I’ve heard from a lot of sources that you should keep your tools for magic sacred by never using them for any purpose other than magic. For example, if you have an athame, it should be exclusively used in ritual magic and never used to cut herbs, ribbons or for any other purpose outside of the circle. Personally, my gut feeling tells me otherwise. After all, the more you use an object, the stronger you imprint on it. In the practice of psychometry, intuitives gain information about a person by touching an object that belonged to them. Many psychics who use psychometry will tell you they prefer to use objects that the person physically touched often like a piece of clothing or jewelry. This would suggest that energy is transferred to the object and is then interpreted by the psychic. This may be similar to how energy is transferred in alchemistic magic or sorcery.
If you use an object a lot it becomes an extension of you. I think back to when I was a little kid and rode my bike everywhere. That bike might as well have been my legs. I’d hop on and off without hardly slowing. I knew every sound it made, every patch of rust, how it felt on my hands and under my feet. I could ride it at full speed or so slow it crawled, or bounce it down a flight of stairs as easily as I could walk them. There are a lot of objects like that. Items we are so intimately familiar with that have all but become a part of us. An old sweatshirt, a favorite pen, wedding band, a pocket knife, reading glasses, even our computer mouse. So why shouldn’t we use our magical tools in everyday tasks? Could harm come from becoming keenly familiar with the bend of your wand, the weight of your atheme or the sound of water filling your chalice?
I’m sure the origin of this practice is based partly on tradition and partly on the intent of keeping magical items sacred. Magicians hold their magical tools in high regard and want to be respectful of them and how they are handled. Some may suggest that using them for mundane purposes lessens their influence. I suppose if you believe that, then it is true. As power (or energy) does not come from the tool itself but rather the intent of the magician. If a magician believes their magic will suffer from using the tool for mundane tasks then I suppose it probably will. To them I ask, is there really any such thing as the mundane? There is the perception that some moments, places and rituals are more spiritually significant than others. While it may feel that way, in actuality the “mundane” world is where we learn our hard lessons. It’s where we spend most of our time and where we expend most of our energy. In actuality, it is not mundane at all. It is the place and time that was divinely crated for us to do our learning. If you don’t believe in the mundane, then you don’t have to worry about using your magical tools at the wrong time for the wrong purpose.
Of course, no harm can come from preserving your magical tools solely for ritual magick. It is a tradition that has come to be expected. For me, personally, I want to feel connected to my tools and the best way to do that is to use them every chance I get. Maybe one day I’ll feel as connected to my besom as I did to my old bike. For now, I’ve got some sweeping up to do.