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Author Topic: Altars, Shrines & Tools Part II: Getting to Know Them  (Read 653 times)

Eastling

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Altars, Shrines & Tools Part II: Getting to Know Them
« on: August 25, 2018, 05:38:05 pm »
We've had threads before on how to make (or acquire) altars, shrines, and tools--but what about what comes after that? Once you have the tool you're going to use, the altar or shrine you wanted, how do you learn its story? (Or do you have a way of doing so before getting it?) Do you have a way of studying its energy? Or do you go about it more practically, observing its uses and failures as you practice and adapting what you can?

I talk about the story of an object to leave it deliberately open for interpretation--this could just mean practical information like what kinds of magic and ritual it works best for, or it could go as far as naming the item or even personifying it.

This seems like it'd be particularly relevant to those with an animist bent, but I don't think it's a bad thing for anyone who uses tools or other objects in their magic to consider. I myself have been trying to figure it out for a while, and I'm curious to see how others approach the subject.
"The peacock can show its whole tail at once, but I can only tell you a story."
--JAMES ALAN GARDNER

TheGreenWizard

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Re: Altars, Shrines & Tools Part II: Getting to Know Them
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2018, 08:33:51 pm »
We've had threads before on how to make (or acquire) altars, shrines, and tools--but what about what comes after that? Once you have the tool you're going to use, the altar or shrine you wanted, how do you learn its story? (Or do you have a way of doing so before getting it?) Do you have a way of studying its energy? Or do you go about it more practically, observing its uses and failures as you practice and adapting what you can?

I talk about the story of an object to leave it deliberately open for interpretation--this could just mean practical information like what kinds of magic and ritual it works best for, or it could go as far as naming the item or even personifying it.

This seems like it'd be particularly relevant to those with an animist bent, but I don't think it's a bad thing for anyone who uses tools or other objects in their magic to consider. I myself have been trying to figure it out for a while, and I'm curious to see how others approach the subject.

Ooh interesting topic - I've wondered about this a few times myself. Do I simply do the things - magic, ritual, meditations, etc - with the aid of the object, or should I sit down and try to have a conversation or a meditation with it to understand where it's come from and maybe what experiences it's been through.

Will definitely follow this!
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go...”
― Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You'll Go

EnderDragonFire

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Re: Altars, Shrines & Tools Part II: Getting to Know Them
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2018, 03:22:57 pm »
We've had threads before on how to make (or acquire) altars, shrines, and tools--but what about what comes after that?

Well, most of my ceremonial and ritual objects don't have any intrinsic powers of their own. I don't expect them to do anything, rather, I do things *with* them, and I suppose if a ritual failed to have the expected outcome, I might blame the tools, but more likely, I would blame myself for botching something.

The one exception to this would be my Yantra. I do believe that it is endowet with divine power and energy of it's own. It contains a portion of the presence of the deity to whom it's dedicated. I suppose the way I know that it is genuine and effective is purely though anecdotal evidence. I created it myself, and installed it, and since I did so I feel the presence of my Goddess much more strongly. You could call this a placebo, or confirmation bias, but that's often true for magic and religion. I also haven't felt any evil forces in my home since I installed it, which further confirms my belief that it really does house the presence of the divine.
"The worshippers of the gods go to them; to the manes go the ancestor-worshippers; to the Deities who preside over the elements go their worshippers; My devotees come to Me." ... "Whichever devotee desires to adore whatever such Deity with faith, in all such votaries I make that particular faith unshakable. Endowed with that faith, a votary performs the worship of that particular deity and obtains the fruits thereof, these being granted by Me alone." - Sri Krishna

Holdasown

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Re: Altars, Shrines & Tools Part II: Getting to Know Them
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2018, 11:14:14 am »
We've had threads before on how to make (or acquire) altars, shrines, and tools--but what about what comes after that? Once you have the tool you're going to use, the altar or shrine you wanted, how do you learn its story? (Or do you have a way of doing so before getting it?) Do you have a way of studying its energy? Or do you go about it more practically, observing its uses and failures as you practice and adapting what you can?

I talk about the story of an object to leave it deliberately open for interpretation--this could just mean practical information like what kinds of magic and ritual it works best for, or it could go as far as naming the item or even personifying it.

This seems like it'd be particularly relevant to those with an animist bent, but I don't think it's a bad thing for anyone who uses tools or other objects in their magic to consider. I myself have been trying to figure it out for a while, and I'm curious to see how others approach the subject.

I posted a ritual to name my athame http://holdasown.wixsite.com/myblog/single-post/2018/10/21/Witchcraft-and-the-athame

Altair

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Re: Altars, Shrines & Tools Part II: Getting to Know Them
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2018, 12:30:25 am »
We've had threads before on how to make (or acquire) altars, shrines, and tools--but what about what comes after that? Once you have the tool you're going to use, the altar or shrine you wanted, how do you learn its story? (Or do you have a way of doing so before getting it?) Do you have a way of studying its energy? Or do you go about it more practically, observing its uses and failures as you practice and adapting what you can?

I talk about the story of an object to leave it deliberately open for interpretation--this could just mean practical information like what kinds of magic and ritual it works best for, or it could go as far as naming the item or even personifying it.

This seems like it'd be particularly relevant to those with an animist bent, but I don't think it's a bad thing for anyone who uses tools or other objects in their magic to consider. I myself have been trying to figure it out for a while, and I'm curious to see how others approach the subject.

I'm a namer--I feel compelled to find just the right name for everything I consider important, particularly pagan-important. So I'll play around with names tentatively, let one sit for a while, and see if it sticks. If it does, that becomes the object's name.

If the object has special pagan significance to me, I'll devise a way to inaugurate it, usually on a special day. I did this with my swords (named, of course: Excelsior, sword of reason, and Executor, sword of resolve--together being the Wings of the East). From the day I got them I handled them periodically, considering the meaning of each one in turn, to "charge" them...until the spring equinox, when I spoke a special saying I'd composed over them, and christened them: Excelsior with my sperm (I know, overshare!) for creativity, the potential life of a thought; and Executor with my blood (ugh, that was far more difficult for me, and far less pleasurable), for reality, nourishing a thought, doing whatever it takes to make it manifest in the world; and both with my breath.

Here's the thing though, and it goes back to Eastling's original post: What next? For all the thought that went into consecrating the swords, I almost never do rituals (beyond things like their consecration), so they don't get use. They hang on the wall, sure, looking dramatic...but like anything that's there for a while, I start to take them for granted. Are they still effective reminders of my guiding motto? Is there a way to keep the depth of spirit in their making alive on a daily basis?
« Last Edit: December 29, 2018, 12:32:13 am by Altair »
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Aetherwinds

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Re: Altars, Shrines & Tools Part II: Getting to Know Them
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2019, 03:56:18 pm »
Once you have the tool you're going to use, the altar or shrine you wanted, how do you learn its story?

I don't, the story will be created by my use of them. I change their reality in the material and aetheric dimensions by declaring my will. Like my big athame dagger (fire element for me) was forged by a blacksmith, so it's purification to erase his energy and add mine but I don't name it because it would have my name, since it's an extension of myself, a focus, it doesn't have a mind of their own. I could also use a paper clip if I wish so, it's my meaning that is important not its meaning to others.

Same with all my other tools. I choose them according to intuitive attraction then make them my own. I do have a silver cup for water but I also have a big oyster shell. I use one or the other depending on what is needed. I do build up attachment though, I mean it's part of my etheric body that is imprinted in my tools, so they do become precious over time. My wand is probably the simplest of my tools and the cheapest because it's a simple dogwood branch I cut and smooth out. It's not carved, no crystal on it, just plain wood but it direct my will like crazy and I am more attached to it then my other fancier tools!I guess my attuning process is just manipulating the tool a lot and using it, it charges by itself with my energy.

For sacred places, I'm not a city witch so I'm in survival mode until I can buy my piece of land and get back to the wild hehee. I feel like my energy is super depleted right now and I'm a hair away from asking help instead of doing everything by myself (I'm very stubborn and independant).

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