Table of Correspondences Part 1

Table of Elements

I will be posting from D. J. Conway’s book Celtic Magic the different tables of correspondences she has listed as used in the Celtic/Druid traditions of the Old Ways/The Craft.

Today’s information about the elements comes from pages 184-185

AIR: 

Rulers: Sylphs, Zephyrs and Fairies who inhabit the world of trees, flowers, winds, breezes, mountains.

King: Paralda

Attracted By: oils and incenses

Color & Direction: red or yellow; East

Magical Tools: symbols: sky, wind, breezes, clouds, breath, vibrations, plants, herbs, flowers, trees.and, incense, creative visualization.

Ritual Work: dawn, sunrise, SPring, knowledge, plant growth, intellect, thought, ideas, travel, freedom, revealing the truth, finding lost things, movement, psychic abilities.

EARTH:

Rulers: Gnomes, Dwarfs and Trolls who inhabit the interior of the Earth herself and are the consciousness of precious gems, minerals, and the Earth herself.

King: Ghob, Gob, Ghom

Attracted By: Salts and powers

Color & Direction: black or green; North

Magical Tools: pentagram, salt, images, stone, gems, trees, cord magic.

Symbols: rocks and gemstones, mountains, plains, fields, soil, caves and mines.

Ritual Work: night, midnight, Winter, riches, treasures, surrendering self-will, touch, empathing, incorporation, business, prosperity, employment, stability, success, fertility, money.

FIRE:

Rulers: Salamanders, Firedrakes (Fire breathing Dragons from Teutonic origins) the consciousness of flames.

King: Djin

Attracted By: candles, lamps, incense, fire

Color & Direction: white or red; South

Magical Tools: dagger, lamp or candles, censer, burned herbs or requests on paper

Symbols: lightening, volcanos, rainbow, Sun, stars.

Ritual Work: Summer, noon, freedom, change, sight, perception, vision, illumination, learning, love, will, passion, sexuality, energy, authority, healing, destruction, purification.

WATER:

Ruler: Nymphs, Undies, Mermaids and Mermen who live in the sea, lakes, streams, and springs, and Fairies of the lakes, ponds, streams.

King: Niksa or Necksa

Attracted By: water, washes, solutions

Color & DIrection: gray or blue; West

Magical Tools: cauldron, goblet, mirrors, the sea

Symbols: oceans, lakes, rivers, wells, springs, pools, rain, mist, fog

Ritual Work: Fall, sunset, planets, healing, emotions, taste, smell, absorbing, communion with the spiritual, purification, the subconscious mind, love, emotions, pleasure, friendships, marriage, fertility, happiness, sleep, dreams, the psychic

 

 

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Charging And Cleansing Your Tools

Charging And Cleansing Your Tools

Once you have prepared your elemental substances, you can charge your tools ready for use. If they
have been bought, whether new or second-hand, you might also like to cleanse them first. You can also
cleanse them after a formal ritual or when their energies seem depleted.

If the ritual is important or arduous, you can recharge the tools before each use, but usually this is not
necessary, as the cleansing from a previous ritual will automatically restore the energies. However, as
you polish your candlesticks or athame before putting them on the altar, you may wish to focus on the
intention of the ceremony and visualise light entering the tools.

Charging With Power

You can charge your tools separately as you obtain them. Alternatively, group them together on a table
before their first use in ritual and create a circle of light around them with small purple candles at the
eight main compass points (North, North-east, etc.). Start at the North candle and end with the Northwest candle.

* First create a circle of salt round the tool(s), beginning in the North, to offer the tool(s) the protection
of the ancient Earth element, saying:

Mother Earth, charge with the power of the ancient stone circles and the wise ways of the ancestors
this – [name the tool(s)] of magick and healing, that my work may be rooted in what is possible and
help create abundance and prosperity for others and the land, as well as for my own needs.

* Next, draw a circle of smoke deosil in the air around them, using a frankincense or myrrh incense
stick, saying:

Father Sky, charge with the power of the mighty winds and the limitless potential of the cosmos this –
[name the tool(s)] of magick and healing, that my work may be focused, filled with energy and bring
positive change to ever-widening horizons.

* Now, using a golden or scarlet candle in a broad-based candle-holder, mark an inner circle of fire in
the air, around the artefact(s), saying:

Brother Fire, charge with the power of ancient ritual fires and the brilliance of the Sun, this (these)
tool(s) of magick and healing, that my work may be filled with light and inspiration and purged of all
self-seeking and negativity.

* finally, sprinkle sacred water or rainwater that has not touched the ground before collection on top of
the circle of salt saying:

Sister Water, charge with the power of mighty oceans, wide rushing rivers and deep still pools this
(these) tool(s) of magick and healing, that my work may release stagnation and bring fertility and
peace, not only to myself and my loved ones, but to people whose lives are blighted by polluted places
and, especially, water.

Cleansing Using The Forces Of Nature

Leave your artefact(s) on a piece of white silk in a sheltered, safe place out of doors or near an open
door where children, pets or the curious cannot reach them. Begin at dusk where they can absorb the
light of the Sun, the Moon and the stars, for 24 hours. This will be effective even if you cannot see any
of these heavenly bodies in the sky.

Charge at the time of the waxing moon to the full moon if possible; if not, let them stand for 48 hours.
If the Moon is waning and so not good for energising, create a circle of alternate moonstones and
crystal quartz for the powers of the Sun and Moon, and leave the tools within this circle for the full 48-
hour cycle.

Sprinkle the tools with nine drops of sacred water that was collected under the full moon or rainwater
that has not touched the ground, saying a variation of this old magical rhyme whose origins are
unknown:

One for joy, two for gladness,
Three and four to banish sadness,
Five and six do life renew,
Seven, eight, nine bring power anew.

Few of these old chants are great poetry, but that was not their purpose – they were created in the days
before widespread literacy as a way of remembering magical rituals. If you prefer, you can substitute
your own, composed by you or a coven member who may have a gift for such work. The rhymes
served like simple mantras to build up power – some people recite the chant several times, very fast,
while sprinkling the water slowly.

Cleansing Using A Crystal Pendulum

Hold a clear crystal pendulum over the tool(s) and make nine circles widdershins.

Plunge the pendulum in cold running water to cleanse it, shake it dry and circle it nine times deosil
over the tool(s) to restore energies. You may need to repeat this several times if a tool seems lifeless or
after you have been carrying out a banishing ritual.

 

— Practical Guide to Witchcraft and Magic Spells By Cassandra Eason

The Tools Of Ritual Magick

The Tools Of Ritual Magick

Formal ritual magick requires its own special tools. These may be real or symbolic.

The list I give here is intended only as a guide: some of these may not be relevant to your own way of working. I have listed the areas of the circle in which each tool is traditionally placed. There are many sources of magical tools and, as I mentioned in the section on spells, you may already have a number in your home. You do not need to spend a great deal of money unless you wish, but I would suggest that you take time in finding the right items. Even if you work in a group, you may like to build up a set for your own personal work.

Some people prefer to make their own magical tools and this certainly does endow them with energies. I have suggested books that tell you how to make your own candles for special ceremonies and even your own knife. Woodcarvers are an excellent source for small staves suitable as wands and will often make items to order. In time, you will build up a collection of items and by personalising and charging them, you make them not only powerful, but also your own.

Keep your magical tools in a special place, separate from your everyday household items, wrapped in a natural fabric. You can buy excellent hessian bags and may wish to keep fragile or items that will scratch in separate ones. You can also use silk. Secure your bags with three protective knots.

You may have heard various warnings about needing to destroy charged tools on the demise of the owner, and the dire consequences of their being touched by any outsider. This is real late-night-cinema stuff. But common sense dictates that you should not leave knives, sharp wands, etc. where children might harm themselves and on the whole it is better to keep magical items away from the curious and the sceptical.

There is really no reason why you should not use your kitchen knife for cutting vegetables and then, after a quick purification in water or incense, chop herbs in an impromptu spell, or open your circle with it. But on the whole it is better to keep a separate knife for your special ceremonies.

I believe that even formal tools are like electrical devices that are lying unplugged and unused: they contain the potential to help or harm only if misused. What is more, without your personal vibes, which act as your password, the power cannot flow; you have not created an independent life form.

The following tools are commonly used in formal magick.

The Athame
An athame is, quite simply, a ceremonial knife. It is one of the ritual tools that entered the tradition through the influence of magicians and witches who set out the wisdom, mainly at the beginning of the twentieth century and in the upsurge of covens during the 1950s. Gerald Gardener, one of the founding fathers of Wicca, considered ritual knives and swords of prime importance in modern formal witchcraft.

You can obtain an athame from a specialist magical shop, but as I said before, any knife – even a letter opener – will do, although it should preferably have a silver-coloured blade. Athames are traditionally double-edged and black-handled, but a single-edged blade is better if you are new to magick, to avoid unintentional cuts.

There is a vast array of scouting and craft knives available, with black wooden handles on which you can engrave magical symbols such as your zodiacal and planetary glyphs with a pyrographic set obtained from an art shop. You can also paint moons, stars, spirals, suns, or crosses with silver paint. I use a curved-bladed knife with a silver engraved scabbard, which I bought from a souvenir shop in Spain.

The athame is set in the East of the altar and represents the element of Air. Like the sword, it is traditionally used for drawing magical circles on the ground and directing magical Air energies into a symbol. When you are casting a circle, you can point your athame diagonally towards the ground, so that you do not need to stoop to draw (which is not very elegant and bad for the back). With practice, the movement becomes as graceful as with a sword.

The athame can also be used as a conductor of energy, especially in solitary rituals, being held above the head with both hands to draw down light and energy into the body. This uses the same principle as that of arching your arms over your head to create a light body as described on page 124. One method of releasing the power is then to bring the athame down with a swift, cutting movement, horizontally at waist level, then thrust it away from the body and upwards once more to release this power. If others are present, direct the athame towards the centre of the circle. After the ritual you can drain excess energies by pointing the athame to the ground.

An athame may be used to invoke the elemental Guardian Spirits by drawing a pentagram in the air and for closing down the elemental energies after the ritual. With its cutting steel of Mars, it is effective in power, matters of the mind, change, action, justice, banishing magick, protection and for cutting through inertia and stagnation. The athame is sometimes also associated with the Fire element.

If you don’t like the idea of a full-sized athame, there are some lovely paper knives in the shape of swords or with animal or birds’ heads.

Some covens give each of their members a tiny athame, to be used for drawing down energies during ceremonies. The main athame is used by the person leading the ritual who may draw the circle, open all four quarters and close them after the ritual.

An athame with a white handle is used for cutting wands, harvesting herbs for magick or healing, carving the traditional Samhain jack-o’-lantern, and etching runes and other magical or astrological symbols on candles and talismans. Some practitioners believe that you should never use metal for cutting herbs but instead pull them up, shred them and pound them in a mortar and pestle, kept for the purpose. Pearl-handled athames are considered to be especially magical.

The Sword
Like the athame, the sword stands in the East of the circle as a tool of the Air element. Swords are the suit symbol of Air in the Tarot and are also one of the Christian as well as the Celtic Grail treasures.

Each of the Tarot suits and the main elemental ritual items in magick, represented by these four suits, is associated with one of the treasures of the Celts. The treasures belonged to the Celtic Father God, Dagda, and are said to be guarded in the Otherworld by Merlin. There were 13 treasures in total, but four have come into pre-eminence in magick and Tarot reading.

These four main sacred artefacts – swords, pentacles, wands and cups, or chalices – have parallels in Christianity and were associated with the legendary quest of the knights of King Arthur, who attempted to find them. The Grail Cup was the most famous of these. The Christian sword of King David, identified in legend with Arthur’s sword Excalibur, appears in Celtic tradition as the sword of Nuada whose hand was cut off in battle.

With a new hand fashioned from silver, he went on to lead his people to victory. According to one account, the Christian treasures were brought in AD 64 to Glastonbury in England by Joseph of Arimathea, the rich merchant who caught Christ’s blood in the chalice as He was on the cross and took care of His burial after the crucifixion.

Some present-day, peace-loving witches, myself included, do not really like the concept of using swords, even though they are pretty spectacular for drawing out a circle on a forest floor, and swords are rarely used in home ritual magick. If you do want to use one, however, you can obtain reproduction ceremonial swords.

The sword is the male symbol to the female symbol of the cauldron, and plunging the swords into the waters of the cauldron can be used in love rituals and for the union of male and female, god and goddess energies as the culmination of any rite. However, the chalice and the athame, or wand, tend to be used for the same purpose, unless it is a very grand ceremony.

The Bell
The bell stands in the North of the circle and is an Earth symbol. It is an optional tool and can be made from either crystal or protective brass. Best for magick is the kind that you strike.

The bell is traditionally rung nine times at the beginning and close of each ritual; the person ringing the bell should stand in the South of the circle, facing North. (Nine is the magical number of completion and perfection.) It is also rung to invoke the protection of angels or the power of a deity and in ceremonies to welcome departed members to the circle. You can also sound the bell in each of the four elemental quadrants, before creating the invoking pentagram, to request the presence of each elemental guardian. It can also be sounded as you pass your chosen symbol around each quadrant of the circle. However, you should not use the bell to excess – it is better under-utilised.

The Broom
The broom, or besom, was originally – and still is – a domestic artefact. It represents magically the union of male and female in the handle and the bristles and so is a tool of balance. Brooms have several uses in magick. A broom is sometimes rested horizontal to the altar to add protection, and couples jump over one in their handfasting ceremony. Most important, you should use your broom to cleanse the ritual area before every ritual.

Brooms are easily obtainable from any garden centre (you want one in the traditional ‘witches’ broomstick’ shape, not an ordinary brush). Brooms made with an ash handle and birch twigs bound with willow are traditionally recognised as being especially potent, being endowed with protective and healing energies. Some practitioners carve or paint a crescent moon at the top of the handle, others decorate theirs with their personal ruling planetary and birth sign glyphs entwined.

When cleansing the area for rituals, you might like to scatter dried lavender or pot pourri and sweep it in circles widdershins, saying:

Out with sorrow, out with pain,
Joyous things alone remain.

You can also sweep areas of your home such as uncarpeted floors, patio paths and yards to cleanse the home of negativity. Remember to sweep out of the front door, away from the house and eventually into the gutter, or if in you live in a flat, you can collect the lavender and dust in a pan and send it down the waste disposal unit.

You may also wish to cleanse the area further by sprinkling salt and pepper dissolved in water after sweeping. If you are working on carpet, you can use a very soft broom (some modern witches even hoover in circles widdershins and sprinkle the area with water in which a few drops of a cleansing flower essence, such as Glastonbury Thorn, has been added).

The broom is an Earth artefact.

The Cauldron
The cauldron is the one ritual tool that is positively charged by being the centre of domestic life and can replace the altar as a focus for less formal magick spells. If you can obtain a flameproof cauldron with a tripod, you can, on special occasions such as Hallowe’en, light a fire out of doors and heat up a brew of herbs and spices in the cauldron. When not in use, you can keep your cauldron filled with flowers or pot pourri.

If your circle is large enough, you can place your cauldron in the centre. Then, if you are working in a group, form your circle of power around it, so that the altar is within the outer consecrated circle and you make a human inner circle with the cauldron as the hub. If you are working alone, you can have your altar in the centre with the cauldron in front of it. Alternatively, you can have a small pot or cauldron in the centre of the altar.

Experiment with the different positions both for group and solitary work and walk or dance your way around to work out the logistics. Some practitioners do not use a cauldron at all.

In your rituals, you can light a candle in front of the cauldron, fill it with sand in which to stand candles, or surround it with a circle of red candles to represent Fire. Wishes written on paper can be burned in the candles. Water darkened with mugwort may be placed in the cauldron, especially on seasonal festivals such as Hallowe’en and May Eve, and white candle wax dripped on the surface to create divinatory images that offer insights into potential paths.

You can cast flower petals into the cauldron water to get energies flowing. For banishing, add dead leaves and tip the cauldron water into a flowing source of water. You can also burn incense in the cauldron if this is the focus of a ritual.

The cauldron is a tool of Spirit or Akasha, the fifth element.

The Chalice
The chalice, or ritual cup, used for rituals is traditionally made of silver, but you can also use crystal, glass, stainless steel or pewter. The chalice represents the Water element and is placed in the West of the altar. Like the sword, it is a sacred Grail treasure and is a source of spiritual inspiration.

The Grail cup is most usually represented as the chalice that Christ used at the Last Supper, in which His blood was collected after the crucifixion. As such, it signifies not only a source of healing and spiritual sustenance, but also offers direct access to the godhead through the sacred blood it once contained. Tradition says that the original Grail cup was incorporated by Roman craftsmen into a gold and jewelled chalice called the Marian Chalice after Mary Magdalene. In Celtic tradition, it became the Cauldron of Dagda.

In rituals, the chalice can be filled with pure or scented water with rose petals floating on top. I have also mentioned its ritual use with the athame in male/female sacred rites, as the symbolic union of god and goddess that has in many modern covens replaced an actual sexual union (that now tends to occur in privacy between established couples only).

The chalice is also central to the sacred rite of cakes and ale that occurs at the end of formal ceremonies – the pagan and much older equivalent of the Christian holy communion. The offering of the body of the Corn God is made in the honey cakes on the pentacle, or sacred dish, and the beer or wine in the chalice is fermented from the sacrificed barley wine. In primaeval times, actual blood was used to symbolise the sacrifice of the Sacred King at Lughnassadh, the festival of the first corn harvest. The rite goes back thousands of years.

The cakes and ale are consumed by the people acting as High Priestess and Priest in a dual energy rite or by those initiated in those roles. Crumbs and wine are first offered to the Earth Mother or poured into a libation dish (a small dish for offerings). Then the priestess offers the priest a tiny cake and then takes one herself and he offers her the wine before drinking himself. The dual roles work just as well in a single-sex coven. The cakes and ale are then passed round the circle and each person partakes of the body and blood of the Earth, offering a few words of thanks for blessings received.

In some groups each person has an individual chalice set before them, but everyone still drinks one after the other, offering thanks, unless there is a communal chant of blessing before drinking.

The chalice can be filled with wine or fruit juice or water, depending on the needs and preferences of the group.

The cakes and ale ceremony and the male/female chalice rite can both be easily incorporated into a solitary ritual.

The Pentacle
The pentacle is a symbol of the Earth and is familiar to users of Tarot packs. It is placed in the North of the altar.

It consists of a flat, round dish or disc, engraved with a pentagram within a circle. The pentacle has been a magical sign for thousands of years. The five-pointed star of the pentagram within it is a sacred symbol of Isis and the single top point is considered by many to represent the Triple Goddess.

You can place crystals or a symbol of the focus of the ritual or charged herbs on the pentacle to endow it with Earth energies. It can then be passed through the other elements or empowered by passing over the pentacle incense for Air, a candle for Fire and burning oils or water itself for the Water element.

The pentacle can be moved to the centre of the altar once the symbol on it has been fully charged. It is very easy to make a pentacle of clay, wood, wax or metal, and on it mark a pentagram with the single point extending upwards. This is what you might call the all-purpose pentagram – drawn this way it always has a positive influence.

You might also like to make a larger pentacle for holding the tiny cakes for the cakes and ale ceremony. You can find special recipes for these cakes in books but any tiny honey cakes will serve well.

The Wand
The wand is a symbol of Fire and should be placed in the South of the altar.

The wand is sometimes represented by a spear. Both the wand and spear, like the athame and sword, are male symbols. The spear, another Fire symbol, is not used in magick, except occasionally in the form of a sharpened stick in sacred sex rites, when it is plunged into the cauldron or the chalice as a symbol of the sacred union of Earth and Sky, Water and Fire.

The wand is traditionally a thin piece of wood about 50 centimetres (21 inches) long, preferably cut from a living tree (some conservationists disagree unless the tree is being pruned). After a strong wind or in a forest where trees are being constantly felled, it is often possible to find a suitable branch from which the wand can be cut. It should be narrowed to a point at one end and rubbed smooth.

You can make a series of wands from different woods for your ceremonies.

Ash is a magical wood, associated with healing and positive energies.

Elder wands are symbols of faerie magick and so are good for any visualisation work.

Hazel comes from the tree of wisdom and justice and is linked with the magick of the Sun. The wand should be cut from a tree that has not yet borne fruit.

Rowan is a protective wood and so is good for defensive and banishing magick.

Willow is the tree of intuition and is said to be endowed with the blessing of the Moon.

You can also use a long, clear quartz crystal, pointed at one end and rounded at the other, as a wand. In its crystalline form, especially, the wand is used for directing healing energies from the circle to wherever they are needed.

The wand is used for directing energies and for making circles of power in the air – hence the image of the faerie godmother waving her wand – deosil for energies to attract energies and widdershins for banishing. It can be used to draw pentagrams in the air at the four quarters and it can also be used for drawing an invisible circle when you are working on carpet or another fabric that cannot be physically marked.

In some traditions, the wand is a tool of Air and so this and the athame, or the sword, are fairly interchangeable. However, the wand seems more effective for casting and uncasting circles, invoking quarters and closing power. It is also particularly good for directing energies in rites of love, healing, fertility, prosperity and abundance.

 

Practical Guide to Witchcraft and Magic Spells By Cassandra Eason

Consecration of Chalice, Athame or Other Tool (Solitary)

Consecration of Chalice, Athame or Other Tool

Before these assembled spirits I bring (name type of tool) to be dedicated to the service of the Lady and Lord.

(Pass tool three times through smoke of the incense.)

By the power of air, be thou purified. Be thou dedicated to purity of thought and to harmlessness that all intentions for which thou art used may harm none and be for the good of all.

(Pass tool three times through or over the flame of the fire candle.)

By the power of fire, be thou purified. Be thou dedicated to purity of desire and to harmlessness that all goals which thou doest help achieve may harm none and be for the good of all.

(Take a few drops of water and sprinkle or dab on instrument.)

By the power of water, be thou purified. Be thou dedicated to purity of emotion and to harmlessness that all that thou shalt be used in a spirit of harmony, harming none and for the good of all.

(Touch instrument to the stone or salt in north quarter)

By the power of earth, be thou purified. Be thou dedicated to steadfastness and purity of purpose, that my will be achieved without wavering, with harm to none and for the good of all.

(If this is a chalice, present it first to the Lady, then to the Lord, if athame, reverse order. All other instruments use personal preference, but it is courtesy to present them to Her first.)

PRESENTATION FOR CHALICE:
Lady Freya, Keeper of Femininity, bless this chalice. Let it be as Thy cauldron, a vessel of productivity that it may be worthy to dispense Thy bounty. Let it be used in Thy service and in the service of humanity. Let it be so bound that no harm may come of it to any being, but let it rather be an instrument of goodwill and understanding; of loving harmony. To Thy sacred self I dedicate this vessel, (name of vessel), that it and I may long be of service to Thee.

Lord Thor, companion to the Lady, champion of the Gods, bless this chalice and keep watch over it. Guard the works which come forth from it, that they ever be in the service of Thee and Thy Lady, that they be of service to humankind, and that they abide by the laws of harmony. To Thee I vow I shall use it for Her sacred purposes, and for no other.
So mote it be.

PRESENTATION FOR ATHAME:
Lord Thor, thunderer & hammer wielder, bless this athame. Let it be as the spring rains which fall upon the Earth to cause Her to bring forth Her bounty.

Let it quicken my hopes and dreams, yet keep them from causing harm. Let it guide them in the harmony of the seasons, bringing forth only good for all. Lord Thor, bless this athame, (name of athame), that it be used ever in the worship and honor of the Gods.

Lady Freya, companion to the Thunderer, lover of the Gods, bless this athame that it shall bring forth joy, and shall cause no pain nor disharmony to any. I dedicate this athame (name athame), symbol of the Defender and Rain Maker, to Thy service. May it ever bring Thee joy and pride.

So mote it be.

(This ritual, with suitable changes, may be used to dedicate other tools as well as these.)

Tool Blessing Ritual (Coven)

Tool Blessing Ritual

A purification of objects for ritual use and their transformation into magical items.

(The area is prepared by placing a quantity of each element in the proper quarter, as well as preparing the altar in the usual way. If available, a cauldron (empty) is placed in the center of the circle. Candles are placed at each of the four corners and lit, progressing deosil from the east. Salt and water are blessed, and the celebrants are purified with them. A magic circle is cast, and watchtowers summoned. The god is then drawn down as follows:
The priest stands before the alter in the Osiris position, arms crossed across chest and feet together. The Priestess kneels before him with face and arms upraised.
)

PS: Hephaestus, forger of magic,
descend upon this the body of thy priest and servant,
lend us the strength of your arms.
Prometheus, shape of man,
descend upon this the body of thy priest and servant,
lend us your fire and foresight.
Morpheus, weaver of dreams,
descend upon this the body of thy priest and servant,
lend us your subtlety and vision.
P: I am he, the shape-god,
forger, builder, artisan, smith.
With strength and craft I form the world.

(The Priest helps the Priestess to rise and she stands in the center of the circle in the god position, extending her arms outward and down, palms facing forward. The Priest kneels before her with head bowed.)

P: Clotho, spinner of the strand of life
Descend upon this the body of thy priestess and servant.
Lend us your wheel of making.
Hecate, caster of spells,
Descend upon this the body of thy priestess and servant.
Lend us the power of your magic.
Aphrodite, goddess of love,
Descend upon this the body of thy priestess and servant.
Grant us eros, philos, aristos, agape.
PS: I am she, the weaver-goddess,
Painter, poet, sculptor, witch.
With art and love I form the world.

(The priestess extends her hands to the priest and helps him rise. The priest cups both hands and scoops from the cauldron, then offers to the priestess.)

P: Drink now from the cauldron of Cerridwen, whose draughts bring knowledge, peace and life.

(The priestess sips from the cupped hands, after which the priest drinks. The objects to be blessed are taken from the altar by the priest and moved widdershins to the west quarter, and immersed in the water there.)

P: Spirits of the west, in water born
In cool waters cleanse these tools
And wash from them all hurt and harm
This I ask, this charge I lay,
By oak and ash and bitter thorn.

(The objects are moved by the priestess to the south quarter and moved above the flames there.)

PS: Spirits of the south, in fire born
In shining flames purify these tools
And burn from them all impurities
This I ask, this charge I lay,
By oak and ash and bitter thorn.

(The objects are moved to the east quarter by the priest and moved through the incense smoke.)

P: Spirits of the east, in sweet air born
In swirling winds polish these tools
And sweep from them all phantasm and illusion
This I ask, this charge I lay,
By oak and ash and bitter thorn.

(The objects are moved to the altar by the priestess, and placed upon the pentacle.)

PS: Spirits of the north, in cool earth born
In mother earth ground these tools
And take from them all spirits dark
This I ask, this charge I lay,
By oak and ash and bitter thorn.

(The person consecrating the tools now offers an impromptu or prepared charge to the items, stating their purpose and mode of use. They are then taken up by the priestess and moved to the east quarter.)

PS: Spirits of the east, from the bright air come,
Fill these tools with the swirling energies of the whirlwind
Make them float like the breeze
Spirits of air, hearken unto me,
As I do will, so more it be.

(The tools are now taken up by the priest and moved to the south quarter.)

P: Spirits of the south, from wild fire come,
Fill these tools with the burning energies of the flames
Make them glow with bright fire
Spirits of fire, hearken unto me,
As I do will, so more it be.

(The tools are now taken up by the priestess and moved to the west quarter.)

P: Spirits of the west, from soothing water come,
Fill these tools with the calming energies of the warm rain
Make them flow like the tide
Spirits of water, hearken unto me,
As I do will, so more it be.

(The tools are now taken up by the priestess and moved to the altar.)

PS: Spirits of the north, from firm earth come,
Fill these tools with the ordering energies of the growing crops
Make them flourish like grapes on the vine
Spirits of earth, hearken unto me,
As I do will, so more it be.

(The priest takes the tools from the altar and steps backwards. The priestess stands at the altar facing south towards the priest. The priest extends his right arm in parallel to the ground, between he and the priestess, with the tools in his hand.)

P: I am the god, ever desiring.
I am the stag in the woods,
I am the sun in the noonday sky,
I am the lover in the dark.
I offer passion, strength, devotion and the swiftness of the hunt.

(The priestess extends her right arm in like fashion, and places her hand over that of the priest.)

PS: I am the goddess, ever nurturing.
I am the tempting beauty of the maid,
I am the quiet strength of the mother,
I am the infinite wisdom of the crone.
I offer life, love, warmth and the fruitfulness of the fields.

(Both step towards each other and turn their hands and arms so the fingers point upwards with the palms facing their own chest, cupping the other’s palm between and holding the tools. They clasp each other with their left arms.)

P&PS: Male and female, yin and yang, light and dark, action and stillness. Apart we are forever incomplete, but together we form one. In our joining we are blessed. In our union, the limitless energy of universe is released and captured here.
P: As I do will,
PS: As I do will
P&PS: As we do will, so mote it be.

(The priest and priestess kiss, then release grasps. If the number and size of the tools precludes them being held in one hand simultaneously, the latter charging section should be repeated for each. The tools are replaced on the altar. Cakes and wine are blessed and consumed and a period of relaxation and rest follows. The watchtowers are then dismissed and the circle opened.)

Witches Master Tool List

Witches Master Tool List

Equipment:

  • a pentacle
  • 6 candles; 1 for each direction, 2 for altar
  • chalice of wine (hard apple cider on Samhain)
  • wand
  • scrounge of silken cords
  • small bowl of water
  • small bowl of salt
  • 3 cords, one red, one white, one blue, 9′ long each
  • white-handled knife
  • individual athames
  • incense burner and incense
  • small hand bell
  • dish of cakes
  • sword
  • chalk
  • altar cloth of any color
  • cauldron
  • tape recorder and tapes of appropriate music
  • veil for Great Rite of a Goddess color: Blue, green, silver or white

For New or Dark Moon Esbat:

  • extra incense
  • an apple and a pomegranate
  • cauldron with a fire in it and/or a bonfire
  • crystal ball or other scrying tools
  • white tabard with hood for Priestess

For Winter Solstice (Yule):

  • cauldron with candle or oak bonfire
  • wreaths, 1 of holly and 1 of mistletoe
  • crowns, 1 of oak and 1 of holly
  • blindfold
  • sistrum
  • animal skull filled with salt

For Spring Equinox:

  • cords as described in preparations
  • hard-boiled eggs
  • a bonfire ready to ignite or a taper
  • flowers in the cauldron

For Beltane Sabbat:

  • bonfire

For Initiations:

  • anointing oil
  • tub to bathe the candidate in
  • towels
  • salts, herbs and oils to add to the bath
  • a blindfold
  • a shirt or other clothing that can be cut
  • a length of string to measure the person
  • two lengths of cord to bind the hands and feet
  • bonfire for warmth if needed

For Blessings:

  • anointing oil
  • wine

Charging & Caring for Your Magickal Tools

Charging Magickal Tools

It doesn’t matter whether you make your own tools or purchase them ready-made. What’s important is that you “charge” them before you use them for magickal work. Until you charge your chalice, it’s just a goblet. The practice of charging it imbues it with your own energy and consecrates it for magickal purposes.

A charging ritual may be very simple or very complex—it’s your choice. One easy and popular technique for charging your tools calls upon the four elements, again in symbolic form. First, wash the tool to cleanse it of any ambient vibrations. Next, hold your tool in front of you and visualize your energy flowing into it.

Sprinkle the tool with saltwater and say aloud: “I charge you with water and earth.” Then hold it for a few moments in the smoke of burning incense while saying “I charge you with fire and air.”

Some witches design rituals that involve the element to which the individual tool corresponds. You could charge your chalice by submerging it in a sacred pool of water for nine days. Similarly, you could bury a pentagram in the ground beneath a venerable tree or place your wand in the sunshine to let the sun’s rays charge it. If you wish, you can include music, crystals, or essential oils in the ritual. Be creative—engage your imagination and your emotions in the process.

Caring for Magickal Tools

Although some witches display their tools on their altars, most people recommend storing tools in a safe place, such as a trunk or chest, when you’re not using them. Wrap them in silk to protect them from dust, dirt, and ambient vibrations. If you drink wine or another beverage from your chalice during a ritual, of course you’ll want to wash it before putting it away. However, there’s no need to wash your other tools after using them—the more you handle them and do magick with them, the more you imprint them with your energy.

It’s usually not a good idea to allow anyone else to handle your magick tools. If you work regularly with a magickal partner, however, you might make an exception for that person.

It is important to remember do not use your magickal tools for mundane purposes. Use a regular kitchen knife, not your athame, for cutting food and herbs, drink everyday beverages from an ordinary glass, not your ritual chalice. Reserve these tools for spell working and ceremonial occasions.

 

–The Everything Wicca and Witchcraft Book: Rituals, spells, and sacred objects for everyday magick (Everything®)

Skye Alexander

The Witch’s Tool Kit

The Witch’s Tool Kit

All fields of knowledge and all trades employ special tools. The tools of the Craft speak to the subconscious mind in forms that help support magickal work. A tool’s shape, material, and other features provide clues to its symbolism and thus its role in magick. Although some of the items in a witch’s tool kit may look familiar, their magickal purposes differ significantly from their roles in the mundane world. Some of the tools witches favor are used by magicians of other stripes as well.

The Role of Tools in Magick

Witches and Wiccans will tell you that tools are good helpmates to magick, but they are not necessary to the success of any spell or ritual. Even the most elegant tool is only a centering device, something to focus your mind on your magickal work. Without the witch’s will and directed energy, the potential in any tool will remain dormant. For example, a witch might talk about quartz crystals as having energy-enhancing power, but until a crystal is charged and activated, that ability “sleeps” within the stone. The magician is the enabler, the catalyst. A focused will is all that any effective witch needs to perform magick. Everything else just makes the job easier.

Symbolism and Significances

As you’ve already seen, witches often use symbols to embody ideas. The primary tools witches employ in rituals—the wand, chalice, athame, and pentagram—symbolize the four elements. The wand represents the element of fire, the chalice signifies the water element, the athame symbolizes air, and the pentagram represents earth.

Notice that the shapes of these tools correspond to the human body. The wand and the athame, which symbolize masculine power, look distinctly phallic. The chalice (and cauldron) depict feminine energy and the womb. The five points of the pentagram stand for the five “points” of the body: head, arms, and legs.

You can see the four main tools illustrated in the tarot, too. Each suit in the deck is named for one of these tools: wands (sometimes called rods or staves), swords (or daggers, meaning athames), cups (or chalices), and pentacles (or pentagrams, sometimes called coins or disks). As such, they describe fundamental life energies and ways of interacting with the world.

The Everything Wicca and Witchcraft Book: Rituals, spells, and sacred objects for everyday magick (Everything®)

Skye Alexander

Besom/Besom Blessing

BESOM

(BROOM)

 

Hardly anything symbolizes Witchcraft more than the besom (pronounced BEH-sum). The idea of Witches flying on brooms is as old as the Craft itself. We may never find out just where or when this phenomenon began, but it lends certain magick to the tales of old.

The significance of the besom (broom) rests with its ability to sweep, and therefore clean an area of unwanted dirt. European folklore is full of stories about using brooms along with certain incantations while sweeping out the house, the purpose being to sweep out the evil influences along with the dirt. The broom has also been used to form common law marriages. Both parties jump over the broomstick to signify they are joined in a union. Today, many Wiccans and Pagans still jump over the broom at the end of the marriage ceremonies to seal their union.

An authentic besom or Witches broom has seven distinct parts.

1. The Staff Butt: Usually solid, but may also be hollow and plugged with a wood cork.

2. The Staff: The long shaft of the broom, sometimes referred to as the wand, will vary in length, thickness, and texture. Its carvings and decorations also vary.

3. The Choke Ring: This binds the upper part of bristles to the staff and is usually made of metal, silver being the best as it represents the moon and goddess. Sometimes there may be several of these used. When more than one is used the first is silver, the second is gold, and the third is copper.

4. The Stalks (bristles): These are grouped evenly around the opposite end of the staff. The stalks should be about half the finished length of the broom.

5. The Stalk Tips: The thick ends are held by the choke ring, with the thin ends extending. All of the stalks should be bending in the same direction.

6. The Splay Ring: There is only one of these and it keeps the stalks evenly placed about the stalk. This ring is usually made of a very strong pliable cording, as it takes up the strain and pressure of the use that is exerted when sweeping.

7. The Stalk Butts: These are the thick ends of the bristles and are bound by the choke ring.

 

Besom Blessing

Items needed:

a small bowl of salt and one of water

a white candle

a small bunch of fresh rosemary

a censer

a small block of church charcoal

your besom.

Perform this simple ceremony to bless and consecrate your broom. This will remove all of the negative thoughts and vibrations that may be attached to the broom making it ready for magickal works.

Place the candle, the bowl of salt, and the one of water, along with the censer and rosemary on a small table. Light the charcoal, and the white candle. Sprinkle some salt over the broom and then some water as you say:

Water and Earth Wash thee clean,

Of all that was And is unclean.

Place some of the rosemary on the hot coal in the censer. Pick up the broom and pass it through the smoke of the burning herb, and then through the candle flame as you say:

Essence of Air Flame of Fire,

Cleanse thee of all But what I desire.

The broom is now ready to use for both mundane and magickal works. Use your broom to purge your house of negative thoughts and vibrations as well as unwanted guests.

Athame/Consecration of the Athame

Athame

The athame is a double-edged knife used to inscribe, or cast, the circle of power onto the earth or floor. It is associated with the element of fire, and it represents strength, power, and the masculine force of nature. Since the athame is a weapon, it also has the power to subdue and banish rebellious entities or spirits.

In magick, the athame is used for directing personal power and to focus energy in a desired direction. The athame also regulates, as well as conducts, the flow of internal expression toward the desired destination during magickal operations.

 

CONSECRATION OF THE ATHAME

 

Items needed:

Athame

small bowl of water with three pinches of salt added

one white candle

one black candle

sandalwood incense.

On the night of the full moon, place the above items on your altar or small table. Light both of the candles and the incense. Relax and focus on the athame. Pass the athame blade and handle through the flame of the black candle as you say:

All negative thoughts be banished,

all unwanted vibrations be gone.

Now pass the athame blade and handle through the flame of the white candle as you say:

Let only the forces and powers

I wish be within from this moment on.

Pass the athame through the smoke of the incense, through the white candle flame, and then sprinkle with salt water as you say:

Elements of Air, Fire, Water, and Earth.

To this tool of the magick now give birth.

Blessed and consecrated in this hour

Be thou athame of strength and power.

Wrap the athame in a red silk cloth, and keep in a safe place. Only use the athame for magickal rites and spellcrafting.