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Thread: How Has Your Tool Use Changed Over Time?

  1. #11
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    Oct 2005
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    Olean, NY
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    Like a lot of craftspeople, I've watched my spiritual and artistic practices merge. I no longer feel the need to distinguish between a spell and the act of sculpting, or between a drawing or painting and a talisman.

    I find myself using tools just as often, if not more, but they are more likely to be improvised, using whatever's on hand, and not limited to the standard 4 Cup-Wand-Pentacle-Athame. I am just as likely to "harvest" something from a scrap heap or dumpster than I am to harvest from nature - which I do frequently, living out in the country where I am. At the same time, I'm more aware of the appearance of a tool, and more likely to make or alter it (this is in keeping with my artistic philosophy as a found and altered object artist.) Like many craftspeople, the process of creating a tool is often more important than the tool itself.

    Nowadays, I'm more likely to use tools such as a consecrated quill or pen (for the creation of sigils and sacred art or writing), censer, cup, pentacle, focus stone, candles, needle-and-thread, brush, and craft knife - not to mention the hammer and anvil, pliers, tinsnips, shears, tongs, spray bottle, and wirecutters. I no longer have a cauldron, but it would probably get a lot of use if I did.

    I also find components to have taken on increased meaning and importance, but never in the sense of looking something up on a facile chart in a mass-marketed "pop Pagan" book and blithely matching up candle color, incense and herbs! The transformation of objects and the consciousness surrounding them is central to my craft, hense the preference for using tools like poppets or spirit dolls, sigils, stones, and spirit boxes - I even began studying hypnosis to support my art, as my artistic work provides a vehicle fo consciousness transformation, the two disciplines supporting each other in my personal development.

    As for those who sell tools, I support them. Food, clothing and shelter is as important to a craftsperson as to anyone else, and there comes a point in the development of any artist where there may be a need to go professional in order to be able to dedicate the time and attention required for continued artistic growth. Even those who sell mass-marketed, cheap, beginner tools should be appreciated, for providing new Pagans who are drawn to the use of tools with an affordable starting place.
    Last edited by brymble; September 17th, 2009 at 10:32 AM.

    Smoke me a kipper, I'll be back for breakfast!

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Missouri, USA
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    I also think craftspeople deserve recognition and the ability to earn a living - as long as they make things in a way that doesn't harm the earth more than it can recover from. That's an important factor for me, but sometimes the information about harvesting practices can be hard to find.

    Some of my most powerful tools are those I made, painted or prepared. Especially if that took a lot of time. I like to be in a ritual frame of mind the entire time I harvest, make, prepare, consecrate or cleanse an object for ritual use.

    I was with a group at one point that also insisted the altar look like a rummage sale. And later found out that the High Priestess was particularly asking people to bring items that she sold in her shop so that she could cash in on the ritual. Personally, I thought that was pretty low, even though she insisted she was just making a fair living.

    I also wanted to ask something I forgot to post before. Do those of you who are psychometric (and this is definitely NOT me) think you use tools differently? I ask because my wife is highly psychometric, and she often brings me things and tells me that she just felt they were meant to be in my possession. She's often initially more accurate about what tools I should be using than I myself am. And I've found a use for almost everything she's brought me, even though I don't use a lot of tools.

    Someday I need to write a book called Magick on a Budget, but I suppose that belongs on another thread...
    Blessings,
    P. Rex

    My website: http://www.bookofspirals.com
    My blog: http://www.bookofspirals.com/blog
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  3. #13
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    Sep 2009
    Location
    Alabama
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    I have been practising for 15 years. I do not make use of many tools, though I collect them as oddities and pretties (yeah I am strange). I use paper, pencil, Libations, candles, tarot and my own imagination. I am not against tools, but they are not really my style.

  4. #14
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    Apr 2002
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    Kalamazoo, Michigan, United States
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    35
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    When I first started out i felt the need to have an athame or something to help me focus my energy. Now I think the only tools I use are candles. Thats when I use anything at all. I would love to have an alter and all that but when there is no room, one makes due. I've learned to be a minimalist. All I need is tha Momma and Me. After that its all frosting.
    10 years later and this place has grown up so much....and I still haven't hit 2000 posts yet!

  5. #15
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    Sep 2009
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    the Big Tomato
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    In the beginning, hehe, I went out-actually I ordered in, from AzureGreen, the basics; the black handle & white handle I just took from my kitchen, but the altar, etc........I did cast circles & asked questions, I did hand write spells & made seals out of correct color materials for the purpose. The thing is, I did not feel connected to the knives(athame) or any of the tools, they seem really outdated to me, please excuse my word it's 3 am & I cannot spell.
    I stopped using tools because I suspect they are there to help guide the person; I have always been able to hold images in my mind & I think that's all there is to magick, with exceptions like protection seals, watchdogs.....I do think if you make your own tools-& they don't have to conform by-the-book, you'd have more of a connection. As for ecological impact, Human population does far more damage than cutting some mistletoe from a tree, unless you happen to choose some incredibly rare last-of-its-kind tree, shell, horn, bone, etc.

    Last edited by RubyFire; October 6th, 2009 at 06:11 AM.
    The foolish reject what they see, not what they think; the wise reject what they think, not what they see. Huang-Po

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  6. #16
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    Aug 2007
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    3,283
    i guess i've been on my path since i was about 13. while my path has become more defined over the years, my tools remain the same.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    20
    Speaking of tools and their usage, I was wondering if someone could give me any advice about my wand.

    I made a wand about 2 years ago but sadly I feel the wand has no energy... no spirit... no heat... no weight... When I hold it I feel absolutely no response or vibe from it. Nothing. It's as if it's "dead"! Unfortunately because of this I end up not using it at all.

    It's beautiful (to me). I worked really hard on it, did a proper consecration and blessing ritual to it. But I don't know why it seems to ignore me. It would be sad to throw it away.

    I only suspect the wood. I didn't pick it in Nature. I bought it in a shop so I don't know what wood it is. Could that be the reason?

    Has anyone had similar situations with tools?

  8. #18
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    Mar 2010
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    St. Louis
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    Quote Originally Posted by Royzen View Post
    Speaking of tools and their usage, I was wondering if someone could give me any advice about my wand.

    I made a wand about 2 years ago but sadly I feel the wand has no energy... no spirit... no heat... no weight... When I hold it I feel absolutely no response or vibe from it. Nothing. It's as if it's "dead"! Unfortunately because of this I end up not using it at all.

    It's beautiful (to me). I worked really hard on it, did a proper consecration and blessing ritual to it. But I don't know why it seems to ignore me. It would be sad to throw it away.

    I only suspect the wood. I didn't pick it in Nature. I bought it in a shop so I don't know what wood it is. Could that be the reason?

    Has anyone had similar situations with tools?
    Here's the thing, tools are a channel for releasing/focusing your energy. It's like a writer using a pen and paper. The words and the story are all in him, but the pen and paper make him focus, make him write it down and give life to the story. The story is still in him and theirs all kinds of ways he could let it out, that's just the chosen form.

    In other words, it's not the ritual, the materials or anything but you. For some reason, you don't feel it's up to par for what you're doing. I know witches who can cast with a plastic drinking straw from fountain soda cup, so it's never the materials, but the person, so try to figure out what's not allowing you to use the wand you made.

  9. #19
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    Jan 2011
    Location
    Ohio
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    40
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    In the 12 years I have used them, it has significantly changed .. by .. like a lot.

    12 years ago I did not have 2 children, I had one, so .. I, of course, thought I had to have that $80 Athame, ritual soaps, oils, herbs, the $150 cauldron, etc etc. I had an EXPENSIVE habit. Then, my first husband and I got divorced and he, out of spite, threw every single tool, book, journal, just .. everything away. So .. I had to go out and replace everything. By that time, I was a single working mother, with no child support currently coming in, and I a child to take care of, so .. I found this wonderful thing called "Making your own stuff".

    Yep, my mom is a crafter and woodworker, and, well, she's good. So .. I told her what happened and she helped me make my pentacle, wand, an incense burner, and everything all over again. What we couldn't make, we either found, got really creative, or went garage saling to help me. At that point, I had no shame.

    When I have changed out tools, if I can't make it, I will scrounge until I find it cheap. I don't buy into that if your altar isn't outrageously expensive you aren't a "good pagan". It's all BS and untrue.

    So, I guess I learned to live without all the bells and whistles, if all I have is Morton's Salt instead of Sea Salt I don't trip out, I just use it.

    I'm a very practical Pagan now.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by kagekarasu View Post
    Here's the thing, tools are a channel for releasing/focusing your energy. It's like a writer using a pen and paper. The words and the story are all in him, but the pen and paper make him focus, make him write it down and give life to the story. The story is still in him and theirs all kinds of ways he could let it out, that's just the chosen form.

    In other words, it's not the ritual, the materials or anything but you. For some reason, you don't feel it's up to par for what you're doing. I know witches who can cast with a plastic drinking straw from fountain soda cup, so it's never the materials, but the person, so try to figure out what's not allowing you to use the wand you made.
    Hello Kagekarasu,

    Yes, I'm very much aware about true power being within us and not the tools themselves. And you're absolutely right about the straw and soda can!

    Actually I found this thread quite interesting cause from what I've read from the posts above, I've noticed that as Wiccans (or atleast I assume they are, since this is a Wiccan forum) they too are flexibe as to the usage or non usage of tools. I mean I'm actually glad to hear that tools aren't priority for every magickal working!

    This because now I find it contradictory to what some Traditionalists say about Wiccans being too "fluffy" and have to use tools at all times in order to do magick. Well, now I see they're wrong. It only takes one Wiccan to say the contrary to make they're "fluffy" statement invalid. This is my point of view of course.

    Anyway, back to topic, I know true power lies within us but as personal preference I still love using tools. Bottom line is I just wanted to know why I feel indifference from my wand, as an inanimate object (let's put it that way), when I clearly have no problems with my other tools. Hmm... And since you've mentioned that tools are just tools, then yeah, the only problem should really be me!

    Thanks for the reply and useful suggestions.

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