The tools and items a Pagan uses in ritual and magick are extensions of the person using them and an expression of their personality. As such they become imbued with the persons personal energy as they use them for specific ends. This is the traditional way for a Pagans wand, Atheme (black handled ritual knife), chalice, and incense holder to absorb that special ‘something’ that makes them so effective.
This ‘special something’ is personal power, a type of biological energy similar to electricity but that acts more like a mouldable sticky jell that can be programmed by the persons’ intent and emotions. The Hawaiians called it “Manna” and also referred to it as “Aka threads” due to its’ propensity to attach itself to objects that were handled or otherwise touched. The psychic skill of Psychometry is based partly on the sensing of this energy on items worn or regularly used by people and decoding information ingrained into it. The Aka thread can also be used as a conduit directly to the owner, particularly when doing remote viewing or intuitive readings.
This energy can also be stored in items such as jewellery and candles for use as an energy reserve to influence events. This may go some way to explaining cursed items such as ‘unlucky’ diamonds. It is also an excellent conductor of Divine energy, which is why items that have been blessed by sincere practitioners of a spiritual path can have a special feel to them.
There are several ways of using this energy to make your tools more efficient at their job. But first they must be cleaned of any energy still sticking to them from other uses, users and events. This is traditionally done by passing the item through the four elements of earth air fire and water actually or symbolically. The way it is done varies with the type of tradition practiced, but usually means passing it through smoke from incense or herbs (Air), sprinkling with salt (Earth), washing or asperging with liquid (Water), and through or over a candle flame (Fire).
It is as much the intent that cleanses the item, as it is the application of the actual element. This can be shown by holding an item you want to cleanse, holding it until it starts to feel warm, then concentrating on each of the elements in turn flowing through it to remove inappropriate energy and tune the item for its’ purpose.
For example you might hold the Wand in your hand and imagine a strong wind blowing through it, sending clumps of negative energy flying away into infinity. Then feel the Wand getting heavy and solid, causing impure energy to fall off and dissolve, followed by experiencing cool fresh water streaming through it washing away any negativity. Finally the Wand becomes hotter and hotter until – in your mind- it bursts into flames that burn off any remaining energy clumps.
In some Pagan traditions the Wand is connected to the element of fire, so at the end of this ritual you can affirm:
“My Wand is now cleansed and I dedicate it to be an instrument of my True Will. To connect with the Divine (or the particular pantheon or Deities you work with), in the way right for me, and to empower my rites and spellwork.”
In other systems the Wand is the tool of air and you can adapt the cleansing/tuning ritual to suit this by finishing it using the element of air. Finish clearing each tool with the element connected to it (Pentagram=Earth; Cup/Chalice= Water) and, in the case of the Athame, magnetize the blade by stroking in from hilt to tip with a strong magnet. This increases its conductivity for your personal power. In Ritual Magic a length of magnetized wire is frequently threaded through the Wand for the same reason.
Once you have ritually “tuned” your tools to the appropriate elements you have to store them correctly. There are several ways to do this, but the easiest and most practical is to store them wrapped in silk. This material is the best wrapping as it seems to be difficult for the bio-energy to penetrate, and thus the charge you have put into them remains stable and does not drain away. You can either use plain black silk or silk in the appropriate colours of the elements that the tool works with. Plain black acts as a strong protective colour, but the coloured silk has a powerful psychological effect on the viewer and can be used to mark the quarters of the circle imbuing it with the appropriate elemental energy.
You can charge your tools with even more energy by doing the charging ritual through experiencing/visualization as mentioned above several times – a bit like pumping up a balloon or bike tyre. Remember each time you use your tools they will blend with your energy and attune themselves to the intent and element you are working with and take on the qualities of the person using them.
Other tools such as the crystal ball, runes, cards, threads and poppets can also be charged in the way shown earlier. Instead of elemental energy you would charge it with intent or Divine energy depending on the way in which it was going to be used. One tool that is of special importance is the candle where it is charged by breathing as much energy as you can into it with the strongest intensity you can. It then releases the charge as it burns down, making it ideal for spells and rituals that require a high level of intensity over a long time that may be difficult to do otherwise.
To charge tools and other items with Divinity cast a circle/sphere and request the presence of the God or Goddess you wish to charge the item. When you sense their presence you can either request that the Deity charge the item or feel them channelling their energy through you to the item. The latter is done by feeling them place a hand over your hand, or on your shoulder, and feeling the energy flow through - rather than from – you and into the item being charged. Sometimes it helps to affirm “It is not my energy that charges this object, but that of (insert name of Divinity)". This can be a very powerful experience, even for the experienced Pagan and is not to be undertaken lightly.
Now that you have learned some of the how and why you charge tools and other items used for worship and spellwork try it yourself and see how much more personal your practice becomes. Well charged and used tools are one of the fundamental building blocks for Pagan ritual and are also a mirror of the person using them. Treat them, yourself, and your Path with respect and positive results will follow.