In the August 13, 2009, issue of the British tabloid, The Sun (as reported in Patti Wigington’s Paganism/Wicca blog on About.com), a woman named Kim Yeates made a big mistake. She had a small crystal ball, just 4″ in diameter, Â that had cost her about $33.00 (20 British Pounds Stirling). She left it in her window while she was visiting friends. Like a magnifying glass, it compressed the light from the sun coming through the window to a small point…on the back of her TV set. The TV exploded and set fire to her sofa. When she returned to her apartment, she discovered over $16,000 worth of damage.
Destruction from tools isn’t that uncommon. I can’t count all of the homes I’ve been to that have damage from candles that have spilled hot wax or ceilings darkened from burning incenseâ€”not to mention hands cut from sharp daggers, various items broken from movements of wands in a darkened room, tables charred from overheated censers, etc. Years ago, in Hollywood, California, lit candles in the back of an occult shop that were unattended after a ritual started a fire resulting in a scandal when the fire department discovered what seemed to be unsavory objects (they were part of a circus side show that had been stored there).
As a magician, I feel it is vital to take care of your tools. Of course that means polishing swords, wrapping things, and putting them away after use. But there is more. You must take care of your most important tool: you.
That’s right, you are a magickal tool. Think of all the time and energy you’ve put into study, practice, and work. You’re worth many time the price of any other physical tool. One of the things you should consider in protecting this tool, protecting yourself, is to never take any aspect of a ritual for granted. Keep your awareness right in the ritual. Focus on the ritual you’re doing. If you do so you’ll be aware of potential dangers from hot censers and dripping wax. You’ll be aware of walls and table lamps and statues and other people when you’re drawing figures in the air with wands, daggers, or swords.
Once, while leading a ritual, I was supposed to take a flaming cauldron around so people could put in papers with their desires for the coming year. Unfortunately, the handle, as a result of the flames, was about a bazillion degrees. Ouch! I quickly put it down and said, “On the other hand, please come up and put the paper with your desire in the cauldron as it sits here.” It worked and the ritual was effective, but it took several days for the minor burns on my hand to heal.
Have you every smashed or burned something while trying to do a ritual?