The Element Encyclopedia of Witchcraft: The Complete A-Z for the Entire Magical World - Judika Illes 2005
Tools of Witchcraft
Magic swords have historically played a role in Chinese, Japanese, Jewish, and Persian magical traditions. They remain popular in East Asian magic, High Ceremonial Magic, and modern Wicca.
Magic swords may be actual functional swords complete with sharp blades or ceremonial replicas. Swords invoke primal metal magic although wooden swords also exist, particularly in East Asia. Swords are powerfully associated with the primordial magical traditions of metalworking (see MAGICAL PROFESSIONS: Metalworkers).
Swords radiate masculine energy; the scabbard is its feminine partner. Swords are most commonly associated with the element air, however this is controversial; some also identify swords with fire. Swords do not fit neatly into elemental categories being the product of all elements. The raw material for swords is dug from Earth and the process of crafting a sword involves the interplay of air, fire, and water.
Crafting swords was a secret, magical operation. Spell-casting and spiritual invocation was once involved in the creation of powerful magic sword (and in some cases it still is). Rumors periodically circulated that blood sacrifice, including human sacrifice, was required to forge magic swords. Vestiges of these legends survive in Japanese mythology.
Swords may be engraved with runes, sigils, Names of Power, Kabalistic inscriptions or other magical embellishments. They are used for casting circles and for various magical practices including protection spells, exorcisms, spirit-summoning, and banishing spells.
Swords are among the four tarot suits, corresponding to the playing card suit of Spades.