Consecrating magickal tools is likely one of the first magickal rituals you will do when you’re a new witch starting out. It’s very simple and straightforward, however, its one of those magickal rituals that can be made very complex if you wanted to.
What is Consecration?
Consecration is the act of making something sacred, or dedicating something to sacred use only. This is a practice found in virtually all spiritual paths dating back as far as recorded spiritual practices are found. I won’t go into consecration of individuals, such as that which is performed for bishops, here, as that’s not relevant to what I’m talking about.
The actual act of consecration can be quite ceremonial or rather simple, depending on the spiritual path, what is being consecrated, and what the purpose of the consecrated item will be.
The fundamental common theme among all consecration practices is that the very essence of the object being consecrated is irrevocably changed in the process.
If you are Catholic, you are familiar with the priest consecrating the bread or crackers and wine used in communion. There is often an element of transmutation that comes along with consecration, as one thing is symbolically or spiritually transformed into another.
If you are familiar with most Judeo-Christian practices of consecrating burial land in cemeteries, this is another example of making land sacred so that anyone buried there is then part of that consecration.
In Hinduism, temples are consecrated and then re-consecrated every 12 years.
In Islam, similar to the Judeo-Christian practice of consecrating holy ground, once a temple is built on a particular piece of land, it is permanently dedicated and consecrated for that purpose and that land then can no longer be used to build anything else.
What to Consecrate
There is some debate about exactly how many things you should consecrate and what should be consecrated and what probably doesn’t need to be.
What I will say is this: if you have an item that you will be using only in your magickal or spiritual practice and you will not be using it for anything else, then consecrate it.
If you have items that you are using for spiritual things, but they are also your personal items and you cannot afford to purchase extras (for example, you may only have a couple of nice glasses and you use them to give offerings, but also to drink out of yourself), then I personally don’t think you’re doing it wrong.
However, here are things you should consecrate, but you’re likely not using them for other things:
- ceremonial athames/knives/swords
- permanent altars
- statues or representations of deities
- things you place on altars permanently
and then there are things you might want to consecrate, depending on what you’re using them for:
- sacred/blessed water
- temporary magickal work spaces
- outdoor spaces you use frequently, such as a garden or outdoor altar
Its really kind of up to you if you feel that something should be consecrated. If your intuition says yes, then do it. But, realize that consecration generally does mean that once you do it, that object is now dedicated to your magickal work and shouldn’t be used for other mundane things anymore.
How to Consecrate
This process will vary widely from one spiritual path to another, so please feel free to consult with those in your own spiritual path or tradition first, as they may have specific guidance here.
A general process of consecration in many pagan practices is to present the item to all four elements, asking each element to bless it.
This might look like submerging it in water or sprinkling a bit of water on it if it can’t be submerged, passing it through or over a flame, placing it in a dish of salt, and blowing on it or passing it through incense. You would then state that the item is now sacred and dedicated to serve you in your practice.
You can also choose to consecrate items by calling on any deities or entities with whom you work, asking them to bless the item and then stating that it is dedicated to serve you in your practice. This can be in addition to or in place of presenting to the elements or any other process you prefer.
Some spiritual paths will prefer to make this ceremonial, casting a circle, calling the elements, and involving deities. If you prefer this and you have the time and resources, its also an option.
My practice is really fairly eclectic and intuitive, and I tend to grab whatever object I am consecrating, hold it in my hands (or place my hands on it, if its an altar space) and meditate on it for a bit, sending all my emotion and intention into it, then stating its purpose. I may or may not use the four elements, but I generally do pass it through some frankincense and myrrh resin or incense.