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Have you Danced Your Tools?


Guest monsnoleedra

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Guest monsnoleedra

Have you danced your tools? Seems like it might be a silly question I suppose but it amazes me the number of practitioners that have not done so. Oh yes they dedicate them. They consecrate them. They use them in this or that ceremony. Yet, few people have actually danced them to understand them.

In my practice my primary tools are the staff and sword. The staff made of some special wood, its length being about 6 feet long. My sword a Japanese Samurai sword with it companion short sword. Yet reality wise they are nothing more than a length of tree and some folded metal. Yep, they are nothing more than that until I dance with them. Like Pinocchio they await the crafters hand to awaken the spirit that lies within and allow it to become one with them.

In the dance one becomes one and merges with the staff or sword. We swing them, bend them, swirl them and twist and turn them about our bodies. In movement does the sword and staff become extensions of my arms or braces of my legs. In the dance do I hear them sing and feel them vibrate to the rhythm of life and the pulse of their essence. Flesh upon wood or metal like the kiss of a lover as one moves against the other.

Those who walked the warrior's path are often familiar with the various dances of our tools. Even today facets and remnants still remain of elder rituals and dances. Soldiers sleep with their weapon in boot camp to learn its feel and energy. In ancient hunter societies dances and rituals with weapons were done before and as part of the hunt preparations.  Where hunters, using their ancient tools of bow and arrow or spear, danced before the fires in mock hunts.

From my youth I recall the woman turning their kettles and large pots upon their end and dancing about them as they drummed the beat. Wooden spoons upon copper or cast iron as they raised the forces of their kitchen wares. Tools of their use made as one with them as they raised their calls and energy to dance their tools. Names long silent spoken as each is called forth to take the beat with the dancers.

Yet today it seems to me that many have no idea of what it means to dance their tools. The stagnate usage of athame as it is raised high to mark the god then placed within their chalice. Wands moved to mark the spots or call the elements but dead within their hand. Simple pieces of steel or wood never awakened to have its essence called out and felt. Oh yes adorned many times with trinkets and jewels but never awakened.

When was the last time you (collective) took your athame and danced with it? Held it pommel grasped then rolled the pommel between your fingers? Passed the blade between fingers or hand to hand as the blade was brought to life to heat cold steel. Rose on high then dropped down to twist behinds ones back or snake through legs and arm as it merged with your own energy? To become the serpents tongue as it tasted the air and sensed the currents.

What of one's wand? The simple piece of wood that is so much more when brought to life. One moment hard and stiff to the touch, the next almost snake like as it seems to fold or bend as it is danced and played about the body. Moving in motion that is illusion before the eye, part real part spirit and a part that is almost ethereal as it appears to pass through one’s body instead of folding about it.

Even the simplest thing like cards danced as they are brought to life. Rolled through fingers and across them like some magical coin trick. Snaked up the arm or rolled through the air in the shuffle to charge the deck in energy.

So many dances that seem lost or unspoken of it the 101 books. The simple action of bringing to life those things that we use to be more than just cold steel, paper, and wooden staves of various lengths. Each tool representing an item of power and purpose held in your hands.  An energy and presence composed of their own composition, to merge with ours if we but take the time to dance the dance of awakening for them. To dance the dance of awakening to recharge and remind them and us of the energy and pull as we raise our tools.

Raise them in the dances of awakening.

So I ask; have you danced your tools?

 

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Hello! :)

 

 

First, and most obviously, not all of us use tools.

Secondly, I don't get why it amazes you the number of practitioners that have not done so.  That have not "danced their tools" the same way you have. Do we all walk the same path as you?

Don't get me wrong, your post was eloquently written and interesting to read, BUT to preface it with that sentence of it "amazing you", kinda made my hackles go up a wee bit and unfortunately cast a shadow over your entire posting.

 

There are many ways to awaken ones tools in ones hands. Your way is only one of those ways.

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Depends on the tool.....  I dont think dancing is always the most appropriate way of getting to know all tools - some are different.  Also seems pretty specific to the core-shamanism paradigm (at least that is the only place I have heard of dancing tools, though I wouldnt be surprised if they got the idea somewhere else).  I could see dancing being a good fit for the sword or staff though - dancing is fun and cool with a sword or staff!  A little more awkward with a talisman, or medallion, or headdress, or crystal, or spirit house......  ect....

 

If I was drawn to a new tool, and didnt know how to use it, I might ask my guides for a volunteer to teach me, and then have them either show me some things with it, or I would just have them direct me when the time comes to actually use it.  Could involve dancing, but usually it doesnt for me.....  Even if I dont specifically ask them, they might suggest things to me anyways though - they are helpful like that!

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Hello! :smile:

 

 

First, and most obviously, not all of us use tools.

Secondly, I don't get why it amazes you the number of practitioners that have not done so.  That have not "danced their tools" the same way you have. Do we all walk the same path as you?

Don't get me wrong, your post was eloquently written and interesting to read, BUT to preface it with that sentence of it "amazing you", kinda made my hackles go up a wee bit and unfortunately cast a shadow over your entire posting.

 

There are many ways to awaken ones tools in ones hands. Your way is only one of those ways.

 

 

Hm lets see a tool is an object that allows a person to perform some task usually by hand or via some other mechanical instrument.  So I have only met New Age witches who profess they use no tools what so ever.  They consider it as all being done via channeling and having their channeled being do for them.  So yes every witch, occultist, practitioner, etc uses tools to perform whatever action or desire they are attempting to have manifest in the physical.  So why should I not be amazed at the lack of people who actually dance their tools, or even be amazed as to the opening statement you make here and the assumption or limitation it paints upon modern witchcraft and how it is performed.

 

At best it suggest to me the prevailing notion of dumbing down of witchcraft and paganism / occultism in general.If you write you use a tool. If you create a potion, enclosed item that contains ingredients, chant or sing a spell or song you've used a tool.  A tool and its usage that is increased via opening and awakening it and becoming one with it.  Not dedicating it, not consecrating it, not even placing it on some altar or trying to make it special as a magical instrument.

Then factor in a tool is awakened by certain movements and actions.  I didn't say all tools had to be opened via physical dance.  Yes for those who use swords or staves physical dancing is one way we join with that with we utilize our tools to become one with them and they to form an aspect of our body, to become an extension.  Yet the usage of the term Dance only suggests the movement and actions / steps that are created to show  the process of moving about, upward, dowward or or upon a vertical or horizontal plain then anything that uses the body is dancing. The process of starting a fire is as much a dance of movement and purpose as doing something like the fox trot or ball room dancing.  Especially when one considers the tool is their partner in the dance and movements that shall unfold during the process.

 

The terms I used were selected very carefully and meant to convey how all things are tools to us (collective) in the performance of our calling.  How every action is a dance as we use all aspects of our bodies to convey movement, speed, concentration and union between the physical, the psychological, the energy of though and manifestation and the dance of the mind where the shape, form, constraints or limitations of each thing is touched. To have the tool become a part of us that is an extension of our physical body and used to direct or mold though into form, pattern and reality.

 

Perhaps not your intent but your narrow definition of what the words tool and dance mean simply further supports the notion that most do not dance their tools.  They use them, they dedicate them or consecrate them but they seldom make them an extension of their body..  They are the cook who has to use the book to create for they have not the touch and connection to their tools to smell where it is at.  To hear the whisper of the metal as it heats up, to hear the song of the contents and container interacting with one another. To feel the heat of the item even though it doesn't touch their hands or fingers for it is not part of them.

 

Pathway didn't matter for pathway only pertained to the manner we arrived at a destination.  Awakening and dancing ones tools was the source that joined them to us and made them part of us and us part of them.  It's how we heard the blade cut the air or felt it as it moved about us in the choreography of movements, patterns and connections as we felt the air move, felt the weight upon every aspect of our body  even to see through our items.

 

If my usage and terms cause that much discontent to you then I'd say the problem lies more on your end than mine. If it cast a shadow or pallor over your comprehending what is there that says more about you and assumptions / limitations than anything I wrote.

 

Strange in the 1960's I was taught you read the words and leave emotion out of them.  I guess that is another thing that has been lost over the years for it seems many claim clouded perspectives for they use their emotions to influence vice actually reading.  Wonder how much i'd have missed over the years if I let my hackles be raised by a thing vice not blocking it because it didn't present an idea or concept that I liked?  I'm willing to bet quiet a bit would have been missed or lost..

 

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Depends on the tool.....  I dont think dancing is always the most appropriate way of getting to know all tools - some are different.  Also seems pretty specific to the core-shamanism paradigm (at least that is the only place I have heard of dancing tools, though I wouldnt be surprised if they got the idea somewhere else).  I could see dancing being a good fit for the sword or staff though - dancing is fun and cool with a sword or staff!  A little more awkward with a talisman, or medallion, or headdress, or crystal, or spirit house......  ect....

 

If I was drawn to a new tool, and didnt know how to use it, I might ask my guides for a volunteer to teach me, and then have them either show me some things with it, or I would just have them direct me when the time comes to actually use it.  Could involve dancing, but usually it doesnt for me.....  Even if I dont specifically ask them, they might suggest things to me anyways though - they are helpful like that!

 

 

Swords and staves gained a lot of "Dancing" as they were weapons of war and the warrior practiced and joined with them until each was simply an extension of their body.  The Bow and Arrow is another tool / weapon that is frequently danced with by the warrior enabling them to utilize it upon any mount, under most circumstances and in many less than obvious positions or methods.  Many times going so far as to have them created with a drop, sometimes more, of the warriors blood so that the bond was more than physical and the weapon would not turn upon them or injure them should they be dropped or disarmed in combat.

 

But I think part of the issue is that people forget that "Dance" is a series of movements upon the vertical and horizontal plain that is usually performed to music but not always.  Strange if a person suggests dancing between the sheets there is no issue about meaning yet to use it otherwise it seems the immediate assumption is movement to music only.

 

I do agree though that I a new tool is brought to me I will often ask my guides to aide me in learning to use it and how to make it an extension of my body.

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At best it suggest to me the prevailing notion of dumbing down of witchcraft and paganism / occultism in general.

I'm not Lynn but were I her, I'd find this statement rather offensive.

 

Your original post used the terms "stang", "sword", "athame", "wand", "weapon". I can see where Lynn took the meaning for "tool" that she did because it wasn't until your reply to her that you expanded your definition to include the pen one writes with, a container, etc.

 

Your "dancing with tools", regardless of the connotation of "tool" or "dance" is your path. It's not mine and I can guarantee it's not others', as well. And it has nothing to do with "new age" or even simply "age". (I'm older than you.) It has everything to do with how we practice.

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And we all practice differently.  Some of us are warriors, some are healers and just about everything in between.

 

If you guys have read some of the book threads you'll know I'm a Sword of Truth junkie.  I have a very different understanding of what it means to 'dance' with a sword of other weapon after reading that series. 

 

I understand where he's coming from but I do agree that not everyone here practices in the same way.

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About the comments of every witch/magi always using tools....  Some of the most powerful healings I have seen were done with nothing but a song (I saw a man who was so sick he couldnt eat for days suddenly sit up and start eating after a song).  Actually - I often practice ritual without a single thing except my voice.  I use tools for sure, but I dont think an absence of tools automatically points to watered down new age stuff.....  Besides songs, I have seen prayer work well before when there was great need, great passion, and great faith all together.  

 

Most of my practice is either done with either plants as the only tool, or no tools at all - but I have been simplifying my practice quite a bit lately...  Been getting the best results I have ever had this way actually.

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I think part of that falls into whether we consider ourselves a tool as well.

 

Since I began my slimming down in my practice I've gotten much more into working directly with the energetic currents then with the things that can be used to manipulate them.  I find for a lot of things - all I truly need is myself.

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Guest monsnoleedra

But then we are all tools in one manner or another I think.  Heck even our voice is a tool which is why you hear some voice teachers call it a tool when referring to ones singing ability

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At best it suggest to me the prevailing notion of dumbing down of witchcraft and paganism / occultism in general.If you write you use a tool. If you create a potion, enclosed item that contains ingredients, chant or sing a spell or song you've used a tool.  

 

If my usage and terms cause that much discontent to you then I'd say the problem lies more on your end than mine. If it cast a shadow or pallor over your comprehending what is there that says more about you and assumptions / limitations than anything I wrote.

 

Strange in the 1960's I was taught you read the words and leave emotion out of them.  I guess that is another thing that has been lost over the years for it seems many claim clouded perspectives for they use their emotions to influence vice actually reading.  Wonder how much i'd have missed over the years if I let my hackles be raised by a thing vice not blocking it because it didn't present an idea or concept that I liked?  I'm willing to bet quiet a bit would have been missed or lost..

 

 

Presumption and condescension is not the way to get people to care about what you have to write. Quite frankly I found you a little offensive and disrespectful. There is no dumbing down of anything, it is simply another way of doing things. I read your post and it's not what I do, in fact it seemed rather too much effort and work. I prefer to do things simply and intuitively. This doesn't make my practice less than yours nor does it make it 'dumbed down'. I do what I do and it is not what you do, to throw around insults because people challenge your viewpoint - it's rather childish and churlish.

 

There are some witches who don't dedicate or consecrate simply because they view their homes and properties as entirely consecrated or dedicated to their path so when something is brought into the home, it is immediately consecrated just by being in the space. Are words spoken or actions taken to activate the tool or whatever the item is? No. So you as you can see, not everyone consciously creates actions to consecrate because it can be done in other ways. 

 

Practitioners on this site do things differently, I don't actually think there are two who practice the same, so I would perhaps be mindful of that when posting in future.

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There are some witches who don't dedicate or consecrate simply because they view their homes and properties as entirely consecrated or dedicated to their path so when something is brought into the home, it is immediately consecrated just by being in the space. Are words spoken or actions taken to activate the tool or whatever the item is? No. So you as you can see, not everyone consciously creates actions to consecrate because it can be done in other ways.

 

 

And you're right.  There are some witches that don't dedicate or consecrate at all.  It has nothing to do with how they view their home - it's just not something that they do or don't find necessary.  I guess that falls under different witches practicing differently. 

 

As a general rule of thumb I don't really dedicate or consecrate my tools or items.  I have blooded and bonded my knife, for example.  I don't consider that consecrating it but some people do. 

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Presumption and condescension is not the way to get people to care about what you have to write. Quite frankly I found you a little offensive and disrespectful. There is no dumbing down of anything, it is simply another way of doing things. I read your post and it's not what I do, in fact it seemed rather too much effort and work. I prefer to do things simply and intuitively. This doesn't make my practice less than yours nor does it make it 'dumbed down'. I do what I do and it is not what you do, to throw around insults because people challenge your viewpoint - it's rather childish and churlish.

 

There are some witches who don't dedicate or consecrate simply because they view their homes and properties as entirely consecrated or dedicated to their path so when something is brought into the home, it is immediately consecrated just by being in the space. Are words spoken or actions taken to activate the tool or whatever the item is? No. So you as you can see, not everyone consciously creates actions to consecrate because it can be done in other ways. 

 

Practitioners on this site do things differently, I don't actually think there are two who practice the same, so I would perhaps be mindful of that when posting in future.

 

 

First and foremost your making the assumption that what I write needs to have people care about it or condone it or even confirm my position.  I write about my experiences and perspective upon things.  It is presented to perhaps encourage discussion or even compare and contrast but at no time is it written in the hopes of having others care about it or verify my right to believe it.  To placate others or make them feel good about themselves or their practice is not my life calling or job.  I'm not Wiccan nor do I adhere to any of its tenants about dumbing down my knowledge and perspective to make others feel more important or about their own practices.

 

As far as dumbing down of witchcraft, or any occult practice, regardless of how it is defined history suggests otherwise.  The proliferation of sites, books, blogs, etc that encourages or suggests that things be made simpler for what ever reason simply serves to record the process that has been occurring since the mid 1980's and onward.  It typically falls into the notion of being tolerant or accepting of others perspectives regardless of how much you have to open you mind and let your brains fall out so as to not offend their sensibilities.  To suggest that you agree with or condone their positions regardless of how one may personally feel about their conclusions or reasoning for the position they hold and exhibit.

 

Sorry I have a lifetime across multiple facets of experience where people claim to simplify and intuitively follow or know things.  Experience in the metaphysical, sociological, psychological and global experience in the macro and micro level of interactions between people and cultures.  One thing I've discovered all across the world is those who tend to claim that far more often do so because they can not or will not commit to a more challenging dedication and commitment to things.  Very much part and parcel to the me, me, me attitude one encounters across the board.  You might take it as an insult but its simply a documented fact within psychology, sociology, and cultural norms.  A fact frequently commented upon by academics and social support functions and personal in many support services. 

 

No one has suggested or stated another's pathway is wrong I've only made a presentation of my perspective and observations.  How I perceive the results and compare and contrast them to my own personal experience and the dynamics of the groupings I associated with.  That you may find it offensive or belittling does not change the validity of my conclusions or the correctness of the data and analysis of my observations and conclusions.  At best it seems to support the prevailing perspective of "You can't tell me what to believe!" coupled to the perspective of "You can't tell me how to believe or act!"  Both of which serve the purpose of placating ones ego and sense of self but do not stand up beneath the scrutiny of analysis and observation of results.  But both quickly descend into the depths of it doesn't support their ego and beliefs so must be taken as a sign of belittling their beliefs or attacking them personally vice analyzing the the statement not the person who made the statement.  

With regard to ones home or environment and dedicating or consecrating a tool your tossing a red herring into the argument as justification or comparison.  Once a thing or tool is utilized for a specific purpose it is dedicated and in many instances consecrated to that purpose and function.  No special words, chants, spells or such are needed to perform said act, the actual usage is the action that completes the identification.  The passing of an item into an area simply suggests that one is acting upon the other when no such equation is present though assumption might be suggested as a misdirecting argument.

 

That other's may utilize differing practices or applications in no way suggests that one should change their own perspective and conclusions or the presentation of such conclusions because others might differ.  If party A submits a conclusion or statement of perception then any persons or parties observing / reading it can present a counter argument or evidence to support or denounce those conclusions.  That's the point of debate and discussion.  Not the whitewashing or hesitation in submitting a concept and conclusions because it doesn't support others on a site or causes them to defend their own conclusions and perspectives.

 

If you can give a logical argument and reasons why my perspective is illogical, unfounded or unrealistic I welcome the discussion.  If your argument is simply because its not the way you do something and it offends you then that simply serves to stifle discussion and comparison of concepts.  It only serves to further make a person feel good without ever having to actually defend their position or be able to present a counter argument based upon something more in-depth than "You hurt my feelings!" 

 

Perhaps that is the face of the "New" witch but it is not the face of the groups and mentality of the groups and organizations I was trained beneath.  I am more than willing to discuss any and all items, perspectives or conclusion I've ever presented upon any forum, academic or spiritual discussion or paper.  When I am wrong I will admit I am wrong and change my conclusions or perspective based upon whatever data was used to support the counter argument and prove or even suggest I am wrong. But i'll not deter from presenting my perspective and conclusions because someone else says I hurt their feelings and made them feel I spoke in a condescending tone to them because I do not blindly accept their position.

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Guest monsnoleedra

I'm not Lynn but were I her, I'd find this statement rather offensive.

 

Your original post used the terms "stang", "sword", "athame", "wand", "weapon". I can see where Lynn took the meaning for "tool" that she did because it wasn't until your reply to her that you expanded your definition to include the pen one writes with, a container, etc.

 

Your "dancing with tools", regardless of the connotation of "tool" or "dance" is your path. It's not mine and I can guarantee it's not others', as well. And it has nothing to do with "new age" or even simply "age". (I'm older than you.) It has everything to do with how we practice.

 

 

A valid and quantifiable position and argument often seems offensive when the party doing so doesn't accept the others position.  Yet historical and cultural data supports my perspective, conclusions and position.

 

With regard to the words I used, I selected the most common words and items that one is likely to encounter within the larger pagan / occult community.  All are recognized tools and have an assumed and implied usage and function within magical workings regardless of those workings being healing, divination, prophesy, sympathetic magics, ceremonial or high magics or any other such usage.  All are hand held and are used to interact with the practitioner and some force or energy they are calling upon or manifesting in order to achieve a desired result.  Each falls within the scope of an item that enables the practitioner to perform some action and didn't think I had to utilize a much lower yet common item to convey the larger meaning of the word "Tool".

 

The definition of "Dancing" as an action whereby one moves upon the vertical or horizontal plain should not have to be defined given the very definition of the word itself.  By description an act that any witch, magician, enchantress, sorcerer, etc will employ in the functioning of their magical practices.  So yes everyone by definition and word usage regardless of their individual practices does dance their tools or has the possibility of doing so. That they only carry it to the limit of dedicating or consecrating a given tool does not change the fact a deeper connect is possible and that to my personal perspective most do not.

 

But as I responded to Stacey an emotional response because something offends because its not the way someone else does a thing does not encourage discussion of debate.  It simply closes things down because another person took a position and reached a conclusion that calls into question the methods, mannerism and applications of their practice. Debate and discussion is about speaking about and discussing those differences not about saying nothing or being afraid of hurting a persons feelings because you do not agree with their practices and beliefs.

 

With regard to age.  Perhaps you are older than I am but age doesn't indicate duration as to how long you or I have been doing things and who we have done them or were trained to do them.  Are your credentials better than mine?  Have you been practicing longer than I have?  Do you have the breadth of knowledge and experiences I do?  Seeing as I have not submitted my credentials or time line of workings and knowledge you can't answer that any more than I can say your credentials supersede mine.  However I can and did state that there has been a visible and definable change that has occurred within the Pagan / Occult / Witch communities since the 1970's and it is documentable within the many books, conclusions and morale / ethical baselines during that time period addressed.

 

Just imagine the course this very discussion might have taken had people simply said this is what I do vice getting their feelings hurt and closing potential and possible discussion down because the original concept and perspective didn't match theirs.  Not an opening about what each does, but an emotional appeal as to why something amazed me as a conclusion and how the notion of "Tools" was so narrow and restrictive in application.

 

As Lynn said there are many ways to open a tool, to bad she didn't take the opportunity to discuss them.  But like many if not most emotional positions it was not about what I suggested and presented but about how it didn't align with another's perspective of how things work.  Instead it was based upon feelings and emotions and showed more emotion that my perspective and conclusions didn't condone that perspective and usage vice actually discussing the difference or reasoning for arriving at such a conclusion

 

Seeing as how your a Mod and I assume your responding in that capability if this gets me banned then so be it.  I'd rather be banned and hold true to my conclusions and experience than be unfaithful and illogical in my presentations and beliefs out of fear that another may disagree and be hurt because I believe differently than they do and don't avoid the subject or lie simply to make them feel good about their position, perspective or conclusions about their practices and beliefs..

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Seeing as how your a Mod and I assume your responding in that capability if this gets me banned then so be it.  I'd rather be banned and hold true to my conclusions and experience than be unfaithful and illogical in my presentations and beliefs out of fear that another may disagree and be hurt because I believe differently than they do and don't avoid the subject or lie simply to make them feel good about their position, perspective or conclusions about their practices and beliefs..

 

Wow.

 

I was - and am - responding as me, not as a Mod. (Sometimes that title can get in the way.)

 

I'm not going to get into a long, drawn-out argument with you. It serves no purpose. But I will say this: I have not belittled any of your posts. I did not find them offensive; your path is not mine but I accept that you work differently than me. Yet when I and others say that we don't work the same as you, that our way of practicing our Craft is simpler, you use phrases such as "dumbing down of witchcraft [...]" and then throw around academics to "prove" your point. That I find offensive.

 

Because you say you want to encourage debate & discussion, I'll reply more fully to your original post(s):

 

I do not use the generally-accepted term of "tools"... stang, sword, athame, wand... therefore, I have no need to consecrate, much less dance with them to make them a part of me. I am a writer. Do I dance with my pen to make it fully a part of me? No. All that is ceremonial/ritualistic to me and I don't work that way.  I did not learn this simpler way by reading books/blogs/fora. They weren't around when I started on my path. I listened to spirit, which was the only teacher I had. Do I achieve results? You bet. If that makes me dumb or simplistic in your mind, then so be it.

 

We will agree to disagree on many points. This being one of them.

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MonSno perhaps you have been looking in the wrong places. In my experience those of us who work with tools such as these and are of a traditional persuasion place the upmost importance on maintaining a working relationship with our tools.

 

In our craft and in our hands these aren't just tools to be used but allies that help us in ways we will probably never fully grasp.

 

More often than not they come into our lives through fortuitous circumstances, the spirit of the tool already calling out to us. We set about our ways working and crafting, we rub them with oils and pass them through smoke. The oils and powders selected and crafted in our own ways.

 

We sing, we mutter chants, we talk to them, we share a drink and a meal, we walk the land together, we sit in places of power and take in the flow of serpentine energies. All of this hand in hand, crafter and tool together.

 

So no, most of us don't dance our tools. We bloody well put on a masterpiece of a show.

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Guest monsnoleedra

 

Wow.

 

I was - and am - responding as me, not as a Mod. (Sometimes that title can get in the way.)

 

I'm not going to get into a long, drawn-out argument with you. It serves no purpose. But I will say this: I have not belittled any of your posts. I did not find them offensive; your path is not mine but I accept that you work differently than me. Yet when I and others say that we don't work the same as you, that our way of practicing our Craft is simpler, you use phrases such as "dumbing down of witchcraft [...]" and then throw around academics to "prove" your point. That I find offensive.

 

Because you say you want to encourage debate & discussion, I'll reply more fully to your original post(s):

 

I do not use the generally-accepted term of "tools"... stang, sword, athame, wand... therefore, I have no need to consecrate, much less dance with them to make them a part of me. I am a writer. Do I dance with my pen to make it fully a part of me? No. All that is ceremonial/ritualistic to me and I don't work that way.  I did not learn this simpler way by reading books/blogs/fora. They weren't around when I started on my path. I listened to spirit, which was the only teacher I had. Do I achieve results? You bet. If that makes me dumb or simplistic in your mind, then so be it.

 

We will agree to disagree on many points. This being one of them.

 

 

Doing things simplistically does not make one dumb in my experience.  Many of the folk practices and granny magics are very simplistic or easy in their usage and application and I'd never consider them as anything other than what they are.   Effective magical practices that are simple to perfect and perform usually with lots of regional or familial lore behind them.  While my lineage is very much familial in origin and method of passing things down I have received just as much knowledge and training by listening to Spirit and being shown in nature itself.  So I give a lot of credence to things personally observed and acquired due to spiritual teachers of a non human sort.

 

That aside it doesn't change the fact a lot of craft practices and knowledge is very much dumbed down today.  There is so much aping of information with little to no actual practical application or knowledge behind it.  Hand a person a walnut and ask them what magical usages does it have and you'll typically either get no answer or some answer aped over and over from some recent book.  Do I expect their answer to match mine?  Not at all but I have little use for answers that are simply repeated over and over with no actual knowledge behind the answer.  No longer based upon observation, usage or even speculation.  Sadly something I encounter quite often in supposedly traditional based practices that claim not to be Wiccan or Wiccanesq in nature.  Just for comparison i'd expect an answer somewhat along the lines of you crack the nut shell breath your asthma or lung condition into the shell then bury the nut in the crevasse of a root juncture.   Yet the typical response is something similar to: Walnut : Health, Mental Powers, Infertility, Wishes.

 

I choose to use the terms for tools most often used until such time as I discover they are not used or what terms are more appropriately used in a given area.  I do however tend to use the full definition of a words meanings vice a restrictive usage.  But I will try to keep in mind with regards to yourself your perspective and self usage of the terms dedicate and consecrate and how you tend to use them.  Especially in the sense it appears you equate them to more ceremonial / high magical workings. 

 

In my experience I've discovered many times a rebuttal argument by a "Poser" often starts out with the emotional offended stance coupled to "Your Wrong" but seldom a reason why your wrong.  Well other than because they take offense at a position or perspective being presented.  Frequently it seems based upon the I don't do it that way so how dare you arrive at any other conclusion.   Perhaps wrong on my part but when I am confronted with such an argument I assume (ass-u-me) that I have encountered such a personality.  But seldom do I see a logical argument as to why or a compare and contrast argument which wold suggest a deeper knowledge.  Nope just the offended coupled to an unsubstantiated statement emotional justification.

 

Consider this thread.  Lynn starts off with the emotional position makes claims but offers not a single example or discussion point.  Simply the I'm offended and not all of us do something.  The typical I need to be offended presentation and lack of any points or comparison beyond the self serving.  In comparison Travsha presents her (?) perspective and opinion.  Offers a point of comparison and potential discussion aspect.  States how she would approach a tool and where she believes knowledge and training with that tool might be obtained.  Upon surface observation and assumption of knowledge and skill i'd place Travsha far above where I'd place Lynn based upon responses and projected knowledge.  Which of course impacts upon a persons credibility and implied knowledge.

 

So out of 16 responses 2 (Travsha and RoseRed) actually address the concept I presented and present an argument either for or against or even discussion of it.  The rest jump upon the offended bandwagon and give the appearance of circling of the offended wagon train so they can call out how they are offended.  Yet contribute nothing to the thread's actual scope or presentation.  We've learned nothing about how they differ or why my perspective is wrong compared to theirs only that they are offended.  I left your most recent response out Mountain Witch due to reflection upon the whole of the thread yet would place it in the promoting discussion and debate category along with Travsha and RoseRed.

 

I don't expect to be taken for anything and not questioned nor challenged upon my perspective or position.  I am quite willing to defend my position and change my position and perspective when one can present a logical argument and reason to do so.  We learn through debate, discussion and challenging of held perspectives and opinions.  Yet no one learns anything when the I'm offended card is played and nothing is presented other than the emotional assumption.

 

Sorry to drag this on but it is a subject dear to my heart and one I find far to often is buried  so people can find a reason in this PC society to be offended but never called upon it.

Thank you for your chance to continue this discussion.

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Guest monsnoleedra

MonSno perhaps you have been looking in the wrong places. In my experience those of us who work with tools such as these and are of a traditional persuasion place the upmost importance on maintaining a working relationship with our tools.

 

In our craft and in our hands these aren't just tools to be used but allies that help us in ways we will probably never fully grasp.

 

More often than not they come into our lives through fortuitous circumstances, the spirit of the tool already calling out to us. We set about our ways working and crafting, we rub them with oils and pass them through smoke. The oils and powders selected and crafted in our own ways.

 

We sing, we mutter chants, we talk to them, we share a drink and a meal, we walk the land together, we sit in places of power and take in the flow of serpentine energies. All of this hand in hand, crafter and tool together.

 

So no, most of us don't dance our tools. We bloody well put on a masterpiece of a show.

 

 

That is quite possible about looking in the wrong places.  What you describe is the experience I have with mine and how they came to me and how I join with them.  Yet it is seldom what I see or encounter from others in how they view their things.  But I do agree with your statement.  Most of the time I see it as a simple dance, but yes there are times one puts on a masterpiece of a show.

 

As an aside note it's been years since I heard anyone use "Bloody" in a statement, took me back to my time in Scotland back in the late 70's and early 80's.  Was a nice minnie trip down memory land so thank you for that.

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But Gyreleaf - to me, that's part of the dance.

 

Anyways, just to add a little perspective here - how many times have so many of us bitched and moaned or just flat out complained about all of the 101 crap that Llewellyn publishes?  Granted, not many of us here are into the 101 L books but can we really deny that the market is flooded with them?

 

I would really love to see this thread move past this little side bar.  I think it has the potential to be a great discussion of how we work with our tools.

 

I'll start and hope that others are willing to join in.
 

 

Consecrate  http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/consecrate

 

:  dedicated to a sacred purpose

 

 

 

Not something I generally do with my tools although, some people do see the Blooding and Bonding of a knife a consecration.  I don't.  I am open to the idea of changing my mind on this if someone can explain why it would be seen that way.

 

As I said above, the idea of 'dancing' with weapons is a new one to me that I've only really considered for the last couple years.  The way that Terry Goodkind writes about it takes the idea to totally new levels for me.  I understand it on a visceral level that I had not previously.

 

My knife was a Christmas present.  When I was handed the box I actually tingled.  I had no idea what was in it but the excitement over opening it was palpable.  It felt like whatever it was had come home to me where it belonged.  When I opened it and placed it in my hand - it was love at first site.  I loved everything about it - the shape, the weight, the balance, the design that was created for the function - not just for the prettiness.  Form followed function and it was exquisite.

 

I had never Blooded a knife to me before.  I had no idea that such a concept even existed.  For whatever reason (and I'm going with intuition and flow here) I opened it, placed the tip on my finger and spun it.  It drew blood more like a pin would than a knife.  I wiped down not only the blade but the entire length of it.  In that moment - I became one with it.  My soon to be ex and daughter just sat there looking at me like 'here she goes again'.  They also asked me what the hell I was doing and I had no answer other than 'making it mine'. 

 

Over the course of the next little while I worked with the blade.  I offered it oil and worked out the tightness in the joints.  I practiced with drawing it, opening it, swinging it, moving with it until I truly became one with it.  It became an extension of my hand.  It became a part of me.  I feel naked without it.  I don't think about using it - I just do - it's an extension of me.

 

I've read of and talked to people regarding the concept of a blade being loyal to them.  For the first time in my life I really understood what that meant.

 

You guys can choose to believe me in this next part or not.  It matters not to me because I fully believe this.  (And considering that I have an affinity for working with and communicating with metals - it's not a far reach for me.) 

 

The only design flaw in this knife was the safety lock.  8 out of 10 times that I would pull it out of my pocket the lock would catch on my pocket and the knife would lock.  This is a HUGE problem with a defensive weapon.  If you cannot count on it working the way it's supposed to - you can't count on it in a time of need.  I hadn't realized at the time just how close of a connection I had with my knife and this is what showed me that connection was there.

 

When I would pull it out of my pocket to work with it, practice with it, dance with it...  it would jump out of my hand and land on the tile floor.  It only did it once on the carpeting - and that was too cushioned to do a damned thing.  If it jumped once - it jumped 50 times.  I watched as the safety latch (which prevents it from opening) was damaged, became cracked and eventually split in half and fell off.  (Anyone who's had a crystal that's been around too much energy jump off of a necklace knows the concept that I'm discussing here.)  And then oddest thing happened.  My knife felt content.  My knife felt.

 

It also stopped jumping out of my hand.  It stopped working it's way up and out of my pocket and landing on hard surfaces.  I was so excited when my knife took it upon itself to fix it's design flaw so that it could truly be a weapon that could be counted upon in a time of need that I got on the phone and called everyone I know who understands such things. 

 

While my knife is it's own and has it's own spirit it is also imbued with mine.  After describing the way that I work with it I was told by someone I respect that it had, in essence, become a ki weapon.  I do use it for workings in this world and others.  It's amazing at cutting (unseen by the physical eye) cords and other ethereal/astral types of things.  It's amazing at working in the physical as well.  I used it 2 days ago to cut back something that was both in the physical and the ethereal.  When it's 'lost' I can call out to it and find it. 

 

I am one with my blade.  And I believe it's because of the dance and the spirit that resides within it.

 

So, my question to you guys is this:

 

In your differing opinions - has this knife been 'consecrated'?

 

 

 

(edited for typos)

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That is quite possible about looking in the wrong places. What you describe is the experience I have with mine and how they came to me and how I join with them. Yet it is seldom what I see or encounter from others in how they view their things. But I do agree with your statement. Most of the time I see it as a simple dance, but yes there are times one puts on a masterpiece of a show.

 

Its probably a location thing and what circles we move in. Also in a lot of traditions you don't talk about your tools in anything more than a general way. Its all kept between you and the spirits.

 

As an aside note it's been years since I heard anyone use "Bloody" in a statement, took me back to my time in Scotland back in the late 70's and early 80's. Was a nice minnie trip down memory land so thank you for that.

lol, I don't know if that makes me old fashioned or just terribly British. :)
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But Gyreleaf - to me, that's part of the dance.

 

I can see why you would call it a dance. But MonSno was quite specific in the description of the dance and the movement and interplay of dancer and tool. I took it to be a specific way of doing things, also I think I have witnessed that being done. Dance has its own role in my work as a separate thing.

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Its probably a location thing and what circles we move in. Also in a lot of traditions you don't talk about your tools in anything more than a general way. Its all kept between you and the spirits.

 

lol, I don't know if that makes me old fashioned or just terribly British. :smile:

 

 

I know what I saw and encountered in Scotland was way different than many things I saw in the states.  Yet very similar to many of the things I saw in the Familial influences in the Blue Ridge.  Figure a lot of that had to do with the fact Part of that aspect of my ancestry did originate in Scotland / Ireland.  It was 1979 when I got to Scotland and when I did hear about witchcraft or such there I vaguely recall it was Peti Wicca though there were a couple of people I met that called it the old ways or similar.  Came home with a couple Sgian Dubh's with Amber Hilt stones in them.  Wanted to get a Claymore and a Shillelagh but never found the right ones.

 

Tools were very different there and how we used them.  Always spoken of but seldom actually shown is what I recall the most.

 

I've never forgotten walking around the city of Aberdeen and having a pair of women speak to me.  Passed me by a couple of times before they stopped me and recognized me as a kindred spirit and practitioner.  Yet never once said anything to them prior to that. 

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I can see why you would call it a dance. But MonSno was quite specific in the description of the dance and the movement and interplay of dancer and tool. I took it to be a specific way of doing things, also I think I have witnessed that being done. Dance has its own role in my work as a separate thing.

 

 

I admit I was pretty specific in describing how the dance went with sword and staff as an example.  Yet that aspect was just that an example as was using the kettles and such as drums and beating out that dance pattern.  One of the first sword dances that I ever witnessed though was a part of the  Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo I think it was then a few years later as part of a samurai display in Japan  Saw one a few years later with a pike but that was different than sword and staff..

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