"Merry Meet and Blessed Be!"

"Bide the Wiccan law ye must,
In perfect love and perfect trust..."

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Cup of Wine

The challis and wine are two of the tools of witchcraft that are symbolic of the Goddess. The challis representing the cup of life or the womb. The wine would be the life that flows from it. In witchcraft the challis is always an offering to the Goddess and a libation is first poured out to the Goddess and offerings of liquid are given in the challis. So, what is a challis? Do you have to consume alcohol?
A challis is simply any vessel used during ritual to hold ceremonial liquids. Since the challis is a symbol of the Goddess's womb it is a fertility symbol. It can be anything from a basic cup to an elaborately ornate bull's horn! Mine is a silver brandy sniffer that was the sole remaining one to a set my grandmother had! Materials should be considered due to safety. Some metals react badly to the liquids turning them toxic. Pewter is one of those metals.  I would not advice using pewter. Glass, silver, and wood are all great, however wood can absorb anything put into it. As well as some finishes used to polish the wood can be dangerous. If you choose to use wood I would suggest using it in a natural state and polishing it with natural bee's wax. You can also use a simple glass wine glass that you paint and decorate yourself. If you do this please leave 1 inch from the rim plain so that it doesn't wear off and so that it doesn't actually touch your mouth while drinking from it. I have seen bull's horns used as well but I'm not fond of these for several reasons. A bull is a male and this is the Goddess, as well as the bull is a living creature and I think it is wrong to take their horns for this use. Also the horn is a natural animals part it is porous so it too will absorb things but it can't be fixed with bee's wax. I have seen stone used too. They can be porous but for the most part they are heavy and cumbersome to carry around and lift repeatedly during some rituals. Whichever you choose is up to you and what feels right to you. The challis should only be used for ritual use during circle.
I have had a few witches ask about the use of wine during rituals. The rituals simply state ritual liquid. For the most part I use purified water for basic ceremonies and different wines for various types of rituals  and sabbats. When I was pregnant with my children I used sparkling cider and juices in place of wine.  It should be a blessed and consecrated liquid set aside only for ritual use. 
When I use wines I use white for moon and Goddess rituals, red for fertility and God rituals, I also use champagne for special rituals for love. I don't drink so the use of wine is an occasional thing and of course I'm not using it to get drunk on! Wine will turn to vinegar if opened and not properly stored. If you only use it for some rituals and not every time, I would suggest buying the small 8 or 16 ounce bottles they sell instead of the larger ones. The use of alcoholic beverages is up to the witch and any liquid you feel right using is right for you! Just be sure the liquid you do use is blessed and consecrated for your ritual.
The challis is a water symbol.

Blessed be,
Lady Alice