Daily Archives: November 15, 2011

Ritual Tools Dedication Rite

Ritual Tools Dedication Rite

 
This is fairly simple ritual for the consecration and dedication of your ritual tools. Use it as a basic guideline for the creation of a rite that is uniquely suited to you and your path. Trust your intuition and feel free to adapt this to meet your needs. You will need: the altar of your choosing, set with symbols of your spirit allies and deities, smudge or incense; pure water that has been left in sunlight and moonlight for twenty-four hours:; sea salt; essential oil of myrrh, frankincense, lemongrass or rosemary.
 
1. Smudge or cense your altar, yourself, your ritual space, and your new tool. Visualize any unwanted energies breaking up and releasing from your tool. Say, “By fire and air do I cleanse and consecrate this space.”
 
2. Add a pinch of salt to the water, then sprinkle your altar, yourself, your ritual space and your new tool. Say, “By water and earth do I cleanse and consecrate this space.”
 
3. Call upon your spirit guides, patron deities and any other beings you wish to have present. Invite them to share in this ritual and ask for their guidance and protection. State the purpose of this rite: that you have come before these honored spirits to present your new tool for their blessings. Tell them that you dedicate this tool to the highest good and ask that only the most beneficial energies might flow through the tool and through you when you use it.
 
4. Holding the tool in both hands, feel your energy filling it and forming a connection between you, so you might use it to its greatest benefits.
 
5. Replace the tool on the altar and pick up the essential oil. Offer the oil to those invoked and ask again for their blessings. Anoint yourself with the oil, inviting into yourself the qualities you want to bring to your path. Then anoint the tool, blessing it with the intent for a few moments to allow any spirit messages to come through.
 
6. Thank and release all spirits you invited to join in this ritual.
 
7. Close sacred space and keep your tool in a safe and special place.
 
It has been said that ritual tools and other magickal equipment must be crafted by the user to be truly effective. It is true that making your own working tools imbues them with a rare focus and attune them to your energy like nothing else. The process of crafting your own tools involves you, from the start to finish, in the journey from idea all the way through manifestation. It’s an experience that is not to be missed. However, sometimes our tools are already out there somewhere, and will find the way to us when we are ready to receive them. Some people find tools that connect instantly and directly to their hearts and souls at garage sales or metaphysical stores. Others receive the ideal tool from their spirit allies in a vision and the enlist the aid of magickal craftspeople. The tools they now work with have been accepted by their gods and are a physical manifestation of the tools they were given in these powerful vision.
 
Whether you find your magickal object on the seashore or in a yard sale, power objects and ritual tools can be significant partners and potent conduits for your spiritual development. These unique items bring great mystery and allure to ritual magick and meditation, thereby increasing the energy of those very sacred times. As gifts from the spirits we are blessed to received such treasures, whether they come to us in simple of elaborate forms.
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Ritual Tools

Ritual Tools

 
 
While many power objects find a home on the ritual altar and are used in ceremony, they are not necessarily the same as ritual tools. Ritual tools are objects that have very specific uses in a ceremonial setting. The smudge fan purify space. Smudge and incense begin to induce a sacred state of mind. The ritual sword may be used to cast the circle and cut openings in it for participants that need to leave or re-enter. These tools may be gifts from your spirit allies, but they have a purpose other than connecting you to Deity and holding power for you individually.
 
Ritual tools being great mystery and powerful belief to a ceremony. Simply by using them, you may be transported into a magickal state of consciousness. The belief in their power alone can spur you into more effective magick and deeper trance states. This can be particularly true in the early stages of your practice, but continued use can increase their power exponentially. The more you work with these tools, the more conditioned you become to the stages of consciousness that you experience through using them. In this way, they can be invaluable catalysts to the creation of magick.
 
Because of the important role these tools play in the creation of ceremony and the intimate nature of your psychic relationship with them, it is vitally important that ritual tools be properly cleansed and ritually consecretaed and accepted by the deities of your path.
 
Kristen Madden
Llewellyn’s 2007 Magical Almanac
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Attuning to Power Objects

Attuning to Power Objects

 
 
Attuning to an object creates a resonance between the two of you. In a way, it sets up short cuts or a speed-dial relationship between you, allowing you to use this power more quickly and easily while increasing the ease with which your spirit allies can communicate with you. Before doing the actual attunement, it is a good idea to release any unwanted energies from the object. A crystal may be a true gift from the gods, but it is unlikely that you want or need residual energies from previous owners or other people that may have handled it. So purify this object by smudging with sacred herbs, holding it under running water while visualizing unwanted energies breaking up and being washed away, burying it in soil for seven day, or leaving it our under the Sun
and Moon for a full day and night.
 
To begin the attunement ritual, create sacred space in your usual manner. Smudge the area, cast a circle, light your candles, or chant your power song. Invite in your spirit guides and guardians and ask for their blessings.
 
Take some time to center your energy. Breathe deeply into your muscles–particularly into any areas of tension–and feel them relax. Count yourself down from ten to one, consciously relaxing more with each descending number. Relax the focus of your eyes and become aware of your connection to all things. Now call upon your spirit allies or patron deities, whether you know them or not. Let them know that you are here to open yourself to them and that you seek communion with them.
 
Pick up your power object and hold it in both hands. Visualize pure white energy filling this object, breaking up and releasing any remaining unwanted energies. Then sit with it for a moment and allow your energies to begin to mesh. Feel how this object feels. Feel how it makes you feel.
 
Now imagine that this object before you is as big as a house. Walk around and take a good look at it from all sides. What do you notice?
 
Visualize a door on one side. Place an offering at the door and introduce yourself. State your reason for coming and ask permission to enter. If you feel that permission is not given, try again later or ask if you need to do something else before entering.
 
When permission is granted, enter through the doorway. Take note of the colors, light temperature and anything that you see inside the object. If someone meets you at any point, greet that being with respect and be open to any messages he, she, or it might have for you. Express your reasons for exploring this object and ask for guidance into a deeper attunement with the power this object holds for you. Then wander through the object, going where you feel led and stopping at any place you find attracive in some way.
 
When you feel you have gained all that you can in this meditation, or when you feel it is time to leave, return to the doorway. Give thanks to the object your spirit allies, and any beings you encountered here. If you wish, ask for continued guidance in how best to work with this object.
 
Count yourself back up from one to ten into ordinary consciousness. If specific guidance was given or requests were made for housing or use of this object, be sure to follow through on those in a respectful manner.
 
Keep in mind that this meditation can do more than simply attune you to this object. Repeated use of the meditation can introduce you to previously unknown spirit allies that may be associated with this object. It can also allow you access to your own lost powers and provide a forum for you to regain some of it. Although quite simple, this little attunement exercise can be surprisingly powerful.
 
Kristen Madden
Llewellyn’s 2007 Magical Almanac
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Power Objects & Ritual Tools

Power Objects & Ritual Tools

 
When Harry Potter first went to Hogwarts, in the wonderful series by J. K. Rowling, he had a long list of books and tools he needed to take with him in order to practice his “magick.” Many modern Pagans feel much the same way, particularly when they are new to their paths. They want to be sure they have all that they need to do it right. And more than that most Pagans just love to work with beautiful garb and tools.
 
The truth is that we don’t really need any of these things to practice magick. It has been said that magick is the practice of effecting change in one’s life. While this is certainly true and we all do small magicks each day, real magick effects change through the use of ritual action. This may be something as simple as a mantra or visualization done each morning, or it may be an elaborate as a ceremonial magick ritual. For most of us, it is something in between. The energy that goes into magick flows through you. You are the main tool and you provide the desire, intent, and belief that make it manifest.
 
But power objects and ritual tools are most definitely not irrelevant. They hold, magnify and direct power for us. For many people, the power of magick is increased with the addition of ritual tools, and access to the energy of spirit allies is much easier when focusing on power objects. Our relationship with these tools and their uses are not interchangeable, however. As you will find, they are complementary but often very different magickal assistants.
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Power Objects

Power Objects

 
Do you ever pick up special rocks, feathers, or shells? Do you have a special necklace or ring that you wear just for ritual? Can an array of crystals be found around your home, office or in your pockets? If so, you already have some personal power objects.
 
Power objects are items that hold strong energy for you. A power object may evoke a connection with spirit allies, bring healing, act as a focal point, or heighten your own magickal abilities. These may be object whose energy is apparent to all that come in contact with them–perhaps soil from Stonehenge or water blessed by the Dalai Lama. On the other hand, they may be items that resonate with you alone. Your grandmother’s wedding ring may hold power for you, or a lock of your child’s hair.
 
Power objects are often believed to be gifts from the gods or spirit allies. While walking in the woods, you may come across a feather or unusually shaped stone that seems to call to you. Your attention is drawn to it again and again or your might know instantly when you see it that it is there just for you. You may find yourself in a store, just wandering on a lunch hour or shopping for a friend. Before you know it, a crystal speaks to you in some way and you just know that you can’t leave the store without taking it home.
 
For whatever reason, these objects have a reason for being in your life. The reason is likely to be incredibly personal, something specific to you and you alone. For some people, the meaning is rather general. A bear fetish or turkey feather reminds you of all that these spirit animals have been to you and provides as instant connection to their energy. For others, a power object is very specific. A horse hair represents freedom from an abusive relationship, or a blue topaz holds the ability to voice one’s needs and opinions. Attuning to your power object will not only help you understand the power and meaning it has for you, but will also assist you in accessing that power.
 
Kristin Madden
Llewellyn’s 2007 Magical Almanac
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Using Your Fire Dish

Using Your Fire Dish

A fire dish is ideal for any seasonal or personal rite of passage for which traditionally a bonfire was lit. Sometimes you can have a bonfire or remove turf and make a fire pit with bricks, but this is not always possible, especially near sacred ground.

A fire dish is wonderful for unifying those sharing a rite, whether a coven, friends or family.

When you are not travelling, keep your fire dish to the south of the outdoor altar as a powerful representation of the fire element and to attract fire spirits and faeries. You can cover it when not in use or during inclement weather.

Sprinkle incense or herbs directly on to the burning wood to make personal empowerments and to raise or release power during a spell.

Burn wishes scratched on the inside of bark with a small knife or burn dead leaves and twigs to represent banishing what is redundant in your life.

Use your fire dish as a focus for chanting and dancing and as an added bonus for supplying light and warmth during a ritual.

Make sure the fire dish is not too full to avoid the danger of tipping over or getting too hot. Keep water nearby to extinguish an over-zealous fire.

Some woods like juniper and cedar spit; ash and pine are excellent as is oak although some people will not burn the latter. Sandalwood smells fabulous if you can get it; you can sometimes buy small sandalwood logs in bags from a hardware store. You can mix the woods.

Practice before your first ritual with your fire dish so you know how to light a good but not ferocious fire. When everyone had an open fire in the living room, this was daily practice. Nowadays, unless you were a Scout or Girl Guide or belong to a coven, you may not have been taught the art. Follow the instructions on a pack of firelighters or ask an older relative for a lesson.

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Choosing Your Fire Dish

Choosing Your Fire Dish

I have seen beautiful copper fire dishes on metal legs for sale in garden centers which are not expensive and need no adaptation.

Alternatively, you can use any large fireproof metal dish either with metal legs or raised off the ground on heat-resistant bricks to avoid scorching. This can be very large cast iron wok or the bottom half of a domed iron barbecue, again the kind with legs.

A chimenea is also a good alternative and these are widely obtainable, as is the less exotic incinerator base.

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A Witch’s Fire Dish

A Witch’s Fire Dish

Primary Element: Fire

Another favorite tool for outdoor magick is a fire dish. Though you can burn a small fire in a cauldron, having a fire in a special bowl or dish is one of the most magickal experiences, particularly under star- or moonlight. You can carry it with you in the back of the car for rituals on beaches. Some stone circles, such as the Rollright stones in Oxfordshire, have a fire dish in situ to borrow for ceremonies under supervision of the warden.

Ideally, you would use the cauldron for water and the dish for fire: a perfect elemental balance.

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