Monday, July 29, 2013

Magic Monday, Make a Witch's Ball

A Witch's ball is a brightly colored glass ball hung in the home or the garden to ward off evil spirits. They were made popular in the 18th century in England but are believed to be much older. They can also be used for luck and good fortune for the family in which they are protecting. The witch's ball is brightly colored which will attract evil spirits and then filled with strands of thread, hair or glass which is supposed to trap and entangle the evil spirits. Making your own witch's ball is fun, easy and inexpensive!

What you will need:

  • Clear glass ornament of which the top can be removed
  • Silver craft paint or any bright color of your choosing (silver reflects ill wishes back to sender)
  • Silver or red thread, tinsel or hair
  • Teaspoon of crushed herbs such as lavender, St. john's wort and/or cinnamon
  • Essential oils of frankincense or patchouli

To begin take the top off of the Christmas ornament and pour in the paint (not too much) and tilt the ball around until the paint covers the inside. After the inside is painted and you can't see through it, let it sit upside down on newspaper so the excess paint drips out, then let it dry over night. Once it's dry, take your thread and cut it into a few three inch pieces and stuff it inside your ornament. Now take your herbs and mix them together with a drop or two of essential oil and put them into the ornament. Place the top back on the ball and string some thread through the hole at the top to hang it. 

Feel free to bless/cleanse your witch's ball with sage or sweet grass and recite a protection chant over it. You may also wish to decorate it further with glitter, jewels or painting designs on the ball. Hang your witch's ball in a window, by your front door, in your garden or anywhere that you prefer. Have fun creating your very own witch's ball!

Photo courtesy of Tumblr

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Lughnasadh Crafts

Lughnasadh is the first of three harvest festivals for fall. It is a time when the first grains and ripe fruits are harvested and thanks is given for natures bounty. There are many fun crafts to do at this time, some of which are baking bread and making your own smudge sticks.

Baking bread was an important part of this festival for ancient people as the bread baked at Lughnasadh, as well as Mabon, would last them through winter. If you decide to bake bread there are a few magical ways to spice things up. You can mold your bread into different shapes such as a Goddess, moon, pentacle, triple Goddess etc. You can chant a few words or blessing over your bread as your baking it. Corn was also a popular harvest crop so feel free to make corn bread or any other type of flavored bread such as cinnamon. Place your bread on your Lughnasadh altar as an offering or serve it with your Lughnasadh dinner.

Smudge sticks are easy and fun to make. Even though you can buy them pre-made, I like to make my own magical tools whenever possible. Cut herbs from your garden or go wild-crafting. If neither of those options are available to you, try your local farmers market or grocery store. 

What you will need for this project:
  • Scissors or clippers
  • String cut about four or five feet long
  • Cut herbs such as sage, mugwort, rosemary, lavender, etc.

Cut your herb stalks about six to ten inches long and gather them so the cut ends are together. Wind the string tightly around the stem of the bundle leaving a few inches of hanging string (you will need this later). Continue wrapping tightly around the stem of the bundle then gradually work your way up to the leafy section until you reach the end. Now go back down with your string wrapping the bundle the opposite way creating a criss cross pattern. Once you reach the end where the stem is, tie the remaining string with the extra two inches you left at the stem.

Once you are finished, cut off any loose leafy ends sticking out through the string so the smudge stick looks smooth. Now you may hang your smudge stick up to dry. It can take up to a week for your smudge stick to completely dry. Once they are dry they are ready to be ritually burned! You can also bless them at your altar to further empower them with your own energies.

Enjoy baking your bread and crafting your very own smudge sticks!

Photo courtesy of  Live In Art

Monday, July 8, 2013

Magic Monday, The Witch's Ladder

A witch's ladder is used as a form of cord magic personally crafted and empowered with a particular intent. It is made using three cords of equal length (usually 13 inches) and nine feathers, beads, bones, shells or really whatever you like. Traditionally the colors of the cord are black, red and white although you may also use other colors to represent your magical intent. These can be made for protection, prosperity, happiness or any other necessity. They can be used similarly to a rosary or prayer beads or they can be hung in your home, car, patio or even just left on your altar. 

To make your witch's ladder you will need:

- Three cords (thread, hemp, yarn) of different colors about 13 inches in length

- Nine beads, feathers, shells, etc.

Now tie your cords together at one end. You may choose to braid the cords and make a knot about every inch or so, or just make a knot every inch or so. For every knot add your bead through one string and tie another knot at bottom of the bead so it stays in place. There is a prayer you may say while creating your witch's ladder to give it more power:

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.

I like to add magically infused oil on each knot as well. When you come to the end of your witch's ladder tie a knot. Feel free to get creative and add charms or anything else that speaks to you. My witch's ladder is pictured above and since I made this one for protection, I added an evil eye charm and a Goddess charm to the end.  Now you may choose to cleanse your witch's ladder with sage or incense or maybe call on a particular deity to bless it.  Hang it or place it wherever you need the particular magical energy you are seeking.  I hope you enjoy crafting your own witch's ladder!
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