You’ll often hear that the best tools are those you made yourself. To some extent, I have to agree. There’s just something about using (as a tool, offering or decoration) something that you’ve made yourself and are proud of. I don’t believe that you have to make all your tools, but making at least some items that you use in your practice has great benefit.
I’m a creator .. I like to make physical things. It’s probably as a result of my job, which is mostly cerebral and conversational. Over the years I’ve learned to make toiletries and soap, make paper, knit, crochet, weave, spin yarn, brew beer, and a host of other hobbies that I’ve dabbled in. When I do a ritual, a spell, or my daily practice with items that I’ve made myself, it adds to the rite. Some of it is that it helps me to evoke the appropriate feelings and emotions because of my intention in creating the item; some of it is the energy and emotion that I put into the item when I was creating it; and some of it is the simple fact that I created something greater from raw materials.
For instance, for a while I used an oil that a good friend of mine and I created together for my Kindred offerings. These are offerings in my private ritual that I give to the gods, the fae folk and nature spirits, and to the ancestors. The offerings are supposed to be a welcome, a gift to a traveler who graces my door. When I use the oil, I remember the feeling of companionship, of love, of community that I felt when we were creating the oil … and it brings those emotions to the rite. I’ve since run out of the oil, but I re-used the bottle and created a new blend along the same lines. Keeping that piece of it continuous – using the same bottle – means that I still think of that time whenever I use the oil, and the emotions are there again.
Another item that I’ve created and use is a small shawl. The yarn was spun at the Goddess Festival while walking between, and attending, rituals. The festival took place in a camp in the Redwood forest, among a group of women who were kind and helpful and generous. Using the shawl reminds me of the feeling of standing in that forest, and looking up – almost forever – to see the tops of the trees. It was truly a place out of time. Using the shawl, or even just touching it, helps me to return to that mental space and focus.
No matter what you can create … draw, write, sing, paste photos from magazines onto a box … anything, you can create items for your Craft. Put your time and effort into the items. Think about what you want to feel when you use them. Put some energy into making them appeal to you in all the ways possible – visual, tactile, aural, whatever is appropriate. Charge those items with energy and emotion, and use them! You’ll find it much easier to bring back those emotions, to re-create that mental space, if you create something that you can use.