Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tools of The Trade

This is a simple list of the tools that a practitioner might use, we also have done a video and placed it at the end of the post.
There are many tools for each different tradition but these listed are the most commonly used.

Primary Tools

This is the black-hilted Witches' Knife also knows as Seax or Yag-dirk used for commanding and manipulating power. It is always a double edged knife with a blade usually from five to six inches long and is never used to 'cut' anything on the physical plane (some paths see no need for this restraint). The athame is a witches primary tool for rituals and circle magic. It is the instrument we use to draw magical circles and other diagrams, in the midst of which many of our spells are cast and stands for intellect, right thinking, and calculation. Highly coveted, once consecrated, this tool is extremely precious to Wiccan folk indeed!

The witches cup is a variant of the cauldron of Ceridwen. The cup is also known as the chalice, bowl and cauldron. It is used to contain the salt water of exorcism or, alternatively, the wine of libation and is usually made of brass, animal horn, crystal, glass or ceramic...but can be of anything of the earth (no plastic or man made compounds). This is the sacramental wine which is consumed in some ceremonies, and also used to consecrate things at times. Some paths use both the cup and cauldron where as we believe both are identical in function, symbolizing The Goddess, a symbol of emotion and fertility. In ritual the chalice represents the female where the athame represents the male. Both are very important in magickal works and rites.

The cord is also know as the girdle, cingulum, or cable tow. The latter name derives from its use in various initiation rituals. The cord is basically used to measure the radius of our circles, for binding things - and even on occasion, for binding one's self!

The thurible, also known as the censer, is used for burning incense during ritual, whether it be Mercurial, Saturnian, Sabbat, or standard incense. Its function is to purify the ritual space or area you are magickally working in. Many varieties and styles are available from the highly complex to the simple 'ashtray filled with sand' type. All are extremely adequate. Incense helps the Witch reach an altered state of consciousness and comes in cones, sticks and powdered form (we highly recommend powdered and grinding your own is better yet).

To us the last of the five major tools, also knows as the workbook or spellbook. This is the book where all rituals, spells and magickal recipes are written before use. Traditionally bound and covered in either leather or other animal skin, even a standard book of high quality drawing paper will suffice. I recommend any 'natural bound' book with unlined parchment (virgin parchment is optimum). Some believe the more important works should be translated in magickal language for either secrecy (coming from the theory of necessity in The Burning Times), empowerment (as in the more you put into something, the more your receive in return), or simply desire. A magickal translation table for various alphabets can be found in the Ritual Area.

Secondary Tools

A minor tool, a white hilted knife, is used for cutting herbs and any other use save magickal ritual in which the athame is implemented. Many paths differ on the need for the Burin. Gardnerian Wicca absolutely forbids the use of the athame for any purpose other than rituals. Seax-Wica on the other hand finds no need for it. It is a tool either abandoned or accepted by the various paths.

Used for various magick in rituals. Deemed necessary in some paths, we do not believe in this necessity. The wand is usually a replacement of the athame for one reason or another and is considered much more empowered when the acceptance of the tree in question is received (never assume the tree will sacrifice this..always ask 'permission'). Wands are typically made of hardwoods such as Oak and Maple but may be of any desired tree-type and are usually adorned with a crystal of one form or another. They represent communication in its entirety.

Used by some in magickal rituals employing the vibrations of sound. For centuries it has been thought to have certain magickal properties.

The Witch's Broom is used for decoration, ritual 'sweeping' away of negativity, and as inanimate familiars. Look in the Craft Group for how to make your own!

No comments:

Post a Comment