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Tuesday, 17 November 2009

The Witch Tools 3 Personal Circle Tools

The Witch Tools 3 Personal Circle Tools Cover
The Athame – is a double-edged, dulled black handled knife, used to invoke and to inscribe the circle. It is an active male tool, and a phallic symbol. The act of plunging it into the Chalice represents the union of male and female principles. It is an extension of power
and will. It represents Fire and controls rebellious spirits. It is a symbol of energy and an extension of your self into the spiritual world. It can draw energy from the elements. It is only used during ritual and is used for no other purpose. The Athame is interchangeable with the sword for all ritual purposes, such as casting or banishing circles. It is considered good manners not to handle another witch’s athame without the owner’s permission, unless it is your working partner’s.

Most tools can belong to an individual Witch, or to the Coven. The Athame, or Black Handled Knife is a Witches personal tool. Traditionally, the hilt is black, but sometimes a horn or a deer’s foot is used as the handle. Some people say that the Athame should have a double edged blade not less than seven inches, and not more than nine inches. As with all the tools, you must use what ‘feels right’ to you.

The Athame is a purely ritual tool, and should not be used for anything else. Often people blunt the blade to prevent mistakes. It can also be used to cut the handfasting cake. The use by witches of a magickal weapon of this kind is very ancient. A picture upon a Greek vase, circa 200 B.C. shows two naked witches engaged in ‘drawing down the moon’, ie. invoking the powers of the moon to aid their magick. One holds a wand and the other a short sword. The magickal knife evolved from this sword.

A engraved gem from ancient Rome shows Hecate, the Goddess of witch-craft, in triple form. Her three pairs of arms bear the symbols of a torch, a scourge and a magickal dagger. An early edition of The Clavicle of Solomon mentions the use of a magickal knife called an Arthana. An ancient woodcut shows a witch controlling several demons by brandishing an Athame in one hand and herbs in the other.

The use of a consecrated dagger to control spirits is also known in Tibet. These weapons, known as ‘devil daggers’ have a triangular blade and a haft in the shape of a thunderbolt.

Some traditions attribute the Athame and the Sword to Fire, and the Wand to Air. Whatever attributes you choose, it is important you use what feels right and stick with it. The markings on the Athame vary from tradition to tradition. These can be placed either on the handle or the blade. Some of the more common markings are as follows:

– The symbol of the Horned God, which is also the symbol for Taurus. This represents fertility and the light half of the year.
– The Ankh Cross, which is the symbol of life.
– The Salute and the Scourge. (SS)
– The Goddess as the waxing and waning moon.
– The symbol of Scorpio, which is the symbol of death, thus representing the “Other World” and the Lord of the Underworld. It also represents the dark half of the year.
– The symbol of the Perfect Couple.
– The Arrow Of Magic, which represents power issuing forth.
– The Eight Spoked Wheel, which represents the eight Sabbaths, and the eight ways of making magic.

Robe – for those sad moments when sky-clad is not an option. In all religious traditions, certain garments are worn only in the presence of the deities and are put aside when returning to the world. This is due to a belief in “the contagion of the deity” – the idea that
holy objects should not be used in other than holy places. It accounts for the still-current conviction that religious objects stolen from a place of worship are unlucky. In many ancient religious traditions, Egyptian and Hebrew among them, the robes worn in the prewsence of the deities must be washed and purified after.

Cingulum – is the belt made of cord. Different traditions have different colours and methods of making the singulum. It is a symbol of rank. It can be used to cast a perfect circle. Special cingulums can be used for special rituals. It is made from natural materials – cotton, silk, or wool.

Book of Shadows – Black book for rituals, spells, magickal practices and notes. Arrangements should be made with a close friend that it be burnt without reading on the death of the owner. The reason for this, which stems from the Burning-Times, was to save the family from persecution.A written book was proof of participation in witchcraft. This is the name given by modern witches to the book in which they write their rituals, invocations, and charms. It is called a Book of Shadows because its contents can only be this world’s shadow of the realities of the Other World; the world of magick and beyond, the world of gods and spirits. Witches copy from each others books that which appeals to them, and things which have been learned from experience. No two books are alike.

Conjure Bags – These belong to Voodoo rather than the European witch tradition, but many contemporary witches use them. They are little drawstring pouches (of red flannel or leather) which are worn around either the neck or waist of the conjuror, and are hung upon trees on the property of one whose luck you wish to affect. They are very handy for carrying things into the circle, especially if your robe has no pockets.

The Witches Cape – A cape (or coat) conferring magickal powers is known through many myths and legends. The witch’s cape is usually shown as dark blue or black, with magickal signs or symbols embroidered or painted on it in gold. Magickal alphabets, pentagrams, and zodiacal symbols are among the decorative elements shown. The witch’s cape signifies magic and priesthood, and possibly bestows on its wearer invisibility or the power of metamorphosis.

The Red Swiss Army Knife – active phallic tool. Very important for opening the ritual wine.

The Ritual Gym Bag – used to carry all the ritual tools to the circle.



Complete Book of Witchcraft - Buckland, Raymond; Llewellyn; 1987
Magic, An Occult Primer - Conway, David; Mayflower; 1972
What Witches Do - Farrar, Stewart; Pheonix; 1983
A Witches Bible Compleat - Farrar, Janet & Stewart; Magickal Childe; 1984
The Symbolic Weapons of Ritual Magic - Highfield, A.C.; Aquarian; 1983
Mastering Witchcraft - Huson, Paul ; Putnam; 1970
Witches - Jong, Erica; Granada Publishing; 1982
An ABC of Witchcraft - Past and Present - Valiente, Doreen;
Pheonix Publishing Co.; 1981
Positive Magic - Weinstein, Marion; Phoenix Publishing Co.; 1981

Books in PDF format to read:

Friedrich Adler - The Witchcraft Trial In Moscow
Solomonic Grimoires - The Grand Grimorie With The Great Clavicle Of Solomon
John Musick - The Witch Of Salem

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