Mishkan ha-Echad

Thursday, 30 July 2009

The Value of Tools

One criticism of ceremonial magic over the years has been its focus on the requirement of various tools, both physical, in the sense of implements and regalia, as well as less corporeal, in the sense of charts of planetary hours and other guides for the perfect ritual performance. Some magicians who are not very tool-friendly have suggested that they are more advanced because they do not need such tools, which, of course, intimates that ceremonial magicians do. This is an error, however, as ceremonial magicians do not use tools because they are needed, but because they are useful. It could be argued that the only neccessities for magic are Will and Imagination, but why make the job more difficult than it needs to be? You can tap a nail in with your hand, but why not use a hammer?

The value of tools is that they serve as an aid in the performance of magic. The wand or dagger serves as an extension of the will, in much the same way as the sword is an extension of the arm in martial arts. All ceremonial tools are designed to accomplish a given goal, and thus, instead of depending entirely on the faculties of Will and Imagination, a certain symbol or colour may be utilised to make the process more natural and effective. At the end of the day even the Will and Imagination are just another set of tools in the toolbox of the magician.


Abhainn-aka-Rivers said...

When I first began my studies of the Craft and Wicca in particular most of the "Wicca 101" books suggested crafting ones tools yourself. The implication would therefore be that the tools would also be 'crafted' on the astral (in one's astral temple, perhaps?!) as well. Being a labour of love I would envision much of this to be true, as you know I've never been too handy with construction or woodwork but those tools that I recieved as gifts possess stronger associations than those ordered online for instance.

I think I shall do some blogging on this myself! x

Unknown said...

I wrote something not entirely dissimilar on the subject here and here.

Frater Yechidah said...

Excellent posts, Brother B.h.D.A.. I've posted some comments there and added your blog to my blog list.


Unknown said...

I'm glad you liked them. Its a subject that strikes me as being important. In fact, it is not unrelated to something I wrote about today. Not necessarily the thing about morality, though it applied, but the moral change being both the prerequisite for and result of spiritual work. The true consecration of a magical tool requires the same, you have to be the purpose before you can consecrate something else to that purpose. Sure, you can do a quick and dirty sort of lower astral thing, but its not quite the same.