The Tools of Wicca: Incense

Merry meet and welcome!

We talked about salt in the last post. Now we will talk about air.

Incense
Incense

Incense represents air when burned, and is the last of the four elements represented on our altar. We burn incense in an incense burner, which we will also talk about in this post.

There are many types of incense which we will discuss in later posts. But three main forms include raw, cones, and stick incense. You have a choice of various burners, used for burning each different type of incense. Incense has these forms:

  1. Cones – You can use a specific type of burner specifically made for cones, or you can use a generic fireproof container. Fill it with sand or small stones. Such a fireproof container can be used with all types of incense.
  1. Sticks – Sticks have specific burners, usually with a hole at one end. You can slide the bare end of the stick into the hole, while the coated end remains visible. Tending to be long in shape, these burners catch the ash of the incense as the stick burns.
  1. Raw – Raw incense usually comes as a form of resin, but not always. Myrrh and Frankincense are well-known resin incense. You need charcoal to burn resin incense, and you can pick up some at your local metaphysical shop. The charcoal usually comes in a round tube shaped package. Each piece of charcoal looks like a round pad with a indent for the raw incense. Raw incense should be burned in a fireproof bowl or a cauldron. Be sure to fill the container with sand or small stones. Then place the charcoal on top of the sand and light the charcoal. Now wait until the whole charcoal piece smolders. Then carefully drop the incense on it.

Now back to air, which is a masculine element. We combine our incense with the other masculine element, fire, to create the smoke that represents air. This incense smoke is then used to charge and bless things and people. Each element on the altar proceeds to be  blessed and combined with the sibling element. Add feminine salt with feminine water. Apply masculine fire to masculine incense to create smoke. The process is you cleans with salt and water, and you charge with fire and incense. Both are utilized at the beginning of our rituals, to help clear the mundane space to make way for sacred space.

Now we’ve completed our discussion of the elements that we use on our altar. But we are not done. There are still other tools to discuss. Next will be the wand.

Blessed be,

Moonwater Silverclaw

The Tools of Wicca: Salt

Merry Meet!

We talked about fire in my last post, today we will be talking about salt.

Salt Bowl
Salt Bowl

We use salt to represent Earth on our altars. Salt is sodium crystals, and crystals represent Earth. Therefore, Wiccans see salt as feminine.

We balance our altars with salt as Earth energy. As mentioned in a previous post, we also mix salt with water to make our holy water. Salt is a natural cleanser and preserver.

Our ancestors applied salt to cure their meat and it functioned as the first preservative people employed. (And we still use it today.) Early people didn’t understand it at the time, but salt kills a lot of bacteria we come into contact with and so it prevented meat from spoiling.

So holy water purifies because it has salt in it. We sprinkle holy water to get rid of unwanted energies and entities. We mix three pinches of salt into our blessed water to make a salt-water solution. This blessed solution is then used to bless and cleanse other things and even people.

So this is how we use salt on our altar.

In the next post we will talk about air.

I wish you a blessed day.

Blessed be,

Moonwater Silverclaw

The Tools of Wicca: The Working Candle

In the last post we talked about water and what it represents. Now we will continue with fire.

Working Candle
Working Candle (photo by Arthur)

Fire is the spark of life! As a masculine element, fire is included as the flame of the lit candle on our altar. We light this candle, known as “the working candle,” first. Then we use the working candle to light other objects such as incense or other candles. The other candles have their own specific uses, and we do not work with their flames.

In the next post we will be discussing salt. So see you next time.

Blessed be,

Moonwater Silverclaw

Tools of Wicca – Water

Merry Meet.

In the last post we looked at the cup and its use. Now we will look at water.

Bowl of Water
Bowl of Water

Water is one of the four elements on our altar. As a feminine element, water represents the embryonic fluid of birth. It represents not only birth but also death–in the cycle of life. Both Death and water are associated with the West, which in turn is associated with the Summerlands. People of many cultures think of the afterlife and the need to cross water in some fashion to go the other side.

We use the water in conjunction with blessed salt to make our holy water. In turn, we use this holy water to cleanse objects and people. Holy water represents the salinity of the oceans and of the womb we all come from.

In the next post, I will discuss fire and its properties.

Blessed be,

Moonwater Silverclaw

The Tools of Wicca: The Athame

Merry Meet. In my last post we discussed a little about what Wicca is. Now, lets discuss how it is practiced.

How do I practice Wicca?

We as Wiccans attune ourselves to the seasons and use the Sabbats as one of those tools to help us do so. I will be discussing the Sabbats later. I think you should know about the tools first, so let’s talk about the tools we use to help us practice the craft. We will start with the athame.

Tools

The Athame
The Athame

One of the most used tools in Wicca, the athame is a ritual dagger that we use to channel and direct energy. It is used to bless and consecrate other tools, such as the elements on our altar, which we will also discuss later.

The athame (as you can see above) usually has a black handle. It has a double edged blade. One of the most important things about the athame is that it is NOT used to cut physical objects. You never cut physical objects with it. That is what the boline is used for. We will discuss the boline later, too.

The athatme is used to channel the energy you raise to where you need it to go. This could be sending energy to bless something or in some cases even casting a circle. However some covens use the sword for that purpose. Yes, some Wiccans use a sword in their rites. The sword is just like a large athame.

The athame is generally held in your dominant hand, because, this is usually the hand most people use to “push” energy out of. So pushing the energy out and directing it with the athame is the natural next step. Each tool can either represent the masculine or the feminine. The athame is a masculine tool.

In the next post I will discuss the cup or chalice.

Blessed be

Moonwater Silverclaw