Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Proper Cleansing of Ritual Tools?

I know the idea is generally that the tools should be "cleansed" of negative energy or influences before being introduced into ritual. Of course this is followed by the consecration of the tools, but I am not quite there yet, so I am focused right now on the removal of astral gunk primarily.

Now, I have looked on several websites and reading a couple of books and there are several methods suggested. One of the best seems to be burial in the ground (or in a bowl of dirt/sand if that's not possible) Another one is soaking in a bowl of salt water if the tool wouldn't be ruined in the process. Some people talk about smudging and I guess I could use that where other things are not sensible, i.e. for just my altar table since I can't exactly bury it.

One thing that seems to not be universally agreed upon is exactly how long this takes, and if it needs to be done at a certain time. For instance, in Wicca for the Solitary Practitioner, Cunningham says a "few days" buried or a few hours in water should do it. One site I read suggested a month (!) or a year and a day (?!!?)... Others suggest doing it in particular moon phases and using that as the guide.

I get nervous about leaving anything underground for much longer than a few days, between the weather cooling down and the dirt/moisture caking/forcing things to rust, etc... but I also want to be sure the tools are cleansed and able to be properly consecrated for ritual use.

So what do you suggest? I really want to hold my own ritual for Samhain and do it right (at least the best that I can), so I feel like I'm working with time constraints. Plus I don't want the whole process to take months and months, but if I have no choice, then I have no choice.

One last question... For MUNDANE items that are going to make their way into the ritual circle just for certain occasions but are not magickal in nature (like inexpensive altar decorations for Sabbats, reference paperbacks, etc) do these things need to be cleansed too or are they OK to use as is? I can't imagine most folks ritually cleansing every item they have nearby for special times, it just seems impractical) What about candles?

Your advice is appreciated -- thanks!

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