1. Elemental correspondences
Understanding the traditional objects, feelings, creatures
and other correspondences associated with each of the four Elements
is essential to feeling at home in traditional Wicca. All that
surrounds us is made up of one or more of the Elements Air, Fire,
Water and Earth. Just as we get to know the gods and goddesses
as individuals we also must develop relationships with each of
the Elements as individuals. We must come to understand every
nuance of their characters individually and how they interact
with each other and with us.
Correspondences vary somewhat from one tradition to the next but most are standard throughout traditional Wicca. You will find the same correspondences in astrology, the tarot and alchemy. The following are some of the correspondences used in the tradition of Blue Moon Wicca.
from Celebrating Life Rites of Passage For All Ages by Tzipora Klein, with additions
Magical Tool: Sword or athame
Time of Life: Childhood
Time of Day: Dawn
Elemental Being: Sylphs
Magical Tool: Wand
Time of Life:adolescence
Time of Day: Noon
Elemental being: Salamanders
Magical Tool: Cup or cauldron
Time of Life: Adulthood
Time of Day: Dusk
Elemental Being: Undine
Magical Tool: Pentacle
Time of Life: Old Age
Time of Day: Midnight
Elemental Being: Gnome
Tarot: Pentacles or Coins
2. Exploring the use of symbology in traditional Wicca.
(symbology n. 1.The study or interpretation of symbols or symbolism. 2.The use of symbols.)
One of the many important parts of Wicca is understanding the
importance of the symbology found in all things. Nothing is merely
as it first appears. Looking beyond the surface, beyond the physical
and obvious aspects of all becomes second nature in traditional
Wicca. To accept an object only for its most obvious purpose is
to miss 99% of what it has to tell you. Much of the work you will
do to advance in Wicca will involve meditating on the symbolism
found in objects and experiences.
A good way to practice looking for symbology is to pick up an object from your altar and examine it. You may have had a specific reason for placing it there, or you may have just been "drawn to it". Either way, try and think and feel everything that the object represents. Consider all the possible uses and connections it makes. Close your eyes and visualize it in different settings.
You can do this with each object on your altar, but do only
one or two per ritual. Be sure to write in your journal any important
ideas that come to you.
If you are not already doing it, begin to explore the symbology of things and actions outside of ritual as well. Look for correspondences and representations of the elements as you go about your daily chores, work and play.
3. Magical objects:
Incense made at home and charged with the appropriate energy will lend more magic to any ritual than off-the-shelf incense. The various herbs, oils and resins which may be used in making incense have distinct magical and functional properties. "The Master Book of Herbalism" by Paul Beyerl lists the magical and medicinal purposes of many herbs and "The Complete Book of Incense, Oils & Brews" by Scott Cunningham contains recipes for incense, ointments and more.
If you do use commercially prepared incense in cone, stick, coil or granular form at least be aware of the ingredients and magical correspondences behind them.
Consider using the same kind of incense each time you meditate. The familiar smell will help you achieve trance more quickly. Incense is used to set a mood, carry messages to the gods, and to cleanse and consecrate magical tools.
The color of a candle used for a spell can be chosen in accordance with your favorite source of color correspondences. Candles may also be inscribed and/or anointed with oil appropriate for the spell.
You do not need to spend extra money for "magically charged" candles. There is no reason to believe that someone else can charge your candle for your magic better than you can yourself.
c. Amulets, Talismans & Sachets
Any magical object is more powerful when made by the person who is intended to benefit from it. Although it would not necessarily be unethical to make an talisman for a friend or relative you must be sure their intent agrees with your ethics, since the result - good or bad - will be your responsibility.
Concentrate on the intended purpose while working on your magical object then charge it with energy.
Webster's New Universal Unabridged Dictionary: a charm; something worn, often around the neck, as a remedy or protection against evils or mischief. Amulets were common in earlier days. They consisted of stones, metals, or plants, and sometimes of words, characters, or sentences, arranged in a particular order.
Complete Book of Witchcraft, by Raymond Buckland: The difference between a talisman and an amulet is that while a talisman is human-made, an amulet is natural. One that is considered very much a Witch's amulet is a stone with a natural hole through it...obviously tying-in with fertility...So you cannot make an amulet; you can only adopt one. If you take an amulet and then engrave and consecrate it...then it becomes a talisman (or, if you prefer, a "talismanic amulet").
Webster's New Universal Unabridged Dictionary: a magic figure, a horoscope. 1. something, as a ring or stone, bearing engraved figures or symbols supposed to bring good luck, keep away evil, etc. 2. anything supposed to have magic power; a charm.
Complete Book of Witchcraft, by Raymond Buckland: A talisman is a man-made object endowed with magical powers, especially for averting evil from, or bringing good luck to its owner. A talisman made by one person for another can never be as strong as a personally made one. A talisman can be of virtually any material - paper, silver, copper, lead, stone... The most common form a talisman takes is a metal disc worn on a chain as a pendant. On one side of the disc you place the personalization, and on the other side the objective.
A sachet is a small bag, usually containing one or objects intended collectively for a magical purpose. The bag can be plain or decorated and is preferably handmade by the person intended to benefit from its use. Sachets can be worn, hung in your car, placed on windowsills (see the House Blessing Ritual in Tzipora's book: Celebrating Life), or placed anywhere their magic is needed. See Handout.
Pick one object from your altar (or, if you do not yet have an altar, from your favorite knick-knack shelf) and look for and write down all of the symbology for it you can find. Include at least these categories: practical physical uses; practical mental uses; impractical physical uses; what the item might represent; how it may be viewed in other cultures. After you have thought of all the possible answers, close your eyes and spend some time meditating on the object. You will find even more answers coming to you. Write these down.
For further study practice this exercise with each item on your altar. It is preferable to spend several days or longer on each item. You will want to repeat all the items several times per year. You might pick a couple to work with at each Full Moon being sure to cover all of the items within one turn of the wheel.