My Ritual Tools

My Ritual Tools
Ritual tools are an important part of our spiritual life. They help us to focus and direct energy. When we see them and touch them, we slip into the right state of mind to worship and practice magic. Wicca founder Gerald Gardner created a long list of ritual tools that Wiccans are supposed to use, and he based it on ceremonial magic. However, most pagans only use the primary four: the pentacle, the athame (ritual knife), the wand, and the chalice. Everyone has to decide for himself which tools to add and to subtract. If you are a solitary practitioner, you might be wondering what others have chosen and why. Here are my ritual tools at this point in time. Things can always change.

Just so you know, I practice a version of Wicca that leans strongly toward Asatru (Norse paganism), so I'm not the best example of a classic Wiccan. To the left is my chalice, sitting in the west quarter of my altar cloth. It actually is a classic Wiccan chalice, silver-plated and inscribed with a pentacle. It is only four inches high, which is as small and compact as I could go and still feel like I had a full-sized one. To its right and directly in the center is a mjollnir (Thor's Hammer) on a chain, which I wear as an amulet to express the Asatru part of my faith. Directly above the mjollnir is a Wiccan pentacle with a piece of amber in its center. I don't often feel the need to put a pentacle on my altar, but if I did, it would be this one. The tarnish on the pentacle, the chalice, and the mjollnir is deliberate; I like the look better than bright silver.

Directly below the mjollnir is a lit tea light, though it is hard to see the flame in the photo. I don't keep a wand in the south quarter of my altar to represent fire as Gardnerian Wiccans do. Instead, I light a candle there. To the right of the mjollnir is my athame. What's funny is that I am really more of a wand person. I even had a wand ready to carve with runes that I'd fashioned from the branch of a nearby ash tree that broke off in a windstorm. In Norse legends, the world tree Yggdrasil is an ash tree. What could be more appropriate to use for a wand? But then I saw this athame that had been made from a silver butter knife and the found bone of a fox. It really grabbed me even though it seems far more suited for a green witch or a Celtic witch than someone like me, influenced by Norse paganism. All around my ritual tools are scattered my main divination tool, the Elder Futhark runes. They are carved from the bones of some deceased ungulate, maybe a camel or an ox, that I was assured died a natural death.

When I do ritual, I mainly use the chalice and the athame, and I light candles. I would like to carve my own figurine from wood of the god Odin, but I'm waiting until I get more skilled at carving and until a patron goddess makes herself known to me so that I may add her image. Eventually I will finish the ash wand and probably use it more often with the chalice, saving my athame for ceremonies rather than for spellwork. Would you like to share photos of your ritual tools in the forum?

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