C. MAGICAL TOOLS
The Seeker is required to obtain thirteen tools before they take their Clan Oath and go through their Rebirthing Ceremony of Initiation. These tools should be presented by the Seeker to his College, the Ard Gwyddon and Ard Gwydden for approval prior to undergoing the Ceremony, out of respect for their position. It is also preferable that you as the Seeker have attended several meetings before your ceremony so that you well know what you're entering into. There is also a tradition regarding "the Witness". The Witness is just that, a third party, who witnesses the presentation of the Seeker by his teacher to the Ard Gwyddon and Ard Gwydden and thereby verifies that it took place. The teacher could, in theory, fulfill this function if practicality dictates. Also, remember - the Clan Oath must be taken before the Ceremony.
1. THE TOOLS OF THE ART
a. The Thirteen Required Tools: (Charged by Ard Gwyddon & Ard Gwydden at the Rebirthing or Initiation Ceremony)
1. A Robe
Element: Water - The robe should be a solid color of the student's choice, with or without a hood, and may be trimmed in a contrasting color of the student's choice. The robe should slip over the head, be ankle length and loosely comfortable. After initiation, the student needs to embroider the First Degree symbol onto a sleeve or cuff (green upright pentacle on right for males, left for females).
Element: Earth - The cord is used to tie around the waist of the robe and to mark out the boundaries of circles when used as a compass. The cord must have a finished overall length of 9 feet, including a loop at one end, and knots as follows: 0', 4.5', 6',7.5', 9'; five knots in all. Only initiates wear cords, it is a symbol of the priesthood The cord may be constructed in one of two ways:
A. A simple rope of any color or any material - the choice is the student's.
B. Braid or weave the cord of cloth, leather, silk or plant material.
3. Wand or Calling / Bell Staff
Wand: Cut wand after the moon has gone dark (up to three days following). Make sure that the tree is agreeable. Some trees will "gift" you with one, so it is unnecessary to actually cut one of its branches. Acceptable trees are fruiting trees (barren hybrids are poor choices) - nuts and other seed pods are also fine. If tree is sexed, choose the female. Wand length is up to the student, but "standard" length is from outside bend of the elbow to tip of finger. Let it sit in moonlight as it waxes until the Full Moon. Strip the bark off, sand and decorate or carve. Have it charged by the initiators.
Calling or Bell Staff: A wand, as above, or mini-sized staff with three branches. Although it can be used by an individual for individual working, its primary use is in group meetings. It is fitted with bells and shaken. Three or nine bells are most appropriate. It is used to "call together the Clan".
4. Sacrificial Blade or Cryman
Element: Fire - A sickle or knife (preferably double edged) with a sheath or clip that will allow it to be hung off the cord. The blade can be steel,iron, bronze, wood, bone, stone copper, brass gold or silver depending on usage. For the harvest of mistletoe, for example, a gold, bronze, brass or gold colored or gold-leafed wood sickle is best. The handle is of the student's own preference, and comfortable in the hand. Wood, bone, horn, shell, metal, stone, etc. are all good choices. The cryman is best reserved for special use. It may be decorated with etching and carving.
5. Bowl of Annwyn
Represents Water in the elemental position (west). It can be a cup, goblet, shell, bowl, etc. of any material as the student prefers.
6. Bowl of Abred
Represents Earth in the elemental position (north). Can be a cauldron, dish, shell, plate, bowl, etc. of any material as the student prefers.
7. Bowl of Gwynfyd
Represents Air in the elemental position (east).It must be able to be moved while the incense, herbs or resins are being burned on charcoal. It can be on a stand (where a stand can be raised), or suspended on chains. The best materials are metals (with feet to protect altar top surface), oven proof china, stone or Pyrex glass. A feather(s) can be used to direct the smoke.
8. Clan Candle
"The Flame that binds us." (south)(And represents the fire or power of the clan itself). It sits between the candles on the altar that represents the Ancestors (Goddess and God). It is only to be be used after the student has taken the clan oath. Type to be used is any to the student's preference and may hold votive, taper, pillar or sculpture candles. If using a votive, a clear cup is preferred as the candle needs to be WHITE in color.
9. The Tylweth Teg of the Feast A pair of candlesticks or goddess and god candles to represent the Ancestors - Goddess and God. Use one green and one red candle. If these are not available, using white or natural wax colors is fine. When lit, invoke the names of the altar's or festival's chief deities are invoked.
10. Ritual Chalice (group or personal) A wine chalice or cup. Use to drink wine or spirits out of at group meetings or to make libation.
11. Altar Grounding Stone or Sigil. This is for grounding energy. The Druid Sigil is an example and is a willow wreath, hoop or a plate with parallel branches through the center. Its origin is modern and is in common usage by other modern Druid groups such as RDNA, ADF and Celtria. It does contain the properties of the keyhole symbol used by the Ancients, however, and as such is an excellent tool. Other symbols such as spirals, solar crosses inside circles and visual mandala can be used in the same manner. Other examples of grounding devices used optionally on the altar are meteorites and other sacred stones such as: lodestones, pieces of Caer de Manon, etc.
12. Invocation Offering Shell. Used to invoke Manawyddon to open the worlds. Manawyddan's shell can also be a small wax candle in the shape of a sea shell, and if so, it is placed whole into the firepit or offering bowl once the offering is made to Manawyddan - with care not to ignite the offering bowl or the pit with it ar that time.
13. Garen Cwd. Crane bag - special bag to hold mistletoe and special items. Can be worn on strap around neck.
b. Optional Tools To Be Obtained Later:1. Objects or figurines representing the Ancestors - the Goddess and God of your College or Clan affiliation.
a. Healing Wands: Made of birch or apple.Birch was made into besoms (brooms) and ritually used to cleanse the ritual areas. "Birch brooms sweep clean" is the old saying - purifying and cleansing. In ancient times, criminals were ritually beaten with birch sticks to drive out their social disease. So Birch is also traditional for a healing wand. Apple is used on a different level. It is purifying as death, fertility and rebirth. Apple protects, but allows the disease to die and then a new pattern to be planted as you "rest" in (and of)the land of the blesséd. It is also associated with healing due to its high vitamin and nutrient content of the fruit ("An apple a day keeps the doctor away!")
b. Blackthorn Wand: Best used for magic involving fertility and death. It is good for negative works or when dealing with negativity. The names of particular ancestors who have an interest in fertility or dark aspects may be carved in ogham on this wand.
c. Staff: Used as a wand but larger. Decorations may reflect the deity association of its particular use (such as D'Anu, Lugh's spear). It is also usual for the College, Llwyn or Nemeton officers to have staves.
d. Host's Cane: The symbol of the scepter of the Lord of the Feast, sacred to Govannon and Manawyddon. Govannon - Ale that keeps the tuatha ever young, Manawyddon - Pigs of Immortality. For this reason they can also be any of the five sons of Dón.