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 Alter Tools

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lady jessica
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Join date : 2008-11-03

PostSubject: Alter Tools   Tue Nov 04, 2008 11:46 am

ALTAR
A special flat space set aside for magickal working and the recognition of things spiritual in nature.

ALTAR CLOTHS
These are special cloths that are used to cover the altar. There is usually a cloth to beautify the altar, and another placed over that which is often called the working cloth, that is safe to drip wax or oils upon.

AMULETS
Amulets are usually in the form of a pendant of some kind that is fashioned in the form of a magickal or sacred symbol.

The Athame
This is a ritual blade, usually dulled. The athame represents the element of fire or air, depending on the tradition you follow. It's used for making divisions and separations. During a circle-casting you'll often see witches using their athames to "cut" a pentacle at each corner of a circle, and to define the boundary of the circle itself. a very special and sanctified blade used for different aspects of ritual and magic on the non-earthly planes. The athame can be used in place of the sword to cut circle or the door of the circle. The athame is never used to cut anything on the physical plane. If an athame even accidentally cuts on the physical plane, many witches will retire it for use only on the physical plane and consecrate a new athame.

BASKETS
Anyone can carry anything and everything to a ritual in these. The nice thing is that they are made of a natural material that has been consecrated for magickal use.

BELL
The altar bell is used for summoning and for announcing to the participants that a specific piece of a ritual is about to begin. For example, in our tradition, we ring the bell thrice prior to calling each of the Quarters.

BELLS AND CHIMES
These are a nice way to open or close a meditation or a ritual. They can easily clean out both a physical space and your mental state. They're also an excellent way to gain the attention of a rowdy bunch of pagans

BOLLINE
The witches working knife for the physical plane. This is a specially cleansed and charged blade for doing things like harvesting herbs, cutting branches for wands or other tools, ect; The Bolline should only be used for spiritual work, i.e. unless tomatoes are part of a ritual, dont cut tomatoes or other mundane things with the bolline.

BOWLS
Pretty self explanatory. Just know that all of the bowls that we use for our magickal work are set aside and consecrated for magickal purpose. They are never used in mundane life again. For ritual, we use them for holding water, salt, herbs, oils or anything else that needs a bowl to hold it.

BOOK OF SHADOWS
This is the book that a witch makes for themselves that contains all of the documents pertaining to their walk in the craft. Rituals, spells, dream accounts, recipes, and even humor are just some of the things that witches put in the Book of Shadows. In the past, the Book was hand written, now computers are also used. We have seen the sacred Disk of Shadows, creating our own definition of DOS.

BROOM - (BESOM)
Some Wiccans insist they be made from certain kinds of wood such as oak or ash. They're usually smaller than your average kitchen broom. It's still a custom in some places to hang such a broom over the door to keep away bad spirits. Sweeping a space is an excellent way to clean it both of dirt and of bad energy.
Used to sweep an area clean of negative energy. The broom symbolizes the vehicle to dream land and to different dimensions in meditation and dreams. The broom is sometimes placed at the entrance of a certain place. It can also be used to send messages to other non-earthly places.

CANDLES
Candles are used for many things in the Craft. Not only do we use them for light, but we also use them for certain types of magick. The candles are of differing colors and each color has a different meaning. Candles are often used in divination.

CAPES AND COSTUMES
When we do ritual work, we do many things that separate us from the normal, mundane world and our usual lives. Costumes, capes, and robes are a big part of that. There is also much deeper meanings to these things that are not appropriate to cover here.

CARDINAL POINTS
North, South, East, and West, marked by colors of green, red, yellow, and blue, respectively. The Circle is drawn to connect these four points.

CAULDRON
The cauldron symbolizes the Goddess. It can also be the central focus in ritual. It is used when developing oils, incenses, and brews. It is also often used in divination with water or smoke. It is usually made of cast iron and needs to be able to withstand a good deal of heat without cracking.

THE CHALICE
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to guess which element the Chalice represents. Water is associated with feelings and camaraderie. When covens celebrate sabbats and esbats, they will pass the chalice around the circle, each member taking a sip. Members of a coven with which I celebrated sabbats would pass the cup with this blessing: "May you never thirst." You see the chalice used today during Christian ceremonies as well. Drinking from the same cup is an age-old custom indicating trust, comraderie, and community. A sacred cup of glass that represents water, emotion, and fertility. They hold a verity of beverages used in rituals. They also symbolize womanhood in the symbolic Great Rite.

CIRCLE
The area in which the magickal worship and spells takes place. There are three primary reasons witches cast a circle. The first is to create sacred space. Witches create sacred space to provide a place that is distinctly different from the mundane world with which to make magick, meditation, and ritual. The second reason is because most things within the religion of Wicca involve the raising, concentration, and focus of energy. If there is no circle cast, it would be very difficult to contain the energy raised, and as a result also very difficult to focus that energy. The energy must be kept separate and uncluttered from the energies that may be out side the circle. The third reason circle is cast is for protection from the negative forces that are without. The circle provides safety as witches will be going across the veils into other dimensions. The circle provides protection as we travel. The word circle is also often used to describe a specific group of witches, or a coven.

COMPASS
Knowing the polar directions when working magick is paramountly important. The compass is there for times that we go to places in which we are not familiar so that we can be accurate in our work.

CRYSTALS
These are used for a large list of reasons. Healing, focusing energy, and containing energy, as well as divination are just a few of the things for which we use crystals. Back to the Top

DIVINATION TOOLS
These can be Tarot cards, I-Ching, Astrological Charts, Pendulums, Coins, Runes ect;. Divination is the method we use to connect to the Divine Source that is often called God by the new religion, for answers to specific questions or guidance in all areas of life.

FAMILIARS
Either a Witch's pet animal which has been trained to be a magickal helper, or an artificially created "elemental" which performs the same functions as the animal friend.

FEATHERS
Used for a verity of things.. some make writing instruments with them.

GLASS JARS
Glass is a favorite material to use to contain magickal things. As glass is basically nonporous, it is great for holding water, herbs, oils, or anything else that needs to be kept separate and pure for extended periods of time.

HERBS
Herbs are used to season food, to make incense, to heal, to make tea, and much, much more.
Broad enough category for you? The use of herbs for magic is tied closely to the use of herbs for healing. I can't list all the correspondences here. But I do tend to keep on hand the following herbs: patchouly for prosperity; cinqefoile to seal a spell; cinnamon for prosperity and for comfort; sage for cleansing.

HOLY WATER
Represents the element of water during ritual and is used for cleansing, anointing, blessing, and much more.

INCENSE AND OILS
Another useful tool for ritual, incense plays on the sense of smell. Because we rely on sight and sound more for intellectual pursuits and because smell often triggers memory on a less verbal level, incense can be an effective way to create ambience with minimal effort. It also makes you feel better.
Some of my favorites are: cedarwood for cleansing, frankincense and myrrh for scrying and trance work, cinnamon for relaxation, and sandalwood for just about anything. As an alternative to burning incense, you can put drops of scented oil in a bowl of water or apply it directly to your skin. The old custom of anointing yourself with oil can also be a nice addition to any ritual.
Used to represent the element of Air during ritual. It is essential for aroma therapy. Incense often helps to create altered states of consciousness through meditation (not through mind altering drugs or any drugs period).

INDIA INK
Used with a quill for writing things and making art of various kinds.

Matches
gotta have em

MIRROR
The magickal uses of a mirror are many. Divination and protection are just two.

MORTAL AND PESTLE
Usually used to grind herbs.

MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS
Music is very important to aid in ritual for raising energy, dance, meditation and celebration. Back to the Top

OILS
Mixtures of essential plant oils are used to dress candles or bless people.

PARCHENT PAPER
Used to write special documents such as a pledge or a vision.

The PENTACLE
Also known as the pentagram, this is the five-pointed star within a circle. Usually made of clay or stone, the pentacle represents the element of earth on an altar. But the pentacle is also a symbol for the Wiccan tradition and carries with it a great deal of lore outside of its use as an altar tool. The five points of the star correspond to the four elements (earth, air, fire, water) and the fifth element of the spirit. One usually sees this symbol with one point facing upward, symbolizing the primacy of spirit over matter. Satanists appropriated the symbol but display it with the point downward, symbolizing matter's primacy over spirit. Most non-pagans associate the pentacle very strongly with devil worship, partly because Satanists use an inverted pentacle (with the point facing downward, to represent matter over spirit) as a symbol of their tradition. Let me stress once again that witches are in no way connected to Satanism. If you are too uncomfortable or are unable to use a pentacle on your altar, a round dish of stoneware or a bowl of salt can serve as well.

QUARTERS
The North, East, South, and West parts of a magickal circle or other ritual area. (See also "Watchtowers")

SPELL
A prayer, or verbal direction of magickal energies toward the accomplishment of some goal. Back to the Top

THE WAND
A specially made rod or staff that is used to project your energy to a certain place, thing, person, or dimension. Wands can be made of many materials. The most common are wood, crystal, copper, or glass. Yes, it's true. Witches do have magic wands. The wand, usually associated with the element of air — although some traditions associate it with fire instead — represents the will. If you want to charge an object (to funnel energy into it), you would use a wand. Remember Cinderella's fairy godmother? She bopped the pumpkin with her magic wand and it turned into a coach. Well, most of us aren't possessed of the same kind of transformative power. But the concept remains the same.

WATCH TOWERS
These are the four elemental "directions" or "quarters" (corresponding to the appropriate points on the compass) called to protect the Circle during its establishment. Each of them have a correspondence between the compass point, an element, and (varying amongst different traditions) color associated with them.
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