The Magickal Universe

Where Magick is a way of life!

Cleansing & Preparing Your Ritual Tools

Preparing your Ritual tools doesn't need to be long or complicated. But it does need to be done.

Where do you keep your sacred objects, and what do you do with them once you're done with them?

This article covers all the basics of using sacred tools . . .

Purification of Your Ritual Tools

Purification and dedication of your Ritual ritual tools should be done as soon as you can after you get them, definitely before using or wearing the object!

Items that have a dead, heavy, dark or hot energy need purification as well as cleansing. This is particularly true of crystals. When clear, they should feel cool, tingly, bright, or positive.

Any purified object is more powerful than an unpurified one, and its magick is less likely to go awry.

Cleansing, purification, dedication, and consecration of ritual objects take place in sacred space - that is, within a Ritual Space

Cleansing and Purification

There are numerous ways that you can cleanse and purify your Ritual and sacred Items, many practitioners use multiple methods, some of the more popular are listed here:

Note: Before going further, check that the item won't be harmed before using any of these methods . . .
Water - Crystals and other stones may be damaged by hot water. Always use cool water. Some crystals may be damaged even by cool water.  Leather may harden in water. Fabric may run, fade, or shrink - especially in hot.
Sunlight - Gem stones, crystals, and other items may also be damaged - faded, melted, or broken by the heat.
Salt - Opals, metal, leather, and fabric can be damaged by salt, either dry or in water.
Smudging or Flame - Stones may be damaged by heat. Other items, like cloth and plant material, may be flammable - use extreme care.



Moon Bath
- The simplest way to purify tools is to bathe them in Moonlight. This will not only cleanse them, but recharge them as well.
Except for the very lightest cleansing, you'll probably need to leave them at least one full cycle of the Moon. Full to Full, or Dark to Dark . . . whichever feels right to you. For lighter Moon-washes, use the Waning Moonlight.
If your altar is in the Moonlight, this is the best place to leave your ritual tools for a Moon bath. Otherwise, hanging them in a tree is good. (If it's sparkly and you have lots of crows, ravens, or magpies around though, they might make off with it when you're not looking!)

Herb Baths
- You can bury your Ritual tools in herbs for cleansing. Particularly effective are rose petals, sage, and mint. This is a lovely way to clean sacred objects, but it can take a while.

Sea Salt
- A faster method is a sea salt bath. You can bury your Ritual tools in dry sea salt, or a salt-water bath.
Washing it in the Ocean, or even running wild water like a river, is even better.
If it feels like it needs a very deep cleansing, you can leave it in the salt water for a period of time - even in the Moonlight, for a double whammy.

Earth Cleansing - You can bury certain items in Earth for purification - like stones and crystals. This will do a very deep cleansing. Simply bury them, pointing downward, into Earth outdoors, between the roots of a tree is ideal. If you can't manage that, bury them with a potted plant. The real important trick to this method of purification is remembering exactly where you buried your ritual tools! Be sure to leave a marker that is unlikely to be removed!

Smudgin
g - Even more rapid is smudging, particularly using cedar or sage. Pass the ritual tools through the smoke a few times. This is enough for most purposes. But you can do as much as you need.
This is a great method for healing tools, especially stones.

Bathing In Light
- Similar to smudging, you can pass ritual tools through (or above) the flame of your Goddess candle. The Light will purify and remove any negative energies. It needs to be done carefully though, to avoid burning yourself and scorching your tools.

Cleansing Breath
- After coming to a place of calm and peace, you can blow into your ritual tools, with the intention of being a conduit for Divine Energy. Blow the negativity away, and blow positivity in - imagining this as white or golden light replacing any shadows in the object.

Running Water
- Holding your ritual tools under cold running water can cleanse them, but this is usually unadvisable except for stones. In which case, if they are pointed, make sure the points face downward with the flow of water, so the negative energy flows out and away. You can do this with tap water as a last resort, but living water (such as a river or stream) is much better.

 

Dedication of Ritual Tools

The dedication, or 'programming', of your Ritual tools is simply setting out an intention for their use, then communicating that intention to the ritual item, making sure that you have its 'consent'.

  • This cup will be my Chalice.
  • This knife will be my Ritual Blade.
  • This shell and feather will be for smudging.
  • This stone will be for grounding energies.


How To Dedicate Your Ritual Tools
The dedication of your tools begins in those first moments when you scan to find the right tools for you. It continues when you pick up the items, and ask them whether they are willing to work with you, and in what way. (although not all Pagan choose their tools in this manner most use some form of similar rite in which to choose their tools, others believe that we don't choose our tools, they choose us)

The purpose of dedication is to have you and the tool coordinating your energies and focusing them on a single purpose. This magnifies the Power available to you.

Once you've purified your tools, take a minute or two in sacred space, to quietly feel the item's energy. When you have a sense of the tools personal energy, visualise clearly what purpose you have chosen it for. Send that image or idea into the ritual item. Ask it if it is willing to participate in this. The next step is to sit quietly, and open yourself to hearing its response. You may feel an increase in energy - which signifies yes, or a decrease - which means no.

Having said that if you were drawn to the object then chances are that at this stage, the objects will be right on side with assisting you. If so, this step serves to simply clarify the item's purpose.

If The Object Disagrees
It is possible that the tool may reject the idea, even now. If so, there are three likely reasons . . .

  1. It has not been sufficiently cleansed. In this case, do a deep purification.
  2. Your intention is not clear, or in some way harmful. In this case, spend some time exploring your intention and getting clear on what you want to do . . . and why. Divination might help, since it is excellent at revealing hidden currents.
  3. It has a specific purpose in coming to you, but not the one you thought. In this case, spend some time with this item, and ask it to reveal its purpose to you. Sooner or later - generally, as soon as you're willing to hear it - you'll understand. At which point you can dedicate the object and yourself to THAT intention.

How To Consecrate Sacred Objects

Consecrating your ritual tools and other sacred objects is a way of setting them to a high vibrational level. This protects them from contamination by negativity, and charges them with Divine Energy. This greatly increases the item's Power.

Consecration is especially useful for anything that may be intended for used in healing.

You may want to consecrate and dedicate your ritual tools to a specific deity. eg:, Tara or Quan Yin for compassion, Kali for releasing the old, Hecate for protection, Artemis for clear focus, etc. Or you may simply choose to align it with positive energy.

After purification and dedication, you can do one of the following, using both your imagination to visualise it and your voice to ask for it . . .

  • Hold the item in your dominant hand (whichever hand you write with is usually also your dominant hand for magick), and focus on the purest, brightest white Light you can imagine. Imagine it filling yourself, your sacred space, and the ritual object.
  • Smudge the tool with cedar smoke, visualising the sacred Power of the cedar aligning its energy with the Most High.
  • Pass the object "through" (or above) the light of your Goddess candle (or if you choose, both Goddess and God candles). Think of that Light penetrate and filling all the spaces between the atoms in your tool.
    After each of these, place your Ritual tool on your object, in the very centre.

State clearly "Only the most pure Divine energy may enter and work through this sacred object." Hold this intent, until you feel it has completely imbued the object. Then close your intent with "So mote it be! Blessed be." (or whatever closing is appropriate for your tradition)
Your tool is now consecrated.
Focusing on it completely, ask your Deities to sanctify this tool.

 

 

Charging Your Ritual Tools With Magickal Energy

The simplest way to charge an item is to hold it in your hands and 'fill' it with magickal intention.

  • You can do this the same way you consecrated, essentially. The difference is that you build up a certain magickal energy beforehand - in Ritual space, and then fill the Ritual tool with that energy.
  • You can use a smudging herb that contains the appropriate energy.
  • You might want to use essential oils to instill certain energies into your tools. They can be dabbed onto the object. But be sure it won't damage the material.
  • Another option is to place your ritual tools on the altar during rituals and spell-casting. This is especially popular - and practical - to do at group rituals, when appropriate. Lots of good magickal Power can be raised, and if you've set the intention, the object can soak it up.

How To Store Your Ritual Tools

The key to good ritual storage is to remember that your Ritual tools are sacred objects, with a consciousness of their own. They must be treated with the appropriate respect.

All Ritual Items should be stored in natural material (leather, cotton, wool) either wrapped or in handmade pouches when not in use

Ideally, you will have a magickal cabinet or a wooden chest or something similar to store these ritual items in their pouches, when they're not in use.

Some Pagans choose to add salt or herbs to their magickal Items storage pouches to boost the cleansing and charging, or to protect them from stray magickal energies.

Disposal Of Your Ritual Tools

When something comes off your altar and has sat in a cupboard for a while, you are likely done with it. Unless it is expensive or hard to replace, you'll likely find another one when and if you need it, so consider passing it on.
Ritual Items will appreciate going to a new home elsewhere, it is their role to be used not sat left in a cupboard.

How and Where To Pass On Magickal Tools

Often as your craft progresses you will 'grow out of' certain magickal tools, trot cards, crystals etc, they just won't feel as though they belong to you anymore and this is a sign that it is time for them to be passed on...so to who and how?

  • You can give ritual tools to other witches.
  • One lovely way is to have a give-away. Wrap each item, and then take them to your next ritual. Let each person there choose, until they are all gone.
  • This is not only a kindness to your tools, but shows your appreciation for those you Circle with!
  • Another option, if the energy is good and the object agrees, is to give it to someone you love, as a blessing.
  • You can also release things to the wild. If it came from nature, you can take it back to its natural environment, if possible the place you found it.
  • Or you can offer them to the Goddess at a natural "altar" - a stone, tree, cave, beach, or whatever feels right. From there, their life is their own. They could end up anyplace! Wherever the Divine chooses for them, or they choose for themselves.

Before Letting Go
Remember to give this object your thanks. It gave a lot of itself for your benefit, and receives so little in return. Show it real gratitude.
In doing so, you become more honourable, and more ritual tools are then happy to work with you.

"Losing" Ritual Objects

You can't really lose a sacred object, they may disappear, but you haven't lost them.
When a sacred items has completed the work it needed to do with you, or if there is someone who needs it more, it may wander off. Some do come back but many  will continue to move on after they have finished each task they are required for.

This doesn't mean you can't look for them, ask around, do a finding spell, and so on. But once you feel it's really gone, let it go with your blessings, and your thanks. And be open and welcoming because often when one magickal item wander off another will wander in.

Cleaning Deity Statues

The easiest way I have found to properly tend to my Deity Statues is to buy a few new makeup brushes. A fat fluffy one (like the ones used for blusher), and a narrow, both can be used to remove any dust that accumulates, the thick one is used to brush them all over the thinner one to remove dust that has settled into smaller cracks and crevices. Keep these brushes specifically for tending your Deity Statues.

Note: When you handle your Deity Statues, you must remember they are a symbolic representation of your Patron/Matron and should be respected as such, it is respectful to bow or lambaste or in some way greet Them, and share your intentions.
Then handle the statue gently and with care, as you would a baby in your care. And when The statue is refreshed, set it back with another bow, and gratitude for their presence.
Keep Your Deity Statues clean, fresh and well-loved on your altar, to show your love and respect for your Patron/Matron.

Using Animal Parts As Ritual Items

This is a topic of much debate in Pagan circles, do you or don't you? As with all Pagan Traditions it is very much up to the form of Paganism you practice and your own ethics.

If you choose to use horn, antler, bones, or other animal parts you need to be sure you have shown gratitude to the spirit of the animal from which your item came. This is especially true if the animal was killed on the road or slaughtered, as the animal was not naturally passed over and may carry lingering pain or anguish from the moments of death.

If it is an item that was dropped or died naturally, this is not as much of an issue. eg . . .

  • Antlers in the fall,
  • Feathers, wool or hair in the molting season,
  • Shed snake skin

However if it's something taken after its death, then it is wise follow these steps:

  • Ensure the animal was not harmed in taking the item, if it was or possibly was - do not use it. Some of that pain, grief, fear etc will linger, no matter what you do to purify it. This is especially true if the animal was left alive and died after the taking (such as rino's horn)
  • Gift the animal and thank its spirit for the use of part of it.
  • Ask the Goddess to bless the animal for it's sacrifice

Sources and Resources