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THE BELL

In addition to your four Major Tools - Pentacle, Wand, Athame and Chalice - over time you will also collect additional tools that are used for specific energy functions within your rituals and ceremonies. Today we値l examine your Bell.

The Bell is used to purify objects and spaces with its clear, ringing tones. The vibrations from your Bell drive out negative, unbalanced energy and fill a space or the physical structure of an object with clearing, positive vibration or energy. It can also be used to clear the aura of an individual who has been ill or has experienced a difficult, negative situation. The Bell is also used to signal the beginning or end of a segment in a ritual as well as the beginning or end of the ritual itself. You can also use your Bell to announce the commencement of a meditation then strike it again at the meditation痴 end. In addition, Bells can be used to time meditative or ritualistic breathing exercises - one strike signaling an inhalation, the next strike the exhalation as you raise or release energy for your working.

You want to choose a bell which has a note or tone pleasing to your ear, not a strident or dull tone. When you ring the bell you want to be filled with a feeling of relaxation, focus, clearness and upliftment.

Bells can be made from many things, but the ones with the best tones tend to be metal or crystal. You値l want to practice with your bell before you use it in your ritual to know its particular quirks. How hard do you need to shake it to get the tone and volume that you want? Does it have a loose clapper which causes it to ring more times that you intend, so that you need to have good control over your wrist? You may find that rather than a bell, you prefer to use something like a table meditation chime (this is a chime which is attached to a flat wooden surface and sits on the altar as it is struck with a small mallet) so that you have complete control over its tone and volume each time. Or you may wish to use a pair of t段ng shas which are small cymbals attached to each other by a length of leather or cord. Traditional t段ng shas are made from 7 metals and have a truly amazing resonance which is very long lasting. The cymbals are struck lightly together and then held apart as they sing. If you prefer the shape of a Bell, but aren稚 sure about controlling the clapper, you can solve your dilemma by just removing the clapper entirely and striking the bell with a mallet or the blade of your Bolline.

Whether you use a bell, chime, crystal bowl or t段ng shas, whichever tool you choose should be cleansed and blessed for your workings on a new moon in an air sign - Aquarius, Gemini or Libra.