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Own The Book:

Ritual Tools in Wicca

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Beyond the Book of Shadows covers in depth the creation and use of wiccan tools for use in ritual. You are taken through:
  • How the create your own wiccan tools,
  • How to charge and energise your tools,
  • The full symbolism of the wiccan athame,
  • Why wiccan tools are not necessary to practice wiccan ritual.

The following is an extract from the book:


The Wiccan Athame.


The principle Wiccan tool is the Athame, which traditionally in Wicca is used to symbolise the Witch's will (a function which usually is taken to be an aspect of the Fire element). As a blade traditionally symbolises the Air element, the way it is used in modern Wicca is quite unusual. A knife or, more usually, a sword is sometimes used as a symbol of power and authority, but this is more of a mundane symbolism. The true symbol of divine power and spiritual power is the Orb. Or a Crown. It is not a weapon. However, it is unlikely that the use of the Athame will ever change. It is too ingrained now as the witch’s tool. Which means it may be best to say that it symbolises Spirit, as the Athame is used for absolutely everything and to keep single-element tools for specific elemental tasks.

However, there is also a deeper vein of underlying symbolism behind the Athame which may be useful to follow. Blades of any kind (be they swords, knives, scissors or shears), have traditionally been used as symbols of the Air element because they are implements of cutting, moreover, of Separation. They reduce something integral and whole to pieces, just like thought, just like words. This links the Athame to the Air element along with thoughts and the intellect, as both are instruments of discrimination, of telling apart and of separation. Thoughts are what separate us from full consciousness of the One mind, which is why the practice of meditation ultimately leads to the stopping of thoughts to enable a unified comprehension.



Separation however, is also a stage in Alchemy and in historical times, ‘swordsmanship was considered to be a hermetic discipline’, because of the underlying links and symbolism. In Alchemy, Separation is the power of extracting what is valuable from an alchemical solution by a process of sifting, heating, filtration etc. Spiritually, it is the process by which we become able to distinguish between those aspects of ourselves which belong to the personality (both conscious and unconscious), and those which are of our true Self or Spirit. In other words, it is the process by which we cut away the fantasies and illusions of our own mythologies with which we have surrounded ourselves, to reveal the Divine Self at our heart.

By an odd coincidence then, the Athame; the main tool of Wicca, which has almost come to symbolise Wiccan practice itself, is a tool which symbolises the process of Separation; of the cutting away of falsehood to reveal ultimate truth. So Wicca has, in the Athame, the very thing to cut away the mythology with which Wicca has surrounded itself. For the wielder of such a tool, it seems to suggest that a witch, by extension, is one who continually cuts away at falsehood, fantasy and ego, to reveal the Divine Presence – both within oneself and one one's practice. So Wicca contains within itself, as its main tool and symbol, the very means to bring about its own destruction and liberation.
maze carved in stone
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