View Poll Results: Which is more important? The specific Item or the Idea it represents?

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  • Item

    3 3.41%
  • Idea

    85 96.59%
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Thread: The Item, or the Idea?

  1. #11
    ...uhh Bjorn's Avatar
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    Re: The Item, or the Idea?

    ALWAYS the idea, or the symbolism. I do not believe that any items inherently have power, or I am quite less inclined to believe that they do. I have a rock that feels very powerful, but it could be my mind.

    The dagger, the feathers, the stones, the altar, its just an extension of the ritual, the focusing of my mind that allows any power to enter it. The items themselves mean nothing. They are fodder.
    No one tells the wind which way to blow.

  2. #12
    Supporter Raphaeline's Avatar
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    Re: The Item, or the Idea?

    In my case, in my practice, both.

    Sure, I COULD set up a simpler shrine or no shrine at all and still be able to sufficiently worship Dionysos, but I prefer to have an atmosphere to absorb while I worship, imagery to get "in the mood" more easily, and just to have something beautiful to remind me of all the things I love about him. It also reflects the work I put into worship when I put effort and time into creating something that is a devotional piece of art, which is what I consider shrines to be.

    In witchcraft and spellcrafting, the item is even more important. The more connected you are mentally to your work, the better the work will be, and you want a sufficient setting and tools to tune yourself in as much as possible.

    But of course, when it comes right down to it, it's the idea that matters most. You can make do without the item - but if you're not focused, if you're not mentally there, the whole thing's pretty pointless.

  3. #13
    Eoghan
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    Re: The Item, or the Idea?

    I've talked about this with friends before, and most say it makes no sense. But oh well!

    When a lot of people say that the item isn't important, they then say that it is only a tool, a symbol, or a focal point. I think tools are pretty important. Have you tried to drive in a nail without a hammer? Not many of us could say we can do that. Symbols? Our Language is comprised of symbols. A Stop light? Yeah, that's a symbol too. Symbols are the gasoline for our perceptions and outlook on life. And a focal point? Focusing is great. Hell, I do that crap every day!

    I think of it like this. Is a paintbrush powerful? No, not inherently. Is my mind powerful? My ego says 'I suppose', but as much as I stare at a canvas, nothing is going to happen unless I pick up that brush and go to work. As far as I see it, its almost symbiotic for me. The mind and the tool work together, and there's nothing mystical about it really. You can decide to do a lot of things, but without some sort of tool it just ain't happening.

  4. #14
    Member Eryx_UK's Avatar
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    Re: The Item, or the Idea?

    For my mind it is the idea. You don't need the physical object. I don't have an athame nor a wand. I don't see the need when my hand coupled with my will (again, no sniggering at the back) can do the job.

  5. #15
    Supporter FantasyWitch's Avatar
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    Re: The Item, or the Idea?

    The item is born of the idea, to eliminate the idea in favour of the item is ludicrous. However I can see the point of an item that focuses your mind to the idea.

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  6. #16
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    Re: The Item, or the Idea?

    well it's kind of like christmas. is it about the pressents and food or is it about being around loved ones and the story of christmas..??


    It is MOST DEFINATELY about the... PRESENTS ;D ;D ;D


    ok yeah its not. its the idea.. but the items help

  7. #17
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    Re: The Item, or the Idea?

    I agree with the general consensus; Idea > Item

    And item without the idea is just that, an item, a collection of atoms. Items are nice, don't get me wrong, but they aren't enough on their own. I don't think Paganism or any of it's related traditions are about the power of the tools but about the power of the practitioner, sometimes expressed through said tools. I've never met a Pagan who doesn't ooh and aah over a pretty chunk of amethyst or get a little giddy about their new athame but I doubt those items would have near as much value were it not for the idea behind it.

  8. #18
    Sr. Member KashakuTatsu's Avatar
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    Re: The Item, or the Idea?

    Dawns on me I voted but never chimed in....

    Item: for the sole purpose that a charged item left and forgotten about will still do it's job that it was charged for. You can leave a money talisman in your wallet and forget about it and it'll still keep money in your wallet. An oil blended for healing will still heal if you forget what you made it for and wear it (yes I have a couple viles I've had that happen with, had to remember what they were by my reaction to the oil). The same goes for transmuted incenses, have a couple I didn't label after creation and had to tell what they were based on what happened when I burned them.

    Before use items are charged for their purpose (to call or channel x entity/deity, to help channel y element, to be used to symbolize you, etc) you don't just pick up a stick, say "I'm going to use this for a wand" and start waving it around expecting it to work like you want it to. You have to treat it, charge it and seal it for that purpose for it to have an effect. When you bring it out of storage then it'll have the effect before you start focusing energy through it during ritual.
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  9. #19
    Copper Member Monk's Avatar
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    Re: The Item, or the Idea?

    As it has been stated,The idea is greater then the item. The item is used as but a representation or a focal point for your mind. It matters little if the item was scrounged from a trash pile or that it came from some high end antiquates dealer and is touted as the real deal. I personally like to use found or hand (mine) made items in my ritual work or on my alter. Because I believe the powers/Goddess and gods want me to find them or in fact inspire me to make them.
    Gargoyles watch over me...I can hear them snicker in the dark.


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  10. #20
    PF Ordo Hereticus MaskedOne's Avatar
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    Re: The Item, or the Idea?

    Hmm, I want to say item just to increase the contrast but for the most part I don't use tools so it would be somewhat less than honest of me. Idea wins in almost all cases. I generally don't use tools and for the occasions where I do, there are generally multiple methods and multiple tools available to work toward one goal. Items have their place but if they don't stand for something then they're normally irrelevant to my practice. The exception is items enchanted toward specific purpose carry their own weight to a degree but that's more about the enchantment than the item carrying it.
    "It is not simply enough to know the light…a Jedi must feel the tension between the two sides of the Force…in himself and in the universe."
    ―Thon

    "When to the Force you truly give yourself, all you do expresses the truth of who you are,"

    Yoda

    Yoda told stories, and ate, and cried, and laughed: and the Padawans saw that life itself was a lightsaber in his hands; even in the face of treachery and death and hopes gone cold, he burned like a candle in the darkness. Like a star shining in the black eternity of space.

    Yoda: Dark Rendezvous

    "But those men who know anything at all about the Light also know that there is a fierceness to its power, like the bare sword of the law, or the white burning of the sun." Suddenly his voice sounded to Will very strong, and very Welsh. "At the very heart, that is. Other things, like humanity, and mercy, and charity, that most good men hold more precious than all else, they do not come first for the Light. Oh, sometimes they are there; often, indeed. But in the very long run the concern of you people is with the absolute good, ahead of all else..."

    John Rowlands, The Grey King by Susan Cooper

    "You come from the Lord Adam and the Lady Eve", said Aslan. "And that is both honour enough to erect the head of the poorest beggar, and shame enough to bow the shoulders of the greatest emperor on earth; be content."

    Aslan, Prince Caspian by CS Lewis



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