Day 49: What’s in a Tool.
There is popular notion going around the blogospheres and in neo pagan places outside of the internet, that tools don’t matter. Or they shouldn’t matter. Or that they are simply conduits for the power of the practitioner.
For certain traditions, this may definitely be the case.
In the Craft, at least my craft, tools aren’t simply conduits for the power of the practitioner, especially the main tools of the tradition. Or at least they don’t have to be. And they are important, though not in the way one might think. It is not just about having something that looks like an instrument of witchcraft. No, the power lies in the process of making something an instrument of the Black Art.
Tools do not just conduct power, they enhance power.
The mysteries surround points of power related to the blade, the wand, the stang, the cup, the censer, the triangle, the circle, the paten, the lamp, and the cord.
Each is crafted in a way that makes it suitable for specific mysteries. The blade to draw and to banish, to direct the will of the witch in the sharpness of the tip. There is a reason for the consecration ritual of the knife, where in it is first heated in a charmed fire, then submerged within blessed waters to purify, then stroked with a magnet to it’s blade going in the one direction from hilt to tip.
The wand is to call forth powers, rather than pull them through the instrument as the blade does, the wand pulls it forth externally like a conductor’s baton, making it quiet suitable for calling forth spirits into specific locations without having too much intimate contact with them. The wand may also be used as a sign of authority. One indeed holds the whole of The Tree in one’s palms when one holds a wand. Held towards the triangle with the proper intent and knowledge of the mysteries, the wand may be used to subdue the spirit, then the knife and flame to punish, banish, or constrain as needed.
The Stang is The Tree, its crown the altar, its roots reaching deep into the earth. The branches and leaves high to the heavens. The trunk connecting the worlds. Before it offerings may be poured, and the feast celebrated. Powers can also then be called into it to speak through the flame betwixt.
Tools can have names, and over time grow in genius until they become your most trusted allies, both a part of you born out of the womb of your witch name, and also external to you having specialized into something more.
Tools are never just “conduits of power”. Having the right tools matter. The journey to acquiring them slowly and with purpose (rather than just running out to the nearest occult shop) is a journey of further learning within The Craft. Proper consecration of tools entails one to know the basics to do so, the right words to say, the proper manners to channel power without tools so you may channel them to bless the tools.
Witch tools, Cunning Tools, Crafting Tools are important. Even if they were cloaked and hidden as household appliances in the olden days, marked with subtle signs to show their nature as consecrated, locked in cabinets, kept safe.
To work the tools, one must know. To know is to consecrate. The rituals can be of your own making, whether it is simply using them after a moment of quiet contemplation, or something more inspired by the ceremonial magicians. As long as one knows the purpose, and sets about to ensure the tools are complete, or else supplements with their own body. Then the tools are consecrated.