Friday, May 27, 2011

Witches Ladder Lore

HISTORY: Wiccan's and Pagans use Witch's ladders for spells, wishing, binding and healing. Some covens and sole practitioners will also "bind the thirteen moons of the year," allowing a witch to conjure the Faery world.

Knot magick is a powerful tool to fulfill your greatest desires. Knot spells use your positive energy with magick to cut pain, bind a lover, and travel safely. All you need to do, is make wishes as you touch the knots.

A Witch's Ladder is an old skill, the first recorded was found in Wellington, Somerset in the UK in 1878. The Italians called the Witch's Ladder a Witch's Garland. Sailors for centuries used knots to call the wind or calm the seas.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Yule Lore (December 21st)

Yule, (pronounced EWE-elle) is when the dark half of the year relinquishes to the light half. Starting the next morning at sunrise, the sun climbs just a little higher and stays a little longer in the sky each day. Known as Solstice Night, or the longest night of the year, much celebration was to be had as the ancestors awaited the rebirth of the Oak King, the Sun King, the Giver of Life that warmed the frozen Earth and made her to bear forth from seeds protected through the fall and winter in her womb. Bonfires were lit in the fields, and crops and trees were "wassailed" with toasts of spiced cider.

Children were escorted from house to house with gifts of clove spiked apples and oranges which were laid in baskets of evergreen boughs and wheat stalks dusted with flour. The apples and oranges represented the sun, the boughs were symbolic of immortality, the wheat stalks portrayed the harvest, and the flour was accomplishment of triumph, light, and life. Holly, mistletoe, and ivy not only decorated the outside, but also the inside of homes. It was to extend invitation to Nature Sprites to come and join the celebration. A sprig of Holly was kept near the door all year long as a constant invitation for good fortune to pay visit to the residents.

The ceremonial Yule log was the highlight of the festival. In accordance to tradition, the log must either have been harvested from the householder's land, or given as a gift... it must never have been bought. Once dragged into the house and placed in the fireplace it was decorated in seasonal greenery, doused with cider or ale, and dusted with flour before set ablaze be a piece of last years log, (held onto for just this purpose). The log would burn throughout the night, then smolder for 12 days after before being ceremonially put out. Ash is the traditional wood of the Yule log. It is the sacred world tree of the Teutons, known as Yggdrasil. An herb of the Sun, Ash brings light into the hearth at the Solstice.

A different type of Yule log, and perhaps one more suitable for modern practitioners would be the type that is used as a base to hold three candles. Find a smaller branch of oak or pine, and flatten one side so it sets upright. Drill three holes in the top side to hold red, green, and white (season), green, gold, and black (the Sun God), or white, red, and black (the Great Goddess). Continue to decorate with greenery, red and gold bows, rosebuds, cloves, and dust with flour.

Deities of Yule are all Newborn Gods, Sun Gods, Mother Goddesses, and Triple Goddesses. The best known would be the Dagda, and Brighid, the daughter of the Dagda. Brighid taught the smiths the arts of fire tending and the secrets of metal work. Brighid's flame, like the flame of the new light, pierces the darkness of the spirit and mind, while the Dagda's cauldron assures that Nature will always provide for all the children.

Symbolism of Yule:
Rebirth of the Sun, The longest night of the year, The Winter Solstice, Introspect, Planning for the Future.

Symbols of Yule:
Yule log, or small Yule log with 3 candles, evergreen boughs or wreaths, holly, mistletoe hung in doorways, gold pillar candles, baskets of clove studded fruit, a simmering pot of wassail, poinsettias, christmas cactus.

Herbs of Yule:
Bayberry, blessed thistle, evergreen, frankincense holly, laurel, mistletoe, oak, pine, sage, yellow cedar.

Foods of Yule:
Cookies and caraway cakes soaked in cider, fruits, nuts, pork dishes, turkey, eggnog, ginger tea, spiced cider, wassail, or lamb's wool (ale, sugar, nutmeg, roasted apples).

Incense of Yule:
Pine, cedar, bayberry, cinnamon.

Colors of Yule:
Red, green, gold, white, silver, yellow, orange.

Stones of Yule:
Rubies, bloodstones, garnets, emeralds, diamonds.

Activities of Yule:
Caroling, wassailing the trees, burning the Yule log, decorating the Yule tree, exchanging of presents, kissing under the mistletoe, honoring Kriss Kringle the Germanic Pagan God of Yule

Spellworkings of Yule:
Peace, harmony, love, and increased happiness.

Deities of Yule:
Goddesses-Brighid, Isis, Demeter, Gaea, Diana, The Great Mother. Gods-Apollo, Ra, Odin, Lugh, The Oak King, The Horned One, The Green Man, The Divine Child, Mabon.

How Do YOU plan to celebrate YULE? If you have a blog or URL with ideas about YULE, leave them here and Merry Yule-Tide!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Spell and Charm bags

Since men and women have made fires, tended to their young and grew herbs in a garden, spell bags, mojo bags and medicine bags have been used. Most cultures used a cloth or leather bag of various sizes that was filled with herbs, hair, oil and charged metal like amulets, and talismans. These bag can protect you if worn under your clothes. The spell bag can bring you your heart's desire for riches, beauty and health.


Often a Neo-witch will create a witches bag, charm bag or spell bag for personal needs. One of the easy bags to make is for New Year's Eve and the wishes you want to come true in the new year. Some pagans will follow the witches wheel and have their New Year's celebration during Samhain. Many pagans will celebrate on December 31st to January 1st. Whatever day you celebrate, a spell bag is ideal to whisper your wishes into, tie up the bag and toss in the fire.

You may draw symbols and add herbs, stones, bones, hair, oil and hand-written notes of the names of those you wish well in the New Year. Whatever symbols best represent the wish you hope to come true.

Here's an easy spell bag for general use as well.


When things get to hectic and stressful in your home, use some magick with a charm bag. The charm bag will bring a peace back into your home. Using fragrant oils, herbs, feathers, and other soothing items will take the discord out of each room.

• Use the hair of each person and pet in your home.
• Blue thread and approximately 12" X 12" blue fabric bag
• Angelica root-a small piece AND Balm of Gilead
• Chamomile oil and blossoms
• Lavender oil and blossoms

Braid the hairs all together with blue thread, then twist the length around the angelica root. Rub some chamomile and Lavender oil over the braid and root.

Put the tied root along with the Balm of Gilead, chamomile and lavender blossoms into the bag and sew or tie the bag closed. Put the bag near where the family gathers. The kitchen or living room will do nicely. Soon you'll feel the negative energy flowing out of the house. Arguments and ill temperaments will be diffused. Tension will dissipate.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Mandrake Root Magick

In witchcraft and occult practices, mandrake root is a very common and potent herb used as an ingredient for various spells, oils, potions, and ceremonial offerings. Mandrake root is said to come in male and female "shapes" where male mandrake roots resemble the shape of a human male and the female root resembling the body of a human female.

In particular, the mandrake root is the most powerful herb of love magick, and certainly one of the most deadliest. Ones that resemble a phallus are believed to possess great aphrodisiac qualities and were, at one time, the main ingredient used in Witches' love philtres (potions) despite their highly toxic properties.

A mandrake root that is soaked every Friday in a bowl of white wine and carried in a charm-bag made of red silk and velvet will give its possessor great sexual potency and make him or her attractive to the opposite sex. A mandrake root placed underneath a bed pillow will arouse passion between two lovers, even if one is indifferent.

Both male and female fertility is promoted by eating mandrake (males eat the male mandrake root and females eat the female mandrake root) or by carrying one as a charm, according to legend.

A tiny particle of powdered female mandrake leaf added to a cup of red wine (for passionate lovemaking) or white wine (for romantic love) is a powerful Witch's aphrodisiac.

In addition to love magick, mandrake roots possess the power to divine the future. More than one book on medieval Witchcraft and sorcery states that the human-shaped roots (both male and female) shake their heads to answer yes or no when questions are put to them. With the proper incantations, mandrakes can also be made to speak out loud or through telepathy. This is another way in which they can prophesy the future and reveal secrets. Mandrakes have been used by many modern Witches in spells and rituals that increase their psychic powers. Mandrake is carried in mojo-bags or worn on necklaces as powerful charms to attract good luck, and with the right spell, money placed in a box with a mandrake root will double overnight.

Mandrake root can also be used in exorcisms as it is believed that demons cannot tolerate mandrake root and it is poisonous to them. It is not uncommon during ancient exorcisms that a priest put a tiny piece of mandrake under the afflicted's tongue during exorcism. The potent mandrake help to drive out the evil essence from within the person.

WARNING: Extreme caution should always be exercised when using any part of the mandrake in potions, brews and philtres. It is a highly toxic plant, and misuse of it can result in sickness, delirium, or a slow and agonizing death.

According to the legend, when mandrake root is dug up it screams and kills whoever hears the cry. Ancient literature includes complex directions for harvesting a mandrake root in relative safety. Josephus (c. 37 AD Jerusalem - c. 100) gave the following directions for safely uprooting mandrake:

"A burrow must be dug around the root until its lower part is exposed, then a dog is tied to it, after which the person tying the dog must then run away. The dog is then enticed to follow him, and by doing so easily pulls up the root, but the dog dies suddenly instead of his master. After this the root can be handled without fear."

Mandrake is one of the traditional ritual herbs of the Samhain (Halloween) Witches' Sabbat and is sacred to the following Pagan deities: Aphrodite, Diana, Hecate and the legendary Teutonic sorceress known as the Alrauna Maiden.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Witch Bottles for Protection

A friend reminded me lately of a very ancient way to draw in and trap forever the evil lingering outside your door. This wicca device is the witch bottle and making one can protect you against evil spirits and attack by magick or from black witches and their spells against you.

Traditionally, a witch bottle was a jug or flask. They were made of stoneware or green, amber or blue glass depending on the available ingredients of the witch. The stoneware was glazed with salt with evil looking bearded men to ward off evil. A replica of any earlier time of a tyrant who killed witches.

Historically, the witch's bottle was filled with the maker's urine, hair or nail clippings and red thread from sprite traps. In more recent years, witch's have filled their bottles with protection herbs like rosemary, nails, needles and pins, and red wine.

The bottle has always been buried at the farthest corner of the maker's property, beneath the hearth, or placed in a secret spot in the house, like inside the walls. After being buried or hidden, the bottle captures evil by impaling it with the sharp objects, drowning the negative energy with the wine, and sending the evil packing from the rosemary.

Seawater or earth may be used if you know what kind of evil is looking for you. Other types of Witch bottles contain sand, stones, knotted threads, feathers, shells, herbs, flowers, salt, vinegar, oil, coins, or ashes. A similar magickal talisman to protect yourself when you travel is the "lemon and pins" charm.

When you've captured an evil within the confines of the witch's bottle, cast it into a fire and when it explodes, the spell is broken and the evil dies.

Bottled spells date back hundreds of years to Elizabethan England, when witches were in vast numbers and not always conjuring "white magick". In ancient buildings, people find witch bottles buried under the stones of the fireplace, under the floorboards, and plastered inside walls.

As long as the witch bottle remains buried, hidden and unbroken, the spell is strong. The tradition has it's origins in the 16th century. In very ancient times witch bottles were made of stone and were filled with rusty nails, urine, thorns, hair, menstrual blood, and pieces of glass, wood, and bone.

To make a witch bottle today, choose ingredients that will benefit you the most. Seal the bottle with wax to make sure the contents stay within and bury or hide your witch bottle.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Embracing Witchcraft in our Times

Witchcraft at one time was practiced by witches, seers, shamans, charmers, pagans, gypsy's and more. These gifted people were legendary from Egypt to Rome. Witches have been part of many great moments in history since the time of shamanism. They gave counsel to Kings and used powerful spells to take down the unjust or cruel.

That is who witches were in the past, but what of the future? Is witchcraft a forgotten religion? Is being a witch relevant today?

Absolutely. Being Wiccan, Shaman or a Pagan in the world today is more relevant than ever. Overall, you'll find ecologically savvy men and women trying their best to bring awareness to the public to protect Gaia, our planet. NeoPagans of all faiths believe in equal rights, natural food sources, feminism, personal and social responsibility by all, respect for other faiths "that do no harm" and so much more.

Historically, witchcraft could be either maleficium, a "malevolent magick" or white "cunning magick" country folk used in the villages. Through history witchcraft was responsible for great and evil deeds. In Medieval Europe, the Church considered all witchcraft to be nothing more than superstition. But for a long time witches were not prosecuted until the late 15th century. During this chaotic time of bad politics and religious zealot, witchcraft was wrongly associated with Satanism.

More modern practitioners of witchcraft call their religion Wicca. Witchcraft and Wicca are very different. Wicca is a religion, and witchcraft is a magical practice. Wiccans are not all witches--some Wiccans have no interest in practical magic and it's workings. Also, many modern witches are not Wiccan.

Some consider Wicca a subset of witchcraft, and when Wiccans speak of practicing witchcraft, they are not speaking of maleficium or any ancient form of witchcraft. Witches today practice white magick that benefits society as a whole. The belief that "first you do no harm, do what ye will" is strong with the Wiccan and witches of our time.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Pagan Pet Protection Spell

I've had many different animals in my lifetime and currently have a terrier who I adore. He stays by my side since he was a pup, but when I let him go in the Slough or an open field, he goes hunting. This can be upsetting if your cat or pooch wander off during play or chase grasshoppers. I suggest a protection spell for your four-legged companion.

Always choose a good collar of natural leather, undyed is best. Save the pink or blue for your animals handkerchief or toenails. A loved pet will have a glowing aura and you want to use their love for you when you focus the spell.

1. Gather organic matter from your animal (a nail clipping, a bit of fur, a hair, a feather)
2. One Oak leaf of any variety of Oak.
3. An 8" x 8" piece of natural unbleached cotton or wool fabric
4. A 12" length of natural twine
5. A small glass bowl, fill it with spring water
6. A pinch of salt
7. Any kind of Vinegar

Lay the fabric on a solid flat surface.
Place the organic matter from your pet into the center of the fabric.
Lay the Oak leaf on top of the clippings from your pet.
Now sprinkle the salt over the leaf, hold your pet's name tag (or vaccination tag) and repeat these words:

Spirits of the Earth, Water, Air, and Fire,
to protect and guard (pet's name)is my desire.
Keep this loving pet from evil and harm.
I ask your power to charge this protective charm.

1. Pour a splash of vinegar into the bowl of spring water and stir it in well with your index finger only.
2. Sprinkle some of the water over the organic matter from your pet, leaf and salt.
3. Wrap the fabric over everything in a neat package then tie the package securely with the string.
4. Dip your fingers into the water and sprinkle a small amount onto the head of the pet you wish to protect.
5. Bury the wrapped package in a hidden, undisturbed place.
6. Pour the rest of the water on the ground where you have buried the package.

This protection spell should keep your pet safe.