Mishkan ha-Echad

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

The Value of Tools, Part 2

Brother B.h.D.A. linked me to a few of his posts (here and here) on the subject of magical tools which have raised some additional thoughts. The one I'd like to focus on here is the idea of giving life to an implement. It's not simply employed as eye-candy or a focus-aid, but as a living entity in and of itself, with the power to open and close ceremonies, purify or consecrate initiations, frighten away phantoms, invoke or banish energy, among a myriad of other vitally important tasks. Of course, all of this relies on the magician, but there's no denying that a tool that has seen use by a seasoned magician can easily bring wonders to a ceremony that may otherwise be lacking in a magical spark.

The power that can be invested in a tool can be astronomical, and to demonstrate this I'd like to highlight the Opening or Closing by Sceptre than can be employed by a hasty Hierophant. Z1 states:

"[The Sceptre] represents [the Hierophant] as touching thereby the Divine Light of Kether and attracting it through the Middle Pillar to Malkuth. It is called 'The Sceptre of Power' and invests him with the power of declaring the Temple Open or Closed in any Grade, if time be short, and this is done by saying: "By the power in me vested by this Sceptre, I declare this Temple duly opened (or closed)."

While it is true that this power comes from both the Hierophant and Kether, it still literally states the importance of the Sceptre itself. In fact, the power is vested in the Hierophant by and through the Sceptre, as a conduit for the energy from Kether. This potency is affirmed on a regular basis in the Equinox Ceremony, where the laying down or claiming of an implement symbolises the end or beginning of one's service as the respective Officer. These points alone should highlight the value of the employment of such tools in ceremonial practice.
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