. This is why tools that one makes themselves are almost always superior to those that are made by another (although a tool made specifically for you by a dear friend can be quite the powerful instrument.)
And this is also why it is so often suggested to not let others touch your tools (and why you should never touch the tools of another without their expressed permission.) Doing so can disrupt the energies stored within that tool, making it necessary for the item to be cleansed or purified, and possibly even reconsecrated.*
However, often we have neither the talent nor the know-how to make our desired tool (do you know how to forge a good blade or cast an iron cauldron? Yeah, me too…) so it becomes necessary to procure an item made by someone else, or possibly even one that was mass produced. There is nothing wrong with this, however, it is highly suggested to personalize the item in some way, to create that link and truly make the tool yours. Metal items can be engraved at home with etching kits (available at most craft stores: they utilize an acid to make the desired effect,) wooden items can easily be carved into or, in the case of wands, crystals can be added to the ends with a sturdy craft glue (I like E6000, it’s suitable for metal, glass, wood, fabric, ceramic, everything,) and fabric items, such as robes, can be personalized by simply stitching a design somewhere, such as a bind rune or your sigil, or small crystal beads can be sewn on, or herbs sewn up in a hem, for example.
Regardless of whether you choose to make your own tools or to purchase them, you should never feel as if your tools are inferior to anyone else’s. It’s not about how pretty the tool is, or what strange and exotic materials it’s made of, what matters is how youfeel with it, how well you and your tool work together. Simplicity can be a powerful ally when it comes to magick and you just may find that that dried Dandelion Root makes a far better wand than that sterling silver wand encrusted with Moonstone and Amethyst. Or you may not. Either way, do what is right for you because it’s your tool and your magickal practice.
*This should only be necessary in the case of desecration, i.e. the tool has been damaged or used disrespectfully (perhaps ill-meaning fingers have broken your wand or turned your favorite cauldron into an ashtray…)