Consecrating and Sanctifying your magical tools is something that within traditional coven structures is not a glossed over subject and much time is spent on it, but in the realm of solitary Wicca and eclectic witchcraft it is something that is lacking and not given much attention.
So why don’t some of the eclectic or bootstrap covens or solitary witches pay careful attention to the magical tools they use?
Many reasons abound in response to this, and like everything: there is no one size fits all response, nor is there a one size fits all reason to this. So in this article, I have set out some information that I am able to share from a traditional Wiccan’s perspective for eclectic and bootstrap covens to consider that may be of some help to them when thinking of their own coven practice. I can’t go into many details here that are oathbound, but I can share some outer teachings that may be of help.
What I can say is that when reading about what primitive practitioners of tribal medicine work or on priestly practice: Great emphasis seems to have been placed on proper tools that these practitioners used. They didn’t just use whatever they had laying around the village and picked it up just because they needed it. It seems that the tools that a number of them used fell within two categories:
- Passed down from previous priests, shamans, medicine men, cunning folk
- Made new, but with much ceremony and traditions that went into it – from the time of collecting the item, thanking the appropriate spirits, tribal dances, vision quests, etc.
It seems that many folks almost went on a grail quest to find, obtain and sanctify/make sacred these tools of their arts, so why would modern Wiccans or witches think it would be any different for us?
Even in the middle ages when many of the practices had been wiped out, a new priestly magic came en-vogue for the highly educated and learn’ed man, which eventually made its way down to the cunning folk of the time – white witches – who also used the same methods with a bit less pomp and circumstance: and that was grimoire magic!
The magic of the grimoires are filled with very careful consecrations that must be heeded or the operations of spiritual evocation would be doomed to failure. Many of these grimoires are attributed to a few different Popes as well. Whether a Pope had written the grimoire itself, it is highly doubtful.
Anyway, these grimoires, such as the many, many versions of the Greater Key of Solomon, the Clavicle of Solomon, Red Dragon, Grimorium Verum, etc., all shared instructions of a similar vein: meaning that the very first steps in the arte magical was to find, obtain, and consecrate in very precise ways the magical tools needed for the operation.
The methods of consecration and sanctification of these tools were arduous tasks indeed: requiring the performance at certain planetary hours, collecting and fashioning rare items, inscriptions upon tools and careful handling. Strong conjurations were pronounced over the tools and solemn directions on what to do with them were carefully laid out.
These precise grimoires eventually made their way down to folk practitioners of white witchcraft, cunning magic, pellars and the like. Many of these methods were adapted in a more rustic way with what they could practically perform. This leads us to Witchcraft in today’s world where many of these sanctification and consecrations that were adapted by these witches at the time have survived and are still used in our covens today, such as in our Wolfa Coven.
Eventually, as time went on, traditions may have discovered that there may be another way to consecrate and sanctify these tools in a more authentic way to witchcraft itself and by the symbolism that these tools carry in their own traditions practice. Within our Sacred Pentagraph circle, specific consecrations are listed – and adapted, such as the tool of the athame being one of fire – representative of the will of the witch. These tools are carefully wrapped in certain colored cloths that correspond with their various energies to keep them harmonized.
Even still, specific consecrations are laid out including the correct day and/or planetary hours are prescribed for these acts so that they may be carried out in true grace and beauty.
If these tools mean something to you, why wouldn’t we wish to make them sacred?
Another thing that I have noticed among some of the witches that have not been taught the practical and esoteric mysteries behind the use of the magical tools is that they are constantly buying new tools. They end up with 5 chalices, 6 athames and a crazy amount of altar patens, etc. It is possible they instinctively know that the tool is not right and go on a quest to continually find a tool that is more suitable to the practice of magic. I have not found any published book that goes into great detail about what you need to do in regards to this, folks just know they “need” an athame for such and such thing – so they buy something online that looks the part to them without asking for advice on what it needs to look like. At least in a coven, you can ask your teacher: “Why did you choose the tools you chose?” You might even ask if they can show you their magical tools. (They may not allow you to touch or hold them, but they may give you practical advice on why they chose what they did!) This will potentially save you a lot of money in the long run as you may find the appropriate tool right away, consecrate it properly, and never need to buy another one again.
I must say that I am all for folks that wish to form eclectic and bootstrap covens if they wish to. I don’t find anything wrong with folks saying that they wish to get together and practice in their own way without the backing of a well established lineage of witchcraft – but there are some practicalities that would be helpful to the seeker should they wish to do that. A better and practical understanding of magical tools should be high on the list so that you and your coven do not waste time and money in the long run.
I hope this article was helpful to those that wish to know why such emphasis is placed on magical tools and their consecrations or at least gave you something to think about within your own covens.
(Photos from Sacred Pentagraph tool consecration ceremonies)
Source: Consecration of Tools