The Witches Ladder
Witches ladders (also known as witch’s ladders) are a type of knot magic that can be used for a wide variety of purposes. They are commonly made by braiding or knotting cords together while incorporating other materials that represent the intention of the creator. Witches ladders can be easily customized for every practitioner and used for nearly any purpose, making them a very versatile and convenient talisman to create. Witches ladders can be used for purposes like attracting or manifesting things, creating a more positive environment, warding off negative entities or energies, protecting yourself or others, or banishing certain behaviors or individuals, just to name a few.
To make a basic witches ladder, you will need:
- Several cords of equal length in colors of your choice
- Whatever materials you choose to weave into the cords (such as feathers, bones, herbs, hair, flowers, seashells, ribbons, beads, hag stones, sticks, crystals, keys, charms, etc.)
Optional but helpful:
- A ruler
Some other ideas: You can incorporate pieces of paper with sigils drawn on them, drawstring bags filled with herbs or crystals, or personal symbolic items that have been made from clay or another material. If you are making a witches ladder for an individual, you may wish to include a taglock (a personal item that is strongly associated with the target) to further bond the person to the talisman. Taglocks may include hair, jewelry, etc. Depending on your practice, you may wish to incorporate numerology into your witches ladder by using a specific number of knots, number of cords, or number of items used.
For my witches ladder, I used thick dark green yarn, twine, seashells, goose feathers, ribbon, a pine cone, and a sand dollar. I chose to arrange my goose feathers with the smallest ones at the top and the largest ones at the bottom. I also decided to make a double witches ladder purely for aesthetic reasons, but you can stick to one or make as many as you want.
Creating the witches ladder
1. Start by gathering your materials and getting your cords ready to knot or braid. It may help to tie the cords together on one end and tape the knotted end to a table or another surface. I found that doing so helps to prevent the cords from getting tangled in the process and it helps maintain a nice tension while braiding.
2. As you braid or knot your cords, begin adding your chosen materials. You may wish to recite something or chant as you are doing this, but it is not necessary. Depending on how many items you are using, you may wish to space them out evenly. For this, a ruler may come in handy. In my own experience, I have found that certain materials such as feathers, herbs, flowers, and certain bones can be difficult to braid around. It may be helpful to braid the cords first and then insert your objects into the braid later on.
3. Continue braiding or knotting until you have made your witches ladder as long as you would like it. To finish your witches ladder, you may choose to simply tie off the cords, or you may choose to add something extra to the end. I chose to add a pine cone and ribbon to one of my witches ladders, and a sand dollar to the other. Finish off your witches ladder however you see fit.
4. Hang your witches ladder. You may wish to hang it near a doorway in your home, near your bed, or even outside. The best location for your talisman will depend on both it’s intended purpose and your personal preference. If you have cats or other mischievous pets, it may be a good idea to hang your witches ladder up high or out of their reach.
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