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.
Kunzite: Recharge kunzite under the light of a waxing moon.
Kyanite: Leave kyanite near plants for the hour after dawn.
Labradorite: Labradorite should be recharged under a rainbow.
Lapis Lazuli: Lapis lazuli should be charged under starlight.
Lepidolite: Recharge lepidolite with a watermelon tourmaline wand or with an amethyst or clear quartz pendulum.
Malachite - Green: Wash green malachite under water. Note: Malachite will eventually crumble from this and should then be buried.
Meteorite: Meteorite should only be recharged on the night of a lunar or solar eclipse.
Ideally, moldavite should be left outdoors on the night of a meteor
shower. It can also be recharged by leaving out overnight in the
presence of a tiny piece of pumice. The pumice should be buried
Mookaite: Use a sage infusion to recharge mookaite.
Moonstone: Leave moonstone under the light of a full moon from moonrise to moon set.
Each year on January 16th in Sardinia a notable kind of masquerade takes place. Strangely enough, but this spectacle is probably the one among all other european masquerades which preserved not only all the attributes of german Frau Perchta - Frau Holle character, but its’ most ancient prototype of the goddess Frygg as well - the spindle, the distaff and the wool. “Sa Filonzana”, as she is called, is always surrounded with the masked peasants shepherding the “Sos Boes” goats, who are the symbols of the fertility and the horned companions to Frygg and the Wild Hunt procession itself. Those “Sos Boes” masks are oftenly marked with the solar symbols similiar to the Hagal rune. All the people who appeal to the sombre “Sa Filonzana” receive her auguries on the spindle. She also bears the scissors sometimes used to cut the thread of fate and thus predicting someones death.
Once the evening falls, people burn up the huge fire. During the ritual everyone passes around the purifying flame three times sunwise and thrice against the sun. So the heathen ritual conducted in order to protect it’s participants from the woes begins. It is dedicated to the sacral element of the Universe - the Fire, which is associated with the colour of blood and with the heat of life.
The procession happens again on 5th of March, when Spring carivals began to celebrate the departure of Sa Filonzana - Frau Perchta, who is already imagined being pregnant by that time, thus forecasting the fertility, because she is the Earth herself. In nine months from that day, she is ready to give a new birth to Baldur, her son, once again.
Salves are such a simple, effective, and useful medicine! They can easily be slipped into a purse, pocket, or first aid kit. Although semi-solid at room temperature, salves soften once applied to the skin, making them less messy to apply than oils. They also make great gifts and are an easy and approachable way to introduce newbies to the medicinal properties of herbs. Plus, salves can be crafted for a wide variety of topical uses. The addition of beeswax offers additional benefits including protective, soothing, emollient, nourishing, and healing properties.
Part 1: Make Herbal Infused Oil
To make salve, first craft your herbal infused oil(s). This will take several weeks, but once finished, the rest of the salve making process will only take minutes! You can also purchase pre-infused herbal oils if needed or if you wish to skip the process of infusing the oil.
Solar Method: When making herbal infused oils, we prefer the solar infused method. Place dried botanicals into a dry and sterilized glass jar. Some herbalists coarsely crush or grind herbs first, while others finely chop herbs and leave delicate flowers whole. Cover with Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or other carrier oil of choice with a stable shelf life) leaving at least 1-2” of oil above the herbs to allow the herbs to swell. Cap the jar tightly and place in a sunny, warm window. If desired, the jar can be covered with a bag or box so that the oil is not exposed to direct sunlight. Shake the jar once or twice per day, or as often as you remember. If the herbs absorb the oil, then add more oil so that they are always submerged. Allow to infuse for 2-6 weeks, or until the oil takes on the color and aroma of the herb. Once the oil is ready, strain using cheese cloth, and bottle into dry and sterilized amber bottles for storage. Make sure to squeeze as much oil as possible from the herbs so that you do not waste any precious oil! Herbal oils will keep for approximately a year if stored properly in a dark and cool place. Vitamin E Oil may also be added to prolong the shelf life.
Quick Method: Another way to infuse oils, which is sometimes necessary when herbal oils need to be created in a pinch, is the quick method which utilizes heat. Much care needs to be taken when creating herbal oils this way because you do not want to deep-fry your herbs! Place herbs in crock-pot, double boiler, or electric yogurt maker, and cover with Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or other carrier oil of choice) leaving at least an inch or two of oil above the herbs. Gently heat the herbs over very low heat (preferably between 100 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit) for 1-5 hours until the oil takes on the color and scent of the herb. Some texts recommend heating the oil 48-72 hours at a controlled temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Turn off heat and allow to cool. Once that the oil is ready, strain using cheese cloth, and bottle into dry and sterilized amber bottles for storage. Store in a dark and cool place, Vitamin E Oil may also be added to prolong the shelf life.
Place Herbal Infused Oils and Beeswax over a double boiler, and gently warm over low heat until the Beeswax melts. Remove from heat and add the essential oil and Vitamin E Oil (if using). Quickly pour into prepared tins or glass jars and allow to cool completely. Salves should be stored in a cool location where they will remain semi-solid and will not continue to re-melt and re-solidify. If stored correctly, salves will last for 1- 3 years. Yields 8 oz.
Note: The consistency of salves can easily be adjusted depending on your preferences. Use less Beeswax for a softer salve and more Beeswax if you’d prefer a firmer salve. You can test the consistency by placing a few spoons in the freezer before making your salve. When the Beeswax melts, pour a little salve onto one of the cold spoons and place it back into the freezer for 1-2 minutes. Once cooled, you can make adjustments by adding more oil (for a softer salve) or more Beeswax (for a firmer salve).
Herbs for Salve
You can make salve with a single herb or multiple herbs, depending on your needs. It’s useful to make a variety of herbal infused oils so that you can easily craft salve whenever you need it!
Arnica flowers: Can help treat physical trauma, bruises, strains, and occasional muscle pain. Use immediately after strenuous exertion or injury to prevent, relieve, and reduce swelling, bruises and pain.
Calendula flowers: Wonderfully healing with all-around healing properties useful for a wide variety of skin irritations and conditions including wounds, insect bites, rashes, scrapes, abrasions, cuts, and much more. Suitable for sensitive skin and babies.
Cayenne Pepper: Warming, good for occasional sore muscles, alleviates occasional pain, and itching.
These are inspired by the series The Originals. Davina and Kol started making these cursed objects and I liked the concept so now it’s a real witchy thing! I don’t if anyone came up with these yet, but I’ve never seen them around so here ya go!
What are Dark Objects?
Dark objects are basically active enchanted items. Items which you have linked a spell to, and is activated by a trigger set in place by the caster.
Components of a Dark Object:
The Focus: The Focus is the item itself, so a necklace, a ring, or something like that. I personally really like using jewelry as Foci, but that’s just my aesthetic. You could literally use anything, I’ve used a spoon before.
The Source: The Source is the source of power that fuels the item. The simplest one would be to infuse the object with all the energy needed for the spell. You can play with the source to turn it into more of a trigger.
The Trigger: The Trigger is what, well, triggers the spell. I like using a movement, or a small rhyme, as it’s pretty easy, but you could make it so it’s activated when the object is broken, or when a certain person does a certain thing.
The Link: Related to the trigger, this component is optional. It allows to make the use of this item reserved to a certain person.
The Glyph: This is more of a personal thing, but I like to use a glyph with different geometry in it to relate to the spell itself. It helps to redirect the energy into the object, and to govern the energies better. Circles are used to indicate the flow of energy, and to contain energy. Squares are used to represent the four elements, as each corner represents one direction. Lines are used to link different components to each other (more on that in another post). Triangles are used to implement structure and strength to the enchantment. Spirals are used to direct the energy of the Purpose
The Purpose: Basically the herbs and objects you would use for the spell if you weren’t going to use it as a cursed object. I don’t reccomend poppets, or other types of representative magic, due to the fact that it could make a monkey’S paw effect take action, but anything else is good.
How to make a Dark Object:
Making these can take a little bit of planning, of course, but I personally think they’re worth it.
First you want to pick a Focus. I reccomend something related to the spell, and easy to carry with you. Then, decide on the spell you want to put into the Object. Gather your Purpose and make sure you have everything you need. Then you want to design the glyph, if you’re going to use one. I reccomend using one of my chalk recipes depending on what you want to do. You should also decide on what you want your trigger to be. I reccomend a rhyme, rubbing the object, destroying it, or doing a certain movement. You also want to set up anything that you’ll be able to draw power from, like candles, crystal elixirs, music, whatever helps you raise energy.
Trace your glyph out, and set everything up. Place your Purpose on the assigned spots of the glyph, or just throw them in a box. If you’re going to use the glyph, make sure the Purpose is placeed at the end of a spiral going towards the Focus or lines going towards it. If using a glyph, your candles should be used as Purpose, to send power to the Focus. Now, it’s time to start casting.
Write out a contract stating the trigger, and the overall intention of the spell using whichever alphabet you prefer. I like using Ogham or runes, but you can also use regular script. If using a Link, wrap it up in the contract, or smear your blood or the person’s blood unto the word. or phrase stating the trigger. If the Source isn’t physical or premeditated, state what it will be when you need to use the object, for example feelings, or entropic energy. Burn the contract and mix the ashes with water or a brew related to the spell. Anoint the object with the mixture. Now you want to raise energy and direct it into the object. Visualize the object sucking in all the energy of the purpose and the Source, if used. Chant the intention of use of the object, preferably rhyming, and visualizethe use of the object. Act as if you were casting a regular spell, but isntead of sending it into the world, send it into the object so it may act as a vessel.
Using the Dark Object:
You want to carry the object with you for when you use it, obviously. Use your trigger and state the target of the spell. Once cast, the object will probably feel different. Less charged, or lighter even. Once the object has been used, you can reenchant it with the same spell you used, or cleanse it in salt and moonlight for an entire night and use a different spell on it.
Depending on what Source you link to the dark object, for example your feelings, you could probably cast the spell as many times as the Source is powerful enough.
Ideas for Dark Objects:
A pendant used to suddenly make you extremely attractive to all around you.
A bracelet used during a test to remember the answers.
A ring to bring intense luck when gambling.
An earring rubbed to curse that one person who wronged you isntantly.
A knife with storms as Source used to cut the clouds and make the sun shine.
The possibilities are endless! Have fun with it :)
1. Choose a path, Wiccan, pagan, just a witch, whatever you want.
2. Start a Book of Shadows, this will help you tremendously as a newbie, it allows you to look back at your successes and mistakes.
3. Start a collection of jars and bottles and candles, candles are usually used for about everything in the craft, the jars are for spells, herbs, items, and ingredients.
4. Find a place where you can practice at any time, best places would be a hidden place in the woods, an abandoned house, or a secret spot on the beach. If your parents don’t mind you casting spells and playing with fire then your back yard is good too (preferably near a tree)
When you are a witch, you will see things in a new light
When you are a witch, you’ll want to dance in the night
When you are a witch, whispers won’t be voices but spirits
When you are a witch, you can have a sense of normality but feel nowhere near it
When you are a witch, things might seem hard
When you are a witch, a familiar spirit will be your guard
When you are a witch, loving is really loving and hurting is really hurting and nothing will be the same
Now that you are a witch, you know that it isn’t a game.
I’ve met a lot of Witch’s from numerous backgrounds who have only ever used black thread as a means of keeping things out (black being a color for banishing negativity and numerous other bad spirits and mojo)
After listening to one friend describe how she used black string as a banishing agent for her windows WITHOUT first cleansing her house, it occurred to me how many of us don’t think about it keep bad things IN.
In short, I’ve started using it on curse objects and anything I use to absorb bad luck or anything of the like. For instance, if you are burying a box at the crossroads, tie it up in black thread to keep the bad or good inside and keep anything else out. You can even tie off your box of Witchy things with black string or thread to keep the good in ad the bad out. Or if you curse a poppet for future use and need to keep it in your witch box wrap it up in thread to keep it from tainting everything else in your box :)