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The Chalice

The original Chalices/Goblets of our ancestors were either shells, horns or large carved wood, any receptacle that was found that could hold water or any substance such as food was appropriate. Many of the ancient Shamans and Witches eventually used the bladders of beasts that they had hunted for food. These they would fill with whatever they wanted to, and it would keep the substance clean and cool, or warm depending on what it was.

My first Chalice for water was a large Triton shell. The reason for this was that in ancient times the Shamans believed that anything placed within a shell was Consecrated by the very essence of the Majik of the shell. I never used the shell for wine, only for ritual water. This also looked very beautiful on my Altar and fits in with the Water Element of the West, as the Water Chalice represents the West.

Nowadays I have a beautiful large brass Chalice which is used by the Coven of all our preliminary blessings with water. The water that is placed within the Chalice should be pure spring water, stream water, or rain water, it should be cool and not warmed. This Tool sits to the West of the Altar usually with the Pentacle placed upon it as a Paten with some rock salt upon it. As for the Wine Chalice, this represents the Blood of the Earth and the Blood of Life, which is masculine. It is the sacrament of the invisible within the visible, and represents the very taking of the sacred blood into our bodies as taking within the blood of our lord – the Horned One. Now this is not to be taken as a sacrilege against Christianity because Pagans celebrated in this way for thousands of years before Christianity even came about.

When we drink of the Blood, which is the Wine of the Fruit, we imagine that we are being blessed by all of Nature, that this Majikal elixir gives us the strength, faith, and good health that our Lord desires for us. This Chalice is usually placed in the East of the Altar representing the balance between the two Chalices of male and female, God and Goddess.

The Chalice has always been the receptacle of life and sustainer and giver of life that is why it is feminine and represented by the Goddess as the Sacred Womb and Tomb. But remember the substance that we place within them is usually the opposite which is masculine, this then creates an equilibrium. Of which most tools in the Craft compliment each other as either Masculine or Feminine. So anything that holds or contains something is usually feminine, and anything that is long or phallic shaped is masculine.