I saw an Instagram post the other day that caught my atttention. I don’t recall the wording exactly, but it was about a new witch’s tendency to try to perform spells “by the book” (or printout, or phone screen…) out of a fear of somehow messing things up. I remember when I was younger, wrestling to hold my hands appropriately, keep my books propped open, and not knock anything into the incense ember or candle flame while I did it!
Today, I am what many would consider a bad witch. I don’t write things down nearly as often as I should — when I do, they’re in disjointed scribbles that even I have a hard time deciphering later. All this is to say, I understand the desire to do things “correctly,” and it is only after a person has gained confidence that they can begin to loosen up and let things flow.
So, I want to talk about tools.
While magick doesn’t necessarily require tools, there’s something very satisfying about having beautiful physical representations of the different aspects of your practice. Many witches choose to consecrate these tools and dedicate them to a specific purpose, but that’s pretty optional itself.
At its heart, all consecration is is a blessing a dedication of an object for sacred use. I’ve usually seen it viewed as the middle of the “three Cs” — cleansing, consecrating, and charging. After an object is cleansed, it can be consecrated for a purpose, then charged with energy that suits that purpose. Sometimes, cleansing and charging are rolled into one action, like allowing a crystal to sit in the light of the sun or full moon to remove old energy and fill it with new, and consecration is skipped entirely.
Me? I like to consecrate some tools (stones, bowls, bells, and the like) while I often skip consecrating others (herbs, spoons, pots, and jars).
Consecration can be as simple or as complicated as you like. It’s one of those situations where the meaning and intent outweigh the process itself. For a simple version, you can:
- Hold the tool in your hands.
- Envision energy in the form of colored light streaming down your arms, into your hands, and filling or surrounding the object.
- Say, “I bless and consecrate this tool.” If you follow a deity, you can add, “In the name of (your deity).”
If you wish, you can expose it to the four elements by sprinkling it with soil or salt, sprinkling it with water, wafting it through incense smoke, and passing it through a candle’s flame. This, naturally, depends on the durability of the tool — there are a great many that won’t like getting wet or passing through fire very much!
Some witches prefer a full ritual, involving lighting candles, casting a circle, calling the quarters, and everything. I generally only use circles on specific occasions, so I favor simplicity in most everything else I do.
At its heart, consecration is about attunement. Attuning a tool to the purpose for which is will be used is, for many, an important step in separating the magickal from the mundane — creating the separation between ritual and everyday life that makes magick possible. That said, this isn’t the only attunement that matters. Though getting rid of old, stagnant energy is part of cleansing, every tool has an energy of its own. This is why it’s best to choose your tools in person — you can pick up one crystal or herb and feel nothing, and pick up another and feel it practically effervescing. In my practice, part of consecration is allowing you and the tool to tune yourselves into each other. To that end, there are a couple of simple things you can do to achieve the same goal, even if you don’t wish to do a full consecration ritual:
- Meditate with the tool in your hand.
- Practice energy play, using the tool as a focus.
- Sleep with the tool beside you or under your pillow.
- Carry the tool with you for several days, in a pocket or purse.
These steps are distinct from cleansing or charging, since they don’t involve removing old energy or programming a magickal tool. They’re uncomplicated ways to attune a tool to you, and allow yourself to become acquainted with what you’ll be working with. At the end of them, you may find that your tool doesn’t suit you at all — that’s a good thing! It means you can pass it along to a new home instead of trying to force an energetic relationship that may only end in frustration.
Do you use tools in your practice? How simple or elaborate do you prefer consecration to be?