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Phoenix
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Join date : 2009-08-21

PostSubject: Tools   Sun Aug 23, 2009 1:49 am

From White_Rose

Altar Cloth

This is a cloth that is used to dress the Altar. It can be specially bought or just any fabric that you like. There are a huge variety of pre-made altar clothes in various shapes and colors. It's traditional to use different colors for different purposes and sabbats. You can make your own if you have any sewing flair buy picking out your fabric from a cloth store. Altar cloths are typically inexpensive though. The benefit of having an altar cloth is that your altar is protected from dripping wax and water stains. It also adds magical properties to your altar by virtue of symbols and colors


Asperger

This can be anything used to sprinkle saltwater for purification. Feathers, small paintbrushes etc make very good aspergers. It is associated with the element of water. A catholic supply house is a good place to fine premade ones of various types. Priests use them in aspersing holy water during their own rituals. You can find them listed under Holy Water and Sprinklers. Sometimes called Aspergilliums.


Athame

Pronounced ath-ah-may, This is traditionally a black handled knife with a double sided blade. It is used to direct your will and channel your intent. It's never used to cut anything. It's most common use is in casting the Circle and invoking things. It is associated with the element of fire


Bell

The bell is often used to mark the beginning and end of a spell. It is associated with the element of air and is a feminine symbol and so is often used to invoke the Goddess in ritual. It is also rung to ward off evil spells and spirits, to halt storms, or to evoke good energies. Placed in cupboards or hung on the door, it guards the home.


Besom

Pronounced Bee-some, This is a special broom used to sweep the circle. It's use is to remove negative energy from an area when creating sacred space. This broom is usually round, not flat




Boline

Pronounced bow-lean, This is traditionally a white handled knife with a curved blade used for cutting and preparing herbs and plants for rituals. Some bolines can be scythe-like in shape with a crescent moon type curve or fairly straight with just a slight curve to the blade (as pictured to the left). This can also be used to inscribe candles or cut cords in rituals


Book of Shadows

For some, a Book of Shadows (BoS) is akin to a “magical cookbook” with sections on various sorts of topics. For others, a BoS is more of a journal, with a running commentary of all the things you’ve been working on and bits of stuff you’ve collected. It can also be a combination of these two ideas, or something else entirely. It all depends on what you’re doing and how you like to have things organized. For folks just starting out, I highly recommend using a three-ring binder or creating a word processor file to house your BoS. You’ll be grabbing a lot of material left and right, and these methods allow you to keep things organized. If you do decide to keep your BoS on your computer, please make sure you back it up on disk or CD


Cakes and Wine

Blessed food and drink to be shared after a ritual. It is customary to set aside a portion as a libation to deity in gratitude and to honor the God and Goddess.




Candles

Candles are an essential tool, not only for illumination or representation of the Fire Element but also to mark the Quarters of a circle and to represent each element by it's associated color. Green/North/Earth, Yellow/East/Air, Red/South/Fire, Blue/West/Water. Candles should be snuffed out, never blown. This is so that the Fire Elementals are not offended


Cauldron

It is normally a three-legged vessel, ideally made of iron and has the opening smaller than the body of the cauldron. They come in a variety of sizes and has many different uses. It can be used to contain a small charcoal fire for burning papers or other ritual items in spellwork. If you fill it with water it can be a device for scrying (a form of divination). The Cauldron represents the womb of the Goddess or fertility. It also signifies transformation since elements enter it in one state and leave it in another. It is a traditional symbol of the Goddess. A tool of the west, it is associated with the element of water.


Censer

This is an incense burner used during ritual. There are all manner of censers. Some are metal and can be hung from chains, others have small legs to keep the hot bottom off of the ground. Some are wood and hold incense sticks in the bottom. Most prefer a ceramic or metal bowl type which can be filled with sand to absorb the heat. Good ones have metal inserts for burning charcoal. You can use sticks and cones or you can use raw incense like herbs or resins which ignites on charcoal tablets. Each type of incense has specific energies depending on the herbs used to blend it. Incense is chosen specifically for each sabbat or ritual depending on it's magical properties


Chalice

This is a goblet or cup usually made of silver, glass or pewter used to represent the female aspect of deity, the Goddess. It's usually filled with a spirited drink (wine is common) or juice and passed around the circle with the words 'May you never thirst' for each member to sip from as a bonding experience. It has many of the same properties as the cauldron (minus the cooking/burning aspects). It's a tool of the west and associated with the element water. If using with wine one should take care to use one which is lined with glass or silver as some metals can be poisonous when in contact with alcohol. Wedding or bridal shops are a handy place to find these. Second hand thrift shops also have a few to spare usually. Just be sure to do a good cleansing ritual on them before putting them to use.


Crystals or Gemstones

Not really tools but many Wiccans like to use them as either representations of the Earth Element on the altar or to mark the boundaries of their circle. Each gemstone has differing attributes which can be used for spell work depending on the need.


God and Goddess Statues

Not really tools but many Wiccans like to use them as representations of the God and Goddess on the Altar. The God statue goes on the Right. The Goddess statue goes on the Left. Some people use candles instead or in addition. The God's candle is usually Gold and the Goddess' candle is usually Silver or White. You can also select a general icon of the God or Goddess (Moon or Sun etc..) if you don't feel an affinity for a specific Deity. Many people identify with a specific Deity from Celtic, Norse, Egyptian, Indian, Roman, Greek pantheons and so use statues to honor them specifically


Herbs

Herbs, like incense are essential components in magical workings. They can be burned in ritual or boiled into a potion for various purposes depending on their attributes. Though not technically a tool, herbs are extremely useful to have in stock.


Incense

Incense, like candles are an essential tool. Composed of a combination of herbs, plants, oils and resins, they are used for purification and meditation. Incense is associated with the element of air. Different incenses have different attributes depending on their composition


Mortar and Pestle

Used to grind herbs to a fine paste for potions, spell workings and in making your own incense. There are many different types - Stone, Ceramic, Wood etc.. It's a good idea to use a separate mortar and pestle for magical and mundane use since some of the herbs used in spell work can be poisonous


Oils

Oils, like Incense and Herbs are not technically tools but are essential in magical spell work. Oils have various attributes depending on their herbal composition. They are used to anoint or charge candles and during blessings and purifications




Pendulum

A heavy object, often stone or metal, fastened to the end of a strap, string or chain; It is commonly used for divination or meditation. Small pendulums are prevalently used in dowsing, radiesthesia, and related divination systems which once employed diving rods. Questions are so phrased as to acquire answers by the clockwise and counterclockwise movements of the pendulums. There are many divination charts you can use with a pendulum


Pentacle

The Pentacle is a symbol of a star encased in a circle. Always with 5 points (one pointing upward), each has its own meaning. The upward point of the pentacle star is representative of the spirit. The other four points all represent an element; earth, air, fire, and water. All the elements and the spirit are within the circle to symbolize that everything is connected. Altar Pentacles or Patens, are placed on the altar and may be used to consecrate various tools and are a point of concentration during spell casting and other ritual workings. The altar pentacle paten is associated with the Goddess, North, and the element of Earth


Runes

Runes are an ancient Germanic alphabet, used for writing, divination and magick. They were used throughout northern Europe, Scandinavia, the British Isles, and Iceland from about 100 B.C.E. to 1600 C.E. Runic inscriptions of great age have even been found in North America, supporting stories that the Vikings arrived in the Americas long before Columbus. Since ancient times, runes have been used for divination and magic, in addition to writing. The word "rune" actually means mystery, secret or whisper. Each rune has esoteric meanings and properties associated with it, beyond its mundane meaning and phonetic value. Each translates into a word or a phrase signifying concepts important to the early peoples who used them, representing the forces of nature and mind. Each rune has a story attached to it, a relationship to a Norse God


Salt (Bowl of)

Salt is associated with the element Earth. It's used to cleanse and purify and is most commonly combined with water in ritual to make saltwater for consecrating the circle. Some Wiccans use salt to mark the boundaries of their circle. Coarse Sea Salt is often kept on the altar in a small bowl or cauldron for cleansing tools of negative energies and as a representation of the element of earth.


Scrying Mirrors

Usually dark mirror, glass ball or black bowl. This is a divination tool used for scrying. Scrying is an example of the ancient art of clairvoyance. One concentrates on an object with a reflective surface until visions appear. The term "scrying" comes from the English word "descry", which means "to make out dimly" or "to reveal". The magickal potency of your scrying mirror or bowl comes from your focus and intent. You may wish to empower the mirror or bowl with spells or personal ritual. When using the mirror or bowl for scrying you do not want to see your reflection. Use an adjustable base or look at it from an angle. Look into the depths of the mirror or bowl as if you are looking into a bowl of water. It may turn grey then colors may come and go. With practice you will see images like still photographs.


Staff

A larger version of a Wand, the staff is the sword and wand rolled into one. As such it is a symbol of both magical knowledge and the right to petition deities or archetypal powers. The length of the wand depends upon what feels comfortable to you, but tradition states that it should be no longer than your forearm. The staff should be at least shoulder-high and as thick as is comfortable to hold, usually about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. It should be cut during the waxing moon and allowed to dry out thoroughly at room temperature. You may strip the bark off of it or leave it on, whichever you prefer. It may be left natural or stained/varnished/oiled. It is used to direct your will and magical energies in rituals. The Staff is associated with the Element of Air and is aligned with the East (although some traditions hold that the wand is an instrument of fire and aligned with the South).


Sword

A larger version of an Athame, this is a tool for directing energy and is never used for cutting or slicing. The sword is more commonly used by the High Priestess and/or High Priest of a coven, rather than by a solitary practitioner. Like the Athame, the Sword is a masculine tool associated with the element of Fire and with the God.


Tarot Cards

The tarot is a deck of 78 picture cards that has been used for centuries to reveal hidden truths. Tarot cards are a favorite method of divination among Wiccans. They can be used in spell work and meditation too.


Wand

Traditionally made of wood by the person who will use it. This tool is cut during the waxing moon and allowed to dry out thoroughly at room temperature. You may strip the bark off of it or leave it on, whichever you prefer. It may be left natural or stained/varnished/oiled. The length of the wand depends upon what feels comfortable to you, but tradition states that it should be no longer than your forearm. Associated with the Element of Air, it is used to direct your will and magical energy during ritual. Many wands are fashioned with a stone or crystal at the tip to help focus energy


Water (Bowl of)

Water is a feminine element and serves to cleanse and purify when combined with salt. It's usually kept in a bowl on the altar's west or left side.

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