Friday, June 7, 2013

Magickal Tools (Some)

Making Your Magickal Tools

Athame (Air)
A double-edged knife called the athame is one of the most important tools in the practice of white magick. The handle of this knife is usually black and the blade may be made of steel or stone, such as obsidian. Iron is to be avoided. Experiment with how the shape of the handle fits in your hand.
          Ideally, if you can, you should make your own athame. If you do, remember that in its making you should expose the knife to all the elements—pass it through fire, immerse it in water, plunge it into the earth, and expose it to the air. If you decide to buy a knife from the store, you can make it more personal by attaching leather, some feathers and beads.
          Athames are used to cast a Circle and symbolize male energy.

Wand (Fire)
A magickal wand is made from wood and there are traditions as to what is the best wood for wands—ash is a popular choice. Wood that is struck from a tree by lightning is known to be particular potent.
          You may find your wand anywhere from a hardware store to a forest. A broken branch from a tree in your favorite place can be whittled down. However, it is important that you do not pull branches off trees as this will create bad energy.
          The size of your wand is a matter of preference, although a convenient and traditional length is 21 inches (53 centimeters). Your wand can be decorated with runes or a dragon carved along the length of a wand with the head and teeth at the tip.
          The wand is used to direct magickal energy in a ritual.

Chalice (Water)
There is a tradition that you must be given your own chalice. Chalices can be made from pewter, glass or any other watertight material. Because of their nature, chalices tend to be store bought but you may know of a glassblower who could craft a chalice for you, perhaps with swirls of blue and green.
          A chalice is representative of female energy. Most Circles include, before closing, a small ceremony called “wine and cakes.” The wine and food must be blessed before partaking. Your chalice may be used for the wine. By dipping your athame into your chalice you are blessing the wine.

Pentacle (Earth)
Made of clay, metal, or wood, the pentacle represents the earth element. The shape of the pentacle must be circular and can either be a flat disc, such as a ceramic plate, or a sphere, such as a stone or crystal ball. Balls of jasper, hematite and tiger’s eye (which contains iron), just to name a few, are thought to be particularly powerful. If you wish to decorate your disc or ball, the sign of the pentagram is appropriate.
          The pentagram is a five-pointed star. In white magick the point of the star is always at the top, representing life. To draw the star, start from the top and move down to the left, then up to the right, then across to the left, then down to the right, and finally, up to the left. If your pentacle is a plate, it may be used in the wine and cakes ceremony to hold the food over which you make the sign of the pentagram as a sign of blessing.

An amulet is a protective device worn either on the body or placed at the entrances of homes and tombs and can take the form of an image or a symbol. The Egyptian ankh, the cross and the Star of David are all used as amulet designs. The Roman philosopher Pliny described three types of amulets-- protective amulets, those used for treatment of illness, and those containing medical substances. Abbess Hildegarde of Bingen had a recipe for an amulet to protect the wearer from poison, which involved drying out the heart of a venomous snake, the remains of which could be worn in a small container around the neck. In white magick, the most powerful amulet is the five-pointed star—the pentagram, with one tip pointing upwards.

It is thought that the words or sigils used on talismans set up a delicate vibration that serve to help its wearer attain special powers. Sigils- a special sign that incorporates a form of magickal energy- include a design or image intended to symbolize a deity or a magickal concept and they served as a focus for calling upon that deity or spirit. Sigils may be used as amulets or as talismans.
          Unlike amulets, which passively protect its wearer, talismans contain supernatural powers that confer special powers to the wearer, such as clairvoyance or the power to make fortunes. The most famous talisman was the Philosopher’s Stone, which allegedly could cure all illness and turn base metals into gold