I truly have a love/hate relationship with Magical Tools and Implements of power, and take a rather middle of the ground view on the subject. Between the Old Guard view that you must use the right tools at the right time to get the correct results, and the Chaos Magicians postulation of “Here, let’s take a bit of black electrical tape and slap it on this dirty piece of window glass and what do you know, we have a Skrying mirror”.!
A very Insightful student of mine said something that sums up the way I see tools perfectly, “Just like when you learn the rules of the English language, you need to Learn them right the first time, then you can throw them out the window. “English Grammar rules exist so that we don’t sound like complete idiots when we write. The rules about Tools and correspondences exist for the same reason, but for the benefit of the spirits and your subjective will.
Most of them have a good reason for being around; after all, the Pen and Parchment play a vital role in the Grimorium Verum, most Enochian feels just empty and wrong without a Skrying Stone or Mirror. However, that’s not to say that all rules about Magical tools are written in stone. In fact, some of them seem to be the work of books that tell you to buy this, that, and that skull over in the display case, so you better sprint on over to the Warlocks Closet and Emporium and spend your whole paycheck on all this cool stuff!
Most Tools of the Art are simply charged items, filled with Chi or the force of some entity that you have worked with, be it a wand, wax doll, sword or talisman. “The tool is not the tool - the tool is how you use it." Some wise old mage said in times past (or it could have been a cobbler, who knows?)How you direct your energy is what magic is all about, and is the true source of Occult powers. Skilled sorcerers are able to increase their internal power in order to successfully perform rituals, and since each charging of a Tool is a ritual in and of itself, your Chi is an integral part of Tool use.
It is well known that ghosts and entities are attracted to the brilliance of the lights shining from the altar and from the Magician’s own life force. Magical Tools, and every item that we come in contact with daily, are simply charged items. Everything that we manipulate with our hands picks up an impression, although some items from their material base can keep a charge longer and have a more permanent lasting effect.
Anything biological will work best in the magical arts, the once living cells take and keep a charge well, but we must fight against rot of course and their worth is only as good as the preservation techniques that are put into making them last. The next best material is metal. the seven planets of the ancients symbolized the seven primary metals used in magic; gold, silver, copper, iron, Mercury, tin, and lead respectively. The third category of material used in magical practice is stone. This includes glass, rubies, diamonds, and an assortment of precious and semi-precious stones. Artificial materials are not recommended for any magical work, but they do make great containers to block such energies from seeping and draining out of charged materials (Tupperware anyone?)Keeping them Wrapped in silk is the traditional route for the storage of most tools. The various esoteric symbols, colors and items in magical rituals serve to further conjurer’s intention. Likewise, the use of incense, music, and other materials are used to intensify the senses and empower the rite. Just a few thoughts from the Grimorium Carceris: Copyright 2015 Vincent Piazza