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Silverwing
October 30th, 2010, 12:42 PM
What place do tools (specifically a wand and athame) have for a Christian witch? Do any of you use these tools in ritual? I've been debating on whether to make a wand/athame for myself to use, but I'm not sure what I'd use them for, as I currently don't cast circles for ritual.

HerbGurl
November 2nd, 2010, 10:08 AM
I don't really use either in my rituals. I have seen really pretty olivewood letter openers with Jerusalem crosses on top on Ebay. Those could be used as a athame. Instead of a wand, you could use a staff, which could be reminiscent of the shepard's crook in the nativity story.
I have an article about tools for the Christian Witch that I was going to post on my website. Would you like me to share it?

Jade_Dove
November 2nd, 2010, 01:53 PM
I tend to alternate from time to time and when I am out doing cases every now and then for folks who need help with something- I use what ever is around me.

When casting circles I use the spruce wand that I had made from natural fallen materials or I will use my Athame. Same with altar and ritual works. The only time I use my staff is when I'm to something really important.

Anything else I would do on an average can be considered a little on the small side and doesn't really entail a whole lot of items or tools. More commonly than not- I would prefer to do things on some fairly simple levels.

I get kind of tired of having to put everything back into my coventry closet when I'm done- it gets kind of old after a while and suffice it to say- I love being a witch- I just don't want to get bored with it hehehehehe.

Missy.

Silverwing
November 2nd, 2010, 04:28 PM
HerbGurl - sure! I'd love to read it...I actually found a relatively straight branch from a pine tree on my college campus the other day. It had been knocked down by the massive wind storms we had last week, and I'm thinking about making it into a staff of some sort.

Eldritch Cantrip
November 2nd, 2010, 05:03 PM
If you have ever thought about it, most of the tools used by Wiccans are in fact derrived from Judeo-Christian magical practices - the wand, the black and white handled knives, pentacles, the sword, the staff, the censer and candles, etc. all originate with grimoires like the Key of Solomon which were entirely Judeo-Christian in nature and origin.

Maggie-in-the-Mead
November 2nd, 2010, 06:39 PM
I disagree that they were Judeo-Christian in origin. I think more than likely they were Pagan (pre Judeo-Christian) in origin but really at best we don't know their origin.

That's all I have right now. I am pondering what my tools will be right now myself. I have a little cauldron I burn things in from papers to incense that I know I will use but even when I was full on without the Christian side I preferred to use my hands over a wand or athame and I'm guessing that will be the same now. I like imagery a lot. I have a picture I keep on my nightstand of a man and woman the man dressed in natural garb and the woman in what my daughter's would call a "princess dress". They are standing in the woods. I love it! It reminds me of male and female, Father and Mother, that divine union that spawned us and that we take part in. I also like the idea of having Christ somewhere on my altar as well. I do think I am going to have a more muted altar for now with just images and candles and some incense. Of course things from nature- a vase with water and flowers... Can you tell I'm thinking about this as I go? LOL

Eldritch Cantrip
November 2nd, 2010, 06:54 PM
I disagree that they were Judeo-Christian in origin. I think more than likely they were Pagan (pre Judeo-Christian) in origin but really at best we don't know their origin.

That is a possibility that I have considered myself as well. Grimoires like the Key of Solomon may well have originated with elements of pre-Christian Euopean pagan magical practices that were grafted onto Judeo-Christian concepts.

I think it is interesting how many of the so-called Solomonic pentacles bear a striking resemblence to European talismans like those found in Nordic magical practices:

http://www.sunnyway.com/runes/warrior_talismans.gif

http://www.fromoldbooks.org/Sibly-Astrology/pages/magical-signs/magical-signs-q61-368x500.jpg

http://www.sacred-texts.com/grim/kos/img/seal.jpg

Maggie-in-the-Mead
November 2nd, 2010, 07:00 PM
I think it is interesting how many of the so-called Solomonic pentacles bear a striking resemblence to European talismans like those found in Nordic magical practices:
I do as well. It could be just "borrowing" but it could also be a part of that innate wisdom I think we all have had since the dawn of time. Did Solomon take from someone else? Did they take from him? Could it be that they came up with it on their own? The latter is a romantic idea but of course it's probably one of the former two.

kagekarasu
November 2nd, 2010, 07:24 PM
I've been debating on whether to make a wand/athame for myself to use, but I'm not sure what I'd use them for, as I currently don't cast circles for ritual.

If you're not going to use them, than why bother with them. You don't need them and there's many more ways of casting a circle is you ever feel the need to. The basic principle of circle casting it to in some way established a boundary either physically mentally or both. If you can create this boundary by drawing it with chalk on the floor, walking it or even mentally asserting it, then why bother with tools. The only time you need tools is if the path you're following says you do, which I'm pretty sure Christian witchcraft doesn't.

Eldritch Cantrip
November 2nd, 2010, 07:34 PM
I do as well. It could be just "borrowing" but it could also be a part of that innate wisdom I think we all have had since the dawn of time. Did Solomon take from someone else? Did they take from him? Could it be that they came up with it on their own? The latter is a romantic idea but of course it's probably one of the former two.


It is of course possible that the Nordic rune talismans (Galdrastafir) came into their magical tradition through the publication of Solomonic grimores, but then I think it is also possible that this could have been something that has been part of Germanic/Nordic magic for a long time. The Germanic and Scandinavia tribes are thought to have entered central and northern Europe from the Balkans to the South and their genetic haplotype (I) is quite close to the Semitic haplotype (J) which is common among Jews and Arabs - so the Norse/Germans are closer in relationship to those groups than they are to their European neighbors who are predominately R1b (in Western Europe and British Isles) and R1a (in Eastern Europe).

HerbGurl
November 3rd, 2010, 12:46 PM
Here is the article. It’s a work in progress right now. It’s more of a list of stuff on my altar, then a set of tools however. Hope it helps, however!
Blessings,
H.G.

My Altar and Tools
As I am a Christian Witch, I have a different set of tools then a normal Wiccan. These tools reflect my beliefs in both Jesus and the Goddess. I figured that I would put this page up to help other Christian Witches find ideas for their altars. As I find more tools, I will update this page. You can get your tools from many different places such as New Age shops, Catholic stores, health food stores, flea markets, rummage stores, or Ebay.

Tools that I Have

A Hollowed Egg dyed Red on a Stand
An egg dyed red is on my altar in remembrance of the legend (http://cornishevangelist.wordpress.com/2009/12/27/mary-magdalene-and-the-miracle-of-the-red-egg-2/) of Mary Magdalene and the egg turning red, which can be found here: This myth is retold every Easter in the Orthodox Christian tradition. You can easily make a red egg, or several red eggs during Easter by hollowing out a white egg (although I have heard that a brown egg makes a deeper red) and keeping it submerged in red dye as long as possible, then allowing to dry. Be sure to keep it as dry as possible, (because, well, water will make the dye run, and the egg go all yucky) and the egg will have to be replaced around once a year or so. Some Orthodox Christian stores sell special red dye for these eggs, be sure to check around their Easter, which is different than the Western Easter. For a stand, you could use a simple wooden napkin ring. Or you could find a wooden egg in a craft shop, and paint it a deep red.

A Statue of Jesus
A statue of Jesus, either a Gnostic Statue from the Sacred Source site, or the Christus Rex Statue in the Temple of those in the Latter-Day Saints faith. I have one that I found at the Salvation Army, which has a standing Jesus with a candleholder behind him.

A Statue of Mary
I have a statue of the Virgin Mary, as Our Lady of Grace, to use as a representation of the Goddess on my Altar. It is a small plastic statue that I got at a Catholic store. I also have a clay Pieta statue that I found at the Salvation Army. You can use any form of Mary that you feel attracted to. Catholic stores usually have a variety of types, such as Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Our Lady of Knock, Our Lady of the Rosary, and Rosa Mystica.

A Black Madonna Statue
Supposedly dyed black from years of incense and candle smoke, these statues of Mary and the infant Jesus are found in Catholic Churches all over Europe. According to Ean Begg, they have been honored as Isis and Horus reborn. I have one from Sacred Source.


Holy Water
I have used holy water from both Catholic or Anglican churches, "specialty" water, from Lourdes, and a bottle of holy water from Knock, in Ireland. I usually anoint myself with a little water on my forehead before prayer or meditation.


Prayer Beads
I have several types of prayer beads, as described elsewhere on my website. The types that I use most often are a Dominican Rosary, an Anglican Rosary and a woolen wrist chotki from the Holy Land. I keep them in a special china dish painted with roses on my altar. I also tend to carry them with me in a special cloth pouch in my purse of bag whenever possible so I can have them with me at all times.


Prayer Cards
I have prayer cards of the Virgin Mary and Jesus on my altar, along with various Saints, such as Saint Mary Magdalene, Saint Francis, and Saint Therese of the Little Flower. They help me keep my focus during prayer and ritual. You can find these at any Catholic store.

A Wooden Cross
A gift from a friend who went to the Ukraine, this cross is elaborately carved, and wood burned in geometrical patterns. I think the closest one is this one pictured here (http://vyshyvanka.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=2131).
I find this a better representation of my faith then a normal Crucifix as I like to focus on the mission and works of Jesus, rather than his death, which was a necessary part of his life, but only a part. His life, His ministry and His compassion should be remembered as well. I do have a standing Crucifix on my altar as well.

Icons
I have a variety of icons on my altar, ranging from traditional, to downright heretical! In addition to the more traditional icons of Jesus Pantrocrator, Mary Magdalene holding a red egg, Saint Nino, (a Saint who evangelized the country of Georgia as a teenage girl!), I also have an icon of the second holy family, which is Jesus and Mary Magdalene holding their daughter Sarah, who is holding a rose.

A Statue of Mary Magdalene
As some Christian Witches believe that Mary Magdalene and Jesus were married and were the Goddess and God on Earth, it would be nice to have a representation of Her on the altar. I have a lovely one that I found on Ebay, with Jesus on the Cross with Mother Mary and Mary Magdalene standing on either side.

A Statue of St. Anne de Beaupré
This is a statue of a crowned St. Anne de Beaupré, the mother of the Virgin, holding a crowned infant Mary. You can find these on Ebay or at antique shops. I like to see them as a statue of Mary Magdalene holding her daughter Sarah, in her arms.

A Statue of Saint Brighid
This could be seen as a representation of both the Goddess Brighid, and Saint Brighid. I have a statue of Saint Brighid made from Irish Turf from a company called Owencraft. It is a deep black, because of the turf, and shows Brighid holding a cross woven of rushes, with a cow at her feet. I also have a matching statue of Saint Patrick, made by the same company.

A Brighid Cross
This is a cross made out of woven rushes from Ireland. According tolegend (http://www.seiyaku.com/customs/crosses/brighid.html), Saint Brighid wove it to explain Christinaity to a dying pagan chieftan. I use it on my altar around Candlemass time.

A Palm Cross
These are crosses made out of the Palms given to the people on Palm Sunday. I use mine as a remembrance of Jesus's entry into Jerusalem, and as a representative of the cross on my altar. You can find many sites to learn how to make these on the internet. My favorite is here (http://basketmakers.com/topics/bymaterial/palm/palmtutorialindex.htm).


A Pewter Labyrinth
A finger labyrinth can be used for ritual, prayer and meditation. I got my three inch pewter labyrinth from Grace Cathedral. I use it as part of a daily prayer/meditation rite, and also to calm myself when I am feeling stressed.



Candles
In addition to using the elemental and Fire candles in my Circle Castings, I have a selection of Catholic glass encased candles: one red and one white, and two of the Virgin of Guadalupe: one that is green, and the other that is pink and rose scented. These are symbols of the Goddess, and Her eternal Light.


Chalices
I use a couple of chalices on my altar and in ritual- one to represent the Communion Cup of Christ and the Blood of the Mother in the Cakes and Wine as well as one to hold the Water in ritual. One of them is just a regular plain goblet, but the other has a bunch of purple grapes as the stem of the glass.


A Perfume Bottle with a bunch of grapes on top
This perfume bottle is used to hold the olive oil for anointing until I can get an Alabaster Jar with spikenard oil in it. It is green, with a purple bunch of grapes on top. I use it as a reminder of Jesus as "the vine" and the secret vine of His and Mary Magdalene's family.


Other Useful Tools for Christian Witches

Various Oils for anointing
Besides the aforementioned olive oil, other herbs that are mentioned in the Bible could be used for a ritual anointing or self blessing: lavender, rose, frankincense, hyssop, and lily of the valley. Diluted lavender and rose oils are easily found at any health food store.


A Statue of Saint Barbara
As an alternative to the Mary Magdalene statue, you could use a Saint Barbara statue instead, which is easily found at any Catholic store. Her statue usually consists of a crowned woman, robed in red with a sword next to a tower, holding aloft a chalice with the Holy Eucharist within it. Saint Barbara was mentioned in Margaret Starbird's book, "The Woman with the Alabaster Jar", as a metaphor for the Lost Bride-Queen of Israel, meaning Mary Magdalene, locked away in the Tower (The Early Church Fathers) who denied that Jesus was married.


Clay Oil Lamps with Grapes or Stars of David on Them
These lamps could be used instead of candles on the altar during ritual as “Jesus came to Light the Lamp for Everyone”, to quote Tori Amos, with the grapes and stars of David representative of the Vine, and the Bride of God.


An Alabaster Jar with Spikenard Oil
This could be used in a Maundy Thursday Ritual commemorating the anointing of Jesus by Mary Magdalene, "Which should be done in memory of Her." It could also be a visual reminder of Her on your altar.


Crown of Thorns
The Crown of Thorns could be used as a Good Friday meditation on death, resurrection, and rebirth. I have also heard of Christian Witches making it into a pentacle of sorts, using twine or grapevine to make the star in the middle, wrapping it around the circle of thorns to make the star pattern.


Gift Sets from Bethlehem
I have seen special gift packs on Ebay containing frankincense incense, holy olive oil and rocks from Bethlehem, water from the River Jordan, and a wooden crucifix. These could be used to represent the four elements: the Incense for Air, the rocks for Earth, the Jordan River water for Water, and the Olive Oil could go into a lamp for Fire. Use your imagination!


Wooden Jerusalem Cross
A Wooden Jerusalem cross, which symbolizes the four corners of Jerusalem, could also be used to symbolize the four elements, and a balance between them. If it is made of olive wood, even better, as olive wood is native to Israel/ Palestine, where Jesus grew up. You might also want to use it as Wiccan might use a normal pentacle during ritual to consecrate items.


A Templar Sword or Dagger
A replica of a Templar sword or dagger, (from the Knights Templar, the supposed protectors of the bloodline of Christ and Mary Magdalene), could be used as a Christian Witch athame/sword in ritual.

Maggie-in-the-Mead
November 3rd, 2010, 01:09 PM
HerbGurl- what is the link to your website? The one in your signature has broken links on the side bar. Maybe I am missing it?

Thanks! :D

Sekhmet Soul30
November 3rd, 2010, 02:48 PM
I have deep respect for those that follow this path. Blessings, everyone.

Silverwing
November 3rd, 2010, 02:55 PM
Wow, that definately helped! I have a really rusty Knights of Columbus sword my grandfather used to own - if I can take it somewhere to get it restored, I might use it as an athame.

Sekhmet Soul30
November 3rd, 2010, 03:26 PM
That's great, I'm glad that you have something that belongs to your grandfather. My mother, who practices Christian Paganism, but sometimes she calls herself a Christian witch, has finally started on her altar. I helped her out because I've got experience in doing altars. She doesn't have tools yet, though I'm thinking about getting her a wand, and what you see in the photo that I'm going to post will be what her altar looks like now. I really hope that you'll like it and it will be with the other shrine photo's.

zionwood
November 15th, 2010, 12:59 PM
i recently dedicated a pen (that i use to write in my craft journal aka book of lights) to also be a wand. sometimes when i go somewhere in nature to cast a circle, i pick up a good stick and temporarily dedicate it as a wand, then un-dedicate it after i'm done.

HerbGurl
November 21st, 2010, 03:00 PM
HerbGurl- what is the link to your website? The one in your signature has broken links on the side bar. Maybe I am missing it?

Thanks! :D
Sorry about that! :bigredblu
I updated the links on the main page so you can get to the rest of the site. Let me know if it does not work! It's very overdue for an overhaul. (That, and I am not crazy about the way that WebRing has its website stuff organized. How I miss Geocities! They at least made it easy to go in and edit the HTML while online... I need to look into switching webhosts, and getting more current content online.)Maybe after Nanowrimo finishes, and the holidays are done...