Bells might just be the earliest form of superstitious practise that I remember. My baba attached three sakura-patterned suzu bells on my schoolbag as a kid, purportedly for good luck and protection from evil spirits – and Japan is far from the only place to have associated bells and bellringing with mystic practise. They’ve been used worldwide to ward off evil and carry messages – and in a more metaphysical sense, sound is the movement of energy through substance. Sounds have the potential to work powerful magic.
Here are some of the ways I’ve found utilising bells to be helpful to my craft. While I’m more likely to use traditional suzu type bells, your own background, path and culture will likely have its own types of bells – and as ever, bells can be ornate antiques or they can be a bottle cap in a tin can, as long as they’re used with intent.
🔔 As with so much of the craft, if you’re new to the witching bell, it’s a matter of exploration and experimentation. Get a “feel” for what works for you and the specific bell you’re using.
It’s good practise to ensure that the bell itself is cleansed, warded and protected – you don’t want anything nasty tapping into that power. All witching tools can do as much harm as good, intentional or accidental.
A good way to begin incorporating bells into your craft is infuse them into any typical ritual that you’re comfortable with, or even just a prayer or moment of contemplation at your altar if you have one.
🔔 Give the bell a soft ring while focusing on the energy it’ll ripple and move, try to track the movements it creates and what it touches. The tone it’s sending out.
The most primal and versatile use of the bell – and what many of the below come down to – is simply another manner of physically channelling energy, giving it shape and direction.
“Passive” bells such as windchimes or small bells attached to belongings you don’t want disturbed are a starting point. They will scare off some forms of spirit all by themselves, especially if appropriately blessed, charmed or enchanted. Or cursed.
🔔 Gently tolling can draw energy into a ward or circle you are forming and enforce its protective properties, or for a simple cleanse, letting the sound travel to every corner of the area you are protecting. It’s a little more “cutting” than a smoke or incense cleansing, which I view as more “gentle” forms of cleansing. Both have their uses.
🔔 Harder tolling is, in my opinion, one of the most powerful ways in which to enforce a banishing – however, it’s best to you know what you’re doing with the bell before you go bashing it about.
Bells can have quite the effect on your perception and awareness. Ringing and then stopping, listening to the silence left in its wake, can bring you new perceptions or make things you’d previously missed obvious. Let it attune your mind and senses to something new, whether that’s in your thoughts or something with a little more presence. Visualise travelling with the sound, taking heed of the energies it touches and disturbs. Take note of the echoes – you’ll learn what they mean with experience.
🔔 A set of windchimes can let you know if something is passing through or if there’s some unusual energy afoot – and, yes, it may also just be letting you know that it’s a particularly breezy day, but that’s witchcraft for you.
🔔 This can be as simple as calling good energies to witching tools, spell jars, tarot decks, crystals, altars and shrines, your favourite teddy bar, anything at all.
🔔 With spirit work, it can truly help to magnify your “calling”. This can range from gently bringing your latest offering to the attention of your friendly neighbourhood house spirit – all the way to trying to catch the attention of something more. Be mindful, however. As I said, I consider bells pretty powerful tools and a call that’s too loud is not good spirit work practise for the spirit worker’s own sake. It can really help coax something out of hiding if you’re gentle with it, though.
Some use bells to mark the beginning and end of a ritual, and I’ve read that in Wiccan practise an altar bell can be used to invoke the Goddess, although as a non-Wiccan, I’ll welcome corrections on that if I’m wrong.
In my experience, very simple forms of communication via bell work a lot better than anything too complex – “come here” and “stay away” have already been covered, and other than that they can serve as greetings or signals of a start or end of some practise or ritual, the opening or closing of a door, etc.
🔔 They can also serve as a warning or a litmus test regarding spirits, a signalling of your presence and awareness, lack of fear, or willingness to defend – but be prepared to deal with whatever responses these garner.
🔔 Bindings are where you most often see that famous (clockwise) circular motion of the bell, embodying the meaning of the spell. This can be a simple binding to seal a spell or charm or enchantment, or a spirit-binding.
🔔 Personally, spirit-binding is something I do as little as possible simply due to my beliefs holding the autonomy of spirits in very high regard. However, sometimes situations arise that call for it, and I’m aware that not all bindings are unwilling. Far from it – and some spirits are dangerous when unbound.
🔔 As an animist (believing that all things, including inanimate objects, contain a spirit of their own), I consider gently nudging a spirit back into its physical form a sort of semi-binding, and that can be useful.
I’ll leave you all with a note that I am an urban apartment-dwelling witch through and through, so I understand that we can’t all be jangling away at all hours. I myself have a glass windchime in my front window that makes a distinct but muted sound when disturbed by passers-through, and highly recommend wooden ones also. I also only use my small and relatively quiet suzu bell for my crafting – one given to me by my baba herself.
Feel free to add any of your own findings, and happy tolling.
Full Moon Clarity Tarot Spread
1: what’s been hidden
2: what’s ahead for you
3: what’s influencing you
4: what’s led you to this point
5: what’s left for you to do
This spread is to help use the full moons light to illuminate some questions you may have been having and what you need to keep in mind for the coming cycle!
This is just a quick easy spread you can do every full moon. Keep track of your progress and see how it connects for your year, January’s full moon is the perfect time to start and a good opportunity to get your baseline done…that way you can only improve.
The Athame: a knife with a black handle, which is used to cast a circle. Represents masculine energy and the element of fire. Should not be used for cutting or to cause physical harm to others!!
The Chalice: these can come in goblet styles, or simply any mug or cup. This is used to hold water or wine, which is to be drank after a ritual. The chalice represents water.
The Wand: your wand can be made out of anything you feel connected to: bone, wood, metal, etc. A witch’s wand is very personal, which means you can fashion your wand to your own personal style. The wand is used to direct energies during a ritual, and represents the element of air
The Pentacle: This is a very powerful and protective symbol in Wicca. On an altar, your pentacle can come in the form of a pendant or a platen. You can also use a pentacle necklace on your altar. This represents earth, and used to cleanse yourself, your surroundings, and all items on your altar.
Candles: Different colored candles can represent differentuses for the candles. The candles clearly represents the element of fire. A pair of candles represents a Goddess and a God
The Cauldron: Like the chalice, the cauldron represents water. The cauldron is used to hold things such as water, incense, herbs, and candles. This is very useful when it comes to rituals and burning small fires. Cast iron is the best material for your cauldron but isn’t mandatory.
Bells:Bells are often used to mark passages in a ritual. Many spells ask for you to ring the bell once or twice and the bells can mark the beginning and then end of a ritual.
Incense: Incense is used to clear energy, cleanse, and call in energies. Most incense will work with whatever you’re doing.
The Bowls: The bowls on your altar represents earth. It is important to have a bowl of sea salt because the sea salt can cleanse your other magick tools on your altar. Smudging bowls are very important in magick.
Crystals: There are many different crystals that hold different energies. Keeping a variety of crystals on your altar can help with various different rituals. These crystals cane enhance the power of your spells.
The Broom: The broom is very symbolic of sweeping energy and keeping negativity away
Before using these tools, you should clear and cleanse it. The more you grow in your witchcraft, the more tools you can add to help yourself thrive in your magick 🌳✨
These are just things I’ve found that helped me when I began witchcraft. Most of these things are not a necessity, but can help. Please do not give me hate for this. This is a Wiccan blog, hence the name.
🔮 It’s the one thing I have complete control over in my life, I can change it, add things, take things away, destroy it and build it back up again- I can do whatever the hell I want with my altar and no one can say anything.
🔮 It’s sacred, I come here when I’m stressed or upset, I come here when I’m happy or sleepy, I come to my altar when I need advice or I want to draw and write. I can come here whenever I want and release all my negativity. It makes me happy knowing I have something that’s mine, I love waking up in the morning and thinking damn that’s all mine. I made that, I created this space for me to go and do witchcraft or divination.
🔮 It radiates positivity, all those crystals and incense aren’t just there to look good (although lets be honest they do) they give off strength, positivity, creativity, happiness and they help with everything in my life.
🔮I lost control of everything in my life and this corner of magical tools is my way of dealing with that. I love coming home and having to rearrange my entire altar because I picked up something that I wanted to add to it, I love changing it all around for events and seasons. I love having altar themes and colour coordinating everything.
No you don’t need to have a big altar or loads of witchy things and tools to be a witch - you do you, your altar needs to be special to you, no one else. If it makes you happy, that’s all you need.
So you want to cast a spell to do a certain thing but the Google overlords are letting you down with being unable to find something that fits your exact needs? Well may I suggest weaving your very own spell together to do the thing?
It can be daunting to make your own spell, especially if your new or have some idea that everything must follow strict rules.
This list can be adapted to fit any type of ‘Crafting a person might practice. This are not hard rules, bend them in whatever direction you need them to go in order to fit into your situation.
What do you want to happen? In your spell book, or online doc, write down what you want this spell to accomplish.
Pick the method of casting to best achieve results. Sigils are great for slow release spells, jars and satchels are best for area of effect spells, jewelry for enchantments, etc.
Research. Look online for similar spells, what do others use for theirs? What do you want to change?
Decide what you need for your spell. If you’re making a jar spell, gather ingredients that you already have to use in the spell. This means researching different meanings and uses of objects. Raid your spice cabinet, most of what’s in there fills out a large list of spell types.
Keep it simple. Don’t over complicate things, the more items you add to a spell the more ways it has of going wrong. And the universe is kinda a dick so there will be things that go wrong.
Don’t be afraid to ask an object if it’ll loan you it’s energy to your spell. If you’ve got a glass jellyfish and you’re casting an stinging curse it’s okay to ask it to help you.
Create the energy key. You know those words people make you chant 3 times over a glass of whatever? That’s an energy key. It’s focusing your intent + energy and pushing it into the universe path to make it pay attention. Key’s don’t have to be long and complex. If all you want is ‘The best mac and cheese’ make that your key. If haiku’s are more your thing use that. Once the key is made you can use it again and again later because you’re inserting it’s blueprint into the universe at this moment. Sigils are the picture version of an energy key.
Craft the object for the spell. Mix your ingredients, draw the sigil, stuff the jars. The ingredients should compliment the energy key’s purpose in life.
Weave, draw, whisper, or however else your energy key onto the object from step 7.
Congrats! You’ve made a spell!
Make more, write notes, test results, experiment. And most importantly don’t force yourself to fit in a square if you happen to be more octagonal shaped. Meaning, do what feels right not what the internet says is best.
Oh, and clean between ‘crafting. Types of energy can be stick and you don’t want that curse goo messing with luck enchantments.
Crestless and without ties to any of the other known orders, the wandering knights follow their own goals. They are altruistic civilian individuals whom decided to take up armor and weapon, leaving family and name behind in their lonely crusade for the greater good.
Driven by an indomitable will to ward against the creatures of the mist they wander tirelessly from settlement to settlement to aid those in need - to spill their own blood in the place of the innocent.
They are loved by the people - sometimes nearing an eerie disposition of adoration that can’t quite be explained. Just the promise of help seems enough to drive people into a celebratory frenzy… Something the knights of the other orders are rare to see, despite their efforts.
No one can remember when the first one showed up, or how many there are - or has been. The name of Grey is given by the people as the knights themselves claim to be without names.
Though possessing no witching trickery of the mist, they have the uncanny ability to sense the presence of those that do - making them invaluable tools during witch-hunts.
Folklore: First cultivated and used in the East, Cinnamon was burned to purify the temple. It also promotes health, vigor and libido.
Main magickal uses: Clairvoyance, consecration, divination, energy, good luck, love, money, passion, peace, prosperity, protection, psychic development, success Other magickal uses: communication, happiness, harmony, healing, inspiration, knowledge, meditation, purification, spirituality, tranquility, wisdom Lore: Paul Beyerl suggests that cinnamon be paired with tourmaline for best effect. Cinnamon is important as a purification incense in China. Do not use externally on the body, as it irritates the skin.
Protection The sun is typically seen as representing male or active energy and since cinnamon is a sun-related ingredient it is thought to be useful in protection magic. For a simple cinnamon protection amulet, tie nine cinnamon sticks together and hang the bundle above your door to protect your home from from unwanted people and energies. Laying cinnamon sticks along your window sill will serve the same purpose.
Prosperity Financial and personal prosperity are also related to the sun’s active energy. Cinnamon sticks combined with other “prosperity” ingredients such as whole cloves, ginger and orange sections can be used as a simmering potpourri to help boost your efforts in job hunting, getting a raise or making general improvements to your financial status.
Love Because of its hot, fiery nature, cinnamon is a natural ally for love and sex magic. Try turning up the heat in your love life by grinding cinnamon sticks into a chunky powder and burning the powder as incense along with equal parts of red sandalwood and myrrh. Or simply place a stick of cinnamon under your lover’s pillow and see what happens.
SPELL: Money Talisman
YOU WILL NEED:
Three Cinnamon sticks
One dollar bill
Cinnamon or basil oil
On a Friday during the waxing moon, assemble all your ingredients at dusk. Take the candle and rub (prosperity, basil, or cinnamon) oil into it while focusing on your bills and debts being paid, see them being paid, picture your self writing checks and smiling all the way to the bank. Light the candle and take the green cloth, add the pumpkin seeds, Cinnamon sticks, and the dollar bill and fold three times, tie with ribbon. Chant while you work and focus on money coming towards you;
Dollar bill, work your will. Pumpkinseeds do your deeds. Cinnamon sticks, do the trick, Bring needed money & bring it quick
Repeat three times burn candle for nine minutes. Keep Talisman near your wallet or purse, and bills to be paid. Expect money to come, know it will and it shall be.
I can think of no tool in a witches’ arsenal which requires more finesse than the mortar and pestle. So often people will pick one up, looking forward to pounding and grinding, not realizing it takes so much more than brute force. Resins will gum up, herbs will be stirred with little to no effect, roots will refuse to powder, all causing a great deal of frustration to those who so looked forward to using this marvelous set. But here’s the secret to using a mortar and pestle: brute force is rarely ever needed, and will not work well in most cases.
Working with resins, herbs, spices, flowers, and more can be maddening with a mortar and pestle, as each of these requires different ways of grinding and working. You cannot approach each the same, as each is entirely different. Simply pounding away at everything will not produce the fine powders so often hoped for. In some cases, a powder is simply not attainable. But, with a little patience and cunning, the tool will serve you well. But before we get to any of that, it’s important to note that if you’re having excessive trouble with working with a mortar and pestle, and the set came from a specialty occult shop, it might just be best to toss it aside. Most of the time these sets are too smooth, not having what it takes to actually grind the materials down. A mortar and pestle made for culinary use is usually the best way to go. Such sets are generally not expensive, and will last you a lifetime.
With that in mind, left’s get right to it! Below are a few examples of the different grinding methods I use.
Resins- Resins can be notoriously difficult to powder properly, often succumbing to the friction between the mortar and pestle and gumming up. Even pounding the resinous chunks too hard will result in sticky pieces. When it comes to tree resins, you must consider what it is you are grinding. Don’t pound the chunks with all your might, or try to grind them with force. No, resins require a delicate touch. Use the pestle to gently hit the chunks until they crack apart. Then use the pestle smoothly, gently, with patience. Resins will take time to powder, giving you plenty of chance to focus your will as you work. Before you know, the gently circular grinding motion will produce a fine powder for any use. Be aware, though, that you cannot use one technique for all resins. Copal powders easier than Dragon’s Blood, which powders far easier than Myrrh.
Dried Herbs and Flowers- Another example of a place where brute force will not serve you, though dried herbs and flowers are much more forgiving. Rosemary, jasmine, lavender, and vervain are all good examples here. Simply stamping at these will not be enough. Often times it takes a gentle grinding of these ti create a suitable material for a powder. Some dried herbs, like mugwort, simply will not powder, whereas Jasmine flowers will be reduced to a fine powder in mere seconds. As with resins, take your time. Be gentle. When you grind dried herbs, you’re either working with botanicals you have dried yourself, or that come prepackaged. If you’ve dried them yourself, you’ll have a much easier time. Prepackaged herbs, while useful at times, are very difficult to grind down any further than the state in which they are purchased. It’s possible to do though with yet more patience.
Dried Roots, Barks, and Berries- Don’t let anyone tell you these are easy to grind because holy mother, that is a lie. Dried roots, bark, and berries are prbably the hardest thing I’ve ever had to grind in my life, and these botanicals are some of the only ones where brute force is your friend. Each of them requires a great deal of power to break down. However, once you’ve pounded them apart, the force is no longer needed. You’ll still have to give it some welly, but it won’t require near as much effort once you’ve broken the materials down. Mandrake root is a good example of this. When dried, mandrake becomes wood-like. It’s very difficult to break down. However, once you’ve got it worked down, you can powder it as you would anything else. Other roots are not so forgiving which is why, if you pull your iwn roots, I encourage you to slice the root pieces into disks. These are much more managable than even small pieces, as the larger surface area gives you more to work with. Bark should be handled much the same. As far as berries, you have to be sure they’re comoletely dry before attempting to work then down. Some berries are far easier to powder than others. Juniper berries (not being real berries) will give you hell. But, as always, keep your patience. It will serve you well.
Fresh Botanicals- This is where you’ll want to forget about powdering. When it comes to fresh botanicals, it’s often only feasable to draw out the juices via stamping and bruising of leaves and flowers, or making a paste by the addition of warm water. Roots will create a paste of their own, as will mucilagenous plants like aloe-vera and marshmallow. Berries will simply muddle down. If you’re trying to get seeds from fruits or berries, you can use a mortar and pestle to (gently) muddle the materials, then add water. After some time, the seeds will sink to the bottom while the body of the fruit/berry floats. Using fresh botanicals in a mortar and pestle can create a great poultice, as well as helping release the volatile oils and constituents of a plants for an infusion or decoction.
However you choose to use your mortar and pestle, remember that it will take time to really understand the tool, and longer to get the hang of it. However, the nortar and pestle is, I feel, and integral part of witchcraft practice. One can learn so much from working their botanicals down, smelling them, hearing them, feong what it takes to break them down, and more. While the mortar and pestle have a great deal of uses beyond just grinding, it’s a great place to start. Happy grinding!
Don’t let money or tools be the center of your craft.
Don’t wait for the metaphorical planets to align.
Do what you want to or need to do with what you have. Use the three year old candle, the empty jar of yogurt and the half dead potted plant.
Don’t be afraid to do your Craft even if you can’t have 10 tarot decks and four different types of rose quarz.
Clensed and blessed bottle water can be just as effective as rain or river water.
We all want beautiful altars and a dozen self grown herbs for our spells. The problem is, not all of us can have that.
And that’s OK.
You are the center of your magic. What you decide is the most important thing.
You decide if the purple craft glitter represents amethyst or not. You put the magic in the water or the cards or the stone.
Without you there would be no magic.
So please remember, having a lot of different tools is great.
But the most important one, the one that makes everything possible in the first place, is you.
It’s no secret, I have a strong connection to spiders, and as such, find myself working with strings, thread and yarn often. Knitting, braiding, macrame – it’s something I get from my grandfather, I imagine, who had countless books on knots and his own penchant for cordage. Of course, his stemmed from being bedridden with a broken back in his formative years. I was lucky enough to pick up the hobby without being confined.
This particular project came out of the blue. One day, having yarn and a large portrait frame at my disposal (with nails jutting from the back in disarray), I wove myself a web – it was messy, but in time, I found myself repeating the process again and again: without reason. I would simply hang them or stow them away for lack of any use. It was only after a time that I discovered their many uses.
Foremost, they work well as snares for any unsavory spirits, especially when protective charms are woven or placed within them. Feathers, chicken feet, and bones all hold very well, but you can also add in ribbons, strings, beads, whatever works for you. Alternately, they can be used in works of control and binding, imparting subtle or aggressive influence on a situation or individual. Such can be done by fastening a photos and/or personal affects/concerns into the web. Lastly, and my favorite use, is that there is an innate interconnectedness and within can be found the manifestations of one’s destiny. It isn’t necessarily an art that I can describe, but with patience, you may be able to attune to what the web can show you. Trace the strands and follow.
Things You Will Need
Frame – this can really be anything; I’ve used picture frames, embroidery hoops, wreaths, willow rings, though I have found that sturdier, even frames make for a tighter, more uniform web; square or round, either work
Cordage – yarn, twine, thread (though I recommend using cotton, as synthetic is usually too slick to hold with friction), embroidery floss (my personal favorite), etc.
Optional: trinkets, curios, charms, etc.
Secure some anchor strands to the frame. The number doesn’t matter, though the more you use the more intricate the pattern (but the longer and more complicated the process). These strands should extend the diameter and meet at a central point: the first strand is simply secured on both sides, and the subsequent should be looped around the central point so as to have a concrete point to work out from.
Next, cut a long strand. To get an estimate for how long it needs to be, simply wind it over the top of the strands in a spiral of roughly the shame size as you wish to create. You don’t lose much in the process, so there’s no need to allot excess EXCEPT that you’re going to need to anchor the final strand to the frame, as well. Better to have too much than too little.
You will then need to anchor the thread through the center. My preferred method (when using embroidery floss or yarn) is to thread the cord onto a needle (as you would when embroidering – i.e. no need to double it up) and knot the end. Bring this through the center (carefully, to check to make sure the knot catches) and then move out along one the the strands and make another securing knot. This is where you will begin, so go out only so far as you wish the smallest point of the spiral to be. This will vary based on the size of the web you’re weaving.
Remove the needle (you could keep it on, but I find it just gets in the way of things) and move the string over the next strand, then bring it around and under the same anchor. Continue this process, spiraling outward. It can take some time to get the hang of it, and don’t fret if as you go the more central strands develop some slack, as once you’re finished, the threads can be spaced out. It is important, however, to continue the spiral in the same trajectory, even when the strands gravitate toward the center. If you compensate, you’ll wind up with a loose weave. Just continue to follow the growing spiral.
Once you’ve made it to the edge, fasten the strand over the top of the nearest anchor, and you’re done! Voila!
photo: this is just a small (somewhat messy) one I made today, as my others are still packed away, though if you really have literally nothing to do, I’m sure you could find a picture of my giant one in my archive
In witchcraft, a wand is used for directing energy in rituals and spells. It represents energy, power, and fertility, and is used as both air and fire element. Each wand can be as unique as the witch that wields it.
Unlike brooms, wands require very little work put into their production, unless you want to. Some traditions call for a witch to find their wand in a fallen branch and forbid against breaking one off the tree. Carving is optional, as is the choice to embed it with crystals, wrap it with wire, tie with ribbon, carve sigils, etc.
A few possibilities for wands based on wood magic correspondences:
ALDER— Weather magic, necromancy, courage and passion
HOLLY— Purity, sun magic, strength, protection, luck
OAK— Protection, fertility, strength
REDWOOD— “King of trees”, strength, protection, creativity,
ROWAN— Defense, creation, travel
WILLOW— Healing, protection, spirit work
YEW— Strength, change
However, please note, a wand does not need to be made out of wood. A wand can be found in many things and anything that is dear to you. A spoon, a pencil, a wrench, a plastic toy wand. If you can find magic within the instrument, it is a wand.
For you nerdy witches who play RPG like D&D well I have a new divination tool for you that I developed on my own. As far as I know there is one other person who does it but he uses a D6 if I remember correctly. Also this is for witches who can’t afford pendulums either. So here we go…..
What is a D20?
well in simple terms it is a 20 sided dice.
So How Do You Use It?
So first i get all my D20 out and roll them all. I currently have four they each all have names: Blanche, Tatiana, Viking, and Derp. Ask whom wants to help you. Whomever has the highest number is the one I use because it means they want to help you with your questions. Then you start asking your yes or no questions with the selected dice.
Now this is how it works:
If it lands anywhere from 1 to 9: It means No
If it lands anywhere from 10 to 12: It means Maybe
If it lands anywhere from 13 to 20: It means Yes
If it lands on an edge where you can’t get a for sure number, falls off the table, falls in your legs or it has landed weirdly: It means: I Don’t Know