The skull cup, known as
kapala in Sanskrit, is made from the upper section of a human cranium. The skull
of a murder or execution victim contains almost the strongest magical powers.
Anyone who has died a violent accidental death or disease is not as powerful.
Someone who has died of old age possess no magical powers at all. But where as a
child going into puberty has a very strong potential potency as do
children born from forbidden marriages, and children born of rape and incest
victims. The skull of these children between the ages of seven or eight are
considered to contain the strongest magical powers for tantric rituals. The
reason being the life force of the deceased is embodied within the bone in the
form of a spirit.
The skull cup is a reminder
of death and how transitory life is. It is used to place offerings in for evil
spirits or demons.
During one of the rituals
the cup is held level with the heart, and then a curved knife is held above the
skull cup. The knife is used to sever the main arteries as well as the vital
organs of the demons, and these are collected as sustenance.