This is the fifth and final part of the series dealing with elemental tools. Earth, like water, is a feminine and thus passive elemental. Even worse though Earth doesn’t have an active form (although water does). When I talked about water element tools I talked about how they were rarely used in ritual because they were passive tools. Earth tools get used a bit more often though, and there’s two main reasons for it. First off, and most importantly, they act as a bridge to the physical world. Secondly we can do things to Earth element tools.
What Are the Earth Element Tools
There is some confusion over what constitutes Earth element tools. We know the classic tools are Sword, Wand, Chalice, Lantern (or Lamp) and something else to represent Earth. I’ve noticed a lot of magicians have just stuck something in there so that they have a fifth tool (to represent the fifth element).
Actually every single physical tool you use has an Earth association. Your wand, your sword, your chalice, your lantern, all of these are technically Earth associated tools. In the case of your wand, for instance, it is fire associative, but it is also a physical object and thus has an Earth association.
Some magic is entirely spiritual in nature, but the point of a lot of magic is to somehow affect physical reality. Spells meant to bring you money, to bring love into your life, to help you find a book, and to strike your enemies dead are all meant to ultimately affect the physical world. The point of all this magic is to take something entirely spiritual, like an idea or energy or spirit, and somehow transform that into a physical force. Our tools aid us in that endeavor by acting as a bridge between the spiritual world and the physical world. Your wand represents the element of fire, an element which is a spiritual force. Your wand however is something that is physical (and Earth associative), and so it acts as a conduit to turn this spiritual thing into a physical thing.
Earth element tools are really the exact opposite of Spirit element tools. If you remember the actual spirit element tool isn’t the lantern or the candle, it’s the flame. And that flame, like our tools, acts as a bridge between the spiritual world and the physical world. It’s a bridge that goes the other way though. If we burn a candle, or a piece of paper, or some kind of offering, the point is to take something that is physical and turn it into something purely spiritual. Our other tools however take something that is purely spiritual and give it some sort of physicality.
Rather then go on and on about every type of physical tool imaginable, I’m going to look at three tools which are usually considered Earth element tools and a few different ways they can be used. Namely sigils, pentacles, and jewelry.
There are a few different ways to make sigils. You can copy them from a book. You can channel them. You can derive them from magical squares. And you can even create and then empower your own. Peter Carol created a method to do just that for his system of Chaos Magick that is very popular.
All a sigil is is just a symbol drawn on to some sort of physical object (like a piece of paper). Small children scribble on paper all the time. These scribbles rarely bring them great wealth or open the gates to hell or whatever else people usually do with magic. So what makes the symbols that make a sigil powerful?
The symbols of a sigil (however they’re made, so long as they are made correctly) connect to something. This may be an energy, or spirit, or idea, or place, or magician. It can really be anything. But the whole point of the sigil is that it forms a connection between something and that piece of paper, and quite possibly anyone who works with or even looks at the symbol on that piece of paper.
Suppose you have a spirit you’ve evoked. You want this spirit to do something for you, like bring you treasure or make somebody fall in love with you, it really doesn’t matter what. Some spirits may be very powerful. They may be powerful enough to manifest on their own and do your bidding or whatever. Other spirits though aren’t going to be that powerful. These spirits are entirely spiritual beings, and how the hell is a spiritual being going to drag treasure to your house? It’s like a ghost that moves around and you can see and even talk to, but it isn’t going to be able to pick stuff up and throw it at you.
So you take a symbol that this spirit is somehow connected to and write it on a piece of paper. You’ve now given the spirit a connection to that piece of paper. It can now utilize that piece of paper as a tool, and utilize some of that paper’s qualities, mainly that the piece of paper physically exists in this world and is allowed to physically effect this world. Now the spirit is capable of acting in this world.
Of course a piece of paper is a weak and flimsy thing. Paper isn’t well known for being forceful or powerful. Just like some spirits can manifest on their own some can do an awful lot with just a piece of paper. Others not so much. You could of course put your sigil on to other things though, like for instance you can carve a sigil into wood, or a metal like iron, or even into gold. And in any of these cases the spirit will be able to make use of the qualities of whatever you carve its symbol into. And wood and iron and gold all have a much greater physical mass, are much more durable, and much more powerful than paper.
I’m only including this one to clear up some confusion. A pentacle is not the same thing as a pentagram. These are two different words and, as such, they mean two different things. Some of the confusion stems from the fact that on several popular tarots (including the Rider-Waite) the pentacles depicted on the cards are of pentagrams.
A pentacle refers to a talisman of some sort. It is basically something with a symbol on it, like a piece of paper or a piece of metal. It sounds a lot like what I just said a sigil was. The main difference is that technically sigil refers to the symbol itself, where as pentacle refers to the entirety of the tool, both the symbol and the material it is drawn on. And yes sometimes that symbol may be a pentagram, but that isn’t always (or even mostly) the case.
I think we all know what jewelry is. It’s rings, necklaces, bracelets, talismans, amulets, tiaras, piercings, and just about anything else made of metal or a gemstone that can be worn on your person. We aren’t counting plastic jewelry, mainly due to the limited metaphysical properties of plastic as talked about in a previous article. That article also discusses the properties of metal and gemstones, which we’ll be making use of with magic jewelry.
When making magical jewelry we have four basic methods of enchanting jewelry.
1. Add specific energy to the piece – This is the most basic type of jewelry enchantment. Of course jewelry enchanted this way can be used as a simple battery or reserve of energy. It can also be used as a very simple type of spell. Basically the jewelry will push off large amounts of a specific energy into the surrounding area, and this energy will in turn have some effect on people in the surrounding area. It’s the same sort of an idea as a projection. A lot of the glamour rings (rings that make people more attracted to you/fall in love with you) I’ve seen, well the ones that aren’t entirely scams, use this type of magic to work.
2. Place a spell in the piece – This method is a bit more complicated and a bit more fancy, but far more versatile. To do this we find a spell or ritual, any spell or ritual at all. We then break down its physical components so it is entirely psionic. And lastly we place it into the object with the intent that the object will cast the spell on its own. There are a few different ways to go about doing this. The method that has always seemed easiest to me is to actually perform the entire spell and while doing this to pull the energy and ritual aspects from each part as the spell is being performed and place it into the object. Doing this means the spell you’re casting won’t do anything at all (because you yanked everything into the object), but then all of those acts and energies will be placed in the object and can be activated just by charging the object.
3. Connecting the object to a spirit – Another method to enchant an object is to connect the object to a particular spirit. This can be a demon, a ghost, an angel, whatever. Likewise the spirit may live inside or even be trapped inside the object. Alternatively the object may simply connect to a particular spirit that resides outside the object (in this case the object is sort of like a telephone that calls the spirit). In this case any energy put into the object is meant only to either empower the spirit or make a connection with the spirit. Whatever the object is meant to do is actually done by the spirit which resides in the object.
4. Making the object sentient – Finally you can make an object sentient. This is a lot like connecting it to a spirit. The difference is that instead of taking an already existing spirit and connecting it to the object, we make a new spirit which is the object. In other words we are making this object intelligent and giving it a soul.
Each of these four methods has various advantages and disadvantages. Method #1 is by far the easiest method, but it is also very limited and wastes a lot of energy. Method #2 is a bit more complicated but at the same time a lot more versatile in what it can do. Method #3 might not even require an energy source and you may be working with a very powerful spirit, but on the downside you need to find a willing outside spirit to connect into the jewelry and you also have to deal with that spirit. Method #4 requires you to know specific skills (how to make sentient objects), but eliminates the need to find an outside spirit and allows you to design the intelligence of the object to specifically fit you needs. On the downside the power of the object will be somewhat limited by your own power (unlike when using an outside spirit) and you will still have to deal with a sentient being (granted one you specifically designed though.
Sources of Energy
However you decide to make your jewelry you’ll still have to have an energy source for it. In order for the object to do anything it needs to expend energy, and that energy has to come from somewhere. Given time even an inanimate object will replenish the energy it expends. Gemstones are actually really good at replenishing energy, but this is still a slow process. Also these inanimate objects tend to naturally hold very small amounts of energy, and when they replenish themselves they will only replenish this very small amount. Usually that won’t be enough to do the sort of magic you want. There are several different ways to empower an enchanted object.
1. Take it from the wearer – This is by far the easiest and most common method. A piece of jewelry is designed so that it will draw energy off the person wearing it. There are of course several disadvantages to this method. First off you have to expend energy to use the object. Depending on how much energy the object needs it may exhaust you. And how effective the object is is going to be directly tied into how powerful the person wearing it is. A piece of jewelry that may work great for an adept may completely drain an inexperienced magician without having any effect.
2. Draw it from an infinite source – Basically the object is going to be tied into some source of infinite or near infinite energy. Usually an object like this is tied into a particular god who empowers it. The object may also be tied into a very powerful spirit. Another common thing to tie these objects into is the Earth. Alternatively a specific infinite place may be used, such as tying the object to one of the Sepiroth. The main disadvantage of this method is that the energy is going to be specific to what it’s being drawn off of, and that you’re going to need permission to take the energy from a god or spirit.
3. Tie the object into an energy cycle – You can also tie the object into a cycle or frequent occurrence and creates large amounts of excess energy in its wake. The most common cycle to tie an object into is the cycle of the moon. Once a month, when the cycle completes, the object will be completely charged. I personally like tying objects into lightning storms (there is a lot of excess energy floating around from the lightning during these storms). So every time a lightning storm happens these objects recharge. The main disadvantage of this method is that you can’t instantly recharge your objects and you may have to wait for some particular event to occur in order to use them.
4. Steal energy from the surrounding area – This type of object essentially operates like a psionic vampire. It looks around the area for anything besides the wearer that may have energy and drains it so that it can operate. The disadvantage to this method is that it is immoral and just as unethical as being a psionic vampire, and most magicians will regard this as a direct attack.
5. Receive energy from a sentient source – Finally you can get energy from a sentient source. This means that you either made the object sentient or you tied a spirit into the object. Both a spirit and a sentient object are going to have souls and they are going to naturally replenish energy. The sentient object or spirit may be powerful enough to completely empower the object.