When you're first starting out with any magical practice, you're told to have a set of tools to work with. This usually consists of a ceremonial knife (or athame), wand, altar with an altar cloth, cauldron, bowls, statues, candles, and maybe more items after that.
Here's the thing: not every magical practice uses tools. Like mine.
Plus, as a beginner, who says you have the money for all the latest and greatest tools out there? I know I want a giant black cauldron for my kitchen but I sure as hell can't afford a tiny one right now.
So these are the tools I would recommend for witchlings instead:
A COMFORTABLE SPACE
This can be anywhere and it doesn't need to be at an altar.
If you enjoy being outside, pick a spot under a tree or on a solid rock.
If you enjoy the ocean, pick a shady spot in the sand.
If you don't want to go anywhere, have a table or space on the floor in your home.
This needs to be a place where you feel comfortable practicing your magic, worshipping deities, meditating, etc. So make it your own!
Plant some flowers around it if you're outside.
Bring a mat to sit on so sand doesn't get in your pants.
Turn down the lights and play some Enya or rain sounds.
Some people are like me and have a billion candles. What can I say, they smell awesome.
However, some places you can't have them.
Maybe you live in a college dorm (like me) and can't have flammable objects.
Maybe your landlord doesn't want wax all over the carpet and tile.
Maybe you just don't like candles because fire is a thing you don't like.
Whatever your reason, there's alternatives. I, for example, have a Scentsy wax melter. I bought it my freshman year and have used it almost 24/7 since.
You can use essential oil diffusers if you don't want fire but want the smells.
Look up some recipes for homemade potpourri to make on your stove.
Use incense that is associated with cleansing or whatever atmosphere you're trying to give off.
I've even cast a spell without actually lighting a candle. The intent was still there, just no flame was involved.
Some people like to work on spells with silence. If you're one of those people, you don't have to use sound.
I've found that my mind tends to wonder if everything is in complete silence. So I use sound in a variety of ways.
I've downloaded a free ambiance app and listened to ocean waves and rain as I meditate. The water I'm listening to helps me visualize washing away the negative energy around me.
Turning on music like Enigma, which I used to listen to when I practiced yoga oh-so-many years ago, can really get me in a magical mood. But so can In This Moment.
For those times I don't feel like putting on music, for risk of waking up baby, I listen to the sounds of the house. There's ambiance around you; just listen to it breathe. It can be quite peaceful when you appreciate noise as just sound and move with its energy.
A FORM OF MEDITATION
Now you don't have to have practiced for a long time with meditation, but you need some kind of working with it.
In order to focus magic, your mind and spirit need to be focused. Practicing a daily meditation, even for a couple of breaths, can work wonders with opening your chakras, balancing your body, and improving your magic.
Meditation can be any trance-like state, remember that. So if you like practicing your magic while you crochet and your mind becomes focused, that can totally be a meditation for you.
Discover what meditation you most enjoy doing and try using it in your practice.
Obviously, you're there; you're casting the spell! You're doing the magic! But hear me out:
Use yourself as a tool. All athames and wands do is direct the energy where you want it to go. The energy is coming from you, your willpower, and you absorbing the energy around you.
So instead of directing magic with an athame, direct it with your dominant hand and arm.
Instead of pushing or deflecting magic with a wane, do it with your non-dominant hand and arm.
When you're told to cleanse and consecrate a space, move a white energy or light of cleansing power through yourself. Then push it out to the area around you.
I find this to be a more practical way of working with magic. Plus, this opens the ability to practice anywhere of your choosing, no tools required!
With these tools, you focus the magic you're creating around you and your abilities. There's no relying on other objects to perform spells.
Now if you want to have the traditional set of tools, go for it! But I highly recommend working with very limited items first; it makes the magical tools feel that much more special and your visualization skills are that much stronger.