This just goes to show you that if you’ve got an eye for creativity, you can find ritual tools just about anywhere. I picked up this metal box for a whopping $1 at a local thrift store not too long ago. Of course, I bought it because it’s basically a pentacle box, and I figured that I’d find some use for it–even if it was to just hold the jewelry I don’t want to sleep in. After I brought it home, I did a bit of research and discovered that it was a promotional ash tray that Marlboro offered its customers several years ago.
If I didn’t already have a censer I loved, I might have been tempted to make this pentacle ashtray that tool. If the bottom part were filled with sand, you could set a lit charcoal in the center and cover it with the open star. You’d likely need a nice trivet to set it on so that you could carry the incense if needed, but I think this ashtray has decent censer potential. However, I recently came across a video that really sold me on a great use for the box: as a fire stove.
As you can see from this video, what this star does is direct alcohol flame into a manageable columnar flame. In my prior practice of putting alcohol straight into my cauldron, the flames would eventually become kind of dangerous. They’d be all around the perimeter of my 10 inch wide cauldron, and plumes would shoot several feet up into the air, and random ones would arch a good couple feet away from the cauldron. If you’re trying to dance around it inside, your concern for personal and property safety ends up interfering with your magical focus. What I did this Imbolc was put some of my homemade gel fuel inside this box, and set that into a bed of Epsom salt in my cauldron. I got decently theatrical flames, but in no way were they extreme enough to cause me worry. The extra control given by a smaller aperture also seemed to let the gel fuel last longer. While I didn’t test it, it seemed like an equal amount of the gel fuel lasted considerably longer in this pentacle burner than it did just globbed into the bottom of my big cauldron.
I’m starting to think this ashtray might just represent the best dollar I ever spent.