reply to post by crowdedskies
I think you misunderstand the purpose of the tools and clothing of the magician/witch.
We wear a robe, not because it is a fashion statement, but because it is loose-fitting, and easy to work in. It allows our energy, and body, to move
casually and without restriction. Something which is lost by wearing tight jeans, heavy overcoats, or restrictive Victorian fashion, ha ha. This is
also why some adherents choose to practice sky-clad (as your Avatar hints at). It creates an uninhibited flow of energy to and from the body.
The tools are also not dogmatic, but metaphorical, serving as an allusion to aspects of magickal philosophy/theory.
The sword, dagger, or athame is a rending-tool, useful for piercing the Veil, and admitting us to the Otherworld, or wherever you believe that the
"magick" is born. Just as these blades can sever skin, and reveal blood (the life-force of the human being) they can also sever the Veil and reveal
energy / light / spirit, the life-force of gods, angels, demons, faery, and all other creatures.
The cup or chalice is symbolic of the fluid nature of knowledge, inspiration, and emotions, as well as a visual representation of your skull, where
all of those things come from. By drinking from the cup you are partaking of one of the oldest, and most fundamental acts of living beings: drinking.
Whether this is drinking from a river to keep yourself hydrated (and alive), or being given a ladle to use in the Well of Wyrd which reveals the
secrets of the Universe, is unimportant: you are sustaining yourself, making yourself healthy and whole.
The wand should be a no-brainer, really. Unlike the fancy metal and gemstone staff of the modern practitioner, the ancient magician's wand was
actually made of living wood. It was both a vessel, and a conduit, through which the energy and magick of living things could be channeled and
utilized, both from the magician themselves, or from the universal forces they believed were assisting them.
And, finally, the pentacle/disc is really just a diagram. It is a metaphorical representation of what the magician believes the Universe and
Otherworld look and feel like, what they are composed of, and how they are arranged. It is only as stifling and limiting as the magician's own
personal philosophy. The more attuned the magician is to the magick, and the Otherworld, the more personal their pentacle/disc becomes.
If you view the tools as symbols of oppression and limitation, then that is all they will ever be. If, however, you see them as extensions of
yourself, and tools meant to extend your awareness and experience, then they take on a whole new meaning, and serve to expand you, rather then
The same goes for ritual and rite. They are meant to train you, to help you focus, concentrate, and teach your mind to make the connections on an
archetypal level that are necessary to tap into the subconscious magick that supposedly exists within us all. If you're familiar with magickal
schools, or have read just about any how-to volume concerning magick, you would know that every author, tradition, teacher, etc., encourages the
student to branch out and develop their own rituals and rites that reflect themselves.
~ Wandering Scribe