Best Consecration Rituals for Wiccan Tools
What Does It Mean to Consecrate Tools in Wicca?
In Wicca, ritual tools are used during rituals to both honor deities and work magic spells. In very basic terms, these tools help to direct psychic energy to manifest specific actions or intentions. Each instrument used at altars and within magic circles corresponds with particular associations and uses.
In the old world, initiates to the craft used secret books (Book of Shadows) and tools that were sacred to and belonged only to their coven. The direction of tradition the coven stemmed from often determined the magical tools that were used in rituals. For example, covens following the Masonic rites of freemasonry were familiar with the square and compasses that many architects use. At the same time, those following the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn were familiar with the biblical Song of Solomon, which describes magical tools in depth and how to consecrate them for use. It is interesting to note that King Solomon’s magic seal was a pentagram or hexagram, the same that all Wiccans use to this day. In Gardnerian Wicca, initiates had to engrave their ritual tools at one stage of learning. They were expected to name all the tools, their correspondences, and their uses at another.
In modern-day Wicca, with the encouragement of independent study and practice, choosing ritual tools are a matter of personal choice. Ritual tools can be made, purchased, engraved, or not. However, all tools used in ritual magic must be consecrated before use. Additionally, many of the elements used to consecrate ritual tools must also be sanctified. Ritual tools are usually consecrated within a magic circle that contains a paten (a plate of silver or gold with a pentacle or triquetra) at the center. Each tool takes a turn being sprinkled with salt and water, is passed through incense smoke, and placed upon the paten. Once the tools are consecrated, a request to chosen deities to bless the objects is requested so that the items may obtain the virtue necessary for all acts of beauty and love.
Of course, the reason for consecrating ritual tools comes down to energy, personal energy, universal energy, and the energy of elements, guides, and deities. The energy of the tools used in a ritual will significantly affect the outcome. Any negative residual energy attached to them through the places and people who have touched them must be replaced with positive, intentional energy before being used in magic.
There are several different ways of consecrating ritual tools, and some are better suited to particular items than others. For example, sea salt is an effective cleanser for anything buried in it, such as stones and crystals. However, herbs and spices wouldn’t do so well with this method. Salt also works in water, but some ritual tools would be ruined if sprinkled with or placed in water. Itis important to consecrate tools with what works best for the tool in hand.
Tools Used in Wiccan Rituals
The four most essential tools used in Wiccan rituals are the athame (a knife or sword), wand, chalice, and paten, representing the four elements of Air, Fire, Water, and Earth, respectively.
An altar is an individual’s sacred space where ritual tools are kept, and spells are cast. It can be indoors or out, hidden or in plain sight, the centerpiece of a ritual involving many or just one. It’s a place to contact deities and spiritual guides. Altars are decorated according to individual tastes and preferences. However, wood, stone, brick, and rock altars do help one to stay grounded.
As previously mentioned, the paten is a gold or silver plate or disc with the engraving of a pentacle or triquetra at the center. It symbolizes the element of earth and energizes anything placed upon it.
The athame is a knife or sword with a black handle (usually inscribed in the Theban alphabet). It is associated with the element of fire (Gardnerian Wicca) and, if a yellow-handled dagger, the element of air (Golden Dawn Wicca). It is used to direct energy to cast circles and control spirits. Some say it is the witch’s weapon. However, there are no weapons in Wicca.
The wand symbolizes the element of fire (in some traditions) or air (Gardnerian Wicca). The rod can be made from any material, with many individuals preferring natural wood set with stones and crystals. There are specific wands, such as the Caduceus, the staff of the Kerux, and the Lotus wand, that have different meanings are associated with more than one element. Wands can be used to summon spirits that would be afraid of an athame made of iron or steel.
The chalice is a cup or goblet that symbolizes the element of water. Unlike the Holy Grail, which contains the blood of Christ, the chalice represents the womb of the Goddess and is used to hold wine.
White handled knives with curved blades are referred to as bollines. It is used in the physical plane to cut herbs at harvest time, cutting ritual cords, and engrave candles, rather than the spiritual like the athame.
A scourge is a type of religious whip used primarily in initiation rites, not to exert power over or pain on anyone but to symbolize the suffering and sacrifice of being willing to learn.
A cingulum is a belt or girdle (a length of material) of a specific color that symbolizes one’s rank of initiation in covens. It is worn around the waist and is used to measure the circumference of the magic circle. Some say it should only be worn during spell crafting.
A besom or broom is used in handfasting ceremonies to jump over. It is also used in fertility dances and, when not in use, hung above the front door to ward off evil.
Like a chalice, a cauldron can represent the womb of the Goddess and is used for holding things, such as candles, brews, burning incense, or small fires.
The pentagram is often worn as a piece of jewelry. In Wicca, all women wear a necklace to symbolize the Circle of Rebirth.
In the past, a Book of Shadows was kept by the priest or priestess of the coven and only shared among the group members. Information could be copied from it or add to it, but it never left the coven. However, presently, a Book of Shadows can be kept by independent witches to record everything they’ve learned regarding one’s practice, such as information about deities, magical herbs, recipes, spells, poems, and drawings. These “books” are often passed down through generations.
Divination tools such as tarot cards, crystal balls, tarot cards, runes, pendulums, and scrying mirrors are used to receive intuitive messages.
Other items used in rituals are statues, an offering bowl, a mortar and pestle, smudge sticks, incense, incense burners, a burin for engraving copper or wood objects, candles, crystals, herbs, rope, string, rattles, and bells.
It is said the best ritual tools are those found in nature. However, they can also be purchased from metaphysical shops.
Herbs Used to Consecrate Ritual Tools
Herbs hold the energy of the element of earth. They are used in sachets, teas, food offerings, as incense, for smudging and bathing.
Because herbs are used to illicit magical responses, herbs must be handled carefully. They must be consecrated before being used to consecrate ritual tools. To consecrate an item means to cleanse and bless it with the four elements to become pure and infused with magic.
Herbs can be consecrated by first consecrating the tools used to harvest them and the jars that store them. How an individual decides to bless herbs or any other object is very personal and depends entirely on their chosen tradition. Consecrating herbs can be as simple as holding the herbs under the moonlight and asking the Goddess to bless them or as elaborate as designing a ritual to have them blessed by the four elements and four directions (perhaps the better suggestion). Once they are blessed, they will be ready to consecrate tools.
Herbs are suggested for consecrating the following specific ritual tools.
Athame: The blade is to be rubbed with fresh basil, oak, ginger, or rosemary leaves at sunrise.
Bells: Bells are “self-cleaning when rung.
Bolline: Allow the blade’s point to touch but not harm thriving herbs in nature or rub with ginger root.
Wand: Rub it with fresh lavender, eucalyptus, or mint leaves. It is helpful if the rod is made of Rowan.
Pentacle: Lay upon bare earth or dried parsley, patchouli, mistletoe, or fresh jasmine or honeysuckle flowers.
Censer: Use rosemary, frankincense, acacia, Arabic gum, or copal within the censer before its first use. Do this for about an hour.
Cauldron: Dip the caldron in a lake, river, or sea. Gather some plants leaves close by, such as seaweed, to place in the cauldron. Set it down on the earth by the water’s edge to bless it. Empty and dry it. Indoors, place the cauldron in cold saltwater in a room lit with candles. Then proceed as if outdoors (adding plants, filling with water, emptying and drying)
Chalice: Anoint the chalice with gardenia, rose, or violet oil and fill with pure spring water. Set a sprig of ivy, rose petals, or gardenia in the water.
Broom: The broom should be ash, birch, or willow and brushed with chamomile, willow, lemon balm, elder or mallow stalks, and branches. Afterward, the herbs should be buried.
Candles & Chests: Rub candles and chests that hold candles and other ritual tools with acacia or Arabic gum.
Crystals: Rub crystals with fresh (or dried) mugwort or sea salt, then take it outside and hold it up under the full moon.
Book of Shadows: Sew dried, moonlight-soaked leaves of vervain, rue, bay, or willow into the cover (or any other herbs that suits one’s intentions).
Robes: Lay among sachets of lavender, vervain, and cedar when not in use. Sew a bit of rosemary or frankincense into the hem or pocket.
Musical Instruments: Smudge with dried bay leaves.
Divinatory Tools: Clean and consecrate by rubbing with Chicory Root. Rub crystal balls with Mugwort.
Herbs that can be used to consecrate all ritual tools are Burnet, Caraway, Cascara Sagrada (Sacred bark), Fumitory, and Hyssop.
Sunlight is another natural consecrating agent. Negative energy can be burned away from all ritual tools by laying them in direct sunlight for one hour. The sun will consecrate and recharge all items at once. If sunlight is not available, moonlight can be used in the same way. Laying things under the full moon is a better choice for items that may not tolerate heat, such as candles or fabrics.
When there are no herbs, sunlight, or full moon handy, smudging can be used to immediately clear negative energy from just about everything, including people!