While there are some basic tools that are described on the main page here, there are also some tools that are special to ritual use. These tools should be kept separate from your working tools and used ONLY for rituals. Additionally, any tools with points or sharp edges should never touch blood unless this is the type of magick that you practice.
Ritual Tools and Their Uses
Images of the god and Goddess:Many traditions place them on the altar. The nature of these images are of great variety. Some simply use candles; others natural objects representative of the Goddess & God. Still other Wiccans use hand-crafted sculptors or drawings. Genuine clay is available that, when dried in a normal oven, becomes quite hard. It can be used to create your own interpretations of the Goddess & God.
The Pen of Art:This is a special pen that is used ONLY for entry of information into the book of shadows. This may be any kind of writing instrument. A standard store bought pen will due, but most people tend to go something that more suits their style. A plume, a calligraphy pen or even a japanese brush with ink. It is a reflection of your personal style and will.
The Pentacles:There is a lot of argument by individuals and different covens as to the "proper" way to use the pentacle in ritual and celebration use. It is our opinion at Ancient Pathway that you should use this powerful tool in any way that makes you feel comfortable.
The Pentacle is a circle surrounding a five pointed upright start, known as a pentagram. This is worn as a witch's symbol of belief and used in some magickal workings or ceremonies. Each point has a specific meaning: Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Spirit.
According to most pagan faiths, it is blashemy to wear a pentacle with the point facing down, with the exeception of in ritual during a second degree initiation in which it is an indicatin of the fulfillment of a function of growth.
Robes:You can take as much or as little consideration into your ritual robe as you choose. A vast majority of solitary witches as well as many convens practice their craft "Skyclad" or "Clad to the sky" which is a nice way to say naked. Though this is a wonderful practice either alone or in a group, this can cause problems in the winter months, or in a group where non-group members are present. The craft is meant to be comfortable, and sometimes being Skyclad doesn't offer this comfort level. Enter the ritual robe!
A robe can be a simple covering made of a single material, or an elaborate design adorned with symbols and icons of your path. They can be simple cotton or a vast design of velvet, chiffon and silks. The choice is yours.
When designing your robe, or having a robe made for you (Shameless plug - Ancient Pathway offers custom robes), it is important to consider not only the look, but the materials. As most people wear nothing under their robes, comfort can quickly become an important concern. A robe of burlap can give you a wonderful rustic look and scent, but having that against your skin for any length of time will quickly get old. The same can be said of polyester or wool, especially during the summer months.
The final choice that you have to make is your BASE color of your robe. While it is very common to associate the color BLACK with the witches robe, experience shows that this is rarely the case. This color is a common mistake though history as it is actually a non-color and indicates to the novice or onlooker, an association with Satanic practices. Though black is considered quite powerful, there are better choices that can be in tune with your personality, power and type of practice. I (The Ancient), have several robes used for different purposes though the year.
Yellow is a wonderful color for those that are involved in divination, spirit questing or dream working.
Purple, the Regal color worn by kings and queens, is excellent for those who work with pure divine power, such as magicians, wizards or sorcerers. This is also the perfect color for those who wish to more deeply understand and gain a spiritual awareness of the personal Goddess and God.
Blue is well suited for healers and psychic awareness. When working with aspect of the mind, or expansion of the sense or sensory experience, blue is the perfect choice.
Green is for empowerment of natural magick such as herbalism, crystal work or alchemy.
Brown is used for those who try to attune with animals or animal spirts. This includes any spellwork that is meant for shapshifting.
White signifies purity of spirit and body. This color is perfect for meditation or cleansing. White can also be used during initiations indicating a "clean spirit" coming into the circle.
Orange and Red robes are generally used for Sabbats or protective rites in which you must attune with the GOD and the firey aspect of such.
Black is by far the most popular . This is symbolic of divine energy and indicates a communal state with the night and all things dark. This is NOT to be confused with evil. The Yin-Yang and spiritual balance recognizes that the darker side of the spirit is a requirement for the lighter side to exist. Black can symbolize the lack of falsehood, the univers or all things hidden from the light.
SaltWithin the magickal world, there are many uses for salt. The most common is in the casting of a circle or consecration of tools. Rock salt symbolized the Earth and when mixed with water, can be sprinkled over items to purify them. By contrast, Sea Salt symbolizes water and may be used in the same way.
SwordThe sword is not something that is essential within the witches tools; a knife of any kind can easily be substitued. When in a coven type of situation, the sword may make ritual work much easier. In most cases, a single sword is used by the entire coven instead of individual tools. The purpose of a coven sword is marking the cicle at the beginning of the ritual, or "cutting" the circle to allow entry.
There are many companies that sell this type of tool and it should be personalized with your own needs or those needs of your coven. At Ancient Pathway, we use a 24 inch ornate "pig sticker" which is a elongaged thin sword. If you have a basic forge, you can even make a rolled steel sword yourself. Because of the intricate nature of this type of craft, details will not, at this time, be posted to Ancient Pathway. If you have an interest in this technique, please email The Ancient though our contact pages.
Once you have obtained your ritual sword, you could consecrate it by rubbing the blade with rosemary and oak leaves. This should be done outdoors and at sunrise.
Personally, I keep my sword wrapped in red velvet when not in used and tied with a white cord for purity. The blade should NEVER touch blood if used for ritual work. This includes not only human, but animal blood of any form such as the cutting of meat in or out of ritual.