The Chalice in Magick
Fri Apr 27 16:08:24 1990
The use of the Chalice in Magick is as a feminine symbol. It holds the juice, wine, spring water or ale. IT is usually purchased but I have seen some hand-made ones that are gorgeous. Pewter, Silver, silver plate, and pottery are the most common materials they are made of. I knew a woman with a pottery chalice that had various Goddesses from all 5 races of the world painted around it, nude, with arms linked together. This was her own work. It was NOT a great artist's work, but it reminded one of the primitive cave-paintings upon which our Craft revival draws for much of it's history and so was very beautiful in it's own right. It was one of the most unique chalices I have ever seen.
Another witch I knew, who was ethnically Jewish, used a chalice that had a great deal of meaning for her. It was her GRANDMOTHER'S Silver Kiddush cup used to greet the SABBATH BRIDE and draw the Shekinah Presence - also female according to Jewish tradition - into the home after the lighting of the Shabbat candles. As this connected this particular Witch to her lineage and to her grandmother's spirit, it was expecially appropriate for her to use it - especially since she was an initiate of one of the offshoots of Gardnerian and Alexandrian tradition that draws heavily on the Kabbalah; which she emphasized more even than other H.Priestesses of those lineages due to her desire to remain connected to her background.
In some traditions a drinking horn is used instead of a chalice. It is mostly used by those drawing from the Norse or Germanic legends in recreating their ritual structure, but really such a horn could be used by anyone. You can make your OWN drinking horn far easier than making a chalice. Get a cow's horn - usually available from farmers or from your local Tandy Leather store - and make a stand for it with heavy copper or silver wire that you wrap around it and form into a stand. You can GENTLY engrave (DO NOT USE ACID FOR THIS) the horn or you can solder small gems and crystals to the wire stand or whatever else strikes you as being appropriate symbolism.
But having a chalice or horn that IS YOU is important in your work, perhaps more so than any other article in Wicca which is so Goddess oriented.