Magic is all about energy—your personal energy, the energy of the Universe, the energy of the deities, elementals, guides, and other non-physical entities you may work with, and the energy of the intention you’re working magic for. It follows, then, that the energy of the physical tools you work with is a significant factor in the success of your magic, as well as the quality of any rites and rituals you perform as part of your Wiccan practice. For this reason, it’s important to clear new ritual tools and spell ingredients of any unwanted residual energy, and then charge them with intentional, positive energy before using them in ritual or spellwork.
Clearing: out with the old
Unwanted energy can come from all kinds of places, even when it comes to brand-new ritual tools. The process of manufacturing, transporting, and then selling just about any product, whether it’s a candle or a cauldron, involves the energy of various people who handle the item along the way. If you acquire something secondhand, then there’s even stronger energy present in the item, from its previous owner(s). Have you ever picked up an item of clothing or a book in a thrift store and felt your mood change as you held it in your hands? That’s someone else’s residual energy!
There’s no need to be afraid of leftover, unwanted, or “foreign” energy when it comes to your ritual tools and magical items. It’s all just energetic clutter that can be cleared away like dust from furniture. But the clearing step is an important one if you want a “static-free” connection to the non-physical plane through these particular objects.
So how do you clear unwanted energy? There are several different methods, and some are better suited to particular items than others. For example, sea salt is a tried-and-true cleanser of denser energies, particularly when it comes to crystals and candles. It works by absorption—just bury the item in a bowl of salt and leave for several hours or overnight, then remove and rinse. (Be sure to throw the salt away.) A variation on this method is to dissolve sea salt in water and soak or sprinkle your objects. However, depending on their particular composition, not all items hold up well in a salt bath, so do some research first.
Sunlight is another natural cleansing agent. Lay your ritual tools out in direct sunlight for at least one hour and any unwanted energy will be burned away, leaving them purified and ready to be charged with your own personal energy for maximum effect. Moonlight works the same way, and is preferable for any items that might be faded or otherwise harmed by the light and heat from the Sun. This is especially applicable to certain crystals and herbs you may want to use in spellwork.
Smudging with sage, rosemary, lavender, and/or other cleansing herbs is an ancient tradition practiced by shamanic peoples around the world. It works to clear out unwanted energy from objects, physical spaces, and even people. Sound is another excellent way to break up and disperse stale energy—try ringing a bell or some chimes over your more delicate ritual tools and ingredients to clear them for magical use.
Charging: in with the new
The next step in preparing your ritual tools and spellwork items is charging them with the energy of your personal intention for their use. For example, you might charge a citrine crystal with happy, confident energy so that this vibration will be available to you whenever you need to call on it by holding the stone in your hand. If you’re charging a candle for a specific spell, you’ll focus on the connection between the candle and the goal you’re working to manifest.
Both sunlight and moonlight double as charging agents, so you can essentially clear and charge at the same time. Just be sure, if you’re charging for a specific goal, that you focus that intention into the item when you lay it out under the celestial body of your choice. Another simple method is to lay your object on a pentacle slab (which has already been cleared and charged). For an extra “boost,” lay the pentacle in sunlight or moonlight. Amethyst and quartz crystals are also excellent chargers in their own right, so you can place herbs, smaller stones, ritual jewelry or any other objects that will fit right onto these sparkling beauties.
No matter which method you use, the energy of your own focused intention is the key to the process. Visualize the outcome you’re seeking when you charge your ritual tools and magical ingredients. Tactile connection—holding the object in your hands or placing your fingers on it while it rests on a surface—is a good way to transfer your power to it. Speaking words of intention can really help you hone your focus, so come up with some words that express your desire here. For example, when charging for a specific spell, you might say:
“I charge this [name the object]
through the Universal power
to bring [name the magical purpose]
into my life.
So let it be.”
Consecrating your ritual tools
When it comes to ritual tools, such as your wand or athame, charging is generally combined with what we call “consecration.” Consecration usually involves invoking the God and Goddess and/or the Elements as a way of connecting the ritual objects directly with the divine. Depending on how you approach your practice, this may be a more elaborate process than that used for charging spell ingredients. Often people will cast a circle for this work, or else incorporate the charging of new items into a larger ritual. Altar tools are traditionally consecrated on a pentacle, or a pentacle may drawn with a wand or athame over the object in the center of the altar. If you’re new to Wiccan practice, you might want to try a few different approaches to find what feels most powerful and true for you.
It may feel at times like clearing and charging your tools and ingredients is a hassle. But it’s always worth it to take the time to perform these steps. Not only is the energy of the objects themselves much improved, but powerful energetic changes occur within you as you focus on your practice in this way. If you really want to understand the difference, try a spell without charging your ingredients first, and then try the same spell again with charged ingredients. You’ll be amazed at just how real all this “energy” business truly is!