Witch Craft Basics

Suffolk, learning basics

How to!

 How to Consecrate your Magical Tools.

When you first decided to become a Wiccan I assume you have also started to collect or better still make your own magical tools.

You can of course buy them from shops or online from eBay, Amazon and many of the online ‘Pagan’ shops etc, but it’s far better to make your own tools than to buy them. (There are many books about which give you ideas) But as you do not know the processes they went through if mass produced prior to you buying them, and however you get them whether bought or made, they need to be cleansed and consecrated.

          Before you start I add my disclaimer. I am not an expert and do not put myself forward as one, I merely put forward what makes sense to me.

The Athamé:   The Altar Pentacle:  Alternate Athamé RitualThe Wand:  

The Chalice:  The Boline/Bolline:   The Cords:   Scourge:  The Censer.

The Cingulum   The Sword.   The Altar  Other?

1: The Athamé:

The first magical tool you will probable own is usually the Athamé.

You should have cleansed it when you first bought it ready for your use. To cleanse your Athamé it can be buried in the earth, it can be submerged in Sea water (if mixing your own salt water, good quality pure sea salt is best) or it can be placed in running (not tap) water or water from a spring as all springs are sacred to the Goddess. Remember salt water can corrode some metals so wash it afterwards in spring or clean stream water and dry it off. If you belong to a group or coven with Gardnerian leanings they can consecrate your Athamé in the sacred circle as part of your initiation. Most groups adapt the Gardnerian ritual which is:

a.       Prepare Circle and purify. All tools must be consecrated by a man and a woman, both as naked as drawn swords (a. is from the Gardnerian book of rules); they must be purified, clean, and properly prepared (the neophyte/witch as well as the Initiator/other witch).

b.       Place Athamé on the Altar Pentacle. Magus (High Priest) sprinkles it with salt and water. Witch (High Priestess) passes it through smoke of incense, replaces it on pentacle, touching an already consecrated Athamé, both male and female lay their right hands upon the Athamé and press down, saying the ‘First Conjuration’.

c.       For Athamé, say "I conjure thee, O Athamé of Steel, that thou servest me for strength and as a defence in all magical operations, against all mine enemies, visible and invisible, in the names of Aradia and Cernunnos [Use own Goddess and God names here]. I conjure thee anew by the Holy Names of [Use own Goddess and God names here]. Aradia and Cernunnos, that thou servest me for a protection in all adversities, so aid me”

d.      Again they sprinkle and cense, and say the Second Conjuration:

e.       For Athamé, say, "I conjure thee, O Athamé of Steel, by the Great Gods and the Gentle Goddesses, by the virtue of the Heavens, of the Stars, of the Spirits who preside over them, that thou mayest receive such virtues that I may obtain the end that I desire in all things wherein I shall use thee, by the power of Aradia and Cernunnos [Use own Goddess and God names here].."

f.       All instruments when consecrated should be presented to their User by giving the [point-down triangle] sign salute (if they are working in the 1st degree or the sign of the higher degree if they are working in that degree.)

g.       Then the one who is not the owner should give the Fivefold Kiss to the owner. For the final kiss, the tool should be placed between the breasts, and the two witches should embrace (Toe to toe, knee to knee, thigh to thigh, breast to chest, and lips to lips) for as long as they feel like necessary, the Athamé being held in place by their bodies. The new owner should use it immediately, i.e., cast (trace) Circle with Athame, wave wand to 4 quarters, cut something with white-handled knife, etc.

Note: if possible lay any new weapon touching an already consecrated one, Sword to sword, Athame to Athame, etc. The tool should be kept in as close connection as possible to the naked body for at least a month, i.e., kept under pillow, etc. When not in use, all tools and weapons should be put away in a secret place; and it is good that this should be near your sleeping place, and that you handle them each night before retiring. Do not allow anyone to touch or handle any of your tools until they are thoroughly impregnated with your aura; say, six months or as near as possible. But a couple working together may own the same tools, which will be impregnated with the aura of both.Back to the top 

Rainbird. )O( 2012 

1a. Alternative Athamé Consecration Ritual.

         This is an alternative Athamé dedication I came across and altered to make sense to me. Half way through there is a line [If you have the will & dedication] (1 drop of blood on each side and blade) I am not promoting blood magic just adding the instructions given with the dedication. I read in an old grimoire that it is acceptable to use the juice of the herb ‘Anagallis arvensis’ (Scarlet pimpernel) instead of blood, but .....

O Divine Goddess and illustrious God
As I perform this ritual, hearken to my invocation.

This Athamé , conceived in breath of Air, (point east)
Forged and formed in Fire of the South, (point south)
Cleansed in the waters of the Goddess, (point west)

Made of the strength of earth, (point north)
I greet thee with my mouth! (Kiss blade)

Tempered with Water for Strength, (point west)
dedicated to the Earth, in Power. (Point north)

Directer of the strength of air, (point east)

Wielder of the cleansing powers of fire. (Point south)
As it commands every Elemental and Spirit power!

Blessed be, (kiss pommel)

By the Power of the heavens above, (point up)
The strength of the earth below. (Point down)
Upon this instrument of Will and Love,
My Sacred oath I bestow!

[If you have the will & dedication]

(1 drop of blood on each side and blade)

This tool is dedicated to my service to the Goddess and God,
May it be pleasing to thine eyes.
Bound to thee by reverence, magic and oath,
Bound to me by word, will and blood.

By the powers of earth, air, fire and water;
As I so will, So mote it be!

 

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Rainbird. )O( 2013

2. The Altar Pentacle

The Altar Pentacle should be the first or at the very least the second tool you get and consecrate so it can aid you in the consecration of the other tools etc. It’s very easy to make an altar pentacle.

a)       In order to have a good Altar Pentacle it is best to make your own, failing that it should come as a gift. When you make your own it contains a part of you transferred into the Altar Pentacle. As you worked on it you envisaged the uses it will be put to. If you get it as a gift and know the person well enough and if it was hand made it should have all the magical qualities above and will only need to be consecrated to your use. On the other hand if you bought the Altar Pentacle it will need to be cleansed as well as consecrated.

b)      There are many ways to cleanse a magical tool; it can be buried in the earth, it can be submerged in Sea water (if mixing your own, pure sea salt is best) or it can be placed in running (not tap) water or water from a spring as all springs are sacred to the Goddess. You can also use moonlight. I find the best results for this is to leave it for four nights of a waning moon including the Full moon if you can, as the power of the moon wanes so does any negativity that resides in the object; but this only works if you can guarantee four clear moon lit nights.

c)       To consecrate your Altar Pentacle again most use or adapt the Gardnerian ritual the only difference being: whilst making sure it has contact to another already consecrated pentacle.

d)      Prepare Circle and purify. All tools must be consecrated by a man and a woman, both as naked as drawn swords; they must be purified, clean, and properly prepared. (it can be done by one person but its better with two) The ritual below is for two people. (male & Female)

e)       Place Altar Pentacle to be consecrated on consecrated Altar Pentacle on the Altar. Magus (Male/High Priest) sprinkles it with salt and water. Witch (Female/High Priestess) passes it through smoke of incense, replaces it on pentacle. Touching with already consecrated pentacle, they say the First Conjuration.

f)      1st"Aradia and Cernunnos, [insert own deity names here instead of?] deign to bless and to consecrate this Pentacle, that it may obtain necessary virtue through thee for all acts of love and Beauty."

g)      Again they sprinkle and cense, and say the Second Conjuration:

a)      2nd "I conjure thee, O Pentacle, by the Great Gods and the Gentle Goddesses, by the virtue of the Heavens, of the Stars, of the Spirits who preside over them, that thou mayest receive such virtues that I may obtain the end that I desire in all things wherein I shall use thee, by the power of Aradia and Cernunnos [Use own Goddess and God names here].."

          All instruments when consecrated should be presented to their User by giving the [point-down triangle] sign salute if they are working in the 1st degree or the sign of the higher degree if they are working in that.

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Rainbird. )O( 2012

3. The Wand:

The Wand is almost as important as the Athamé and at times can be used in place of the Athamé, so it needs the full treatment as per the Athamé. Prepare Circle and purify. All tools must be consecrated by a man and a woman, both as naked as a drawn sword; they must be purified, clean, and properly prepared.

a)      Place Wand on Altar Pentacle on the Altar. Magus (High Priest) sprinkles it with salt and water. Witch (High Priestess) passes it through smoke of incense, replaces it on pentacle. Touching with already consecrated wand, they say the First Conjuration.

b)      For the Wand, say "I conjure thee, O Wand that thou servest me as an aid for directing energy or my will in all my magical operations, and as an aid against all mine enemies, visible and invisible, in the names of Aradia and Cernunnos. I conjure thee anew by the Holy Names Aradia and Cernunnos, that thou servest me for a protection in all adversities, so aid me”

c)       Again they sprinkle and cense, and say the Second Conjuration:

d)      say, "I conjure thee, O Wand, by the Great Gods and the Gentle Goddesses, by the virtue of the Heavens, of the Stars, of the Spirits who preside over them, that thou mayest receive such virtues that I may obtain the end that I desire in all things wherein I shall use thee, by the power of Aradia and Cernunnos."

e)       All instruments when consecrated should be presented to their User by giving the [point-down triangle] sign salute (if they are working in the 1st degree or the sign of the higher degree if they are a higher degree.)

f)       Then the one who is not the owner should give the Fivefold Kiss to the owner. For the final kiss, the tool should be placed between the breasts, (point down) and the two workers should embrace (the tool) for as long as they feel like; it being held (in the case of the wand point up) in place by their bodies (Toe to toe, knee to knee, thigh to thigh, breast to chest, and lips to lips). The new owner should use it immediately, i.e., cast (trace) the circle and/or point the wand to 4 quarters, scribing the appropriate direction sigil (i.e. east south west & north)at each one.

(Note from Gardner: if possible lay any new wand touching an already consecrated one. The wand should be kept in as close connection as possible to the naked body for at least a month, i.e., kept under pillow, etc. When not in use, all tools and weapons should be put away in a secret place; and it is good that this should be near your sleeping place, and that you handle them each night before retiring. Do not allow anyone to touch or handle any of your tools until they are thoroughly impregnated with your aura; say, six months or as near as possible. But a couple working together may own the same tools, which will be impregnated with the aura of both.)

 For info on making a wand click here.

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Rainbird. )O( 

4. The Chalice:

 In order of preference I would place the Chalice third. Unless you are an expert craftsman in wood, metal, clay or glass the only option you have is to buy one or if you know an artisan in one of these crafts you can commission one. If expense is an issue tour the charity shops. You may find something that will suffice (the goddess will direct your steps). When you find the right one your next job is to cleanse it of any negative influences that it has picked up on its journey to you. By now you should have your preferred way of cleansing and to consecrate it you should have your own Altar Pentacle to aide you. To consecrate your Chalice simple follow the procedure above except that this time you place the Chalice on your own Altar Pentacle. Then follow the instructions in paragraph (2 b) to f) inserting the word chalice where appropriate.

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Rainbird. )O( Dec 2012 

5. The Boline/Bolline:

The boline is the white handled knife used to ritually cut or inscribe etc. Some say It doesn't have to be cleansed and consecrated as it is used out side the sacred circle as well as inside. But I believe it should be cleansed etc as on initition it is presented to the newly raised witch.

To cleanse and consicrate your Boline follow or adapt the rituals for the Athame.

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Rainbird. )O( 2011

6. The Cords: (Cable Tow as apposed to the cingulum)

 The cords are only ever used in initiations, and as such are used within the sacred circle. A set of cords consists of 2 cords 4.6ft long (approx) and 2 2 - 3ft long (approx). The cords should be made from natural fibers such as cotten or leather. The thickness of the cords should be no more than that of a pencil and the colour should be black, deep/dark blue or a very deep/dark red. They should be attached in some way to a leather wrist strap (bracelet) again of a dark colour.

Care should be taken when cleansing as they a easily damaged by water or if buried. I suggest that the moon method would be best, or a ritual cleansing in the sacred circle by a high priestess or high priest.

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Rainbird. )O( 2011

7. The Scourge:

The scourge or whip is something that should be made not purchased, as it should be part of your magical training. It is usually made from thin leather strips with a braided handle although it can also have a wooden handle. It is my belief that it should have nine tails as in the 'Cat o nine tails' and each tail should have three knots. Note according to the garnerian BoS it should be eight tails with five knots in each.

Again care must be taken when cleansing. I suggest the same method you use when cleansing cords.

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Raindbird. )O( 2010

8. The Censer:

          The censer or to give it its correct name ‘The Thurible’ is used to burn incense. It is usually suspended on 3 chains so that it can be swung when purifying the circle etc. This is easy to make, I made mine from a stainless steel bowl (4ins diameter) and three lengths of silver chain (about 20 inches long) which I got from a charity shop, and a key ring; plus some sand to place the charcoal on so the heat is not passed to the chain and thus to your hands.

          There are many ways to cleanse a magical tool; it can be buried in the earth, it can be submerged in Sea water (if mixing your own, pure sea salt is best) or it can be placed in running (not tap) water or water from a spring as all springs are sacred to the Goddess. You can also use moonlight. I find the best results for this is to leave it for four nights of a waning moon including the Full moon if you can, as the power of the moon wanes so does any negativity that resides in the object; but this only works if you can guarantee three or four clear moon lit nights.

Note: Remember salt water can corrode some metals so wash it afterwards in spring or clean stream water and dry it off.

          To consecrate your Thurible simple follow the procedure above except that this time you place the Chalice on your own Altar Pentacle. Then follow the instructions in paragraph (2 b) to f).

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 Rainbird.)O( 2012

9. The Cingulum

          In the many forms and branches of British Traditional Wicca, cords, known as cingulum, or singulum (which literally translates as "girdle" or "belt"), are worn about the waist by all or most initiated witches. These are often given to a ‘Witch’ on his or her initiation, and worn at each formal meeting; i.e. Sabbat or Esbat etc. Traditionally they are nine feet in length (nine being three times three, the magical number), and are used to measure the circumference of the magic circle so that it can be set up correctly.

          They can be made from any natural fibre and can be any colour or combination of colours. Some covens or groups use the colour to signify what level you have been initiated to, and a plait of three colours denotes a third degree and if they are the leader of the coven or group [2nd or 3rd degree] this is denoted by the use of a silver cord interwoven with the other cords for the High Priestess and a gold cord interwoven for the High Priest.

          They may be cleansed and consecrated in the same way as the cords (Paragraph 5)

Note: It is usual for the 1st degree to wear a white cord, for the 2nd degree the cord colour is red and so 2nd degree would wear red and white cords twisted, the 3rd degree cord colour is black (or dark blue) so the 3rd degree would wear red white and black (or dark blue) braided cord and if the leader either gold or silver braided in. It is usual for the High Priestess and High Priest to be 3rd degree but a second degree is also qualified to act as HPS or HP.

Note: These colours are not set in stone so your coven or group can choose their own colours.

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Rainbird. )O( Feb 2013 

10. The Altar: dedication.

 See Altar setup.

"I dedicate thee O Altar, to the Goddess and the God, I present thee to the elementals and spirits of the realm of nature, I ask for their protection upon thee, I ask that no harm shall come to or from thee." "Hold the power I raise upon and within thee ready for my use. And release it at my direction.

I consecrate thee with salt and water. (Sprinkle with salt and water)

I consecrate thee with Air and fire. (Smudge or fume with incense)

I consecrate thee in the name of the Goddess and God

As I so will, so mote it be!
 
Rainbird. )O( 2011 

11. The Sword:

          The last tool I would like to present is the sword. If you are fortunate to have a sword or be able to buy one it has to be shown respect. By its very nature it has to be treated differently, they are not cheap either, so it’s probable the last magical tool you will get but only when you are fully committed enough to warrant paying out a substantial amount of money.

          Unlike the Athamé which is usually seen as genderless the sword is masculine and only masculine in its symbolism and as such is very rarely wielded by a Priestess. It is said, "When a woman takes the main part in worship of the Male God, she must be girt with a sword." Note. This has been explained as meaning that a man should be Magus representing the God, but only if no one of sufficient rank and knowledge be present, a woman armed as a man may take his place. The sheath should be worn in a belt. She should carry the sword in hand, but if she has to use her hands, she should sheath the sword. Any other woman in the circle while this worship is performed shall be sword in hand. Those outside the circle only have the Athamé.

a.       The sword by its very nature is a tool of attack and defence and so commands the circle. It acts in both the mundane and the spiritual levels and is used to control and command elemental forces in certain rituals.

b.      In most mythical stories all legendary magical swords are named. The most famous of them all I suppose is ‘Excalibur’ used by Arthur, I say used as opposed to owned as it was lent to him by the ‘Lady of the Lake’ who owned it, and to whom it was returned on his death. It was once called ‘Excaliburn’ which roughly translated from Celtic means ‘Out of Earth’. Which probable accounts for the sword in the stone myth.

c.       Other swords of legend are the sword used to drive Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden: The sword of ‘Manannan Mac Lir’ ‘The Answerer’; the sword of Roland ‘Durandel’ who was the greatest of the Paladins of Charlemagne; also the four (not mythical) swords used in the coronation of a British monarch, ‘The Sword of State’ the ‘Sword of Mercy’, the ‘Sword of Spiritual Power’ and the ‘Sword of Temporal Power’ which stand at the four corners of the dais during the coronation. When and if you name your sword, think long and hard, a swords name should reflect the uses you will put it to, and keep it secret and do not let others use it unless it is jointly owned and consecrated to two people or a group or coven.

d.      In order to cleanse a sword you can follow the instructions for the Athamé, but to consecrate the sword is, and in my opinion should be, more complex. In medieval texts when a squire received his spurs, his sword was laid upon the altar in the church or chapel during his vigil and he knelt and prayed all night for the strength to use it wisely in the protection and defence of the land and its people. I don’t think you will find many churches that would allow you to do this but there’s no reason why you shouldn’t lay it on your own altar and hold vigil and meditate on the uses you wish to put it to, plus asking for the guidance to use it rather than miss-use it. Channel all the power you can into the sword while doing your vigil and when ready consecrate it.

1. Consecrating a Sword

a.       Lay the sword on the altar pentacle, preferably by, and touching, another, consecrated, weapon (Sword or Athamé).

b.      The Owner (man) Asperges (sprinkles) them with consecrated salt and water, whereupon the woman (High Priestess) picks up the weapon to be consecrated and passes it through the incense smoke and replaces it on the pentacle. Both lay their right hands upon the weapon and press down, saying:

c.       Both: "I conjure thee, O Sword by these Names of, [insert own deity/spirit names here] that thou servest [owners craft name] for strength and defence in all magical operations against all mine enemies, visible and invisible. I conjure thee anew by the Holy Name of Aradia and by the Holy Name Cernunnos; I conjure thee, O Sword that thou servest [owners craft name] for a protection against all adversities; so aid me now!"

[Again where Aradia and Cernunnos appear insert your own deity names]

d.      Again the man Asperges, and the High Priestess censes, and the weapon is returned to the pentacle, saying:

e.       Both Owner and High Priestess: "I conjure thee, O Sword of Steel, by the Great Gods and Gentle Goddesses, by the virtue of the heavens, of the stars and of the spirits who preside over them, that thou mayest receive such virtue that [owners craft name] may obtain the end he desire in all things wherein [owners craft name] shall use thee, by the power of Aradia and Cernunnos."

[Again where Aradia and Cernunnos appear insert your own deity names]

f.       The High Priestess gives the Fivefold kiss unto the (male) owner of the weapon. If the weapon is jointly owned by them both, the man will give the Fivefold kiss to the woman and the woman will reciprocate. For the final kiss upon the mouth, the weapon is suspended between their bodies point down (Toe to toe, knee to knee, thigh to thigh, breast to chest, and lips to lips), held there by the pressure of their embrace. As they separate, the (Male) owner of the weapon immediately uses it to recast the Circle, but without the words.

Notes: If possible, lay the sword on the altar pentacle with an already consecrated sword or Athamé.

          It should, if possible, be consecrated by both a man and a woman, both of whom have been initiated, and both naked as a drawn sword. During consecration, press down on sword hard with hands or consecrated Athamé/sword.

          If possible partake of Cakes and Wine first, then Magus (Male) should sprinkle the sword with salt and water, The High Priestess should pass it through the incense for the First Conjuration, then sprinkle and incense and conjure again with Second Conjuration.

          If true (consecrated) sword and Athamé are available, a sword and Athamé can be consecrated at the same time in which case Magus (Male) should press with sword on sword, and Witch (Female) with Athamé on Athamé, and the new sword and Athamé should touch.

          In any case, when finished the weapon should be handed to new owner with Fivefold Salute (kiss), and should be pressed (held between both male and female) against the body for a time to be infused with the aura of the owner(Toe to toe, knee to knee, thigh to thigh, breast to chest, and lips to lips). Afterwards it should be kept in as close a connection as possible to the naked body for at least a month, i.e. kept under pillow, by the bed, under the mattress etc.

          Do not allow anyone to touch or handle any of your tools until thoroughly impregnated with your own aura; this usually takes up to six months or so. But a pair working together may own the same tools, which will then be impregnated with the aura of both.

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Rainbird. )O( 2013

Other?

Other magical tools you may need to make or collect are; the Staff and the cauldron. The Staff I believe is something you must make. First let the wood find you then enhance it with whatever signs sigils and ornamentation you wish or is appropriate. The Cauldron I’m afraid you will either have to improvise or buy.

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Rainbird. )O( 2013