Witch Cords: By Knot and Feather or Whatever

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Witch’s ladder found in England in 1878

Other than candle magick, Witch cords are my favorite type of sympathetic magick to use. Cord magick also known as knot magick, or a Witch’s ladder is a very old form of folk magick. Traditionally the ladder is made from knotted cord or hair, natural items and charms are knotted or braided with a specific magickal intention in mind. The number of knots and types of woven items can vary as well as the color and number of cords.

The first recorded evidence of a witch ladder was found in an old house in Somerset, England in 1878. A “rope” with feathers and other items woven into it was found in the attic space. However, this is not the only account of such cords used for magickal intentions. The Gospel of The Witches Author, Charles Godfrey Leland discovered that the Witches in Italy used a similar form of the Witch’s ladder, called a “Witches garland”; Which was made of a cord, and contained black hen feathers. It was said that a spell was uttered as each knot was tied and that the cord was placed under the victim’s bed, to cause the ill fortune. Another was mentioned in an article found In Reverend Sabine Baring-Gould’s “Curgenven”; published in 1893. In his account the ladder was made of wool, and white and brown thread, and at every two inches was tied cock’s feathers. It’s maker then would weave into it; ill intentions intended for the victim. The ladder was then thrown to the bottom of a pond.

This type of folk-magick can also be found in its simplest form, also known as “knot magick”. Knot magick was traditionally been used by sailors to bind winds and then untying the knot to stir up a wind. The “Old-wives tale” of using a square knot on a bandage would make a wound heal faster.

marksamcord.jpgDespite it being overlooked by modern Witches, cord magick is very effective and can be done anywhere, at any time, and with any items you have on hand. I often recommend it for those who live and work in non-accepting places. They can be simple or lavish in design, all depends on the Witch. One of the more attractive cords I carry on my online store, The Hierophant, was created by “The Staten Island Witch” Mark Eadicicco for Samhain. Whereas my cords tend to be more traditional in style. Whether of “knot” you choose to cast a more traditional one or a modern one, it’s all about the intention weaved within.

Typically, the more modern “traditional” knot spells use nine knots. While constructing the cord; concentrate and focus your energy on your intent and repeated for each knot that you tie. Thus, your magick will continue to work as long as the knots are tied. Once your goal has manifested or is no longer needed, depending on the intent you should untie, cut and/or dispose of the cord. Tied with in the knots can vary depending on your intent, as would the color of the cords.

To make a basic modern Witch’s ladder, you will need yarn, ribbon, or cord in a color that matches your intent. Some Witches like to use three different colors, one or two for intent (i. e.: money and success), one to represent the knotter (or two in cases of love), and a third to bind (usually red) and nine items that are similar in correspondence (beads, shells, bones, buttons, feathers, stones or whatever you have on hand).

Cut the yarn in a workable length. Tie the ends of the three pieces of yarn together into your first knot. Begin braiding the yarn together, tying and knotting the feathers or beads into the yarn, while adding your energy and envisioning your intent. If you wish, you can say this variation of the traditionally used chant as the items are tied into the knots (not sure where the traditional one evolved from, but this is the one I have used in the past):

By knot of one, this has spell’s begun.
By knot of two, the magick comes true.
By knot of three, so it shall be.
By knot of four, my power is stored.
By knot of five, my will shall it drive.
By knot of six, this 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.

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Be sure to stop by E. Massey’s online store, The Hierophant.

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Personal Power Rangers: Children and The Use of Magick and Spells

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Photo by Porapak Apichodilok on Pexels.com

A child’s imagination can take them to worlds we can only dream about, and for some adults that does not even happen. The possibilities are endless if we let a child play and allow them to take on the roles they choose. A perfect example of this, is after a child watches their favorite TV show or movie and for the week following that child will “be” and act out the scenes and characters they saw. As adults, we see the child flailing around or punching the air and think they really have lost it this time. But in the child’s mind they are creating wind with super powers or beating up a monster. The one thing we forget is they are actually seeing this happen. Sound familiar? If you are well versed in spell craft and Witchcraft, this is exactly what we as Witches do. What the children are actually doing is tapping into their personal power without even knowing it. Children are full of magick and they actually know how to use it. They just lack the information behind the magick. It’s up to adults to teach them this information and how to wield this power properly. Some may argue that a child does not have the will to create change because they are missing the intent. Bull dinkies!  When the child is making a pretend dinner for you, they are not only imagining the ingredients and items they are “using”. They are preparing it with love and envisioning the ways that you will enjoy it. Though it is in its most basic element, this is intent. When children have a pre-notion of an idea or outcome and combine it with the unconditional love that children possess, this is intent at its purest form.

Role-playing is an excellent opportunity for introducing the fundamentals of person power, magickal theory, and meditation. It can take children to places they are unlikely to visit such as the moon or under the sea where they can meet dragons, animals or even Batman. The possibilities are endless to the child’s imagination and for parents to find magickal “teaching moments”.

A few months ago, my “spiritual” nephew was having some trouble with another child in his class. What made it even worse for him, was that him and his teacher clashed in personality, so there was no support in what he was going through with his classmate. It had gotten so bad for him, emotionally that he didn’t care about his studies. Now, before you go into “TAKE ACTION” mode, from an adult point of view, this was more of an everyday normal social interaction that all children go through and not an aggressive bullying situation. However, my nephew can sometimes put his emotions forward and let certain things have a deeper meaning than others. The fact that I live with my “spiritual” sister and her children in our own little “Witchy” commune as we like to call it, magick is a part of everyone’s life in the household. So, we decided what better than to use this opportunity as a magickal teaching moment and together we would write a spell to help him with his situation. This of course would not only help him with his current situation, both by adding a little needed magickal push and to give emotional support to himself, but it would also help in his magickal studies.

We elected to perform his spell during a full moon ritual, in that way he can harness the power of strength and emotion, rather than using the current times waxing moon of growth. Although, the spell was written as a group effort, he would have the chance to perform the spell all on his own.

If you plan to do this spell with your child, allow them to do as much as possible, of course, this all depends how far they are in their magickal studies.

Sweet Water Bottle Spell for Children

Items Needed: Paper, Pen, A Small Bottle filled with water w/ tight fitting lid, Sugar

Have the child write down the names of people bothering your child, explain to them to picture in their mind these people leaving them alone and to see themselves have a good day at school or another place involved. Have them keep writing the names over and over until the paper is filled. Do this on both sides of the paper. When the paper is completely full.

Say:

“_____names___, your words cannot hurt me,

Your thoughts can not harm me.

You cannot harm me!!!”

Next, have them add the sugar to the water and say:

“From now on ____names___,

Will say nothing but sweet words about me.”

 

Lastly, fold the paper 3 times (you may seal it with wax) and say:

“With the energy of the moon I fix this spell,

For the good of all and with harm to none.”

“So, mote it be!”

Drop it in the water, close the bottle tightly, and shake it.  The child may shake it whenever they feel that they need to have these people who names are written be sweeter to them. Keep the bottle until the paper has completely dissolved.

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