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SHAMANIC TOOLS



You can find a complete list of tools & how to make them by taking my correspondence course.

DRUM -Drums are very expensive to buy, furthermore it requires a partner to beat on it while you go off into a trance. I recommend that you use a drumming tape, or music that is soothing to you. If you feel that a drum is necessary then purchase a tambourine, take out the discs and replace them with feathers and ribbons.

Silver Branch - This is something that is mentioned in many Celtic legends. It replaces the Shamanic rattle and the drum. The Silver branch is symbolic of the otherworld tree where the birds of Rhiannon sat. You can make one by cutting a branch from a tree, or purchasing a dowel from a hardware store. The branch should be 12 - 16 inches long, or smaller. Cut grooves into the surface of the branch or dowel to keep the bells you attach from falling off. Golden bells should have a pleasing sound that is clear in tone, tie them to the branch. The three bells are symbolic of the triple Goddess aspect.

Cloak - In some legends the Shamans wore a cloak of feathers. This is not only impractical, but it would be both uncomfortable and expensive! You may wear an ordinary robe or cape made of any material. The preferred colors for the cloak are black, green, brown and white. If you wish, you may decorate this cloak with feathers or beads.

Headband - Some shamans wore headdresses. You may substitute the headdress with a colorful headband. If you wish you may purchase a crescent moon headband from a specialty pagan supply store.

Cauldron - The Cauldron is symbolic of Cerridwen's Cauldron of inspiration, or initiations. Initiates approved by Cerridwen underwent a ceremony in which they drank a special mixture of herbs from her Cauldron. This gave inspiration, and knowledge ("awen") to the seeker of truth. A sturdy cast Iron Cauldron may be purchased from several pagan supply houses. The cauldron does not need to be large. A small one is better, since you will want to move around with it, or place it in the center of your altar. Depending upon the type of journey, the Cauldron may also be replaced with a chalice or a bowl. If you are going to be drinking from the Cauldron, then I suggest that a chalice is your best replacement.

Sword of Nuada - The sword was brought from an ancient city of the Tuatha De Dannan before their migration into Ireland. Nuada's sword is reminiscent of other legends such as King Arthurs "Excaliber." You may purchase a sword from a specialty store (Cost Plus sometimes has them at a reasonable price), or you can make one of wood, then decorate it with Celtic designs.

Lugh's Spear - Lugh's spear came from the city of Gorias. The spear is said to have been all conquering just as Nuada's sword. It is also an equivalent to a Celtic staff, which can be made from a tree branch or a large dowel. The staff should be no more than head high. It can be plain or decorated. You may attach a crystal to the head of the staff just as many pagans do with their wands. Remember to drill or bore a hole into the tip of the staff large enough to accommodate the crystal, then glue in with Crazy or Super Glue. You may also attach various ornaments or colored ribbons to your staff.

Lia Fail (leea fawl) The Stone of Destiny - This came from the city of Failias, which was said to cry aloud when a rightful king stood or sat upon it. The Shamans stone should be flat and small. When you find a stone that suits this purpose, cleanse it in a solution of salt water to remove any negative vibrations it may have accumulated over the years. If you can't find a natural flat stone, then you may substitute ta piece of marble.

Crane Bag - The Crane bag is used to carry all of your tools. It should be made of a natural material, such as chamois skin, leather or heavy cloth. A purse or bag with a shoulder strap is perfect for this. You may also want separate smaller bags that you will place in the Crane bag to hold healing herbs, rune stones, ogam sticks, stones and crystals. Oils, incense, and other magical objects.

Although Shamans carry many different stones, Crystals are considered separate tools. Crystals are living things from the earth, and are extremely powerful. Each crystal resonates a different spiritual energy. You will want several different crystals for different types of work. You must determine which energy each crystal holds. Some are used for healing, others as soul-catchers to return or repair a lost or fragmented spirit. Your crystals must be cleansed after each use. The use and employment of Crystals will be covered in a separate a glossary.






HOW TO USE YOUR SHAMANIC TOOLS


You will not use the same tools for every journey, now will you prepare your sacred space the same way each time as each journey will require something different.. Your Animal Allies and Otherworld guides will advise you or lead you in your preparations for each journey. You may or may not decide to work outside, but you should always be comfortable no matter where you work. You are not required to sit in an uncomfortable position, as pain will not help you progress spiritually. You are more comfortable laying down, then that is what you should do.




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Copyright 1995 Cougar SilverMoon
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