The best known ritual involving the Wiccan chalice is to dip the tip of the ritual dagger, or athame, into liquid held in the chalice. The symbolism is evident, and very moving, representing the union of the God and Goddess, infusing the liquid with potent fertility and promise.
Celebrations at each of the Celtic Festivals may be marked by sharing appropriate drinks from the chalice. Fresh milk at Imbolc, red wine at Samhain, cider at Beltane, and beer at Lughnasadh or Lammas.
Myths and Traditional Surrounding the Chalice
Of all the Wiccan tools, the chalice is the symbol most shared with other traditions, notably Christianity. One of the central, and most powerful, rituals of many Christian Churches, the Eucharist or Communion, involves sharing wine and bread among the church community, following the example of the Christ as the last supper.
The Grail of Arthurian Legends is a mysterious and enchanting example of a chalice in myth. The origins of the myth, and the associated genuine historical facts, remain hotly debated. However, many commentators believe that the medieval Christian associations draw heavily on pre-existing Celtic myth and folklore.
Certainly the symbol of the grail as the original cup that Christ shared at the last supper, and which Joseph of Arimathea used to catch the blood of Christ on the cross, are just as evocative as the image of the chalice as the fertile and generous Goddess.
Mysterious and beautiful, a chalice is a Wiccan tool to chosen with care. Once chosen, a chalice should be treasured and respected as an age old symbols, a valuable tool in Wiccan ritual and casting Wiccan spells.
The element of Water is represented through the use of the Chalice, which is a ceremonial drinking vessel. The Chalice is used to take drinks during rituals and at the culmination of ritual work. In some paths it is also used to toast the Gods.
This tool also represents the universal feminine or the womb, especially when combined with the Athamé during the symbolic Great Rite. However, in Asatru the chalice is used as a drinking horn for holding sacred mead.
Joanne E. Brannan
Joanne E. Brannan