T is for Tools

This was going to be my second T topic, but I can’t think of anything else to write about, so I’ll do this first, and give myself some time to think of another topic that’s not as vague as ‘thinky thoughts’ or ‘transition-y things’, which is about as much as I’ve got right now. Also, I though I’d save you another post on trans* deities because all I really want to write about is Wesir and the Wild Godde, the Horned Goddess’ companion, and the ties between them and such. So that’s a W topic for later.

This also gives me time to think of another T topic, because I am all out of ideas right now, beyond a rambly post about ~transitions~ and such. I still have a P post to catch up on too, and the only reason that isn’t done either is because I also can’t think of what to write about. Too many P topics. D:

So, this post is about my ritual and magical tools. I feel like it’s a bit obvious, in some ways, but I don’t think I’ve ever really done a post like this before, ever, where I’ve kind of gone through and talked about all the tools I use. This will involve Illustrations, so be warned. 😛

Cauldron

Silver bowl sitting on my handI hesitate to start with the smallest, but it’s there. I do have a larger copper cauldron thingo, but it’s too big for my shrine, so I’ve got this little silver dish instead.

I can’t do much in it bar keep water and such, but I’ve got the other one for when I need to burninate things. Which is not very often, but there you go. It’s there if I need it.

I’ve scribed some symbols underneath the base as blessings/consecration type things with my metallic pens. I like the shape of it, and it’s just the right size. Good for spellcraft, because it’s small enough to hold things, but not so big it’s unwieldy.

Why do I have a cauldron? Well, it’s a ‘water-holding’ thing, and part of my witchcraft practices. I’ve always had something like a cauldron, bowl, glass, or dish on my shrines, and this is the current one.

Censer

small ceramic bowl with sand and salt mix sitting on my handAgain, this is a smaller version, and comprises of a dish with a salt/sand mix. I’ve got another larger ceramic bowl with the same salt/sand mix. This small one is enough to burn small charcoal blocks in without too much hassle. This one does feel the heat more than the large one, but it sits on a tile to stop it burning through my shrine.

Actually, this bowl used to be a part of my travel altar/shrine kit, but as that’s mostly been swallowed by my magician’s box (see below), and was rejigging my shrines, I decided the bowl could be put to better use as a censer. It was that, or spend years searching for a proper censer, which I was disinclined to do. If one wants to come my way, awesome, but I ain’t forcing the issue. Either way, it’s enough for now.

I might switch it out for the large one if I happen to find a place of my own and have more space to spread my shrines out, but for now, I only use that if I feel I need it. Otherwise, my little censer works like a charm.

Pentacle

Circular ceramic plate with pentagram and other symbols marked into itI think I’ve talked about this before, but this is my pentacle, with the symbols of the nine elements inscribed on it. Made out of bog-standard air-drying clay. I keep pondering maybe painting it or something, but I’m too scared I’d fuck it up, so I never bother. I have symbols of the four directional elements sitting on top of this.

Zero, One, and Infinity sit outside the pentagram, and they’re the clearest of the figures, I think.

In each of the points, clockwise from the top, we have Earth, Air, Flesh, Water, and Fire. I used pretty bog-standard representations for those: Earth is a leaf, Air is a feather, Flesh is a pair of feet, Water is waves, and Fire is a flame. Nothing unusual there, and they are pretty standard ways to represent the  elements within Pagan circles. With perhaps the Flesh one, which I’ve made up for my system. It is a human-centric symbol, I will admit that, but it works for me. I couldn’t think of any way of representing the totality of bodily form that contains such massive diversity. I think if I was doing it again, or if I was doing something with more detail, I might include representations of animal, plant, and fungi/other/idek forms of life, just to make it more inclusive.

In the middle, we have Spirit, represented by hands, and a gender symbol that has a symbol for the allgendered and the agendered. The hands were inspired by cave art, with the hands painted all over the walls. I’ve been somewhat haunted by those hands, and the idea I heard somewhere that they were trying to contact The Other/The Divine/That Which Is Beyond/however you want to phrase it. So there are two hands reaching out to Spirit, with its all/a-gendered totality. When I get a chance to mod up a proper big altar of my own, it’s totally having at least two of those hand prints on it. Once I figure out how to do it without fucking it up. 😀

Wand

Hand holding white clay wandThis wand is so hard to photograph, but trust me, it totes looks like a dragon. It’s meant to be a dragon, anyway. It’s also got the nine elemental symbols on it, and the top has eyes and a mouth because it’s a dragon wand. Made from the same air-drying clay as the pentacle.

I made it at the same time as the pentacle, wanting to use up the spare clay I had. I didn’t intend to make a wand; I think I wanted to make a crocodile?  But the wand emerged in the shape of a dragon/serpent. I’d like to say it made sense at the time, but I’m not sure it really did, so. I accidentally a wand, and I accidentally left-handed it. (I’m right-handed, fyi.) I R SMRT.

But it’s not the only wand I’ve got. I’ve got this stubby piece of wood that’s half-burnt at one end that I picked up somewhere and I tend to use it with this wand, because IDK I like having things in both hands? I kind of see it as earth/fire for the wood one, and water/air for the clay wand, so IDK somehow I’m covering all bases. Or something?

Knife

Sheathed silver knife with hilt shaped into a dragon, sitting on my handDRAGON KNIFE FTW.

I got this as a present from my brother … years and years ago. It wasn’t intended to be a magical knife, but I got to the point where I was pretty much stumped for anything else to do with it, so a magical knife it is, inscribed with DRAGONS.

Which I didn’t take a photo of, because I suck at this. But trust me, it has DRAGONS on the blade. 😀

It’s a blunt knife, single-sided, and feels really good to hold. Also, DRAGONS. Did I mention the DRAGONS yet? :D?

There’s a DRAGON there on the sheath too, with its wings and such. It’s quite lovely, and I feel like both Sobek and Hekate like it. ❤

Cingulum

Black bag sitting on my bedWELL. You can’t see my actual one, but this is the bag it’s kept it, along with one of my head scarves. The cingulum itself is made from red, white, and black cord, and has nine knots in it. I wear it for my rites to bind my power and that of my God Clan together.

Still not entirely sure where the desire to make one of these came from, but it does feel good to wear it. I feel like it’s soaking up heka and magic every time I wear it for my rites.

I also made a ‘public’ cingulum with grey and white cord, and that has shiny things dangling off it. It’s more a costume thing, though, than a magical tool.

The headscarf that’s also in there is there because convenience (it’s quite small) and I feel like they belong together. I wear it under my big proper headscarves, like a cap.

Grimoire

large leather-bound book sitting on my bed with a celtic cross on the frontAwesome Grimoire is Awesome. Picked this up in Melbourne last time I was there. It’s so soft and big and easy to write in, and I love it so so much. ❤

It started out as more of a ‘path-bible’, a guide to my current path-building, but it’s become more of a journal. The first part is more general path things, the second is for queer paganism things, the third is for rites and festival things, the fourth is a magical work-book, and the last is for correspondences and other miscellaneous things. It’s a book I use to read my rites from.

In deciding what to put in it, I decided I didn’t want to write down something I’ve got in a book. I don’t believe in that kind of redundancy, and my path is unique enough that I would probably need the space to write about it that would be wasted if I just copypasted information from elsewhere. Correspondences are more meant to be my own personal correspondences, rather than the standard lot I can look up in ‘Wicca for the Solitary Practitioner’, or The Internet, for example. 😉

I also keep a separate notebook, like a boring lined exercise book I’d use at uni, as a drafting book. I’ll use that to first write up hymns, rites, and other things, before committing them to the grimoire. I don’t have a photo of it, but trust me, it exists. 😉

Prayer Book

small leather-bound book with pattern embossed on the front Back of leather-bound book with pentagram marked on the backThis is my little prayer book that I picked up at a medieval festival a couple of months ago. It’s got a pentacle on the back, and it’s just big enough to hold comfortably in my hand. It’s got the same number of pages as my grimoire, but the leather’s a bit thicker and stiffer, so it feels more solid.

I wanted a little book I could keep my prayers and rites in it that was small enough for travelling purposes, rather than drag my grimoire everywhere. So I’ve been filling it with my rites, my calendars, and other assorted things that I need to do my daily practice if I’m in a situation where I can’t take my grimoire to read from.

I also plan to write a bunch of folk magic in the back, too, and whatever else, so it’s kind of dual-purpose. I may preference protection and travel spells, since it’s a book designed to be used when travelling. Because of this, it’s less of a journal than my grimoire has become.

Divination

Book and deck of Egyptian Tarot cardsBook and deck of Goddesses and Sirens Oracle CardsMy main form of divination is cartomancy, and I use both a tarot deck and an oracle deck, sometimes together if I need more detail for a reading.

The two decks shown are Clive Barrett’s Egyptian Tarot, and the Goddesses and Sirens Oracle Deck.It’s really interesting using them together in the same reading, because I tend to do Celtic Cross spreads for the tarot deck, to nut out a situation, and doing a four-card spread with the Goddesses deck can add another layer of meaning to the reading. I don’t always use them both, but I tend to know when a reading needs both.

I used to have a couple of other decks, but I gave them away because they didn’t gel with me. One was some sort of Moon oracle deck thingo that I never really understood how to use properly, and the other ones were a deck of oracle cards, the Cards of Ra-Ma’at (or something of that nature). I bought both decks probably a decade ago, and never really gelled with them. The Ra-Ma’at cards in particular a) didn’t fit into my tarot box, and b) had pretty terrible art. So I got rid of them. I don’t think I ever did a reading with them.

Magician’s Box

Side of a box with purple masking tape around the edges and two gold eyes of Ra drawn in the middleReplaces my travel altar/shrine thingo. It’s pretty much a box I modded up with some cardboard to make it easier to decorate appropriately. It’s still a temporary box, though, until I can find something more permanent, as I collect all the things I need for it. Each side has the two eyes on it, and the id has additional glyphs for identification and protection.

At the moment, all it’s got in it are pretty much all I had in my old travel altar/shrine, along witth a few other things. So there are deity figures, magical supplies like candles and ribbons, a deck of cards, a notebook, a wand, and other odds and ends. It will eventually have a cache of spare amulets for charging purposes, some paper and pens/ink, some ritual knives, and maybe one day, a pair of proper serpent wands, perhaps once I’ve figured out wtf I’m meant to do with them when performing heka.

It will probably also have other things in it too, from a more folk magic/witchcraft sort of magic, because that’s part of my practice too. So it’ll be a nice big syncretic mess of Magical Items(tm).

 

Prayer Beads

six strings of beads being held up in a handFinally, the prayer beads. Left to right: Sobek and Heru-sa-Aset, Nit-Amun-Temu; Elemental Mala; Aset; Horned Goddess/Wild Godde; Hekate; Mary.

Sobek and Heru-sa-Aset’s, Aset’s, and Hekate’s beads all have adorations written for them that I can use as meditations. The others haven’t got that/I haven’t got around to writing any yet, and I have the Rosary for Mary if I need to pray to Her using them. The rosary was given to me by a Palestinian friend of my mother’s.

Also, it has taken me this long to remember the order of the elements I used for the elemental mala, because I neglected to write them down, and I didn’t use blue beads for water because I only had one kind and didn’t want to confuse myself.

I find them such interesting things to hold and use, and they’re good for taking out with me, so I’ve got some way of doing devotions while I’m out. Plus, the mala fits around my wrist quite happily, so yaaaay, more wrist decoration! 😀 /collecting wrist things.

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2 comments on “T is for Tools

  1. Nice array of instruments you got there 🙂
    I was thinking when I read about your wands – it’s not uncommon for certain rituals to require either a wand/staff and ritual knife/sword combination (or wand/wand, blade/blade) so perhaps your spirit is already preparing in a way for the serpent wands, make sense?
    Love that Tarot deck as well, I have Lo Scarabeo’s Egyptian Tarot which I absolutely love but I’m looking for two more decks to work with and this is one of the options I was keeping in mind 🙂

    • Sashataakheru says:

      Yeah, there’s quite a few of them.

      I do have a staff, and a third wand, but I neglected to photograph them because reasons? I kind of forgot about them, tbh, because I never use them. It’s hard to use a properly tall staff in a small bedroom anyway. 😉 But I do get what you mean. That, and IDK, they have different uses. It’s like, instead of having one wand that can do everything, I’ve got one for this purpose, and another for that, and they have different energies. They’re all different wands, and have their own strengths and such. That’s kind of how I see it.

      It’s a great tarot deck. I love it so much. I’ve seen other Egyptian decks over the years, but none have called to me like this one has. I believe it’s out of print now, but if you can get hold of it, you should. It’s a great deck.

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