Magickal Tool Care Series: Chalices

Hi and hello, fellow Witches! Welcome back to another installment in our Magickal Tool Care Series where we’re talking all about chalices. What are they? Who uses them? Do you need one for your practice? All of this plus the physical and spiritual care will be covered in this post. Let’s go!

ETYMOLOGY

chalice (n.)
“drinking-cup or bowl,” early 14c., from Anglo-French chalice, from Old French chalice, collateral form of calice (Modern French calice), from Latin calicem (nominative calix) “cup,” similar to, and perhaps cognate with, Greek kylix “cup, drinking cup, cup of a flower,” but they might both be loan-words from the same non-IE language. Ousted Old English cognate cælic, an ecclesiastical borrowing of the Latin word, and earlier Middle English caliz, from Old North French.

SOURCE

WHAT IS A CHALICE?

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A chalice is a cup or a goblet meant to do what a cup or goblet does: hold liquid. In the magickal world, chalices are used most often during rituals and ceremonies. They’re also used for offerings in the form of water, wine, ale, mead, etc. to ancestors and deities.

WHAT IS A CHALICE USED FOR?

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For practitioners who do not subscribe to any one path or tradition, the chalice can pull double-duty and act as a cauldron (granted what it’s made of is heat-proof), be used for scrying, blending ingredients, and as an offering cup.

For followers of Wicca and other Neo-Pagan sects, the chalice is representative of the Goddess and the Water element. The chalice is also symbolic of fertility and abundance. It may be filled during rites or be left empty. When left unfilled, this can symbolize a practitioner opening themselves up to abundance coming from the esoteric plane.

Practitioners following these paths will also use these cups during the segment of rituals known as “Cakes and Ale”.

WHAT IS “CAKES AND ALE”?

Cakes and Ale is basically consecrated cookies and drink consumed at the end of a ritual. This is done in order to thank the deities for their presence and assistance during the ritual. It is also a form of grounding the excess energy raised during rites. When Cakes and Ale happens depends on the sect – some take it right after deities are invoked as a way to welcome them, while others wait until the ritual is complete.

Whether or not there is only one chalice or many, again, depends upon the group’s tradition. Some will all drink from the same chalice. Other practitioners will bring their own chalice and receive libations from a central cup.

WHAT IS A CHALICE MADE OF?

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Chalices can be made of anything a cup can be made of. Early chalices were made of gourds, shells, and horns. Eventually, silver was the preferred medium as it corresponds to the Moon and the Goddess. Having said that, you are not restricted to choosing a silver chalice for your practice.

HOW TO CHOOSE A CHALICE FOR YOUR PRACTICE

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An undisputable fact of magick and witchcraft is that tools are extremely intimate to the practitioner. What works wonders for one witch may not do much for another. It’s because of this that choosing a chalice for your practice is a very personal affair.

When in the market for a chalice, shopping in person is best. This allows you to tune into your intuition and let your gut take the lead. If you’re unable to physically browse the aisles, take the time to read reviews of reputable sites with lots of pictures and detailed descriptions with dimensions and measurements.

It’s also important to note that you aren’t limited to purchasing new. As glass is made to last a long time, you also have the option of perusing flea markets, yard sales, and thrift stores. This is particularly helpful when shopping on a budget. My personal chalice was bought at a thrift store. I chose a glass water goblet with clear cut crystal and a red rim that cost roughly one dollar.

HOW TO CLEANSE YOUR CHALICE

Once you have your chalice – either new or used – it must be cleansed of all magickal residue. The accumulation of psychic energy begins at the creation of the chalice and continues throughout its lifetime. As such, anyone who has handled your vessel prior to your possession has left traces of their own metaphysical energies.

So how do you go about cleansing it? First and foremost, we want to physically clean our chalices.

PHYSICALLY CLEANING YOUR CHALICE

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Soap and hot water is your best friend when it comes to physically cleaning your chalice. Just as you would normally clean a dirty cup after using it, go about cleaning the vessel in the same way. The water must be hot in order to kill any germs, remove dirt, and leave the chalice spotless.

MIXING PHYSICAL CLEANING WITH SPIRITUAL CLEANSING

During the process of physically cleaning your chalice, use your Third Eye to imagine your actions spiritually cleansing the vessel of all negative energies as well. Affix your intention on ridding the receptacle of any magickal residue. Further your workings by scrubbing in a widdershins (counter-clockwise) motion to remove and repel any malicious attachments.

CHARGING YOUR CHALICE

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Charging is when a practitioner fills an object with a specific kind of energy. Also known as programming or enchanting, you can charge both spaces and objects with your chosen intention. In this case, it’s like filling your chalice with purpose.

How you charge your chalice is up to you. Depending on the makeup of your tool, you can use things like moonlight, sunlight, crystals, visualization, vocal charging, fire (be cautious!) or meditation to charge your athame. The important thing is to focus your intent and concentrate it into your tool. Pay attention to your intuition as it will alert you when charging is complete.

A NOTE ON CHARGING

Over time, objects that we imbue with specific intentions eventually lose energy. But how do you know WHEN to charge after the initial act?

  • Any time you cleanse an object or tool it needs to be charged
  • When energies feel “off”
  • When you wish to reprogram an object or space with a different energy/intent/purpose
  • When a tool begins to feel stagnant or stale or stops responding to your energy

HOW TO STORE YOUR CHALICE

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It’s important to honor our tools, especially when we rely on them for ceremony and ritual work. Choosing a spot on your altar or setting your space explicitly in conjunction with your beliefs is a great way to show respect for the tools used to realize your desires.

Traditionally, chalices are kept on an altar. I keep mine there. However, as it is your practice, you can keep your chalice wherever you are called to.

IN CONCLUSION…

So there you have it, Witches! Do you use an chalice in your practice? What is it made of? Do you have more than one? Let me know in the comments and until next time, Bright Blessings and Happy Casting!

Published by Pie

Pie Ankiewicz is the Resident Witch of Printable Witchcraft and sister-site Candle Cross Coven. She is a seasoned Eclectic Witch whose practice spans over three decades. Residing in Massachusetts, Pie designs printable Book of Shadows and grimoire pages, blogs about the Craft, and teaches others how to pursue being a practitioner.

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