the knot store

How To Make A Witches Ladder

A witch’s ladder is one of those nifty things we sometimes hear about but rarely see. Its purpose is similar to that of a rosary - it’s basically a tool for meditation and ritual, in which different colors are used as symbols for one’s intent. It’s also used as a counting tool, because in some spell workings there is a need to repeat the working a particular number of times. You can use the ladder to keep track of your count, running the feathers or beads along as you do so. Traditionally, the witch’s ladder is made with red, white and black yarn, and then nine different colored feathers woven in.

Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Varied
Here’s How:

Realistically speaking, it makes more sense to use yarn colors that have a significance to you and your working. Also, finding nine differently colored feathers can be tricky if you’re looking for them out in the wild – you can’t just go plucking feathers from local endangered species – and that means a trip to the craft store and some oddly tinted feathers. I’d recommend using either found feathers of any color, or something else entirely – beads, buttons (see our discussion on the magical uses of buttons), bits of wood, shells, or other items you have around your home.

To make your basic witch’s ladder, you’ll need:

Yarn or cord in three different colors
Nine items that are similar in property but in different colors (nine beads, nine shells, nine buttons, etc)
Cut the yarn so that you have three different pieces in a workable length - usually a yard or so is good. Although you can use the traditional red, white and black, there’s no hard and fast rule that says you must. Tie the ends of the three pieces of yarn together in a knot.

Begin braiding the yarn together, tying the feathers or beads into the yarn, and securing each in place with a sturdy knot. Some people like to chant or count as they braid and add the feathers. If you wish, you can say something like this variation on the traditional chant:

By knot of one, the spell’s begun.
By knot of two, the magic comes true.
By knot of three, so it shall be.
By knot of four, this power is stored.
By knot of five, my will shall drive.
By knot of six, the spell I fix.
By knot of seven, the future I leaven.
By knot of eight, my will be fate.
By knot of nine, what is done is mine.

As the feathers are tied into knots, focus your intent and goal. As you tie the final and ninth knot, all your energy should be directed into the cords, the knots and the feathers. The energy is literally stored within the knots of the witch’s ladder. When you’ve completed the string and added all nine feathers or beads, you can either knot the end and hang the ladder up, or you can tie the two ends together forming a circle.

Sleep sweetly spell

I have been plagued by night terrors my entire life. To help combat them; as well as the sickly fear I feel upon waking, I created this spell.

This spell is a mixture of candle magic, dream sachets, and knot magic.
As well as a sigil for added strength.

So it will be a bit involved, and this post will be long. Deal.

You will need :

1 tsp Yarrow - to ward against fear
1 tsp Lavender - for healing
1 tsp Hyacinth - for peace of mind
1 tsp Violet - to calm the nerves
1 tsp Rosemary - to ward off nightmares
Dash of Cinnamon - for strength
Essential oil Peppermint - peaceful sleep

As well as gold & blue glitter (to mimic the night sky & stars), tea lights (I use white), thread (I prefer purple), & a swatch of fabric of your choosing.

First take the tea lights out of their foil casing, and pluck the wicks out (set them aside). Put the wax back in the foil casings. Take a metal pan (cover with tinfoil), and put your oven element on low heat. Place the tea lights on the pan.
The pan on the element.

While the wax is melting, take the dried herbs and grind them up in a mortar and pestle. Also use your fingers to rip up the larger pieces, to exert your will upon them. Add the glitter. All the while try to remain focused on your own strength, and your will to see the spell through.

When the wax is melted add around 3 pinches of the mixture to your tea lights (I used 5), and add 3 drops of peppermint to each candle. Turn the heat off, and let the candles harden.
When the candles are hard, roll the sides of the tea lights with your fingers to loosen them, and gingerly take the wax out of the casings. Punch a hole with a nail through the middle of the candles, and fit the wicks through.
Place them back in the casings.

With the rest of the mixture, take a square swatch of fabric and add 5 drops of peppermint oil (one in each corner and one in the middle). Draw a sigil of power if you so choose, and place the paper in the fabric. Add the rest of the dried herbs, flowers, & glitter.
Take some thread and pull it out to your arms length (or longer if you like), fold, and fold a third time.
Make a knot on either end.

Recite with the first knot “by knot of one the spells begun”, with the second “by knot of two it cometh true”.

Gather the ends of the fabric and wrap the thread snugly around it. Don’t wrap the thread right in the middle, leave it askew so you can hang the sachet above, or by your bed once the spell is complete.
Once the bag is secure, and to your liking, with the remaining thread resume the knots.

“By knot of three I make it be, by knot of four the power I store, by knot of five the spells alive, by knot of six this spell I fix, by knot of seven events I’ll leaven, by knot of eight it will be fate, by knot of nine what’s done is mine.”

Hang the dream sachet above, or by, your place of sleep.

Take a tea light and place it in a lovely candle holder.

Light the candle for however long you want before bed, and sleep sweetly.

*Obviously some of these herbs and flowers can, and do, double up for sleep and such… So if you’re in a fix and can’t find certain things, peppermint, cinnamon, rosemary, & lavender alone will work too.*

Navel Orange and Anise DIY Tea Sachets  

Homemade tea sachets make a special gift for any occasion. Dried orange peel adds the pleasant twist of citrus to this tea that is flavored with star anise. Keep a few bags for yourself and package the rest in a pretty tin to brighten someone’s day.


30 minutes prep, 1 hour drying.

Peel of 1 Paramount Citrus navel orange
24 teaspoons (about 1.5 oz.) loose leaf English or Scottish breakfast tea
24 star anise
48 cardamom pods
24 disposable tea sachets


1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Cut the orange peel into thin strips and arrange in a single layer on cooling rack placed over a baking sheet. Dry in the oven for 1 hour, or until crisp. Let cool completely.

2. Cut the orange peel into small pieces with scissors. The pieces should be small enough to fit inside the tea bags.

3. To prepare each bag, add 3 to 4 pieces of dried orange peel, 1 teaspoon of loose tea, 1 star anise and two cardamom pods. Cinch the bag at the top and tie in a knot. Store in an airtight container.

So today at work I am wearing my everyday Celtic knot work pentacle. Our store has things from varying cultures and religions in it by the way. I am checking out a customer and she kind of gasps and asks me if I know what I am wearing around my neck. I reply with a yes, which results in a lecture about Jesus and the devil. I did not reply or correct her ignorance as I was working. She ends our conversation with “Let Jesus into your heart”. I very much wanted to reply with, “And I hope you let Gaia and Odin into your heart.”

It truly irks me. She could have asked what my necklace meant or something of that nature, but instead she assumed I worshipped her version of the devil and that I was a bad person because of my necklace. Such ignorance! I wear my pentacle for ME and in public so my fellow Pagans and witches can identify me and befriend me if they want to.


Portlandia - The Knot Store (by AtariGuy666)


Three patterns, complete with FU shepherd check and the dreaded navy trou?  Pretty sure I’m feeling myself again (and the trad vibe).

I’ll pause to pay homage to this Shibumi tie, which has become one of my all-time favorites for its texture, versatility and overall quality (including that unbelievable knot).

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