Preparing your Wiccan tools doesn't need to be long or complicated. But it does need to be done.
And what about after using them? Where do you keep your sacred objects, and what do you do with them once you're done with them?
This article covers all the basics of using sacred tools . . .
If you haven't, see Getting Started With Wiccan Tools for tips on how to find, buy, harvest, and make your Wiccan ritual tools.
Purification, blessing, and thanksgiving are particularly critical, more so than for other altar tools: it does you no good to have anything with lingering negative energy on your altar!
In fact, that is the most dangerous place to have it.
If it is an item that was dropped naturally, this is not an issue. For example . . .
If the animal was harmed in taking the item, that is, killed painfully, maliciously, or wastefully, do not use it on your altar. Some of that harm will linger, no matter what you do to purify it.
(Although it is a good practice to bless the animal anyway -- it can use your blessings even more than one that was let to the other side respectfully.)
Because of the subconscious training that we are programmed with as a European-derived culture, death is tricky to work with.
Even if consciously you reject the Western attitude toward death, on a subconscious level it can linger. And it certainly remains in our cultural energy field, of which you are a part. This will draw contaminating energy to the item. So . . .
At the least, wait until you are able to sense energies clearly. That way you will be able to perceive whether a negative residue lingers in the object, or rises in you when in its presence.
If you must use them, purify thoroughly and on a regular basis, and offer something to the spirit of the animal to help it on its way either to the Divine or to rebirth.
Certainly purify them at least, before using or wearing the object!
Items that have a heavy or dark or hot energy need purification. This is particularly true of crystals. When clear, they will feel cool, tingly, bright, or positive.
A purified object is much more powerful than a contaminated one, and its magick is less likely to go awry.
Purification, dedication, and consecration of ritual objects take place in sacred space - that is, within Ritual. So begin by casting a Circle.
WITCH TIP: Before going further, check that the item won't be harmed first . . .
Water - Crystals and other stones may be damaged by hot water. Always use cool water. Some crystals may be damaged even by cool water, I've heard, but I've never experienced that. Leather may harden in water. Fabric may run, fade, or shrink - especially in hot.
Sunlight - Gem stones, crystals, and other items may also be damaged - faded, melted, or broken by the heat.
Salt - Opals, metal, leather, and fabric can be damaged by salt, either dry or in water.
Smudging or Flame - Stones may be damaged by heat. Other items, like cloth and plant material, may be flammable - use extreme care.
Except for the very lightest cleansing, you'll probably need to leave them at least one full cycle of the Moon. Full to Full, or Dark to Dark ... whichever feels right to you. For lighter Moon-washes, use the Waning Moonlight.
If your altar is in the Moonlight, this is the best place to leave your ritual tools for a Moon bath. Otherwise, hanging them in a tree is good. (If it's sparkly and you have lots of crows, ravens, or magpies around though, they might make off with it when you're not looking!)
Washing it in the Ocean, or even running wild water like a river, is even better.
If it feels like it needs a very deep cleansing, you can leave it in the salt water for a period of time - even in the Moonlight, for a double whammy.
Simply bury them, pointing downward, into Earth outdoors, between the roots of a tree is ideal. If you can't manage that, bury them with a potted plant.
The real trick to this method of purification is remembering exactly where you buried your ritual tools! Be sure to leave a marker that is unlikely to be removed.
This is a great method for healing tools, especially stones.
For tips on smudging, see this article on Sacred Scents.
The Light will purify and remove any negative energies.
It needs to be done carefully, to avoid burning yourself and scorching your tools.
Blow the negativity away, and blow positivity in - imagining this as white or golden light replacing any shadows in the object.
In which case, if they are pointed, make sure the points face downward with the flow of water, so the negative energy flows out and away.
You can do this with tap water as a last resort, but living water is much better.
With Brightest Blessings,