Monday, January 27, 2014

Miscellaneous Ritual Tools

The Cords

Cords are used in some traditions as an indication of the rank or degree the
individual has attained. Different ranks are distinguished by color. Most are 9
feet long. Valiente uses a red cord for initiates and a black one for full
members. In her system the officers are as follows; Lady-silver, yellow or
orange for East, gold or bright yellow for South, black or dark brown for West,
black or white or both for North. She mentions that there is a difference of
opinion on the number of knots to be tied, 13 or 9, she prefers 9. The Farrars
suggest that everyone should have a set of at least three cords, they suggest
red, blue and white, 9 feet long with knots at each end only. Buckland
recommends a 9 foot, red cord made from three lengths of cord braided together,
knotted at each end. The 9 foot measurement is after braiding. The cord is used
for cord magic, not worn. The color red represents life. This last version is
the one that my former coven used, and to get 9 feet after braiding you really
need three pieces of rat tail cord about 29 feet long. Solitary practitioners
rarely use cords as an emblem of rank, some use them for cord magic.

The Scourge

The Scourge is only mentioned by the Farrars. According to them it is purely
symbolic and used to help induce self hypnosis for gaining the sight. It is used
in initiations occasionally. It has eight tails with five knots in each tail.
The tails on theirs are embroidery floss set on a nut wood handle. No markings
are on the scourge. See image below for an example of a commercially available
leather version.

Candle Holders

You will need at least 6 candle holders for a basic altar set up of two altar
candles and four quarter candles but most people will use additional ones for
candle magic, God and Goddess candles, and other activities. These can be made
of any material, glass, brass and other metals are all good choices and easy to
find. If you are interested in doing candle magic you may want to purchase a
dozen or so inexpensive simple taper holders at a dollar store or Goodwill.
These should be small in circumference since in some rituals the candles must
touch each other. Glass is a good option. You may want to round up additional
candle holders of other types such as votive holders depending upon your

Candle Snuffer

Many authorities advise against blowing out the candles used in ritual saying it
insults the elemental spirits or disperses the power of the spell, others say
you must blow out the candles to add your life force to the spell, if you aren't
going to blow out your candles you still need to put them out. You can just
pinch the base of the flame to put it out or you can use a snuffer. Some of us
are not quick at pinching out the candles and to save our fingers use a candle
snuffer. This is optional and may be of any material you like. They are readily
available at thrift and discount stores for very reasonable prices.

God and Goddess Figures/Images

Not everyone chooses to use figures of the Goddess and God on their altars, and
of those who do, not everyone uses a literal representation. Some prefer to use
an object to remind them of the deities such as a holey stone for the Goddess
and a pine cone for the God. If you choose to use statuary or graphics of the
deities they should be to your taste and of the God and Goddess you worship.
They are not necessary, this is a matter for personal choice.

Offering Bowl

This is used to symbolically give back to the Goddess and God what they have
given us. A bit of the cakes and ale or some of the wine used in the ritual is
placed in the bowl during the ritual. Afterwards the contents of the bowl are
generally taken out doors and poured on the earth to complete the offering. Also
known as the libation bowl by some, this can be any sort of bowl you like made
out of any natural material (i.e. no plastic).

-The Crafty Witch

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