Ritual Tools of The Craft

The Ritual Tools of The Craft are symbolic of energies in the universe, they sit on the altar or shrine as a way of connecting the practitioner to these forces. When used they become part of ritual – props to help the mind associate with abstract ideas. Let us explore them further starting with the most obvious in Witchcraft teachings, the Cauldron.

The Cauldron

The Cauldron is the cooking pot that transforms everything that is put within it. It represents the universe in which we live and therefore becomes associated with the body of the Goddess. The fire that burns under the Cauldron becomes the fuel to transform the contents much like the billions of uns in our universe, each burning with the fires of transformation that give rise to all life. For without the wisdom fire that is within the universe the Cauldron would be empty and all life would cease to exist. So the Cauldron is of primary importance, it feeds us as the cooking pot and becomes a potent symbol for all The Craft teachings.

The Knife

The knife is the symbol of the God and never used to actually cut anything. It is a tool to be used for marking out the ritual space, casting circles and calling the elemental forces of nature. It also represents the will of the Witch and can be seen as a way of directing the mind when working magic. The three sided blade can cut through the illusions of the three times of past present and future and in doing so allow us to realise the eternal moment. In this context the knife can be seen as the method by which we can come to experience the Wisdom of The Craft.

The Cup

The Cup is the one of the attributes of the Goddess; it holds within it the wisdom nectar that can benefit all beings. It is also the body of the Goddess and it is used to hold the wine on the altar in ceremonies. The Goddess is often depicted holding the Cup; in this manifestation she is there to bestow wisdom upon all who call to her as she has only the best interests of humanity at her heart.

The Mirror

The Mirror is another attribute of the Goddess, she holds this up and asks ‘who are you?’ We must look into the Mirror and face our deepest fears, it’s only when we conquer our shadow sides can we fully embrace the mysteries of The Craft.

The Stang or Staff

The Stang or Staff represents stability and is often seen held by the God. It represents the axis from which all things revolve around. So to hold the Staff means that you are standing at the centre of the universe. It can also be used as an Altar and when placed in the ground it becomes a focus for the ritual site and is decorated in seasonal foliage to symbolize the different festivals of the witches’ year.

Anchor Stones

Anchor Stones are objects that are collected at each of the seasonal celebrations and act as a focus for the ritual year. They can be placed on the altar and once you have a full set of eight they become your own portable circle. They are objects of power and hold within them the symbolic meaning of each of the festivals.

Scrying Mirrors and Divination Balls

Scrying mirrors and balls have always been used to see into the future, traditionally they are made from Obsidian as this is a good conduit for allowing the mind to become at rest so internal images can arise. They are used as tools to focus the mind upon, the mind is always a busy place full of shopping lists, things to do. The witches Mirror or Ball is used so that the gaze can become languid thus allowing the mind to settle.

Once the mind is settled the necessary questions can be asked, this sets the intention for the session and then one looks into the instrument and notes down what comes up. Some people are naturally gifted at this and they see things immediately while others it takes a little practice.

When the magical objects are not in use it’s traditional to keep them covered in a silk cloth. There are other more advanced methods of use such as using them for the casting of spells, moving both into the past and the future to retrieve lost soul parts but this is not the place to go into such things as here we are talking briefly about what they are rather than an in-depth study on their use.

The Witches Broom or Besom

The Broom is another powerful symbol of Witchcraft and it has become associated with flight. The broom has many symbols; it can be seen as the conjoining of the two forces of creation. The handle becomes The God and the brush that the handle is inserted into is The Goddess. When one is holding the broom one is therefore in balance with the two powers of creation.

It is also a ritual tool for sweeping and cleaning and can be used to prepare a magic circle, even casting one in some cases. It is used for cleaning the house of unwanted energies, such as sweeping out the old year at Halloween. In spring it can be used for the traditional spring-cleaning and as you enter into autumn it is also useful to clear the home before we gather ourselves in for winter.

It is said that a broom next to the door of a house will protect the home and it is traditionally used in Hand Fasting ceremonies when people make vows to each other for a year and a day and then jump over the broom to seal the commitments made.

The Witches Pentacle

The Witches Pentacle has become one of the main symbols of witchcraft and is often worn as a piece of jewellery by those people following Pagan faiths. It has much significance and here we will look at just a few. The pentacle here is within a circle, this symbolises the circle of creation, we are part of that circle and depending on our understanding we are either moving within it or stationary at its centre. It is the turning of the seasons that have come to be known as the ritual year, it is symbolic of our lives and also the universe within which we live.

Within the circle is the pentacle, the five-pointed star and to look at this symbol means you are looking at mirror like wisdom. The wisdom comes when we start to work with the pentacle, when we start to understand its meanings. The five points have many significances and the first we will look at is the elements

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