So I've heard about this from a friend of mine who told me that she uses a Cingulum in her practice. She is ecclectic Wiccan and given that I don't practice Wicca but from what she told me it's apparently an integral part of her practice. Yet, I've never heard of it. I was hoping someone could provide some clarification on what it is exactly and what it's used for. I was able to find out some info online but I didn't find a very clear answer (or the answer just went over my head lol) to me it seemed like a coven tool but I don't know. Do they have a specific purpose in ritual work or something?
Here's what I read online [Wikipedia] :
"These are often given to a Wiccan upon their initiation, and worn at each subsequent ritual. Traditionally they are nine feet in length (nine being three times three, the magical number), and are used to measure the circumference of the magic circle so that it can be set up correctly.
In many traditions of Wicca, the colour of a person's cingulum indicates what rank of initiation they are; in several Australian covens for instance, green denotes a novice, white denotes an initiate of the first degree, blue for the second, and a plaited red, white and blue for the third, with the High Priest wearing a gold cingulum (symbolising the sun), and the High Priestess wearing silver (symbolising the moon)."
NovisNox, Your information is quite correct as to the use of the Cingulum.
It is most commonly used to lay out the traditional 9-foot diameter Circle for ritual. Some Traditions of Wicca also use it for other purposes such as taking the Initiate's "Measure" when they go through their initiation ceremony.
"Taking the Measure" includes taking certain measurements of the Initiate with the Cingulum and tying knots where those measurements are taken. This is based on the idea (now disproven) of the Burning Times and could be used to prevent someone false claiming to be a particular Initiate. If the Measure did not match, then the person carrying it was known to be a spy on the coven.
The colors of the Cingulum and their meanings may well vary from Tradition to Tradition. In the Oak, Ash, and ThornTradition in which I initially trained, we used white for First Degree, red for Second Degree, and blue for Third Degree. However, the color choices are up to the particular Tradition or individual and may vary widely. Unless you are an initiate of a Tradition with specific color meanings you could choose to wear purple or paisley if you wished.
And again, traditionally, the Cingulum should be made out of entirely natural materials such as cotton, silk, etc.
Not all Traditions use the Cingulum, and it is even more rare among solitaries to see this employed. I would not consider it one of the major Tools of the Witch, but it has been and still can be if desired, used as such.