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Thread: How Has Your Tool Use Changed Over Time?

  1. #1
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    How Has Your Tool Use Changed Over Time?

    When I began to practice, I was often using spells that didn't have physical components. As I learned and evolved, I found that there were particular objects that could help focus the energy I wanted, and I slowly began to gather magical objects together. I began to enchant and consecrate my tools. Now that I've been seriously practicing for nearly eight years, I find I rarely use these objects any more. When I do, it tends to be my divination objects and the staff I use to cast circles (or other objects that help focus the group if I'm leading ritual). I've almost come full circle as far as my use of objects. Most of the foci for energy of various types, for me, are thought-objects. I've kept many of my objects because I never know when they will come in handy, but I don't often build rituals or spells around them or even use them to compliment such practices.

    How has your use of tools changed over the years? Do you rely on them more or less than when you started to practice? Are there still ones you use all the time? How do you feel about people who insist on the use of physical objects? Or who sell them? Which leads to a further question: Do you think that some objects shouldn't be harvested for magical purposes because that harvesting harms the earth? How do you harvest objects from nature, if you ever feel the need?

    So, in general, how do those of you who consider yourselves advanced use tools?
    Blessings,
    P. Rex

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  2. #2
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    When I first started out, I bought or made all of the tools my books said I "had to" have. But aside from my chalice, I never truly used them or felt connected to them. When I moved in with my wife, I went through a long period where they were completely packed away.

    Recently I've gotten back into using tools more often. My spell work and ritual are most effective when they are multi-sensorial, and tools can be great sensory aids - their color, their texture, even their smell.

    But my tools have changed since I collected that first set. Those are mostly still packed away. These days my tools are homey objects I already have a connection to and use on a regular basis: a paring knife instead of an athame; a stovetop burner instead of an incense holder; a mortar and pestle instead of a special pentacle figure.

    Tools can add a wonderful sensorial dimention to my spellwork and rituals, but I don't need them to be "special" objects laid aside only for that purpose. Intention turns a mug into a chalice, not where you bought it or whether someone tells you it's a chalice.
    If you're lucky you'll find something that reflects you,
    helps you feel your life protects you,
    cradles you and connects you to everything.
    Dar Williams, "The Hudson"

  3. #3
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    I honestly don't use them much at all anymore. I use to all the time because I felt I had to. For me, the greatest tool I have is my mind ( clearly not for every day stuff.. but for spells and such) It is easier for me to think it.. I can't explain it well.

    I do use sea salt, and candles still..
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  4. #4
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    Oh man you come up with the good topics :D

    When I first started on my pagan path 11 years ago I thought I had to have tools before I could do any type of ritual. But over time I learned you use what you have and could adapt spells and rituals and even the way you do divination. I also learned that just because an author says to you HAVE to do something does not mean you
    necessarily have too. And for me once I learned that, it made a difference in my use with tools and expense.

    So now I am at the point where I do not need tools for ritual use or divination use, but on the occasion they are nice to have and if I can afford it I may splurge every now and then and buy something, but unlike before it is not a have too.

    Also I am a one to work with my hands and I have to say I am addicted to making tools.. Especially this time of the year :D


    How do you feel about people who insist on the use of physical objects?
    I feel that it is each to their own. I will use physical objects when I feel the need to or if I am working with someone who feels the need too then fine, but otherwise it really is not something I worry about or think about too often.

    Or who sell them?
    As some one who will be selling my own work soon I have no issues with people who sell their tools. There are some very talented people out their who create beautiful work and have beautiful energies on the tools they sell.


    Which leads to a further question: Do you think that some objects shouldn't be harvested for magical purposes because that harvesting harms the earth? How do you harvest objects from nature, if you ever feel the need?
    When I take something from mother Earth I try to leave a gift of thanks or a psychical gift in trade as it were.

    There are some things I have been questioning as to what I gather where it concerns trees, antlers, or get crystals but I make sure I take only what I need. But then again I still wonder about exhausting resources.

    But other then that I get most of my tool stuff from nature such as rocks tree branches that I find on walks. We have a tradition to load up on stuff in the fall and spring and usually it keeps us busy for the season then summer is another thing entirely:D Usually it is stuff from storms that are lying on the road or in the park. And since the park people just burn the stuff I take it as quickly as possible home
    Last edited by SilverClaw; September 4th, 2009 at 05:56 PM.

  5. #5
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    Windsmith, I love what you said about being multi-sensorial. I think I could benefit from that kind of thinking.

    I used to use all kinds of tools, and I used them often. I like having things. I like surrounding myself with things that mean something to me, and displaying them in an attractive way. Nowadays, I mostly just use me, although I do use candles a lot and often burn paper with something written on it as part of my spell. I use my divination tools. That's about it, for the most part. Oh! I like to burn herbs and use oils, although the oils aren't usually for magic purposes. I use them a lot for healing and stuff. Commercially prepared incense activates my asthma, so I never use that. I guess I still use a lot of things. I didn't realize that. Of course, I can just as easily come up with some words and say them and do nothing else.

    The thing I'm finding I do a lot less of is read. I used to devour books on magic and the craft, and loved the variety in the short articles in Llewellyn's almanacs, but the last few years, that's been more of a chore than a joy.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Calli View Post
    Windsmith, I love what you said about being multi-sensorial. I think I could benefit from that kind of thinking.
    Glad it helps, Calli!

    Quote Originally Posted by Calli
    The thing I'm finding I do a lot less of is read. I used to devour books on magic and the craft, and loved the variety in the short articles in Llewellyn's almanacs, but the last few years, that's been more of a chore than a joy.
    But I bet if you think about it, you're reading just as much that's related to the Craft, just more focused on your particular interests. Like you, I used to read tons and tons of those books specifically marketed as Pagan; however, as my practice and areas of focus have become more defined, my Pagan books are more likely to be found in the cooking section, or gardening, or science, or even bike repair. I still read as many books as ever that are germane to my spirituality; I've just shifted my perception of where those books can come from.
    If you're lucky you'll find something that reflects you,
    helps you feel your life protects you,
    cradles you and connects you to everything.
    Dar Williams, "The Hudson"

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Windsmith View Post
    Glad it helps, Calli!

    But I bet if you think about it, you're reading just as much that's related to the Craft, just more focused on your particular interests. Like you, I used to read tons and tons of those books specifically marketed as Pagan; however, as my practice and areas of focus have become more defined, my Pagan books are more likely to be found in the cooking section, or gardening, or science, or even bike repair. I still read as many books as ever that are germane to my spirituality; I've just shifted my perception of where those books can come from.
    Absolutely.

  8. #8
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    When I first started doing Magick about 19 years ago, I remember finding nothing wrong with the fact that I was using a steak-knife and candles and incense that I got from my grandmother. (They were all like, perfume-scented...and smelled horrible...) Yeah, I was 16.

    Eventually, I worked a job as a blacksmith (historical re-enactor) and started creating everything by hand: handmade knife; handmade sword; handmade beeswax candles; specific handmade wands for every different occasion under the sun; handmade leather-bound grimoire...et cetera...et cetera...

    In my case, I kinda view it as an addiction. When I was 16, my Magick worked just as well (if not better) than it does today...but I just HAVE to use handmade tools that I created, or ones that I bought from other Magician-Artisans.

    It's like how people who are fashion conscious just HAVE to buy things because of the brand label.
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  9. #9
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    When I was starting out, there were, I think, two 'occult supply shops' in England, plus I didn't have any money. fortunately I was in contact with sensible people who pointed out that within limits you could use pretty much anything (I liked the comment about it being intent, rather than who made the thing, that makes something a chalice rather than a mug). Ove the years my wife and I have collected or made a number of tools for special rituals, and we have a chalice we searched for for several years before finding one (in a Christmas market in Gent) that exactly matches a piece we wrote together, which we now use regularly.

    So no, personally and between the two of us, usage of tools hasn't changed that much over many, many years.

    Where I have changed my view, is that I now feel that within limits a set of familiar working tools helps bond a group for ritual work. I've seen Wiccan altars where you can't see the cloth for the number of items thereon, and I wouldn't go that far, but for the basics, it helps.

    blessings
    ffetcher

  10. #10
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    i went through making a "set" of tools when i was a student- then i got in a situation where i had to throw them all away to protect myself from persecution...
    then i started making tools- copper and crystal wands, handmade knives, ect... had a plethora.

    now i
    Just have my staff... i do love it, and for large rituals that i sometimes lead, but i can't take tools to work, and every day, all day, i practice rituals in my practice as a healer.

    i do still use crystals though.....

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