The image of a witch zipping through the air on a broom is a classic portrayal. Not only does it represent one of the most common ritual tools of a witch, but it also hold special meanings to deities associated with the craft. In this article, you will learn more about common tools of a witch, including the chalice.
In the past, the broom was comprised of three different woods, which held special meaning. Ash, which was associated with protection, was used for the handle. The ash was also believed to have command over the four elements. Birch twigs were used for the brush because it was connected to purification and believed to have the ability to draw spirits closer. Willow was sacred to the Goddess and was used as the binding cord.
The broom was used for many different reasons, but a witch typically relied on the tool as a way to purify and protect. Before they performed magic, they would “cleanse” their surroundings with the broom. It was used as a symbolic gesture of sweeping away negative energy. The broom was also used as a way to guard against evil in the home or protect people from evil curses and psychic attacks. Sometimes, the broom was even placed across windowsills and doorways. Under the bed and inside of a pillow were not unheard of places to put a broom either.
During a ritual, the censer is a tool used to contain burning incense. The censer is meant to represent the elements of air. These types of vessels vary in size, shape, and the material that it is made out of. Any kind can be used, such as a common bowl filled with sand. The censer is typically positioned on an altar , in front of images of goddesses and gods. Not only was this a tool of witchcraft, but is also utilized in other religious and spiritual circles.
Representing one of the four elemental tools of witchcraft, the chalice is most associated with water. A chalice is goblet or footed cup meant to hold a liquid. It has had a place in religious ceremonies for centuries. For practitioners of witchcraft, the shape of the chalice was a symbol of containment and was often linked to the womb of the Goddess. The base was a reference to the material world, while the stem was a symbol of the connection between the man and spirit. The rim (or the opening) was seen as a place that received spiritual energy.
In the past, the chalice was fashioned out of horns, shells, and gourds. Users would place sacred liquids in the vessels for their rituals. As time passed, silver became increasingly popular as the chalice material of choice. Silver also had a connection with the moon and Goddess. It was not uncommon for a chalice to be filled with holy water or wine during a ritual or ceremony. Within covens, passing the chalice around to all members was a tradition that included everyone taking a drink. This practice symbolized unity.