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Death and the Witch's Tools


Michele

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This came to mind after reading the thread about Mr. Kelly.How many not in a working family leave behind directions regarding their tools and such? And especially if you have poppets in the house of loved ones that you keep ready for emergencies - those are not things you would want thrown in the trash compactor. Many of my tools are "woken" and have their own spirits, and as such I would want them carefully and respectfully "let go" rather than dumped int the trash. I have often thought of leaving my son instructions should I have an untimely passing. He may or may not be into it at the time, but I do know he would comply with the instructions and that my tools would not hurt him or perceive him as a threat (warding items). I would have him take my tool to a wild area, explain that I was gone (not like they wouldn't know it, but it would need to be spoken for the ritual to properly take place in my mind) and then follow instructions to "release" the spirit of the tool and dismantle it and bury it. My wards would be passed on to him and his family (along with instructions on how to work with them) should he decide to keep them, so he would also be instructed to let them know if he was not keeping them. The wards themselves know who he is, as do many if not most of my other tools. My hand-written books he would either keep or give to his daughter or if not, then follow instructions to wrap and seal them in plastic and bury them in a field to be found by someone who would need them. My store-bought books I would ask that he finds someone with an interest in traditional craft off the net and give them all to the person of his choice.

 

M

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This came to mind after reading the thread about Mr. Kelly.How many not in a working family leave behind directions regarding their tools and such? And especially if you have poppets in the house of loved ones that you keep ready for emergencies - those are not things you would want thrown in the trash compactor. Many of my tools are "woken" and have their own spirits, and as such I would want them carefully and respectfully "let go" rather than dumped int the trash. I have often thought of leaving my son instructions should I have an untimely passing. He may or may not be into it at the time, but I do know he would comply with the instructions and that my tools would not hurt him or perceive him as a threat (warding items). I would have him take my tool to a wild area, explain that I was gone (not like they wouldn't know it, but it would need to be spoken for the ritual to properly take place in my mind) and then follow instructions to "release" the spirit of the tool and dismantle it and bury it. My wards would be passed on to him and his family (along with instructions on how to work with them) should he decide to keep them, so he would also be instructed to let them know if he was not keeping them. The wards themselves know who he is, as do many if not most of my other tools. My hand-written books he would either keep or give to his daughter or if not, then follow instructions to wrap and seal them in plastic and bury them in a field to be found by someone who would need them. My store-bought books I would ask that he finds someone with an interest in traditional craft off the net and give them all to the person of his choice.

 

M

 

Excellent thought, M. Never even thought about our tools. Great advice.....it's cool your son is accepting of your lifestyle...my two, not ever. My husband would have to handle it I guess. Thanks for the input and great advice.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I was discussing this topic with someone, and they have crafted a spell that automatically releases all magical workings upon their death. I won't speak to the effectiveness and practicality of such a spell, as it seems just a little too easy to me. I found it interesting, though, and it reminded me of this thread.

 

Jevne

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Guest Elfyd

M-

Several of your recent posts have taken on a fatalism feel. Although I know of your thoughts on your death, when it comes, from past chats we have had I am caused to wonder why so many at this time?

I am sure that with the connections you have with your tools that the bond will not be broken by the castle spinning one more time. The essence of the tool with surely, at least in part, be with you.

Makes one wonder however regarding a mundane/legal aspect?

FFFF

Elf

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Nice topic Michele and one I've never thought about!

 

I'm currently imagining leaving hubby to look after it and no it's not an option. It would cause all sorts of havoc.

 

Thankfully I have a daughter who is also of the same 'gifts' and my son too (more like his dad). I will leave whatever I have 'on the go' to her and let her deal with it as she sees fit. I'm looking forward to sharing with her as she grows anyway and I'm sure she will be able to do this for me.

 

Tools and books I would like to leave to both. To be safely stored unless needed. Kind of like a generational gift and a way of continuing to share myself and my knowledge to future generations when I'm gone.

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M-

Several of your recent posts have taken on a fatalism feel. Although I know of your thoughts on your death, when it comes, from past chats we have had I am caused to wonder why so many at this time?

I am sure that with the connections you have with your tools that the bond will not be broken by the castle spinning one more time. The essence of the tool with surely, at least in part, be with you.

Makes one wonder however regarding a mundane/legal aspect?

FFFF

Elf

 

Good questions E, lol... I suppose several things... mundanely the birth of a grandchild and the sudden death of two people's very young (under 35) family members at work, my mum getting older and giving up some of her independance, etc. Makes me realize that anything can happen at any time and I have responsibilities.

 

But like that locket someone started a thread about - how irrespobsible of me would it be to let thses things be sold in a garage sale to god-knows-who? And my familiar... her focus-form needs ot be burried with me even though she has a specific life-span. And even people on here and others that I only know through the internet, lol.... were I to suddenly stop using the forum, no one would even know why or what happened to me or even IF anything had happened. Actually, I have also thought of giving my son the net address and instructions to post in the guest area should anything ever happen so people don't wonder, lol. But we don't know each other. We don't know each other's families. If something did happen, no one would even know.

 

My collection of things - especially so many of my out-of-print books - would be of great asset to someone who was interestd and I'd rather have them go to someone who could use the knowledge. And familiars - one doe establish a bond and a fondness between the witch and her familiar/s. If the witch suddenly goes away and the familiar is not attended to in some appropriate manner and no life-span was programmed into it it can just run amouk, not to mention that it is lost without the one it works with... almost like a pet - there IS a relationship, and I perosnally, think the same thing with certain tools. And my cords - especially the ones that are "me" - those need to be disposed of VERY carefully. This isn't a game, and someone who knew what they were doing could actually use that cord to tie me to them just as I have used it to tie and bind those I work with to me. It's a mundane responsibility of th emagical path, and one I think needs to be taken very seriously.

 

M

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M & All,

My Prentice will burn my grimoire upon my passing. As I believe the craft is organic and therefor a tradition must change by virtue, my own grimoire would have been absorbed into the furtherance that I would hope his own grimoire becomes. I like the idea of my stang, staves and tools being left around or used by them that I interact with in the craft side of the mundane world, remember there is always a part of me suspended within the construction of all my tools. Hell, it gives me a great giggle to think that in 100 years from my passing that a great, great grandaughter/son finds some old box in her/his grandad's (my Prentice) attic and the things inside fires the interest in the craft. As to Familiars, my thoughts on them differ from your perspective I think. I believe that a familiar chooses the crafter and not the other way round. To that end there would be no need to free a familiar.

 

M you do sound/read like you are in one of your deep moods. I also feel the need to spend time in my especial place that you know of from the pictures, I keep getting the message that I need stop showing the Prentice and just let him enjoy the flux of that special place. Sometimes being is worth more than a million words.

 

Best wishes,

Ahrazura

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Guest Elfyd

M & All,

My Prentice will burn my grimoire upon my passing. As I believe the craft is organic and therefor a tradition must change by virtue, my own grimoire would have been absorbed into the furtherance that I would hope his own grimoire becomes. I like the idea of my stang, staves and tools being left around or used by them that I interact with in the craft side of the mundane world, remember there is always a part of me suspended within the construction of all my tools. Hell, it gives me a great giggle to think that in 100 years from my passing that a great, great grandaughter/son finds some old box in her/his grandad's (my Prentice) attic and the things inside fires the interest in the craft. As to Familiars, my thoughts on them differ from your perspective I think. I believe that a familiar chooses the crafter and not the other way round. To that end there would be no need to free a familiar.

 

M you do sound/read like you are in one of your deep moods. I also feel the need to spend time in my especial place that you know of from the pictures, I keep getting the message that I need stop showing the Prentice and just let him enjoy the flux of that special place. Sometimes being is worth more than a million words.

 

Best wishes,

Ahrazura

 

************************************

 

A & M,

 

Beware of self-fulfilling prophecies, careful not to assume that those chosen BY you will be receptive of your gifts as and when the receive them. Also be on guard of "actualising" any negative situation you perceive or expect, you well know the power of the witch to affect change.

My positive and non-bane channel makes me believe that all will be well until the fates trump my hand.

 

You two have caused me to think more on some aspects covered above, for this thank you both.

 

FFFF

Elf

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My "things" pass to my daughters who are gifted. They're part of me and my tools and charms and stuff should work well with their energies. Already they follow the path, one more than the others. If I think I have something that shouldn't be handed down I will leave insructions for its disposal/decommissioning.

 

FB

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  • 3 months later...
How many not in a working family leave behind directions regarding their tools and such? (SNIP) Many of my tools are "woken" and have their own spirits, and as such I would want them carefully and respectfully "let go" rather than dumped int the trash.

 

I have instructions (carefully written, easily found) on how to deal with my belongings in the event of my unprepared passing. My tools are Ensouled - some will be passed on, some destroyed, some buried with me (or at a special locale). In some cases, Witches (historically) had to pass their "witch things" (Power, Tools, Familiars) to be -able- to die and remain at rest... to essentially not doom themselves to being a spirit with unfinished business, riding in the Wild Hosts. If someone's own beliefs took them in that direction, I'd say it's a sound process to have it in a Will.

 

I was discussing this topic with someone, and they have crafted a spell that automatically releases all magical workings upon their death.

 

Just like a spell for a job, I'm not going to trust it to work on it's lonesome. I'll still want to follow it up with the physical acts, and if my ass is no longer physical...weeeelll... someone's going to have to.

 

As to Familiars, my thoughts on them differ from your perspective I think. I believe that a familiar chooses the crafter and not the other way round. To that end there would be no need to free a familiar.

 

It depends on the Familiar, and the way one works with them, I'd think? If one uses seals or sigils to call it up, wouldn't those need to be destroyed to ensure it cannot be enslaved or abused? Perhaps for people like myself who have spirit-familiars with physical houses, those houses would either need to be passed/cared for, or destroyed. I'd be horrified to find someone had glued one of my Familiars to a headband and sold it on etsy as "Rustic ventage occult goth appeal fascinator", especially if it still called that skull home and showed up one day going "Wait, what the hell?"

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I would like to hope that if I had children my tools and books would be of use to them, if not I imagine I will have to find a way to have them taken care of. If I, at a later time, find myself a member of a group or coven, I may leave instructions for them to take care of my tools and books. Some of my tools have been handcrafted so I would hate to see them laid out on some random garage sale table for $1.

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At this point, most of my tools are infused with large amounts of energy specific to their purpose but do not have spirits bound to them or in them, so if something should happen to me their fate wouldn't be that big of a deal. I assume my family would go through my stuff, look askance at my husband when they realized that he was aware of my practices, and then hastily give them to him to dispose of which probably would mean they'd go into a box in the garage to be given to my daughter as an adult.

 

If the nature of my tools changes, then my concern of their disposal may change also.

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My tools are much like Aloe's at the moment. They are not ensouled, only energized. If they were, however, my other half is knowledgable enough to properly dispose of them.

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My tools are much like Aloe's at the moment. They are not ensouled, only energized. If they were, however, my other half is knowledgable enough to properly dispose of them.

 

My brother and my husband are both capable of handling my tools and other witchery. Though I do have so many things that I perhaps should mention to both that prior to selling or donating any of my supplies and tools, they should give my coven mates a chance to pick things out.

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  • 1 year later...

Those who are new to the Craft may or may not have considered how their tools and workings will be handled after their physical passing. As noted in this thread, some folks are equally concerned with both the physical and magical aspects, especially in cases where a close relationship has been cultivated or a connection made. At the very least, I would think that arrangements should be made for the Witch's magical book(s).

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Hmm, good thread with good thoughts. Never put much thought to this, as I haven't been planning on dying anytime soon(I plan on being a vicious old coot, meting out blows with blackthorn stick to disrespectful children, and blaming it all on dementia so they pump me full of good drugs n whatnot).

 

It really does bear thinking about, as my very few tools and book are laid with curses, and contain things I'm not sure it would be good to pass along to anyone, unless I personally train them(I'm not sure I trust a lot of people with curses that include mustard gas and poppets stuffed with sheep lungs, soaking in solvents and carcinogens, for example). I don't want anyone killing themselves, unless they've stolen my stuff. I can imagine what some of my more religious family members would think about such things, although being remembered as a crazy and vicious bitch on skates does have a certain appeal to me. Problem is, I'm not sure who I could assign such a task to; I'd probably have to have a friend dispose of my things safely.

 

I suppose I will stop my gibberings at this point, but just wanted to pass along my thanks to you for bringing up this concerning matter. Good stuff.

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Its a bit like the concept of the porn buddy isn't it? (the person whom immediately on hearing you have died, rushes round your house and hides all your porn). Maybe we all need to nominate a trusted "witch buddy" to sweep away all our private things from prying eyes......

 

Aurelian - sheeps lungs and mustard gas? My imagination has gone into overdrive!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I dont really use tools, i have loads of boxes of things, writings etc and belongings ( gifts and things iv found) It would all go to my four boys and hubby. I trust that they will do what they should with what they find. No big curses on my things, not needed as i have never had to hide anything.

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  • 4 months later...

A friend of a friend (not someone I know well) lost her battle with cancer recently.  Fortunately, she had made arrangements for the proper distribution and disposal of her tools and supplies.  It was a good thing, too, as family, friends, etc. came out of the woodwork, demanding certain items, insisting that she would have wanted it "that" way.  The woman had apparently went to the trouble of designating who could have what with first choice, second choice options.  I am not saying that a person should go to that much trouble, or care that much about a jar of peppermint or a box of candles, but there are some valid reasons to give it some thought.  If you are a solitary practitioner, working in secret, you may want to assign a buddy to get rid of the evidence, much like you would if you had a porn collection. :D

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Many of the "tools" I use are more like "friends" I have a relationship with, and I would not want to leave them suddenly "homeless". They are specific connections to living things, and some actually contain a living "spirit", not only a connection. As such, I would want them taken care of. It is a responsibility I have to them, just as they have a responsibility to me. So for me, I don't treat them as "tools", but as allies. And I wouldn't want my allies to abandon me in death simply becuase I hadn't bothered to be concerned about their well-being or maintained my bond with them and their safe-keeping. They live in the other world; I live in this world. When I die, they will be the ones who know the foot-paths to walk.  

 

M

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When I die all of my witchy stuff will go to my daughter.  I believe that it's my job to teach her so that she knows what to do with it all.

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WhisperingBreeze

My daughter has already been given that task. Hub's knows of my activities and knows that there are things that will be removed by her upon my demise.

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Playing off of something that I just saw on television, but stay with me, anyway . . .

 

Let's say that a person does manage to get a Witch's wand away from him / her and use it to wreak all sorts of havoc, wielding power that is not their own.  We have seen this happen in movies, like Hansel and Gretel.  That kind of scenario is predicated on the power existing inside the wand, not the Witch.  The Witch's tool is assumed to be gifted the power, in this case, with the Witch only holding on and directing that power.  If, on the other hand, the power truly comes from the Witch, it would seem a more likely scenario that once the Witch was gone, the power would either die with him / her or be transferred to another, thus, making disposal of tools a mute point.  So, we are back to where does power come from.  (Feel free to search for related threads on this, as there are several.)  What it really comes down to for me is having control, not allowing someone else to mess with my shit.  I am very possessive.  But, this conundrum, of sorts, is worth a think or two.

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We always pass on tools in our family. I have my grandmother's athame as an example. We also have the tradition that if a tool is to be destroyed (laid out before the person's death) we are to re-bind the spirit into a new version of the tool-in this way ancestral helpers continue to feel fealty to your kind. And to answer to the other person, can't recall who, said they heard of a 'release spell' for the spirits upon the persons death, such a thing is doable. I had a relative who did just that but had them bound to the house. It makes it rather easy to cast in that house. Its like 'extra power' or a boost of adrenalin.

Also, all instructions of such things are always in 'The writing' as we call it, but I am sure many of you are familiar with the 'witch alphabet', though I hate that term.

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Also, all instructions of such things are always in 'The writing' as we call it, but I am sure many of you are familiar with the 'witch alphabet', though I hate that term.

 

Yes, we are . . . http://www.traditionalwitch.net/forums/topic/8678-witches-alphabet/?hl=theban.  The alphabet that one chooses to use is really contingent upon his or her spiritual path, geographic location and/or related ancestry.  Many of us, for example, use alphabets created by either ourselves or our families.

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